Flooding at Raymondville

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers safety tips to residents returning to check on flood damaged property and encourage them to file flood insurance claims.

Potential health/safety hazards after a disaster include carbon monoxide poisoning from generators used to power homes or clean-up equipment; electrocution from stepping into water charged by live electric wires; infections to cuts or scrapes that come into contact with surfaces contaminated by floodwater; chemical hazards from spills or storage tank breaks, respiratory and heat-related illnesses; and the worsening of chronic illness from overexertion.

BEWARE OF HAZARDS

• First, check for damage. Check for structural damage before re-entering your home. Contact professionals immediately if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric or sewer lines.

• Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwaters.

• Boil water until authorities declare the water supply safe to drink.

FILE YOUR FLOOD INSURANCE CLAIM

• Call your insurance agent who handles your flood insurance to file a claim. Have the following information with you when you place your call: (1) the name of your insurance company (your agent may write policies for more than one company); (2) your policy number; and (3) a telephone number/e-mail address where you can be reached.

• Take photos of any water in the house and damaged personal property. If necessary, place these items outside the home. Your adjuster will need evidence of the damage and damaged items (e.g., cut swatches from carpeting) to prepare your repair estimate.

• List damaged or lost items and include their age and value where possible. If possible, supply receipts for those lost items to the adjuster. Officials may require disposal of damaged items. If so, try to keep a swatch or other sample of the items for the adjuster.

CLEAN UP

• Remove wet contents immediately to prevent mold. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding and other items holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours.

• Thoroughly dry out the building’s interior. Portable dehumidifiers are useful, and rental costs may be covered under your flood policy. An air conditioner can also be used to start the drying-out process.

• Have your furnace checked for damage. Your water heater may work, but if the floodwater covered part of, or the entire tank, the insulation between the walls may be damaged.

• Plan before you repair. The rebuilding decisions you make now to lower your risk and insurance costs can result in big benefits over the long term. Contact your local building inspection or planning office or your county clerk’s office to get more information.

• Contact your local building inspections or planning office or county clerk’s office to get more information on local building requirements before repairing your structure. If you can’t find a local contact, call your state NFIP coordinator. Contact information can be found at www.floods.org/statepocs/stcoor.asp.

FLOODING RESOURCES FOR MISSOURIANS INCLUDE:

 Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 211 or 1-800-427-4626 (The TTY phone number is 1-866-385-6525). Multilingual services are available. The 211 service is available throughout Missouri.

•Storm-impacted individuals and businesses should report damage to their local emergency management officials.

•Local officials can connect storm-impacted individuals to any services being provided by state departments and non-governmental organizations assisting with unmet needs.

•Individuals and business owners also should notify their insurance companies of damage.

http://www.ready.gov/floods – is a link to FEMA-recommended steps that should be taken immediately after a flood.

•MU Extension Flood Resources: http://extension.missouri.edu/main/DisplayCategory.aspx?C=259

•MP904, Resources for Your Flooded Home: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/MP904

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