SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Take advantage of a new year to make your family safer in the face of future disasters.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages Illinois residents to resolve to rebuild stronger and smarter, reducing the risk of potential devastation caused by events like the Nov. 17 tornadoes.
Through New Year’s Day, FEMA will offer simple tips and ideas to construct and maintain a home that can better withstand weather risks your community faces. This information will be posted and updated on FEMA’s Illinois recovery website FEMA.gov/Disaster/4157 as well as Facebook.com/FEMA and Twitter.com/FEMAregion5. Learn about rebuilding techniques and tips such as:
- Reinforcing your Residence. Retrofitting your home can provide structural updates that didn’t exist when it was constructed. For instance, a homeowner can install straps to their roof’s structural beams to make it strong enough to resist the "uplift" effect of high winds that can cause it to lift and collapse back down on the house.
- Fortify those Floors. Homeowners can secure their structure to its foundation by using anchors or straps. This can minimize the chances of a home moving off its foundation during events like tornadoes and earthquakes.
- Trim & Tighten. Consider cutting away any dangling tree branches that pose a threat to your home and securing outdoor furniture and fuel tanks that can serve as projectiles during high wind events.
- Elevation is a Smart Renovation. Flooding is a real risk in Illinois and elevating your home and its critical utilities can significantly reduce the risk of water damage. Contact your local floodplain manager to learn your flood risk and elevation requirements for your residence.
- Assure You’re Fully Insured. Take the time to review your insurance coverage. Are you adequately insured for the risks your community faces? Are you covered for wind, flood or sewer back-up coverage? Has your policy been updated to reflect the value of your home? Contact your insurance agent to get these questions answered and ensure your home is financially protected.
Survivors can apply online at DisasterAssistance.gov or with a smartphone or tablet by visiting m.fema.gov. They can also register and get questions answered over the phone by calling FEMA’s helpline, 800-621-FEMA (3362). Survivors who use a TTY can call 800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
For the latest information on Illinois’ recovery from the Nov. 17 storms, visit FEMA.gov/Disaster/4157. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5, facebook.com/fema and youtube.com/fema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.