Press Release - Tuesday, August 15, 2023
President Biden approves Gov. Pritzker's Illinois Disaster Declaration for July 2023 Severe Weather, Unlocking Federal Individual Assistance
FEMA's individual assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs
CHICAGO - Today President Joseph Biden signed a Disaster Declaration, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) to offer Individual Assistance for residents in 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 businesses owners recover from the effects of the storms.
"Thank you to President Biden and FEMA for recognizing the devastating effects of recent extreme weather on Chicago and its surrounding neighbors and taking the appropriate action to ensure impacted residents can get back on their feet," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Residents and businesses, especially those on the West Side of Chicago who were most brutally hit, are now able to access additional resources necessary to rebuild and revitalize, and I know Cook County will build back stronger than ever."
Beginning June 29, several rounds of severe storms passed through Illinois producing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Central Illinois experienced a derecho that brought damaging straight-line winds resulting in five confirmed tornadoes, along with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour across multiple counties. The tornados and straight-line winds resulted in large debris fields, affecting homeowners, businesses, utilities, and local governments. The storms also caused disruptions to transportation due to flash flooding and debris on the roadways.
On July 2nd, additional 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 the Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.
Governor 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.
"We continue to coordinate services and assign specialized resources from various state agencies to assist in the recovery from this severe storm," said Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. "Our Recovery Division teams are integrally involved in the effort with our local and county partners in bringing multiple Federal programs to Cook County to recover from the severe weather in July."
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 the Cook County can begin applying for Disaster Assistance:
- Calling 800-621-3362 (FEMA)
- Apply online at disasterassistance.gov
- Using the FEMA 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.