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Below you will find links to a few articles that explain the threshold process and how FEMA calculates aid. If you live in a state with a highly populated city (like we do with Chicago) then your chances of getting FEMA aid decrease unless you are that highly populated city. For example, if the same F4 Tornado had done the damage in Chicago that it had done in Washington; based on the population #’s, Chicago would have gotten aid.
As Johnathan Monken of IL Emergency Management put it “So it bascially means that barring some apolyptic level event within a small community, it’s almost impossible to have a small community disaster in Illinois that gets to the threshold for federal assistance,”.
Read these articles to understand how this process works. In many ways the system is set up to fail. These are old formulas that do not take into consideration the enormous growth of cities and towns in virtually every state in the U.S. in the last 40 years. Using this outdated method of calculations hurts EVERYONE!
- IL Politicians Challenge FEMA Formula
- Threshold for FEMA public assistance hasn’t kept up with inflation
- U.S. House members work to make FEMA declaration process fairer
“We were told that the Federal Government would be there to help us recover. Now we have learned our Public Assistance disaster declaration request to FEMA was denied because we did not have enough devastation,” said Mayor Gary Manier, City of Washington.
He further stated, “We discovered early on in this process that the formula for the State of Illinois was excessively high and based on our state’s population. This formula is a serious disadvantage to smaller communities who, regardless of the magnitude of the disaster, may never qualify for Federal Assistance. I am thrilled our members of Congress are working to right this wrong.”
These are just 3 examples but good one’s of how this process impacts and affects small towns all throughout the United States. We need to be heard. We need to stand up. I will say it over and over and over, this is OUR issue, not just a Washington, IL issue.