CHARLESTON, W.v. - As skies clear and the floodwaters recede, responders, volunteers and teams dedicated to assisting West Virginians devastated by flooding have been arriving and making a difference. The West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) have been working with state and local emergency managers and officials to coordinate resources through its network of disaster relief agencies. They have been asking kind-hearted individuals seeking ways to help disaster survivors to make a donation to the WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund or register as a volunteer. Financial donations are the best way to support the effort at this time. Donations will be used to support the disaster related needs of families through a network of voluntary agencies and a statewide disaster relief fund.
Financial donations are accepted and more information can be found at: https://wvvoad.communityos.org.
Volunteers wishing to help more directly with flood response and recovery can register online at www.volunteerwv.org. Volunteer West Virginia has partnered to match volunteers with organizations statewide to assist with response and recovery. When road hazards are clear and needs are identified, a volunteer coordinator will contact registered volunteers to schedule a volunteer shift or overnight deployment.
State and federal officials have announced the opening of a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) with tentative plans to open more. DRCs are one-stop shops for eligible storm survivors to provide one-on-one, face-to-face help from local, state and non-government organizations. Representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will also be present to provide information on low-interest loans and help applicants complete disaster loan applications for homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.
A DRC has been established at the Kanawha County Crede Warehouse 3300 Pennsylvania Ave. in Charleston, WV 25302. The center will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Additionally, a Mobile Disaster Recovery Center (MDRC) in Greenbrier County is open from 7 a.m. – 7.p.m until Friday with additional hours to be determined. The center is currently located at 65 West Main St. in White Sulfur Springs, WV 24986.
However, individuals do not have to visit a Disaster Recovery Center to register for assistance. If you have been affected by flooding and need assistance, visit DisasterAssistance.gov or register with your smartphone at m.fema.gov. For those without access to the internet, FEMA has a toll-free number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for the deaf or hard of hearing.
To learn more about Disaster Recovery Centers, go to FEMA.gov/disaster-recovery-centers.
FEMA officials have reported that over $290,000 of federal funding has been approved for individuals and households affected by the disaster. 2,600 individual registrations have already been received, 800 of which have already been referred to inspectors. Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.
DEBRIS REMOVAL TIPS
Storm and flooding-related debris is eligible for pickup and disposal by the county or municipality if residents place the following types of debris on the public right-of-way in front of their property for pick-up. When placing debris at the roadside, residents should be careful not to cover or impede access to utility meters or mailboxes.
Residents opting for curbside pick-up must separate debris into categories:
Vegetative debris (tree limbs, shrubs, etc.)
White goods (appliances, etc.)
E-goods (TV’s, electronics)
Household hazardous (cleaning solutions, automotive chemicals, etc.)
- DEBRIS HANDLED BY CONTRACTORS: Some homeowner’s insurance policies may cover debris removal. Residents are reminded that if they choose to hire their own contractor, they should not place that debris on the right-of-way. The cost of debris disposal is typically included in the contractor’s estimates. Homeowners should review their insurance policies to determine if their policy covers debris removal. Under no circumstances will reconstruction debris or demolition debris created by the property owner or the private contractor be pushed to the curb. The property owner, insurance company or contractor is responsible for removing and transporting all demolition and/or reconstruction debris to an approved designated
AFTER A DISASTER – QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOU ON THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
Injuries may occur when people walk amid disaster debris and enter damaged buildings. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
Be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in or around your home.
Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards and before going back to a property with downed power lines, or the possibility of a gas leak.
Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines.
Report downed power lines and electrical hazards to the police and the utility company. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
If your power is out, safely use a generator or candles.
Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner's manual and follow the instructions.
If using candles, please use caution. If possible, use flashlights instead. If you must use candles, do not burn them on or near anything that can catch fire.
Outside your home or business: Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
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. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.
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