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Please see below for a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pertaining to disaster assistance from Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM):

How do I register for assistance?
  • Residents can visit or call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) to apply for assistance. The toll-free telephone number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CDT, seven days a week until further notice.

  • FEMA has opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in DuPage County, at the Lisle Police Department (5040 Lincoln Avenue, in Lisle). The DRC is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. Please note that the assistance offered via the DRC locations is identical to assistance available to residents who register via the phone number or website listed above. As such, it may be much easier for residents with telephone or Internet access to apply directly via phone or Internet.
What happens after I apply for assistance?
  • In most cases, a FEMA inspector will contact applicants within a few days of registering to arrange a visit to their damaged home or apartment. A FEMA inspector will always have an official badge visible during the inspection. Residents should request to see identification before allowing the inspector to enter their homes.

  • Applicants who qualify for FEMA assistance will receive a federal government check or the funds will be directly deposited into their designated bank account. A separate letter also will be sent to eligible recipients, explaining how they may use the funds.
I reported damage to my municipality already. Do I still have to call FEMA in order to receive assistance?
  • YES. THE ONLY WAY TO RECEIVE FEMA ASSISTANCE IS BY APPLYING THROUGH FEMA (via the phone number or website above, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center when one is opened, later this week). Reporting damage to your municipality assisted in documenting the significant impact needed in order to receive a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Now that the Declaration has been issued, residents must apply for assistance directly through FEMA.
I don't know if I qualify for assistance. What should I do?
  • All residents and business owners with uninsured losses are strongly encouraged to contact FEMA. If you are not sure whether you qualify for assistance, you should call the number listed above. FEMA has trained representatives available who can speak with you to help determine whether you are eligible to receive assistance.
I've applied for assistance and scheduled a FEMA home inspection. What happens next? Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama's disaster declaration issued for the State of Illinois.
(Source: website)

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable. Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters. Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional. (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)
  • Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs. (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)
  • Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals. (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)
  • Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance. Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses. Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact. This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)
  • Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence. (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)
  • Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans benefits and social security matters.