Cook County storm damage resource center opens this week for those recovering from severe weather

Powerful Chicago-area derecho, tornadoes ripped through region

ByABC 7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, August 24, 2020
Cook County storm damage resource center open this week
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A resource center is open this week for Cook County residents whom the recent severe weather affected.

HARVEY, Ill. (WLS) -- A Multi-Agency Resource Center will open Monday in Cook County to help residents recover from recent severe weather.

The MARC is designed to allow residents to access disaster-related relief services and information, bringing together representatives from local and state agencies as well as essential support organizations.

"Helping our residents and our communities recover from a disaster is a priority for this agency," said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Illinois Emergency Management Agency director. "A storm of this magnitude has had a devastating effect on those who live in these communities."

According to the National Weather Service, on Aug. 10, a derecho produced wind gusts as high as 92 mph, and knocked down trees and power lines in numerous communities. In the Cook County town of Harvey, 94% of the community was without power for a week. The NWS also indicates this storm produced 15 confirmed tornadoes within the greater Chicago area.

RELATED: 15 tornadoes hit greater Chicago area during derecho, NWS says

All residents the storms affected can visit the MARC at Thornton High School, located at 15001 Broadway Ave. in Harvey. The facility will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

State and local agencies offering assistance through the Multi-Agency Resource Center include:

  • The Department on Aging: Seniors in need of assistance, but unable to attend the MARC can contact the agency via a toll-free hotline at 1-800-252-8966.
  • The Department of Human Services: Those unable to attend the MARC, but who still need help with benefits, services or have eligibility questions can use the IDHS Customer Help Line 1-800-843-6154. Additionally, IDHS has a free helpline for residents who need emotional support during a crisis. Illinoisans can text "TALK" to 55-2020 (or "HABLAR" for Spanish) for the Call4Calm service.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health: Residents in need of assistance, but unable to attend the MARC can contact the department's Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit at 708-633-8052.
  • Department of Insurance: People may also call the department's toll-free number at 866-445-5364.
  • Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs: For those unable to attend the MARC, but would still like assistance can contact IDVA at 800-437-9824.
  • Illinois Attorney General: People are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 800-386-5438 before hiring a contractor.
  • The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development: For more information about COVID-19 recovery programs, visit For more information about HACC, visit or call (312) 663-5447.
  • RELATED: Chicago tornado: EF-1 carves 3-mile path from Lincolnwood to Rogers Park, heaviest damage along Jarvis

    When MARC attendees arrive, they will be greeted in the parking lot and given a number. Residents will be encouraged to remain in their vehicles until their number is called to discourage congregating, and to limit the number of individuals inside the building at one time.

    To prevent the spread of COVID-19, only a limited number of people will be permitted in the building at one time and limited to one representative per family. Special accommodations will be made for elderly residents or those with special needs.

    Once a number is called, residents will be given a health screening and temperature check. Masks are required for all individuals participating in the MARC. If a resident does not have a mask when they arrive, one will be made available at the door. Once the resident passes their health screening, they will be paired with a Service Ambassador who can help the residents navigate the facility.

    RELATED: ComEd outage: Dozens now without power in south suburbs nearly a week after storm

    Janitorial services will be on-site to conduct cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surface areas. Additionally, MARC representatives will be disinfecting their tables between each resident visit.

    Visit for more information about what to do before, during and after a storm.