Extension News

Online Conference: Can Flood-Damaged Homes be Saved?

Note to media editors:

Direct technical questions about these Web conferences to Floyd Davenport. Direct content questions to Mary Yearns.

 

8/21/2008

AMES, Iowa – The first of four Iowa State University Extension online conferences on flood cleanup and rebuilding issues is Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

“This first conference will cover structural considerations when deciding if a home is worth saving,” said Mary Yearns, an ISU Extension housing specialist.

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.

Iowans can participate in the conference in either of two ways, Yearns said. They can contact their local ISU Extension county office to view the conference. Some offices in flood-affected areas will be participating remotely in the live conference.

Or, Iowans can log in to the conference from their home computers at connect.extension.iastate.edu/rebuilding/. People choosing this option should check the test site, www.extension.iastate.edu/testconnect/, sometime before the conference to make sure their computers are compatible with the Web conferencing software. You will need a computer that is no more than three years old, a good broadband Internet connection (wireless can work, but is not recommended), and speakers to hear the presentation.

Three additional online conferences will be Wednesday evenings Sept. 10, Sept. 17 and Oct. 8. Each conference is set for 7-8:30 p.m.

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.

All four Web conferences will be archived on the ISU Extension Website, www.extension.iastate.edu.

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Contacts :

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

Floyd Davenport, Extension Information Technology, (515) 294-8658, floyd@iastate.edu

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