Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) opened Friday in Brookport to serve people who were affected by Nov. 17.
Disaster recovery officials work closely with community leaders to find DRC locations that provide safe and easy access for all survivors.
For additional information, see Page 8A.
FEMA teams are now
FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance crews, or DSA crews, are now in Brookport to provide information, identify immediate needs, give survivors an opportunity to register for disaster assistance, answer questions related to an individual’s FEMA application status, and provide referrals to other governmental and nongovernmental assistance providers.
“FEMA is sending teams directly to Illinois communities affected by this disaster to expedite the recovery process,” said Donald Keldsen, the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in Illinois. “This staff is equipped to register people on the spot, answer questions about federal assistance and provide referrals for additional help if it’s needed.”
While DSA crews are offering in-person service, it’s important that Illinois survivors remain vigilant about protecting their personal information.
For example, residents should always ask for federal identification. Federal and state officials always have an official FEMA badge clearly visible. If someone represents themselves as a federal or state employee, but does not produce identification, ask to see it.
DSA crew members may offer residents the opportunity to use a tablet computer to register, or ask to enter information on their behalf. Illinois residents will not be required to share personal information unless they wish a DSA crew member to help them with an in-person registration or answer specific questions about their FEMA application status. Residents are reminded to ask for federal identification before providing personal information.
Victims should file
insurance claims first
FEMA recommends that survivors with homeowner’s insurance file a claim with their insurance company and then register for federal disaster assistance.
Once Illinois residents have filed their insurance claim and registered for assistance, it’s important to be aware of the next steps in the process:
• Insured applicants will receive a determination letter from FEMA — survivors should read the entire letter carefully. The letter may state that they’re ineligible for assistance, but this isn’t necessarily a final decision.
• FEMA cannot duplicate insurance benefits. To continue processing their application, survivors must submit insurance settlement documents to FEMA.
• The insurance documents will be reviewed; then an inspector may arrange a visit to the damaged home or apartment to determine if the applicant has uninsured, eligible losses.
• Federal disaster assistance may then be available to assist in filling the gaps that a survivor’s insurance has not covered.
• Survivors can call 800-621-FEMA (3362) if they have any questions.
Applicants can mail insurance settlement information to: The Federal Emergency Management Agency, P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055
Insurance settlement information can also be faxed to 800-827-8112.
SBA team ready to
assist in Brookport
U.S. Small Business Administration Acting Administrator Jeanne Hulit issued the following statement after the announcement of the Presidential disaster declaration in Illinois due to severe storms and tornadoes on Nov. 17: “The U.S. Small Business Administration is strongly committed to providing the people of Illinois with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist homeowners, renters, and businesses with federal disaster loans. Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
According to Jack Camp, SBA spokesperson, Massac and Pope counties are eligible for both physical and economic injury disaster loans from the SBA. As of Monday, 59 applications had been picked up from Massac County residents, with one application in Pope County.
Small businesses and most private non-profit organizations in the following adjacent local counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Johnson, Pulaski and Saline in Illinois; and Livingston and McCracken counties in Kentucky.
Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.
Businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount of disaster damage to real estate and/or leasehold improvements, as verified by SBA, to make upgrades that lessen the risk of property damage by future similar disasters.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Interest rates are as low as 2.250 percent for homeowners and renters, 2.625 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, call the FEMA toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362. The toll-free numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily until further notice.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Jan. 27. The deadline to return economic injury applications is Aug. 26.