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More than $1M in federal assistance approved for Nov. 17 storm survivors in Illinois

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[December 16, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD Less than a month after tornadoes swept across Illinois, more than $1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency grant assistance has been approved to help those affected by the storms.

A total of 1,632 people have contacted FEMA for help or information regarding disaster assistance.

In addition to FEMA grants for individuals and families, other forms of disaster assistance are provided by partner agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, the American Red Cross and Salvation Army. FEMA often refers survivors to those agencies. Businesses are also referred to the SBA. Other callers may be interested in non-FEMA programs such as disaster unemployment assistance, the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or legal aid.

The following is a snapshot of the disaster recovery effort as of Dec. 10:

  • 200 households approved for FEMA grants that assist with temporary rentals and personal property loss.

  • $760,124 approved for housing grants, including short-term rental assistance and home repair costs.

  • $334,766 approved to cover other essential disaster-related needs such as medical and dental expenses and lost personal possessions.

  • 329 home inspections completed.

  • 226 visits to disaster recovery centers by people affected by the disaster.

  • 3 disaster recovery centers currently open.

No matter the degree of loss or insurance coverage, survivors are urged to apply for help. They can use any of the following methods:

  1. By phone, call 800-621-FEMA (3362) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Assistance is available in most languages. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call TTY 800-462-7585.

  2. Online, go to

  3. By tablet or smartphone, use the FEMA app or go to

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Storm survivors who register with FEMA and are referred to the Small Business Administration will be contacted with options on how to apply for a low-interest disaster loan. After being contacted by SBA, survivors should complete and submit an application even if they do not plan to accept a loan. It is part of the FEMA grant process and can pave the way for additional disaster assistance. SBA disaster loans are available with interest rates as low as 2.25 percent and terms up to 30 years.

Complete an online application at With questions, call the SBA customer service center at 800-659-2955. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and use a TTY can call 800-877-8339. For more information, visit

For the latest information on Illinois' recovery from the Nov. 17 storms, visit Follow FEMA online at, and

[Text from file received from FEMA Region V]

FEMA's mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). By TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The Small Business Administration is the federal government's primary source of funding for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover uninsured and uncompensated losses and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For information about SBA programs, applicants may call 800-659-2955 or TTY 800-877-8339.

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