Check your furnace before winter hits, advises FEMA

October 18, 2023

As winter approaches and temperatures begin to drop, homeowners in Chicago are urged to inspect their furnaces and other appliances that might have been affected by the summer flooding.

The period between June 29 and July 2 witnessed significant flood damage, which may have impacted household heating systems. FEMA has come forward to offer assistance to those in need.

FEMA’s assistance guidelines for furnace repairs

FEMA’s assistance comes with certain conditions.

Only primary homes that are owner-occupied qualify for this aid.

Vacation homes or second homes are exempt from this benefit.

Moreover, the assistance is particularly aimed at homeowners with uninsured or underinsured damage that compromises the safety and habitability of the residence.

Basement living spaces, including owner-occupied garden units that experienced damage, are also under the purview of FEMA’s assistance.

When registering for this aid, homeowners should clearly mention any damage to essential electrical appliances, such as furnaces, incurred during the floods.

For those who have already undertaken repairs or replacements, FEMA requires the submission of receipts. In cases where repairs are yet to be done, valid estimates from certified contractors or suppliers should be presented.

Appealing for additional FEMA assistance

For homeowners who discern the need for replacing their heating systems post receiving a FEMA grant, there’s a provision to seek more help.

This can be achieved through the FEMA appeals process. Comprehensive details regarding this can be found at www.fema.gov/assistance/individual/after-applying/appeals.

If assistance is yet to be sought, homeowners can apply via www.DisasterAssistance.gov, ring up 800-621-3362, or utilize the FEMA App.

For those using video relay or captioned telephone services, they should provide their contact number to FEMA.

Direct assistance can also be availed at a Disaster Recovery Center.

The last day for registration is October 30, 2023.

More on the ongoing disaster recovery efforts in Illinois can be accessed at www.fema.gov/disaster/4728.

FSJA Comment

With the onset of the chilling Chicago winters, it’s imperative for homeowners to ensure their heating systems are functioning effectively.

The summer flooding, which wreaked havoc on many homes, makes this check all the more necessary.

FEMA’s initiative to support affected homeowners not only reinforces the importance of timely checks but also offers a safety net for those who might find themselves in a cold home this winter.

Such proactive measures and the provision of assistance play a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of residents as they brace for the frosty months ahead.

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