Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
FEMA Urges Storm Victims to Register in Brookport
BROOKPORT -- Federal officials say there's plenty of financial help left for those affected by the tornado in Massac County.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging more storm victims to register for help.
"Once we explain to them what is going on, they do feel much more relieved," said Disaster Recover Center Manager Maria Gabel.
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Don Keldsen was at the Brookport Library on Thursday giving an update on recovery efforts. He was appointed by the President to help the 15 Illinois counties touched by the November 17 storms.
He says one issue many Brookport residents are experiencing is finding new rental properties because many of them were damaged by the tornado.
"We have people in the area checking out where other rental resources may be and through our disaster survivor assistance teams, going out into the community, if somebody has a rental need, we might be able to help link them up," he explained.
So far 1,700 people statewide have registered with FEMA and more than $1.2 million has been distributed.
"Here in Brookport, we've approved $418,000 of support for residents," added Keldsen.
Keldsen says 147 Brookport residents are on the list, but he thinks more people should take advantage of the assistance.
Zach Ermel's home sustained significant damage.
"It ripped off, you know, a lot of the shingles and knocked a couple holes in the roof and pretty well flooded the kitchen and living room," he said.
Ermel has insurance and hasn't applied for FEMA aid yet, but he says he plans on it.
"The more people that apply, the more money that's going to come in to Brookport," he said. "So even if you're not going to be eligible for it, you have insurance, it's going to be something good to do because you're helping someone else."
Disaster Recover Center Manager Maria Gabel insists, no matter the circumstances, anyone touched by the tornado should stop by the library.
"Please come and register because there's going to be enough for everybody," she said. "There's going to be enough for your neighbor, there's going to be enough for you, and so the thing is to register."
FEMA will be at the Brookport Library from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. There's no set timeline for how long they'll be in town. Officials say they'll be here as long as the need exists.
You can also call 1-800-621-3362 or to the FEMA website to register.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 73 %