Pekin Storm Relief Update

Don't Move Barricades!
This morning the Pekin Police urge motorists to be careful  driving in the damaged area around 8th and Sheridan.  Watch for officers directing traffic!
If you are coming to the area to help family or friends and you come to a street with a barricade, please do not move it or go around.  You may need to park and walk the rest of the way to your destination.  It may not always be convenient, but the emergency workers are trying to keep the cleanup effort moving.  However, everything comes to a stop when there are too many cars in these areas. 
If you have no business in the area, other than to look at the damage, please stay away.  The extra vehicles just slow the clean-up process.
Everyone thanks you for your cooperation.


Donations Needed In Pekin
The HOPE Chest is the location in Pekin for donations.  It is also a distribution center for families affect by the storm. 
They are collecting donations of the following items: 
1)   Bottled Water
2)  Blankets and pillows
3)  Winter Coats, Hats, Scarves, and Gloves
4)  Flashlights
5)  Tarps of ANY Size
6)  Clothes for All ages, sizes and gender
7)  Non-perishable food items such as PB&J, Macaroni and cheese, snack cups, etc.  The food needs to be ready to eat, as many are without electricity or cooking appliances.

A 53-foot semi trailer has been parked on the east side of The HOPE Chest (1106 Derby).  As soon as the trailer is full it will be delivered to Washington.


Items Available to Storm Victims
Pekin and East Peoria residents affected by the are eligible to receive the supplies listed above.  Go to The HOPE Chest, 1106 Derby in Pekin.  Please bring proof of your address, as they will need to check it against their list of areas affected by the storm.


Volunteers Needed
The HOPE Chest needs volunteers today from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm to help receive and organize all of our donations that are coming in to help families affected by the tornado.  Ask for Dave or Lynne and they will sign you in and get you started.


Pekin Township Assistance
The Pekin Township is offering free food and a safe, clean shelter for Pekin residents from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as needed. It is also expanding its normal Wednesday food pantry service for low-income families to include families and individuals directly affected by the storms.  The township office is located at 420 Elizabeth Street.  Note that these services are only available to Pekin residents.  For more information, call the township at 309-346-3194.


2-1-1 Can Help
If you know someone who needs assistance, but doesn't know where to turn, call 2-1-1 for referrals to local agencies that can help with food, housing and more.


Want to Volunteer or Donate Materials?
Please do not just "show-up."  First call the local Red Cross volunteer line at 309-677-7272.  Let them know of your availability or you willingness to donate equipment or materials.


Red Cross Donations
Central Illinois is a very caring community and many, many people want to help their neighbors in this emergency.  Financial donations are still the most effective and efficient way to help those who have been affected. And the best way to do that is to give directly to the Red Cross.  Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make a donation. Tell them you want your donation to go to the central Illinois tornado response.


Better Business Bureau Warning
The recent damage done by the tornados in Central Illinois brings out the best in people, as strangers reach out to help others in need. Unfortunately, the aftermath of a crisis also brings out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized.
Your Better Business Bureau has previously seen out-of-state contractors setting up shop in the area trying to capture construction work caused by storms like these.  BBB is warning the area contractors to beware of storm chasers who are willing to pay local construction companies substantial amounts of money to use a local company's established name, reputation and phone so they can masquerade as a local business.
We have seen this happen in other areas of the country.  After doing repairs paid by insurance companies the out-of-state contractors left the area.  Many contractors who agreed to let these storm chasers use their name regret their decision once they were left holding the bag of unsatisfied customers due to bad workmanship and/or unfulfilled warranties.
Even more amazing, BBB has received calls from "locally known contractors" wanting to apply for BBB Accreditation.  Our research showed that they just became registered to do business in the state within the past few days and further review showed them coming from areas like Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
HELP US HELP YOU!  If you are contacted by any of these storm chasers offering to use your company's name and reputation beware! Please notify your Better Business Bureau so we can investigate - email me at or call 309-670-1182.         


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