Updated information on tornado recovery - Friday, November 22

The cleanup and recovery from the devastating tornadoes which struck Illinois on Sunday November 17 continues. Six people were killed in Illinois and hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in a line of storms which affected the entire state, from Brookport at the southern tip all the way to Chicago. We have compiled the latest information from state agencies, non-profits and media in the disaster areas to try and assist the victims and their families, and to provide an outlet for those who want to help.

15 counties presently declared state disaster areas
Fifteen counties have now been declared disaster areas by the State of Illinois due to damage sustained in last Sunday's tornadoes. Those counties are: Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, LaSalle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermillion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will and Woodford. Additional counties could still be added. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has the latest news on declarations and requests for assistance here.

Possibility of federal disaster assistance
Staff from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) began touring the disaster area this week, conducting a preliminary damage assessment (PDA). The purpose of the PDA is to compile a list of damages sustained statewide so that Illinois can decide whether or not to request a federal disaster declaration.

In order to receive federal assistance, the Governor must request a disaster declaration from the President. The President, acting through FEMA, must determine that the damage is beyond the capabilities of the state to adequately respond. The determination of the state's capability to respond is based on a financial formula which takes into account the size of the state and the estimated cost of the damage. FEMA and IEMA crews are compiling an estimate of those costs now, and if it meets the threshold established in the FEMA formula, the state will likely request federal aid. It will then be up to President Obama to approve or deny the request.

The last such disaster declaration for Illinois was back in April and May when dozens of counties statewide were affected by flooding.

Statewide news
In addition to the IEMA news site above, here is the latest news and information from Ready Illinois.

Attorney General warns residents to beware of home repair scams.

Warning to tornado survivors: don't sleep in vehicles.

Contact information for local emergency management contacts and Red Cross chapters.

State Treasurer's office offers Disaster Recovery Loans.

Local information: Washington & East Peoria
Information from the city of Washington and Tazewell County via Rep. Keith Sommer's office. Includes links to local disaster relief agencies, shelters and information for residents.

Rep. Mike Unes offers some tips on what to do if your home is damaged by the storm.

American Red Cross Peoria Chapter

To volunteer in the general Tazewell County area, please call (309) 925-5511. Local officials ask that you do not go directly to the disaster site to volunteer.

A Multi-Agency Response Center has been set up for Washington and Tazewell County residents to get assistance from several agencies under the same roof. That center is located at Five Points, 360 N. Wilmore in Washington. It is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through at least Tuesday, and additional dates could be added if necessary.

Local media sites for continuing information:

Local information: New Minden
Rep. Charlie Meier's office is available to assist constituents who have suffered damage in New Minden and surrounding areas of Washington and Clinton Counties.

American Red Cross St. Louis area chapter

Local media sites for continuing information

Local information: Gifford
Residents in need of assistance from state agencies should contact Rep. Chad Hays at his district office in Danville.

The FEMA PDA team visited Gifford yesterday.

American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter

Local media sites for continuing information

Local information: Coal City & Diamond
Rep. John Anthony's Morris office is available to assist constituents in need of aid.

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago

Local media sites for continuing information

Local information: Brookport

WPSD-TV in Paducah has a constantly updated list of resources and ways to help in Brookport.

A Multi-Agency Response Center will open on Monday in Brookport at the Old Gym behind Brookport Elementary School at 306 Crockett Street. Residents who need assistance should stop by that facility on Monday or Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

American Red Cross St. Louis area chapter
Southern Illinois Community Foundation

Local media sites for continuing information