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News from President Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County Dept. of Homeland Security to present Blizzard of 2011 preliminary damage assessments

On behalf of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) wishes to thank all Cook County municipalities, townships, other eligible units of government and non-profit organizations in providing our office with your Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA). The level of response and cooperation was unprecedented. This office greatly appreciates everyone’s hard work.

Cook County has submitted just under $22,000,000 for Public Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessments for the County as a whole. These preliminary figures are pending validation by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  DHSEM hopes that Cook County meets the 2011 State Per Capita Impact Indicator Threshold amount of $7,581,943.07 after completion of the validation process.

FEMA will be in Springfield this week (2/22/11 – 2/25/11) to conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) with IEMA for the severe winter storm that occurred earlier this month.  This PDA will be different from those Cook County has typically had with past disasters.  DHSEM’s office received communication that the PDA would be more of an “audit” of the information.  FEMA will review the data submitted and FEMA/IEMA will contact selected organizations to confirm the information.  Most of the contacts will be by telephone, but FEMA/IEMA may also decide to visit some organizations to confirm the information, particularly those that reported physical damage.

It is important that the point of contact identified on each submittal, or someone familiar with each submittal be available next week to answer questions about the data for each organization or to arrange a physical onsite visit if need be.  If reported data can’t be confirmed, FEMA may choose to not include it in the final PDA numbers.

Additional information on the Public Assistance Program is available on IEMA website at http://www.iema.illinois.gov/iema/disaster/pa.htm.

Again, thanks to everyone for their assistance with assessing the damages and costs from this severe winter storm.

If anyone has any questions about this continuing process, please call the Cook County DHSEM at 312.603-8180.