New disaster recovery centers open in Cook County to aid in post-storm recovery

January 3, 2024

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the opening of two new Disaster Recovery Centers in Cook County, Chicago.

These centers are established to aid residents affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred on September 17-18, 2023.

Opening on January 3, the centers are located at the Burnham Community Center and the Village Hall, Hawkins Multi-Purpose Center in Phoenix.

Assistance and services provided at new centers

Specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration will be available at these centers.

They will assist disaster survivors in applying for federal disaster assistance, guide them in uploading necessary documents, and provide information on making properties more resistant to future disasters.

The Burnham center, located at 14020 S. Torrence Avenue, and the Phoenix center, at 650 E. 151st St., will operate from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.

Accessibility and alternative ways to apply for assistance

In an effort to make recovery assistance more accessible, the centers will offer assistance and materials in multiple languages, including American Sign Language.

The locations have been chosen for their accessibility to ensure they are easily reachable by all affected residents.

Additionally, FEMA emphasizes that visiting a Disaster Recovery Center is not mandatory for applying for assistance.

Residents can apply for FEMA assistance without visiting a center by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, visiting DisasterAssistance.gov, or downloading the FEMA app.

For users of relay services such as video relay or captioned telephone services, FEMA advises providing the service number when applying.

Important deadlines and further information

Residents seeking more comprehensive information about the disaster recovery operations in Illinois can visit FEMA’s website.

It is important to note that the deadline to register for FEMA assistance is set for January 19, 2024​​.

FSJA Comment

The establishment of these new Disaster Recovery Centers in Cook County represents a significant step in the ongoing recovery efforts following the severe storms and floods of September 2023.

These centers are a testament to FEMA’s commitment to supporting affected communities in their rebuilding and recovery processes.

The provision of specialists from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration at these centers is particularly noteworthy, as it ensures that residents receive the necessary guidance and support to navigate the complexities of disaster recovery.

The centers not only offer immediate relief and assistance but also provide resources and knowledge for residents to enhance the resilience of their properties against future disasters.

The accessibility of these centers, with services available in multiple languages and American Sign Language, underlines FEMA’s dedication to inclusive recovery efforts, ensuring that all community members, regardless of language or physical ability, have equal access to assistance.

Additionally, the availability of multiple channels for applying for FEMA assistance, including online and telephonic options, is a thoughtful approach, acknowledging the varied needs and circumstances of disaster survivors.

As the January 19 deadline for assistance applications approaches, it is imperative that residents of Cook County take full advantage of these resources to aid in their recovery journey.

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