ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Residents cleaning up and repairing their flood-damaged homes in southeastern Minnesota should proceed with caution, according to officials from Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and the U.S Department of Homeland Security?s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
?Educate yourself before you rush into a rebuilding project,? said Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell. ?Repairs made too hastily could cause harm to you and your family, or could result in a home that is not as strong and safe as it should be.?
Officials are urging residents in areas affected by the August severe storms and flooding to get a copy of Repairing Your Flooded Home, a joint FEMA and American Red Cross publication. The manual is available at Disaster Recovery Centers operating in affected counties. It includes tips, checklists and safety precautions to keep in mind through every stage of cleaning up and repairing a flood-damaged home.
The manual can also be ordered by telephone by calling 1-800-480-2520. After selecting touch-tone or voice commands, select Option 4 (?all other inquiries?). The publication number for Repairing Your Flooded Home is FEMA 234.
Topics addressed in the publication include:
- Health and safety precautions to take every step of the way
- Equipment and safety checklists for various stages of cleanup and rebuilding
- Checking a home for safety, including electrical and gas issues
- Sorting and discarding debris
- Assessing flood-affected construction material, such as wallboard, plaster, insulation and wood
- Draining ceilings, walls and basements of accumulated water
- Sorting through damaged personal items
- Drying out a home
- Safely restoring utilities
- Rebuilding a home with floodproofing in mind
Another resource is Minnesota Recovers, a Web site maintained by the state of Minnesota. At //www.minnesotarecovers.org, residents can find collections of valuable cleanup, repair, safety, insurance and financial-assistance information.
FEMA coordinates the federal government?s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.