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Flood 2016

The following is some helpful information we accumulated during the Baton Rouge flood of 2016. We've chosen to leave it on our website in the event those in West Louisiana and Texas find it helpful. 

VOLUNTEER WITH SAMARITAN'S PURSE

Complete a volunteer application to help with disaster releif within the community. Visit the direct link below.

Volunteer with Samaritan's Purse

BEFORE YOU SEND RELIEF SUPPLIES...

First Presbyterian Church encourages all individuals and organizations to donate clean up supplies and personal toiletry items directly to the Salvation Army. They are not collecting furniture, clothing or electronics at this time. The old Mervyn's department store at Cortana Mall is now a collection point since the Salvation Army facilities were flooded. Individuals may bring supplies directly to the collection point at Mervyn'sl not to First Presbyterian Church. Larger deliveries (semi-trucks) will need to be coordinated by calling Kathy Clark at 214.734.8344.

Alternatively, the Louisiana Multi-Agency warehouse is collecting all relief supplies with the exception of water and clothing. The warehouse is located north of the Celtic Studios. Contact information for the warehouse is 225.800.2227. Call 48 hours ahead of drop off if possible. 

HOME REMEDIATION RESOURCES/FINANCIAL RESOURCES

Attention flood victims. If you suffered water damages as a result of the August 13 flood, The Baptist Association of Southeast Louisiana is a disaster relief program that will gut out your sheet rock and spray to kill the mold that is growing in your home free of charge. If you need assistance please call Stan Statham, Director of missions at 985-839-3827. Cell number 985-515-4367 or you can email him at domstan@basela.Org.

In times of disaster and emergency the best and the worst comes out in people. If someone comes up to your driveway and randomly solicits you to provide water extraction, mold remediation, demolition/construction services, etc. you might want to seriously consider telling them to go away because generally the licensed, insured, accredited, good people don't drive around neighborhoods soliciting. Get contracts in writing. Check them out on the Better Business Bureau page. Check them out on Angie's list. These can be trying times; don't accidentally get hosed a second time.

If you evacuate your home try to remember to shut off the breakers before you leave. I have one friend right now whose house is both flooded and burning. I don’t know for certain how the fire started but water and electricity don’t mix. Water and people and electricity don’t mix either.

If you have family/friends who are flooding and don't have flood insurance and you are NOT flooding and you can help them - if you can safely get to a Depot or Lowe's go buy Zinsser mold control primer, Mold Armor mold remover and disinfectant and/or Concrobium mold control, gloves (latex or something water proof), and N95 paper masks. All will be on or around the paint aisle. This isn't as good as a professional mold abatement contractor but it's decent. Do NOT use bleach except to clean; bleach does not kill mold. BLEACH.DOES.NOT.KILL.MOLD. Go now to get it, if you can go safely. The stores will run out. If you cannot get Mold Armor or Concrobium be certain to read the label of other products – “mold stain remover” is not what you need. You need something that says “moldicide/fungicide” or “kills mold on contact” or something like that. You need something that results in Mold Death.

Approximate prices for these items at Home Depot (posted so you guys know if someone is trying to price-gouge): 
Zinsser primer ~$45/gal
Mold Armor: ~ $20/gal. 
Concrobium: ~$30/gal 
N95 masks: ~$30/15. Get the mask w the square valve bc it's easier to breathe. Once the mask is wet throw it away; get another one.

It's better to have a mold abatement contractor abate mold, but if you dont have insurance you may not have that option so there's Plan B. Keep reading; I’ll tell you how to treat.

Once you are able to get back to your house – unplug anything in an outlet that was under water. Remove the faceplate from the outlet and make sure that there is no water inside the outlet box. Leave the faceplate off and let it dry. If you are SURE it’s dry you can probably use the outlet again. The most conservative thing is to replace the outlet; complete electrical rewiring is probably not necessary. When you get power restored – crank UP (down?) your air conditioning bc that will help remove some of the moisture/humidity.

Remove all water-damaged porous items that cannot be washed in a washing machine, including stuffed furniture, rugs, toys, and what not. Remove porous building materials like wood paneling, sheetrock, insulation. Remove impacted building materials 2 feet above the water line. Non porous things should be removed from the building and cleaned with something like Dawn because you don’t know what was in that floodwater. If you remove flooring mop the exposed slab/floor with bleach. Concrete is porous too but except in extreme cases you won’t need to remove a slab….. Porous – fabric, stuffed things, wood, sheetrock, particle board furniture items – anything that’ll absorb water. Nonporous – most plastic, glass, glossy-surfaced ceramic, metal.

If the water recedes and the wet materials are removed pretty quickly the mold may not develop. But treat anyway bc it's easier to treat while the house is being demo'd than to treat later when it's all nice and rebuilt and the mold is in the walls.

TREATMENT ("Plan B"):
Dry everything. Remove porous items. Treat 2x4s with Mold Armor or Concrobium; paint on or spray on. Wipe dry. Repeat 3x. Don’t wipe the last spray; let it dry. Then paint with the Zinsser mold control primer. 
Depending upon how long your home was inundated and how long the materials were wet before you were able to remove them you may not need anything else related to mold treatment. If you get to the point where there is visible mold because you couldn’t get back in to demo quickly then contact me because other abatement will need to happen. 
Not everyone professing to be a mold abatement contractor, water damage restoration contractor, building contractor IS one/all of those. Check credentials.

INSURANCE
Some insurance companies will deny your claim, or pay you less, if you do NOT take steps to mitigate the damage. Some insurance companies will deny your claim, or pay you less, if you DO take steps to mitigate the damage. So ASK FIRST. And PHOTO DOCUMENT LIKE A MAD FIEND. Take pictures of the water in the house if you can. Take picture of the yard. Take pictures of every room and every angle and the ceilings and walls and the contents. Take pictures of everything before you start to remove things, remove walls, sheetrock, etc. Once you remove things or demo, take pictures of everything again.

 

Document Recovery Assistance

Losing important documents in a disaster can be as stressful as clearing out debris and starting the rebuilding process. Below is a useful list of phone numbers and websites you can start with. 

List provided courtesy of U.S. Senator, David Vitter


Birth and Death Certificates:
Phone: 225.342.9500
Website: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/635

Louisiana Driver’s Licenses:
Phone: 888.214.5367
Website: http://omv.dps.state.la.us/

Social Security Cards:
Phone: 800.772.1213
Website: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/

Bank Checks, ATM/Debit Cards or Safe Deposit Boxes:
Phone: 877.275.3342
Website: https://www.fdic.gov/

Credit Cards – Contact the appropriate issuing institution:

American Express: 800.327.1267
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/help/lost-stolen-card.html

Discover: 800.347.2683
https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center/

MasterCard: 800.627.8372
https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support.html

Visa: 800.847.2911
https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/lost-stolen-card.html

SNAP Cards:
(Food Stamps): Phone: 1-888-524-3578
Website: www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP

Green Cards:
Phone: 800.375.5283
Website: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/replace-green-card

Credit Reports: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion
Phone: 877.322.8228
Website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

Fraud Alerts or a Credit Freeze:
Website: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/security_freeze_louisiana.html

Other support:

Identity Theft Resource Center:
Phone: 888.400.5530
Website: http://www.idtheftcenter.org/
Email: info@fightidentitytheft.com.

Medicare Cards:
Phone: 800.772.1213
https://faq.ssa.gov/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?deptID=34019&task=knowledge&questionID=3708

Passports:
Phone: 877.487.2778
Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/lost-stolen.html

U.S. Savings Bonds:
Phone: 844.284.2676 (toll-free)
Website: https://www.treasurydirect.br gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eereplace.htm

Tax Returns:
Phone: 800.829.1040
Website: https://www.irs.gov/uac/About-Form-4506T

Military Records:
Phone: 866.272.6272
Website: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

Insurance Documents:
Phone: Check with your insurance agent.
Website: http://insurance.lawyers.com/natural-disasters/replacing-personal-documents-lost-in-a-disaster.html

Real Estate and Property Records (Mortgage Documents, Deeds, etc.):
Phone: Contact your agent.
http://insurance.lawyers.com/natural-disasters/replacing-personal-documents-lost-in-a-disaster.html

Medical and Prescription Records:
Call your doctor; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

Proof of Address/Residency:
Contact your local utility company to obtain a recent bill.

National Archives Records:
Phone: 866.272.6272
Website: General: http://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/public.html 

Assistance for Affected Individuals and Families Can Include as Required:

·         Rental payments for temporary housing for those whose homes are unlivable.  Initial assistance may be provided for up to three months for homeowners and at least one month for renters.  Assistance may be extended if requested after the initial period based on a review of individual applicant requirements.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

·         Grants for home repairs and replacement of essential household items not covered by insurance to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary and functional.  (Source: FEMA funded and administered.)

·         Grants to replace personal property and help meet medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs.   (Source: FEMA funded at 75 percent of total eligible costs; 25 percent funded by the state.)

·         Unemployment payments up to 26 weeks for workers who temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and who do not qualify for state benefits, such as self-employed individuals.  (Source: FEMA funded; state administered.)

·         Low-interest loans to cover residential losses not fully compensated by insurance.  Loans available up to $200,000 for primary residence; $40,000 for personal property, including renter losses.  Loans available up to $2 million for business property losses not fully compensated by insurance.  (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

·         Loans up to $2 million for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes that have suffered disaster-related cash flow problems and need funds for working capital to recover from the disaster's adverse economic impact.  This loan in combination with a property loss loan cannot exceed a total of $2 million. (Source: U.S. Small Business Administration.)

·         Loans up to $500,000 for farmers, ranchers and aquaculture operators to cover production and property losses, excluding primary residence.  (Source: Farm Service Agency, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.)

·         Other relief programs: Crisis counseling for those traumatized by the disaster; income tax assistance for filing casualty losses; advisory assistance for legal, veterans’ benefits and social security matters.

How to Apply for Assistance:

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance tomorrow by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

 

Gov. Edwards Announces Additional Housing Solutions for Flood Survivors; Introduces Shelter at Home Program
August 24, 2016

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced several additional housing solutions for the thousands of Louisianans impacted by the historic flooding in the recent weeks.

One of those solutions includes the Shelter at Home Program, a program new to Louisiana that will allow people to shelter at their own home while they continue to rebuild.

"We know that many people are anxious to get back to their homes, churches, schools and communities," said Gov. Edwards. "Working alongside FEMA, we have identified several assistance programs that citizens can take advantage of in order to return to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible. I know it can't come soon enough, but my administration is doing everything possible to make sure that help is available. I encourage everyone to explore these solutions and make the best decisions for themselves and their families."

The additional housing solutions announced today include:

  • The Shelter at Home program: Beginning Monday, this program will allow homeowners and their families to stay in their homes while they rebuild, rather than relocate to a shelter, hotel or rental.
  • Manufactured Housing Units (MHUs) program: FEMA will provide mobile homes for up to 18 months to eligible applicants. Unlike the old FEMA trailers, these mobile homes are built according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards.
  • Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program (MFLRP): In this program, FEMA identifies larger scale rental property currently not on the market where the property owner, with some financial assistance from FEMA, can make the property ready to rent within two months. The property owner agrees to make these rentals available to eligible FEMA applicants. 

Last week, the governor announced that eligible flood survivors may also take advantage of the following transitional housing assistance:

  • Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) is a temporary program for survivors displaced from their primary residence that allows eligible disaster survivors to select from a list of partner hotel rooms.

Gov. Edwards again encouraged everyone impacted by the flooding disaster to register with FEMA for Individual Assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) will also make loans available for individuals and businesses that were damaged during the flooding. For more information visit www.sba.gov.

Click here for details on the Shelter at Home Program.

Click here for details on the Manufactured Housing Units program and the Multi-Family Lease and Repair Program.

Pictures of the mobile homes available through the Manufactured Housing Units program can be viewed here, here, here and here.

Click here for a full list of all help available to flood survivors.