Gov. Pillen Responds to Expedited Federal Disaster Declaration


Laura Strimple, (402) 580-9495

Allan Urlis, (531) 510-8529

Katrina Sperl, NEMA, (402) 471-7428


Gov. Pillen Responds to Expedited Federal Disaster Declaration

LINCOLN, NE – At the request of Governor Jim Pillen, President Joe Biden granted a major disaster declaration for the state, triggering the release of federal funds to help Nebraska residents and communities recover from severe storms, straight line winds and tornadoes that occurred April 25-27. The action comes just one day following Gov. Pillen’s request for federal assistance to help those who were impacted by severe storms in Douglas and Washington counties. Gov. Pillen expressed his appreciation for the expedited federal declaration.  

“This approval will allow Nebraskans affected by the Arbor Day tornadoes to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Pillen. “We know that the road to recovery will be a long one, but this declaration will help expedite processes and funding provided through FEMA, to help people take care of both immediate and long-term needs.”

Assistance includes cost-sharing funds, which will help in the removal of debris and emergency protective measures, as well as the reimbursement for repairs to public infrastructure and property. It also includes individual assistance to renters, homeowners and business owners who have sustained losses. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) will soon provide information to assist storm victims with the necessary application processes.  

Those who sustained damage or losses in Douglas and Washington counties can begin applying for assistance right away at or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362). There is also a FEMA mobile app, available through Google Play and the Apple App Store.

In the coming days and in coordination with the state and local governments, FEMA will have staff visiting affected neighborhoods. Those individuals will be carrying identification, so residents know who they are. They will be assessing damage and providing information to impacted individuals.

Damage assessments are continuing in other areas. Additional counties, as well as requests for assistance resulting from the severe weather may be declared at a later date.

In a separate, but additional update today, Gov. Pillen has ordered additional Nebraska State troopers and members of the Nebraska National Guard to assist with security, and deter looting in affected neighborhoods in both Douglas and Washington counties.