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Multi-Agency Resource Center to Open in Ford County for Residents Impacted by Flash Flooding

Press Release - Thursday, August 19, 2021

SPRINGFIELD - Governor JB Pritzker today announced the State of Illinois is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in Ford County this weekend to help residents recover recent flash flooding.  A MARC is an all-encompassing hub for residents to access disaster related relief services and information.  The MARC brings together representatives from local and state agencies as well as essential support organizations.

"Recent heavy rains have had a devastating effect on the residents of Ford County and my administration is on the ground providing relief. At my direction, multiple state agencies are bringing available resources into the community to help those impacted by flash flooding," said Governor JB Pritzker. "In addition, the administration is partnering with community relief organizations to consolidate access to all available support services, ensuring the road to recovery is as smooth and streamlined as possible."

"Nearly half of all residents impacted by a disaster will rely on their neighbors or community in the hours and days following the disaster," said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. "A MARC can help expedite the recovery process by bringing together multiple service providers in a single location to provide on-site assistance. We are grateful for the strong community partners in the area who share our dedication to helping these communities build back more resilient."

"The Red Cross is grateful to partner with local community organizations and agencies to help Gibson City residents impacted by the flash flood that occurred last week," said Lyn Hruska, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving Central Illinois. "This weekend's event offers a variety of resources available to local residents impacted by the flood."

The National Weather Service has determined that the August 12 storm dumped nearly ten inches of rain on Gibson City and nearby communities. Since then, the American Red Cross has provided 54 overnight shelter stays, 260 meals to shelter residents, partner agency disaster assessment volunteers, and emergency operation center officials. Red Cross volunteers have also been distributing cleanup items in the community including bleach, gloves, garbage bags and more. To date they have distributed close to 200 items. 

Residents affected by the recent storm can visit the MARC at the Kruse Center located at 207 North Lawrence Street in Gibson City.  The facility will be open on Saturday, August 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Masks will be required for all individuals visiting the MARC.  Once on-site, residents will be paired with a Service Ambassador who can help the residents navigate the facility and ensure their needs are addressed.  The American Red Cross will provide client casework, disaster mental health services, information and referrals.  State and local agencies offering assistance through the Ford County MARC include:

Department on Aging:  Staff representatives will assist older adults and their family caregivers with information on services and public benefits within the community; evaluate the problems and capacities of individuals to recover from the flood and attempt to address service gaps; provide follow-up services based on the older individual's and family caregiver's needs; deliver information regarding the wide range of services offered by the Aging Network.

Department of Human Services: IDHS representatives will assist residents seeking to replace Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits due to the flood as well as provide access to mental health and substance abuse programs, referrals to local childcare providers and functional needs support services.

Department of Insurance: Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about individual insurance policies or questions about the insurance claim process as well as to address issues with individual insurance agents or insurance companies.

Illinois Attorney General: Representatives will provide information regarding identity theft, how to spot and report home repair scams and explain what residents can do to protect themselves from predators during the recovery process.

Illinois Veterans Affairs:  Representatives from the agency will be on-hand to help local veterans coordinate the replacement of important documents pertaining to their time in the service. They can also help connect local veterans with services in the area.

Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD): One of the most sought-after resources following any storm, including a flood, is a clean-up kit.  A clean-up kit consists of a bucket, mop, gloves, cleaning supplies, sponges, broom and a squeegee.  Representatives will be on-hand to provide these kits to residents in need. Volunteer organizations will also provide crisis counseling resources and individual case management to continue to address the needs of those impacted by recent flooding.

Also, in attendance will be various local non-profits, community organizations and faith-based disaster relief organizations to assist those directly impacted by the flooding.

Online Services Also Available

Those who are unable to attend this  event, can visit the Ready Illinois website to find a list of resources available to those impacted by the disaster. If additional resources are needed, residents are encouraged to contact their local emergency management office or the American Red Cross for further assistance.

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