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August 15, 2023 – Today President Joseph Biden signed a Disaster Declaration, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to offer Individual Assistance for residents in the Village of Oak Park and Cook County, Illinois who were impacted by severe weather in July. FEMA’s Individual Assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the storms.
On July 2, severe storms dropped eight inches of water in a short period of time in a historic rainfall total. This caused flash flooding in and around Oak Park and the surrounding Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.
On July 24, Governor JB Pritzker previously signed an Illinois disaster proclamation for areas in Central Illinois and Cook County, allowing residents to receive state assistance. When local resources have been exhausted, assistance from the federal government can unlock more tools to help those in need.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Cook County Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS), and Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) are working closely to provide additional services to everyone in Cook County.
Disaster Survivors and businesses who sustained damages in Cook County can begin applying for Disaster Assistance now by taking any if the following steps:
- Call 800-621-FEMA (3362)
- Apply online at disasterassistance.gov
- Download and use the FEMA mobile app
- Disaster Recovery Centers will be open in Cook County for more opportunities for disaster survivors to engage with FEMA representatives on the disaster application process.
- There will likely be two locations: Morton College in Cicero and 3310 Grove Ave. (former Bounce indoor soccer facility) in Berwyn. FEMA expects these loactions to open the week of Aug. 28
Anyone who lives anywhere in Cook County and sustained damages from the storms or flooding between June 29 and July 2, 2023 is eligible to apply. It should be noted that applicants DO NOT need to have a preliminary damage report on file to apply.
In Oak Park, the Village's Sewer Backup Protection Grant Program was established to provide financial assistance to homeowners who install systems to protect their homes from sewer backup during a heavy rain event. The program's intent is to offset a portion of the expense of modifying a building's plumbing system to prevent backflow when Village sewers are at capacity.
Eligible homeowners may qualify for a grant of 50 percent of the total cost of sewer backup prevention improvements, up to a maximum of $3,500 for installing either an overhead sewer system or a backflow prevention valve system. For more information on the program, call 708.358.5410 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.