Extension News

Flood Cleanup, Rebuilding Issues Are Topics for Online Conferences

8/18/2008

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University Extension will sponsor four Web conferences covering flood cleanup and rebuilding issues on Wednesday evenings Aug. 27, Sept. 10, Sept. 17 and Oct. 8. Each Web conference is set for 7-8:30 p.m.

To find out how to participate in these online conferences, contact your local ISU Extension county office.

Flood cleanup and recovery continues to be a major issue in many Iowa communities, said Mary Yearns, an ISU Extension housing specialist. “Some people are still hoping to go back and clean their homes; others are waiting to find out if they can get a buy-out so they can move on. Some people simply don’t have the resources to clean up or rebuild.”

The four Web conferences will cover deciding whether a home can be saved, cleaning up the mess, and rebuilding and relocating individual homes as well as entire neighborhoods or communities, Yearns said.

The Web conferences also will be archived on the ISU Extension Website, www.extension.iastate.edu. Details about each conference follow.

Aug. 27: What should I do about my flood-damaged home? Deciding if a home can be saved
This session will cover structural considerations when deciding if a home is worth saving. Speakers will explain criteria homeowners can use to decide whether to repair a home or demolish it, and whether to rebuild or move elsewhere. The session also will cover how to find a reliable contractor, building code issues, rebuilding in rural areas and FEMA policies.

Sept. 10: How do I clean this mess? Basic flood cleanup procedures
This session will cover health and safety issues related to cleaning up a flood-damaged home. Speakers will discuss dealing with mold, checking moisture content of wood framing, determining when it’s safe to rebuild and maintaining a healthy home after the mess has been cleaned.

Sept. 17: Can I build a better home? Rebuilding better than code, going “green” and other issues
This session will cover issues homeowners should consider if they will be rebuilding their homes. Speakers will discuss building codes, “green” building practices, energy efficiency, universal design and other issues.

Oct. 8: Should our neighborhood stay or move to higher ground? Rebuilding vs. relocating
This session will cover issues that neighborhoods and communities face as they consider whether to rebuild in the area that flooded or to move entire neighborhoods or communities to new locations.  Speakers will discuss moving homes as well as entire neighborhoods out of the flood plain, building affordable housing, moving existing homes from the flood plain to a new location and reducing the impact of future flooding.

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Contacts :

Mary Yearns, Human Development and Family Studies, (515) 294-8520, yearns@iastate.edu

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu