Recovering from Disasters

flooded trees Helping You Move Forward After a Disaster 

The forces of nature — wind, water, hail and extremes in temperature — can leave behind debris-strewn areas, contaminated water, spoiled food and conditions which, if not treated properly, may lead to health problems.

ISU Extension experts have compiled this list of resources to help you prepare for and recover from natural disasters. Remember to take care of yourself and your family first, then deal with the things you may have lost to the disaster.

Featured Resources

Clean up

  • Resources for Your Flooded Home — information to help you get your life back to normal after a flood. The guide was compiled by University of Missouri Extension.
  • Clean Up Flooded Wells Before Using the Water — outlines steps to take when wells have been submerged beneath floodwater or high groundwater tables.
  • Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-up of Flooded Homes — tells how to clean up after flooding, but does not describe how to rebuild. By Enterprise Community Partners Inc. and the National Center for Healthy Housing, this guide is meant for do-it-yourselfers and contractors who need to clean up mold in flooded homes before starting to rebuild or renovate.
  • Storm Recovery Guide — information on safety and household cleanup. This guide was created by LSU AgCenter and edited by Iowa State University Extension experts for use in Iowa.
  • Repairing Your Flooded Home — gives step-by-step advice for clean up, rebuilding and getting help after a flood; by the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • Assessing, Repairing and Rebuilding Basements — a series of ISU Extension publications available to download in PDF format.
  • Flood Cleanup: Avoiding Indoor Air Quality Problems — discusses problems caused by microbial growth, as well as other potential effects of flooding, on long-term indoor air quality and the steps you can take to lessen these effects. This guide emphasizes residential flood cleanup, but also is applicable to other types of buildings — by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation.
  • A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home  — provides information and guidance for homeowners and renters on how to clean up residential mold problems and how to prevent mold growth; from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Financial Concerns

  • Storm Recovery Guide — information on documenting losses and claims, insurance and credit. This guide was created by LSU AgCenter and edited by Iowa State University Extension experts in 2008  for use in Iowa.
  • Disaster Recovery: A Guide to Financial Issues — helps you regain a sense of financial balance following a disaster. This guide is a joint effort of the National Endowment for Financial Education, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Red Cross.

Before Disaster Hits