SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will be opening at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 in Rantoul to serve homeowners, renters and business owners who were affected by the Nov. 17 Illinois tornadoes.
DRC services include help with applying for disaster assistance and finding out about other disaster programs available from the U.S. Small Business Administration, state and local agencies and voluntary organizations. Residents must apply with FEMA even if they already provided damage information to local officials, other agencies or organizations.
Rantoul Recreation Building
100 East Flessner Ave.
Rantoul, IL 61866
Regular hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days a week, until further notice
Individuals can register online at DisasterAssistance.gov or via web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services (VRS), call 800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST seven days a week until further notice.
Disaster recovery officials work closely with community leaders to find DRC locations that provide safe and easy access for all survivors. More centers will open as sites are identified and approved.
ILLINOIS — FEMA has specific instructions and guidelines for those recovering from storm damage to follow:
” Call your insurance company
” Register with FEMA for assistance
” (800) 621 – 3362
” TTY (800) 462 – 7585
” Write down and save 9-digit FEMA registration number (this number is the only way FEMA will be able to access your information later)
” Meet with FEMA housing inspector (call to request appointment; if haven’t gotten call within 2-weeks of registering, call again)
” Complete and return Small Business Administration application (whether business or individual; both FEMA and SBA use same application for different purposes)
” Call FEMA if you receive any letters you don’t understand or haven’t heard from FEMA within 2-weeks
” Update FEMA with any changes to status (address, phone number, insurance payments received)
Two engines and firemen from six Iroquois County departments are on duty in Gifford.
MABAS 37 was asked to deploy to the tornado-ravaged community for fire protection and to maintain nine light-towers placed throughout the town. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System stepped up to provide engines from Chebanse Township and Cissna Park. Firefighters serving Gifford are from Stockland, Cissna Park, Loda, Buckley, Chebanse Township and Ashkum.
Ashkum Fire Chief Jeff Glenn says “in 32 years on the job as a firemen, “never have I seen a thing like this.” The Champaign County town was wiped out, 200 homes destroyed. Emergency lighting is in place until power can be restored.
Glenn said in the event there’s any fire calls, the Iroquois County MABAS crews will handle the situations with Gifford firemen guiding the mutual-aid help, since most of the street signs are gone.
TODAY….a little more preaching about Emergency Management…
Why we do it….Why we tell others to do it…. Why we train/exercise and insist our local elected officials need to pay attention and also participate in exercises.
Being prepared is what it’s all about…. Preparing emergency plans and exercising those plans…. It’s why regular monthly testing is done to test those sirens and radios…. It’s why fire / police / ambulance and hospital / public health / businesses / volunteers / and yes….even the everyday citizen needs to focus on www.ready.Illinois.gov
Young school age kids are taught emergency response and many times, it’s those kids who take that message home to mom & dad, moms & dads and others who might be a little complacent about emergency management.
Sunday’s weather emergency… what happened in Washington, IL; Gifford, IL; Diamond and Coal City, IL, Brookport, IL; New Minden, IL… is yet another example of being prepared.
Emergency responders in Grundy County confirm they were involved in a search for any victims after a tornado hit the town of Coal City and nearby Diamond. The Emergency Management Agency office was urging the public to stay away from the town until the full extent of the damage was assessed.
Significant damage was reported and homes and commercial businesses in the community were destroyed.
The devastation has drawn scores of emergency workers from Coal City, Braidwood, Joliet, Manhattan, Plainfield, Lockport and Minooka, among others. The teams set up staging areas at the Braidwood and Coal City fire departments.
The tornado hit about 12:20 pm, according to the EMA office.
While no fatalities have been reported, there have been reports of injuries. Downed power lines are among the damage and existing threats, and with winds gusting at 50 mph.
The NWS also confirmed tornado damage in Gifford in Champaign County and in parts of Vermilion and Iroquois Counties.
The hardest hit Illinois community was Washington in Tazewell County.