To keep residents updated about the latest efforts to deal with losses because of flooding, the Village of Forest Park continues to tap into ways of communicating that it hadn’t before used so widely.
Last Wednesday evening – just four days after mass phone calls that residents be on guard for unlicensed clean-up contractors, and three days after mass text messages about extra garbage pickups – an e-mail from Mayor Anthony Calderone landed in Forest Parkers’ inboxes about damage questionnaires.
“In the next couple of days you will be receiving a damage collection form in the mail for flooding of June 23rd as well as July 23rd. I am asking for your help today by completing these forms and returning them to our village hall as soon as possible. This information will be used to begin the process of getting help from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Calderone said in a message that came from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though this e-mail didn’t list a return date for the form, the mayor’s letter on the home page of the village’s Web site does: Aug. 16. By that Monday, completed forms are due to Village Clerk Vanessa Moritz.
“The Village of Forest Park is collecting data to submit to the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to better position ourselves for federal aid, should it become available,” the mayor says on the village site, where visitors can download a questionnaire for damage sustained in the two most recent rainstorms.
You can return the two-page forms by e-mail or you can drop them off at village hall. If you didn’t find one in your mail or you can’t get one online, you can find the forms at four places in town.
“It is important to retain documentation on your damage or loss. Please keep a list of damaged or destroyed items and receipts for the repair or replacement of same. This documentation may be required by FEMA, should assistance become available. Photos may also prove helpful,” says the mayor’s letter on the village site.
The village has filed disaster-area status with Cook County for both the storms of June 23 and July 23. Cook County has designated itself a disaster area for both storms, and Gov. Pat Quinn has put the state’s stamp on the county’s designation. The next step toward eligibility for federal disaster relief is a declaration by the President Obama that Cook County is a disaster area.
“Cook County is urging the governor to pressure the president for FEMA assistance,” Calderone says on the village site.