President Barack Obama signed a Disaster Declaration for Cook County for Individual Assistance in regards to the flooding disaster that Cook County suffered on July 24, 2010. This declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin working with local residents to issue disaster assistance grants or loans.

Chicago residents (homeowners and renters) and business owners who sustained losses from the storms may be eligible for disaster aid and can begin applying for assistance by registering online at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

FEMA advises that when applying for disaster assistance have the following information available:

  • Your Social Security number
  • A telephone number where you can be contacted
  • Insurance information
  • Total household annual income
  • A routing and account number from your bank (only necessary if you want to have disaster assistance funds transferred directly into your bank account)
  • A description of your losses that were caused by the disaster

The level of assistance will be assessed and determined by FEMA; the most important thing is to apply, through FEMA, and start the process. Government disaster assistance covers basic needs only and will not normally compensate for the entire loss.

If you submitted information to the City regarding damage including completing the Flood Damage Assessment Form, thank you for assisting the region in collecting data necessary to achieve the federal disaster designation. Please note that in order to be considered for any assistance available due to the declaration, you must now apply directly to FEMA. The information supplied to date was important for assessing the level of damage to achieve the declaration, but is not part of the application process for individual assistance.

For additional information, please visit

Links & Files

FEMA Disaster Assistance Documents (English)

FEMA Disaster Assistance Documents (Spanish)

FEMA Website

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Website