WEST DES MOINES, IOWA -- In the wake of a flood, information becomes as important as food and water to disaster survivors, as well as aid needed to recover.
That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Advisor is available at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to meet with applicants individually, offering advice on a range of preparedness and hazard mitigation topics, including: how to properly and safely do clean-up after a flood, how to prepare and protect a home from future disasters, and how to apply for insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Being prepared is a crucial part of disaster mitigation, whether it’s purchasing flood insurance, house-elevation in a floodplain, or clearing flammable or toxic materials from around the home before a disaster hits.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Advisors, when talking with disaster aid applicants after a flood, will ask two necessary questions: what was the water’s depth and how long did it sit there? Long after flood waters subside, there can still be hidden hazards inside a home, such as mold, and there are safe and unsafe ways to approach clean-up. Hazard Mitigation Advisors are always ready to listen to a disaster survivor’s story, and it helps them evaluate needs when applicants have photographs to show.
FEMA also has a number of publications available, offering important information to applicants on specific steps one should take when cleaning-up a flood-damaged home, or how to safely clean up mold.
“Mold and Mildew,” “Helping Children Cope with Disaster,” and “Answers to Questions about the NFIP” are just a few of FEMA’s publications available at DRCs.
While parents are busy talking with the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Advisor, a child can be learning equally important information about disaster preparedness from FEMA’s educational and fun activity coloring book: “Ready…Set…Prepare! A Disaster Preparedness Activity Book.”
And FEMA includes all household members with its publication for pet owners: “Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies Makes Sense.”
FEMA Hazard Mitigation Advisors located at the DRCs will also provide information on flood insurance through the NFIP. This program is open to homeowners, condominium owners, renters, and businesses. FEMA and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) encourage all citizens living on or near a floodplain to purchase an NFIP policy. For more information, visit www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419.
FEMA and SBA continue to provide face-to-face disaster recovery assistance at the DRC located at:
Pottawattamie County DRC
American Red Cross
Human Services Campus
705 N. 16th Street
Council Bluffs, Ia. 51501
Hours: 9–6 p.m. M-F; Closed Saturday & Sunday
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.