Sept. 12 Webinar to Address Flood Recovery for Cropland
The webinar has been archived and is now available for on-line viewing.
Floods: Resources Online for Dakota County & Surrounding Area
UNL Extension - Flood Resources: Information for home, family & business, acreage & rural living, pets, septic systems, food safety and many other topics of interest.
Dakota County hotline for Flood 402-494-7525
Many things can be done before an impending flood to reduce damage to home and property. Visit the resources listed below for more information and reviewing the checklist below can help you prepare to reduce the impact of water or a flood on your home and family.
Local Information (6-3-2011)
US Army Corps of Engineers-Omaha
South Dakota Disaster Recovery
Iowa Flood Information System
1-800-447-1985 - Operator that can help answer flood related questions.
Call 211 from an Iowa phone line for information about food banks, clothing, shelters, volunteer opportunities and donations.
Want to volunteer/or need help from volunteers: call The Siouxland Volunteer Center at 224-1001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up to date by following Facebook. Check out some of these pages
Nebraska Emergency management Agency
2011 Missouri River Flood
US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District
2100 Fremont Countyk, IA Flood Support
Helps for Homeowners
North Dakota Extension Flood Info
Great video’s & information about
Building with Sandbags
Preparing a home that will be flooded
Before, During & After Floods
Dealing with Continuing Basement Seepage
Spanish & English Publications about Disasters
Look under publications, than disaster
Families and Children
Disinfecting Dishes, Food Safety in Floods
Visit EarthToolsTM to find elavations by address. (earthtools.org)
Know your flood risk
Call your local emergency management office, building department or floodplain management office for information about flooding. Ask to see a flood map of your community. There may be a projected flood elevation for your neighborhood. This information may be on a community website. This information will help you determine required preparation.
Check your sump pump
Clean the sump pump and pit, and test the pump by pouring water into the pit. Consider having a spare submersible portable sump pump. Make sure the discharge hose delivers the water several feet away from the house to a well-drained area that slopes away from the house. If the hose outlet is too close to the house foundation or on flat ground, the water may simply recycle down through the house drain tile. Don't run sump pump water into a rural septic system because the water may saturate the drain field. In cities, running sump pump water into the sanitary system may overload the system and cause sewage backup, plus it may be illegal.
Move valuables to higher locations
Move items such as irreplaceable family photo albums, high school yearbooks, personal videotapes, tax records, insurance policies and household inventories to high shelves or even the attic. Make copies and store them in another location not likely to flood.
Preventing sewer backup
Sewer backup often occurs when storm water enters the sanitary sewer and causes an overload of water in the system. The overloaded system begins to backflow into household lines, causing sewer water to enter basements.
One way to prevent sewer backup in your home is to plug or cap all sewer openings in the basement. This includes floor drains, toilets, sinks, showers, etc. After lifting toilets and taking off sink traps, you can cap openings with wooden plugs, expandable plugs, screwed caps or by other methods.
Check floor drains for a float plug
A floating floor drain plug (a ball in the drain pipe) will rise and plug the drain.
Plug basement floor drains with removable grids
Remove the grid. Some hardware stores sell a plug that has a rubber center that expands to fill the pipe when the top and bottom metal plates are squeezed. (The plates are drawn together by a bolt, so you will need a wrench.) A flexible rubber ball about 1¼ times the inside diameter of the pipe can be wedged into the drain to create a tight seal. The pressure might be quite high, so brace the ball securely with a 2X4 against the ceiling. Hold a board or piece of plywood on the ceiling and slide the 2X4 against the bottom of the board to avoid damage to plaster ceilings. For a suspended tile ceiling, remove ceiling tiles to get access to the ceiling joists. Span a 2X4 across the two joists and wedge the vertical 2X4 between it and the ball
Cover basement floor drains with permanent grids
Place a partially inflated inner tube around the drain, and top it with a square or two of plywood (not particle board). The plywood must be larger across than the inner tube to cover it. Brace this in place just as with the ball on the drain. Be prepared for some seepage.
Reduce flooding from other drains
Unbolt toilets from the floor and plug the outlet pipe using the same procedure as for floor drains. Shower drains can be plugged this way, too. Most washing machines and basement sinks have their drain connections about 3 feet above the floor so may not overflow if the water doesn't get that high. If necessary, these drains can be disconnected and capped or plugged with expandable plugs or braced rubber balls.
Prepare appliances for flooding
For protection against shallow flood waters, the washer and dryer can sometimes be elevated on masonry or lumber at least 12” above the projected flood elevation to keep the motors above the water level. Other options are moving the washer and dryer to a higher floor or building a floodwall around the appliances. Shut off appliances at the fuse box or breaker panel. If high water is imminent and large appliances can't be moved, wrap them in polyethylene film, tying the film in place with cord or rope. The water will still get in, but most of the silt won't, so cleanup will be easier. For gas-fired clothes dryers and hot water heaters, it is best to shut off the gas and disconnect the appliances from the gas lines. Rapidly rising waters can "float" the dryer, and floating debris can displace appliances, breaking the gas line and creating a fire hazard.
Shut off electricity to areas of the home that might flood
Even if floodwaters are not reaching electrical outlets, the risk of electrical shock to someone working in a flooded basement is high due to electric motors in the furnace, freezer, washer, dryer and other appliances. Shut off electrical breakers or unscrew fuses. Don't stand in water while turning off electrical switches. If this must be done, use a dry piece of wood or a plastic or rubber pole to do the switching, and stand on a block of wood or a plastic crate that doesn't conduct electricity. If floodwaters are getting close to the electrical entrance box, call the power supplier and have the electrical supply to the house disconnected. If the floor is damp but not flooded, ground fault circuit interrupters reduce the risk of using electricity. In newer homes, interrupters can be identified by the buttons between the top and bottom outlets. They can be added to any outlet or in an extension cord to reduce the hazards associated with working around water.
Move hazardous materials to higher locations
This includes paint, oil, cleaning supplies and other dangerous materials.
Anchor fuel tank securely
A fuel tank can tip over or float in a flood, causing fuel to spill or catch fire. Cleaning up a house that has been inundated with flood waters containing fuel oil can be extremely difficult and costly. Fuel tanks should be securely anchored to the floor. Make sure vents and fill line openings are above projected flood levels. Propane tanks are the property of the propane company. You’ll need written permission to anchor them. Ask whether the company can do it first. Be sure all work conforms to state and local building codes.
Discuss safe emergency procedures
Teach adults and older children where electric fuse boxes, water service mains and natural gas mains are and how to turn them off.
Assemble supplies in case the electricity goes off
Gather water, food that requires no refrigeration or cooking, a non-electric can opener, a battery-powered radio and flashlight, extra batteries.
Keep the car fueled
Stations may not be able to operate because of lack of electricity.
Plan and practice an evacuation route
Contact your local emergency government office or local American Red Cross chapter for a copy of the community flood evacuation plan. This plan should include information on the safest routes to shelters. Individuals living in flash flood areas should have several alternate routes to higher ground. Where would you go if your home flooded - a local shelter, a family member or friend's house?
Assemble supplies for a possible evacuation
Gather water, nonperishable food, paper plates/cups and plastic utensils, extra clothing and shoes, blankets or sleeping bags, a first aid kit and prescription medications, cash and credit cards, important phone numbers, special items for babies and the elderly.
Plan for pets
Pets aren't allowed in human shelters due to health regulations. Plan ahead for a safe, higher location for your pet and arrange for the pet's care. If left behind, stressed pets can damage your house, and their safety is at stake too.
Develop an emergency communication plan
In case family members are separated during a disaster because of work or school, choose a long-distance relative or friend who can serve as the “family contact.” After a disaster, it is often easier to call long-distance than to place a local call. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
Discuss the situation with children honestly and openly
Hiding the situation from them will probably be even more stressful.
Many things can be done before an impending flood to reduce damage to home and property. This checklist can help you prepare to reduce the impact of water or a flood on your home and family.
Follow NEMA Facebook Page for Flooding Information
LINCOLN, Neb. − Nebraska Emergency Management Agency now has a Facebook page. “Like” the page and stay up-to-date with the latest news releases and information regarding emergency management activities in Nebraska.
Follow the link to become a fan: http://tinyurl.com/3pem49y
Governor Issues Emergency Disaster Proclamation in Anticipation of Flooding
LINCOLN, Neb. − Gov. Dave Heineman today declared a state of emergency in Nebraska as a preemptive measure to ready state resources for expected spring flooding along the Platte and Missouri Rivers and other rivers across the state.
Gov. Heineman said, “This proclamation activates our state emergency plan and allows us to direct state resources to assist local and county officials responding to high water levels across the state. We expect a lot of water to make its way downstream in the coming weeks. An emergency declaration ensures we are positioned to take the steps necessary to protect the people and resources of the State of Nebraska.”
Snow melt in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, combined with spring rains, are adding to increased river levels on the Platte River system and the Missouri River system.
“There is an unusually high volume of water in the Platte River system in Wyoming and it all has to move through our state,” said Al Berndt, assistant director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). “The already high water levels limit officials’ ability to control river flows that would reduce the impact of flooding.”
State homeland security director Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy and other state, federal and local officials met this week in North Platte ahead of recent storm systems to assess flood potential.
Lt. Gov. Sheehy said, “I want to encourage residents along the Platte and Missouri Rivers to be aware of weather alerts and to monitor water levels in their area, particularly those in the North Platte and southwestern part of the state.”
NEMA and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are closely monitoring releases from upstream reservoirs in Wyoming and the resulting flows on the North Platte and Platte rivers, as well as releases from upstream reservoirs located in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and the resulting flows on the Missouri River system.
NEMA and DNR officials are working with the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to position the state to be ready to respond to rising river levels and flooding.
National Weather Service - Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. River Stages
General public advice in the event of major flooding
Before a flood
Prepare a flood kit and include the following:
Pack a small bag with essential belongings and include warm clothes, torch (check batteries), radio (wind up or battery powered), food, water, other drink, mobile phone (pre input useful numbers), any medicines that you might need to take, any important documents that you have and a first aid kit. Keep this bag easily accessible.
Collect personal belongings including insurance, bank details and essential telephone numbers and keep together in a waterproof bag.
Move people, pets, valuables and sentimental items upstairs or to a high place downstairs.
Keep a separate list of useful telephone numbers to hand (this should include your insurance company).
Find out where and how to turn off your Gas and Electricity. Ensure that you switch it off if flooding is imminent before evacuating.
If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.
Any furniture that you cannot move upstairs, try to raise well off the floor.
Alert neighbours and assist the elderly, infirm those with small children.
Block doorways and air bricks
Avoid walking and driving through floodwater, there could be hidden hazards.
Keep up to date with local radio for further information and announcements
During a flood
Continue to listen to situation updates on your local radio
Keep dry and out of floodwater if possible
Stay in your property, if safe to do so until advised otherwise by the emergency services or the floodwater has receded.
Do not walk or drive through flowing floodwater.
If it is necessary to walk through shallow floodwater, take care for hidden holes, obstacles or other hazards
Do not walk on river banks, sea defences or cross bridges over torrential rivers.
Avoid contact with floodwater and wash any exposed parts before handling food or attending to wounds.
If possible, move electrical equipment and furniture upstairs.
If evacuation becomes necessary
Stay calm and do not panic.
Police officers and/ or other officials will try to visit all properties at risk to advise on the requirement to evacuate.
If road conditions permit, move vehicles to unaffected areas and ask friends/ family if you can share their parking facilities.
You will hear about your evacuation point for transport and the location of the reception centre either verbally or by a leaflet.
Try to check that any elderly/ vulnerable family members or neighbours know about the evacuation.
Try to inform family members/ friends as to where you are evacuating.
Listen to the advice of the authorities and follow any instructions to leave a property.
After a flood / returning home
Contact your insurers as soon as possible and follow their advice. Most insurers have a 24hr helpline. Do not throw away damaged goods until your insurer has authorised you to do so. It is a good idea to take photographs of the damage.
Check the safety of electricity and gas before use. A qualified electrician needs to check any electrical equipment and circuits that have been exposed to floodwater.
Avoid contact with any remaining floodwater or items having had contact with floodwater unless wearing protective gloves/ clothing.
Boil all tap water until it is declared safe by the water supply company
Wash yours and your children’s hands frequently with bottled water if your supply has not been declared fit for use. Disinfect any children’s toys.
Dispose of any contaminated food, including tinned food, defrosted food, and packaged food that have been exposed to floodwater.
Seek medical assistance if any health issues appear, especially flu like symptoms.
Ventilate your property whilst taking care for security.
Do not throw rubbish and furniture outdoors; wait for an organized collection.
During these hard times, bogus/ cowboy builders/ traders are frequently offering their services. Make sure that you get a written quotation that is on letter headed paper with a landline contact number and address.
(Information taken from States of Guernsey Multi Agency Major Flood Plan, April 2011)
Centers for Desease Control and Prevention Look for information here on flood readiness, Disaster Health & Safety Concerns, Flood recovery and more.
For even more information from the CDC (PDF file 3 pages)