N.D. Emergency Management Offers Flood Recovery Guidelines Following Storms

June 13, 2005

North Dakota emergency management officials have issued flood recovery guidelines for residents affected by recent storm activity.

Susan Reinertson, director of the N.D. Division Homeland Security, formerly the N.D. Division of Emergency Management, stressed the importance of documenting damages and reporting them to local emergency management officials. “Right now, the priority for individuals, families and business owners is cleaning up after the storm,” Reinertson said. “Citizens should make a special effort to keep repair receipts and document damages whenever possible. We encourage everyone to take pictures of the damages to homes or business and their contents.”

Local officials are currently providing damage reports to the State Operations Center (SOC) in Bismarck, identifying the types and extent of damages. The results will be used to determine resources required during the recovery process. The assessment process and subsequent results do not guarantee federal assistance will be made available.

During the forum, emergency management officials offered the following guidance for flood recovery and cleanup:

* Take precautions when entering flooded buildings, such as identifying broken or leaking gas lines or flooded electrical circuits, and identifying any ceilings, walls or floors that may collapse;
* Check to see if insurance policies have a sewer backup rider;
* Contact your local emergency manager or the local chapter of the American Red Cross if assistance is needed for immediate needs, such as housing;
* Destroy food that has come into contact with floodwaters;
* Pump out flooded basements gradually to avoid structural damage;
* Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible;
* Inspect utilities in damaged homes and businesses and notify utility providers for inspection before restoration;
* Retain flood-damaged items that may be covered by insurance; and
* Avoid driving through water on roadways.

“Our recent storm activity and subsequent flooding has created a lot of emotional and physical stress,” Reinertson said. “It’s important to look after yourself and your family and take periodic breaks during your cleanup work.”

Additional flood recovery guidance can be found at: www.fema.gov/hazards/flooding/coping.

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