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May 20, 2013

You’ve cleaned up and started making the necessary repairs from last month’s storms and flooding. Now the bills are coming due.

Your insurance may cover some of those costs, but if you haven’t registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you may be missing out on additional assistance you need to recover. Until you register for assistance, FEMA has no way of knowing who you are, where you are, or what you need.

  • Calling your insurance agent does not register you with FEMA.
  • Contacting county or municipal agencies does not register you with FEMA.
  • Receiving assistance from volunteer agencies does not register you with FEMA.

The only way to determine whether you’re eligible for federal disaster assistance is to register with FEMA by phone or online, or by visiting a Disaster Recovery Center. FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are also registering applicants for assistance in neighborhoods throughout the declared disaster area.

Individuals can register online at or via web-enabled phone at Applicants may also call 800-621-FEMA (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. CDT seven days a week.

FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration representatives are available at all five state-federal Disaster Recovery Centers now open in Illinois. These centers are open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.