JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Bootheel residents facing the clean-up of debris in the aftermath of the recent ice storm are urged to proceed with caution.
Trees may have broken limbs lodged in the branches, which could fall at any time. Help for the elderly, or persons in need, is available. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers tips on clearing debris.
Here are some things to remember during the recovery process:
- Make sure debris piles do not block right-of-way, obstruct fire hydrants or utility meters. Blocking drains and ditches can cause flooding.
- Senior citizens and those physically unable should contact their local government or call 211 to reach the United Way.
- Emergency responders urge residents, business owners and contractors to watch out for falling limbs broken by the weight of ice in the treetops.
- Keep children away from debris piles. The piles may contain broken glass, nails, jagged wood or sharp edges. Debris piles may also contain rodents and insects.
- If limbs or debris are too large, property owners may need to hire a debris removal contractor. Check with your insurance company on whether debris removal is covered.
- Move vehicles away from debris piles. This will make it easier for equipment operators picking up material, and reduce the possibility of damaging vehicles.
- Be suspicious of any contractor who says, or presents literature indicating they have been endorsed by FEMA or any other government agency. FEMA does not endorse individuals or contractors for debris removal.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism and man-made disasters