Staff from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began documenting damage to homes and businesses from tornadoes that hit southern Illinois on Feb. 29.
"We want to make sure that the assessments are thorough, complete and accurate," said FEMA Spokesperson Hannah Vick. "So to that end we're going to be looking for several different types of pieces of information. Along those lines we're going to be looking at the effect of this event on the whole community. What it's going to take for the community to get back on it's feet."
Information gathered during the damage assessment will be used by the state of Illinois to support a request for federal assistance to help affected residents.
Governor Pat Quinn issued a state disaster declaration on Feb. 29.
State and federal representatives were divided into three teams to conduct damage assessments.
"We have a lot of information at our disposal to be used over time to do an accurate assessment," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. " And that's the key word, we want to be accurate with this assessment. We want to account for everything that was damaged through the course of the tornado that came through here last week."
IEMA Director Mon ken says he expects the damage assessments to be completed on Thursday.
During the week of March 12, IEMA and FEMA staff will meet with local government officials to gather information on their storm-related expenses, including those for public safety measures, overtime and repair or replacement of public facilities and infrastructure.
That information will be used to support a request for federal assistance to help local governments receive reimbursement for many of these costs.
"FEMA stands ready to assist the state and local officials in anyway that we can to make sure the assessment process goes very smoothly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by this event," said Vick.
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