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Deadline Tuesday to register for flood disaster money

By Rex Robinson | 7/3/2013, 5:49 p.m. | Updated on 7/8/2013, 8:08 a.m.
Will County residents who suffered flood damage earlier this spring have until Tuesday, July 9, to register to get reimbursed ...
David Sufflick from the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently came before the Will County board to outline details on how to register for funding for flood damages. By Rex Robinson

Will County residents who suffered flood damage earlier this spring have until Tuesday, July 9, to register to get reimbursed for some of those damages through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Time is running short,” FEMA’s county liaison Dave Stuflick said at a recent Will County Board meeting.

It is imperative for anyone who suffered flood damage in the heavy rains that resulted in flooding in many areas of the county April 17 through April 19, according to Stuflick.

The website to register is http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

“Go ahead and register and see if you're eligible,” Stuflick said.

He said residents who register for the money from FEMA will in no way have to pay it back and will not see an increase in their property taxes.

“The money you get from FEMA is a grant,” he said.

In addition, he said residents who already made repairs to their homes also should register and will only need to show receipts to FEMA to verify they had flood damage.

Once the registration process is complete, FEMA representatives will visit each homeowner to assess the damage and do an inspection. He urged residents to make sure the representative is wearing a FEMA badge.

“If someone comes to your home and says they’re from FEMA and they don’t have a badge, they’re not from FEMA,” Stuflick said.

Another red flag would be if the person asked for money. “We ask for no money,” Stuflick said.

There is a cap on how much money homeowners can receive for damage. The most someone who receives no money from their insurance company can receive is $31,900. Homeowners who received money from their insurance companies will only be eligible to receive additional funding not covered by insurance, according to Stuflick.

Also, basement damages are generally not covered through the grant money, as that would be covered under flood insurance and those homes would be in a flood zone, Stuflick said.

The money from FEMA will likely not cover all the damages.

 “This will not make you whole,” Stuflick said.

A U.S. Small Business Administration loan is another option for impacted homeowners, renters, as well as business owner and non-profit organizations. Homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for damages and renters can qualify for up to $40,000 to replace personal property lost in the flood through the SBA's Office of Disaster Assistance, according to Jack Camp, public affairs officer.   

Interest rates for homeowners and renters are as low as 1.68 percent, and as low as 4 percent for businesses, Camp said. The loan limit for businesses is $2 million.

"The SBA plays a critical role in the federal government's disaster assistance process," Camp said. 

Heavy rains and flooding occurred across Will County and much of northern Illinois April 17 through 19. The flood broke river crest records in many locations, including the DuPage River in Bolingbrook.

Federal, state, and Will County officials later assessed the impacts of the flood in order to seek federal assistance.

President Obama later signed a federal disaster declaration for Illinois, which covered those affected by the flooding in 11 counties, including Will County.

For more information about applying for flood relief money from FEMA, call (800) 621-3362.