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Over the next several weeks, the Village of Itasca will conduct a comprehensive damage assessment of areas damaged by the recent floods. This could entail physical visits or telephone calls from members of the Community Development Department.
This is an important step in the process of seeking federal disaster assistance.As part of their assistance to local municipalities, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has offered the following guidance to homeowners and business owners. IEMA recommends:
• Residents and business owners should contact their insurance company and report any loss or damage that their structures sustained. • Thoroughly document and loss or damage with photographs. • Submit copies of receipts if available. • Flood damaged items should be placed at the curb for pick up by our refuse vendor. This service will be provided to our residents until further notice. • Any loss or damage should be reported to the Village of Itasca Community Development Department at 630-773-5568.
Once IEMA has this initial information, they can determine if a state disaster declaration is warranted. This is the first step in determining if a request for federal disaster assistance is needed. It is only through a Federal Disaster Declaration that individuals affected by a disaster can access financial assistance.
If the damage information warrants it, IEMA will conduct a joint damage assessment of the affected with FEMA and local emergency management coordinators. Unfortunately, federal disaster assistance is not warranted for homes that only sustained basement flooding, according to FEMA. Damages must be to the extent that water has been more than two feet deep on the first floor living area of a home. And while FEMA uses a number of criteria to determine the need for federal assistance, a preliminary damage assessment would need to identify 200 to 300 homes in the affected area with water over the first floor living area to warrant a request for federal assistance.
If the data from the damage assessment support the need for a Federal Disaster Declaration, the Governor will submit a letter to the President requesting federal assistance. Financial assistance for individuals affected by the disaster will only be available if the President approves the Governor’s request for Federal assistance.
The recent rains placed a great deal of strain and tremendous burden on our area homeowners and business owners. The Village remains cautiously optimistic we will meet the criteria for qualifying for Federal financial assistance. In an effort to keep our residents informed, we will provide periodic updates from FEMA, IEMA and the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as they become available.