Storms
6:40 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

FEMA continues Gifford damage assessments

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency continue to assess damage and process claims from people affected by last month’s devastating storms in Illinois.

 Monday, FEMA Spokeswoman Robin Smith visited the tornado-ravaged town of Gifford in Champaign County, where dozens of homes were destroyed.

 Before requesting assistance from FEMA, Smith says people should first check with their insurance company to find out what’s covered.

 She’s gone through FEMA’s application with people in need, and she says it can take as little as five minutes to get through it.

 “From the point of making the phone call, giving the information that got them registered with FEMA, and the person actually called me the next day and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I actually have money in my bank account.’ That’s how quick it was. Can I guarantee that every single one is going to be 24 hours? No, but I can certainly tell you that we’re going to do our best to do that.”

  Smith says people in need of assistance have until January 27th to register with FEMA, and they can do that by calling 800-621-3362 or visiting disaster-assistance-dot-gov.

 She says money flowing first is generally for rental assistance.