SPRINGFIELD – A Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) will open in Taylorville on Friday and Saturday to make it easier for people affected by the December 1 tornadoes. The MARC is a one-stop-shop for tornado survivors to access disaster related relief services and information. The MARC brings together representatives from more than a dozen local and state agencies and essential support organizations.

Christian County residents affected by the December 1 tornadoes are encouraged to visit the MARC at Taylorville Christian Church, 1124 N Webster Street. The MARC will be open on Friday, December 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Proof of address is requested.

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Some of the state and local agencies offering assistance through the Taylorville MARC include:

Department on Aging: Staff representatives will assist older adults and their family caregivers with information on services and public benefits within the community. Evaluate the problems and capacities of individuals to recover from the storm and attempt to address service gaps; provide follow-up services based on the older individual’s and family caregiver’s needs; deliver information regarding the wide range of services offered by the Aging Network.

Department of Human Services: The Division of Rehabilitation Services will provide information to individuals with disabilities regarding housing, wheelchairs, interpreters and services for the blind.

Christian County Family Community Resource Center: Representatives will provide forms to request replacement of SNAP benefits lost due to the storm, information related to services in the community and applications for assistance if someone wants to apply for crisis assistance or other benefits.

Department of Insurance: Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about individual insurance policies or questions about the insurance claim process; Address issues with individual insurance agents or insurance companies.

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Christian County Health Department: Staff members will provide information on the essential public health services available in the community, including tetanus vaccines and food safety.

Illinois Attorney General: Representatives will provide information regarding identity theft, how to spot and report home repair scams and explain what residents can do to protect themselves from predators during the recovery process.

Also in attendance will be Christian County CEFS and nearly half a dozen additional volunteer disaster relief organizations.

Upon arrival at the MARC, residents will be paired with a Service Ambassador who can help the residents navigate the MARC and ensure their needs are addressed. The American Red Cross will provide client casework, information and referrals.

On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner declared Christian County a disaster area. According to the latest information from the National Weather Service, three tornadoes tore through the county, ranging in strength from an EF0 to an EF3. Ameren Illinois estimates more than 100 power poles were destroyed in the storm, and local officials report more than 500 structures were damaged in the Saturday evening weather event. More than 20 people were injured in the storm, but thankfully no lives were lost.

The state disaster proclamation makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storm. The state of Illinois has personnel and assets that have mobilized to help local government officials with disaster recovery, including heavy equipment and personnel to remove debris, communications equipment and assistance with security and other public safety issues.

For more information about disaster recovery resources, go to www.ready.illinois.gov.

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