Kokomo, IN -- The American Red Cross and Salvation Army again set up their canteens in Kokomo, Indiana to dispense food and beverages, but this time the sky was clear and the creeks held to their banks.
Just a month since floodwaters covered streets and invaded homes here in central part of the state, volunteers were serving up food and information at a Flood Recovery Fair to inform people on clean up and repair techniques for damaged homes and how to keep floodwaters from causing so much damage in the future.
In a partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Indiana State Emergency Management Agency, coordinators with the Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (INVOAD) worked with Lowe's of Kokomo and other partners to bring building experts and mitigation specialists together to provide information to local residents.
"The Flood Recovery Fair combined resources from both the volunteer and commercial sectors in such a way as to create a safe and convenient 'one-stop shopping' environment for those recovering from the floods," Jayne Stommel, INVOAD's president, said. "It brought to life the phrase 'cooperation, communications, coordination, and collaboration' in disaster response, and it is definitely a model we intend to use again with future disasters.
Between the aisles of vinyl flooring, hardware and appliances at Lowe's of Kokomo, building specialists showed people who recently suffered from floodwaters in basements how to replace drywall. The trick is to pull off all the drywall that has gotten wet or wicked up moisture, which may mean cutting the drywall two or three feet above the water line.
Then there was the how-to demonstration on the extra measures that needed to be taken to keep mold from spreading in a moisture-laden dwelling. Attendees learned it takes a lot of hard work and bleach.
Not only repair was covered at the event. Many of the almost 250 people who attended had finished their cleanup and were wondering how they could prevent the same type of damages in the future. Clinics covered elevating appliances and installing sump pumps. FEMA Mitigation Specialist Norm Neely talked specifics with those interested in implementing various low-cost flood mitigation projects in their home.
The event brought people t...