Swift Federal Approval of Tornado Relief for 15 Counties - UPDATED

Residents impacted by recent tornadoes can immediately begin registration for grants and low-interest loans. Businesses can apply for low-interest loans.

President Obama has approved the state's request for federal assistance to help people and businesses in 15 Illinois counties recover from the November 17 deadly tornadoes. The announcement comes just one day after the Governor submitted his request for Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermilion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford counties. Since November 17, Illinois’ emergency management officials have worked around-the-clock to expedite the federal request and direct aid into the communities as quickly as possible.”

“We will begin working immediately with the federal government to ensure tornado victims can get needed help as quickly as possible,” Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency said.

Anyone impacted by the Nov. 17 tornadoes should register for the grants and low-interest loans for which them they may be eligible. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the assistance program, has a toll-free telephone number (1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for hearing and speech impaired) for victims to apply for assistance. Registration can also be done online.

Available assistance to people and businesses in the 15 approved counties affected by the Nov. 17 storms includes:

  • Grants of up to $32,400 to help with disaster-related needs and necessary expenses not covered by insurance and other aid programs, such as replacement of personal property, and transportation, medical, dental and funeral expenses.
  • Low-interest loans for up to $200,000 for homeowners to cover uninsured property losses, including repair or replacement of homes, vehicles, clothing or other damaged personal property. Renters and homeowners can receive loans of up to $40,000 to replace damaged or destroyed personal property, such as clothing, furniture, appliances, vehicles, etc. 
  • Crisis counseling, disaster-related unemployment assistance, legal aid and assistance with income tax, Social Security and veteran’s benefits.
  • Businesses and private not-for-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Loans are also available to some businesses for economic losses.

For more information about disaster recovery resources, including shelters and ways to help tornado survivors, visit www.ready.illinois.gov.