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dir="ltr">From agricultural help to getting food stamps to refill a flooded pantry, a number of Illinois agencies have come together to help families navigate the process of getting their lives back together after record floods.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Rebecca Clark said residents dealing with this spring’s floods may feel overwhelmed.
“We’re going to be dealing with this for a very long time, so everyone should know that the state of Illinois is ready to help,” she said.
IEMA and other state agencies have compiled services at Illinois.gov/2019floods. It will offer assistance in reporting damage, navigating government services and has a mental health hotline. Clark said handling issues like food assistance will let residents focus on rebuilding their homes and getting back to normal life.
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“If you bought food with SNAP benefits, they may need to be replaced because anything that comes into contact with flood water needs to be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected or thrown out,” she said.
While it will also help with services like food assistance, the website Illinois.gov/2019floods has compiled links for farmers unsure on how to properly qualify for assistance during the devastating floods.
“There’s important information on Prevented Planting if you have questions about what those documents mean and what you need to be able to do to qualify,” Clark said, adding that the mental health line is a valuable resource for farmers dealing with the extraordinary stress of the planting season.
“As a lifelong farmer, I know firsthand how stressful farm life can be in a normal year, but this year has been exceptionally hard on our farmers, not only financially, but mentally,” said Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan said. “If you need help, please reach out to someone. Know you are not alone in feeling the pressure to secure your crops.”
The governor has issued a state disaster proclamation for 34 counties in Illinois due to the extreme flooding.