SPRINGFIELD – Staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) arrived in Southern Illinois today to begin documenting damage to homes and businesses from tornadoes that hit the area Feb. 29.
Information gathered during the damage assessment will be used by the state of Illinois to support a request for federal assistance to help affected residents.
“The assessment teams will be surveying damage and gathering information that will support the state’s request for federal assistance,” said IEMA Director Jon Monken. “They will work quickly but deliberately in order to compile solid documentation that shows just how critical federal assistance is to help these communities recover from this devastating disaster.”
State and federal representatives were divided into three teams that will conduct damage assessments. Following an organizational meeting Monday morning in Marion, the teams headed out to meet with local emergency managers who will direct them to homes and businesses damaged by the tornadoes and severe storms. Monken said he expects the damage assessments to be completed on Thursday.
Teams of IEMA and FEMA staff will be in the region during the week of March 12 to meet with local government officials to gather information on their storm-related expenses, including those for public safety measures, overtime and repair or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure. That information will be used to support a request for federal assistance to help local governments receive reimbursement for many of these costs.
On Feb. 29, Governor Pat Quinn issued a state disaster declaration for the Southern Illinois tornadoes. The declaration ensured that state resources were available to support local governments with response and recovery efforts. The state declaration also is needed to request federal assistance.