FEMA Officials in Areas Damaged by November 17 Storms

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Published on December 9 2013 2:11 pm
Last Updated on December 9 2013 2:11 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Survivor Assistance crews, or DSA crews, are now canvassing areas affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes 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. 
 
Nearly 75 DSA crew members are visiting homes, businesses, organizations and high-traffic locations in affected areas. They also meet with local officials and community leaders to identify disaster-related issues and unmet needs.
 
“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 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. 
 
Disaster survivors in counties designated for FEMA assistance in Illinois can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by mobile device at m.fema.gov. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free Helpline at 
800-621-3362.