FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams Deploy to All Illinois Counties in Support of COVID-19 Vaccination Effort

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) announced today that three additional FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams arrived in Illinois this week—bringing the total to 11 teams across the state—to distribute information about COVID-19 vaccination sites, assist residents with accessing the vaccine, and raise awareness about FEMA’s funeral assistance program. Since the DSA Teams were first deployed to Illinois, the teams have had more than 100,000 interactions with the general public.  These community outreach teams can help individuals locate vaccine providers, answer questions related to vaccine hesitancy, help organizations or groups host a vaccination clinic for the community and educate the public about the availability of COVID-19 funeral assistance.   To date, more than $6 million has been approved for COVID funeral assistance in Illinois. Eleven crews of six specialists are now active in all Illinois counties. The Illinois DSA team members come from all over the nation and include two teams from the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps hasn’t been activated to support domestic disaster response and recovery efforts since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Working closely with local government officials as well as community and faith-based organizations, these teams are raising awareness about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Illinois communities. They are also coordinating with funeral homes across the state to help raise awareness about FEMA’s funeral assistance program, which provides federal financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses.Like all FEMA personnel, DSA team members can be identified by their official federal photo ID badge and FEMA attire. If in doubt, immediately contact your local law enforcement or local emergency number for assistance. For information on how to make an appointment to receive the vaccine, updates on the state’s plan and eligibility, and answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, go to coronavirus.illinois.gov. For more information about the federal COVID-19 response and FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program, visit www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus.


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