OMAHA — Below are resources and links for information on evacuations, road closures, and organizations offering help during the historic flooding.
Nebraska site for relief:
Nebraska road conditions:
Iowa road conditions:
Flash Flood Warnings from the National Weather Service:
Advice for dealing with financial and emotional tolls of being a flood victim:
Health-related issues and advice:
Resources for farmers affected by the floods:
Storm cleanup regulations:
Resources for businesses affected by the flooding:
Disaster Help Desk for Business [uschamberfoundation.org]—Businesses and chambers can call 1-888-My-Biz-Help (888-692-4943) for direct support from disaster recovery experts.
· Resilience in a Box [uschamberfoundation.org]—Resource guide based on best practices designed to help educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience.
· Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides [uschamberfoundation.org]—made possible by Shell, has tailored tips for small businesses and chambers looking to prepare and recover
UNMC Webinar for farmers to help with cleaning up after the floods to be hled Thursday 3/21 from Noon to 1:15 pm
The webinar is free but participants must register. The registration website is: https://attendee.gototraining.com/r/8904390917048497666 [attendee.gototraining.com].
The seminar will be recorded, so if you are unable to attend a link will be available on the CS-CASH website, https://www.unmc.edu/publichealth/cscash/ [unmc.edu].
The Salvation Army has now turned their donation center into a distribution center. People in need can go to the old Canfield's near 84th & Center. It's open today from noon to 6 P.M.
The latest resource list from the State of Nebraska:
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)If you are located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Most homeowners and renters, and allbusinesses (including landlords) and private nonprofit organizations are automatically referred to the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. FEMA may offer some grant assistance to households. SBA disaster assistance loan programs are committed to helping businesses and residents rebuild and recover as quickly as possible.
What Types of Disaster Loans are Available?
· Business Physical Disaster Loans – Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster- damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.
· Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Working capital loans to help small businesses including: agricultural cooperatives, businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
· Home Disaster Loans – Loans to homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster- damaged real estate and personal property, including automobiles.
· SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, private nonprofits and homeowners and renters, as low as 2.063% for residents and 4% for businesses, to recover from damages not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries. SBA Loans not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations.
· Residents and Business owners with questions about SBA’s disaster assistance can call (800) 659-2955 or go to www.sba.gov/disaster [sba.gov] to apply online.
All Nebraska schools are back in session with the exception of North Bend Central Public Schools. North Bend Central has been functioning as a community center for response efforts for the affected area as it was least impacted by the flood waters. School officials hope to resume classes Wednesday.
· Losses include (as of 3/25/19):
o $400 Million – Livestock loss
Includes: death, loss, veterinary care, loss of performance, additional transportation costs as well as additional labor costs
o $440 Million - Crop loss
Includes: removal of sand/debris, inability to plant this year, loss of inventory
Numbers do not reflect loss of infrastructure.
· Farmers and ranchers in need of assistance by the Nebraska National Guard should contact their local emergency manager. A list of emergency managers can be found at: https://nema.nebraska.gov/overview/county-emergency-managementdirectorscoordinators [nema.nebraska.gov]
· For more information, or to donate, contact 800-831-0550 or nda.nebraska.gov.
o Current primary needs are hay, fencing, volunteers, and equipment.
· If a farmer or rancher feels overwhelmed with stress, depression, or other mental health related issues they are urged to contact the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline at
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)Homeowners and renters in the nine counties (Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Sarpy, Saunders, & Washington) approved for FEMA assistance by the President are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance.
Additional counties may be added as assessments are completed and submitted to FEMA.
The following steps be taken to begin recovery:
· Report your damage to your local emergency manager. This helps provide information about locations and extent of damage that can be used to assess additional recovery needs for your jurisdiction. A current list of local emergency managers can be found at http://nema.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0bc3537ed2a145bba2ffbd37b54209ed [nema.maps.arcgis.com]
· Call your insurance agent. There may be coverage for your losses under a traditional homeowner’s or renter’s policy or under a flood insurance policy.
· Document your damage. Take photos or video. Make lists of damage items.
· Register with FEMA. The process is free, take about 20 minutes:
o Register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov [disasterassistance.gov] (this will be the quickest option).
o Register by phone using FEMA’s toll-free registration line by calling 800-621- 3362. If you use TTY, call 800-462-7585 or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 800-621-3362. Telephone registration is available 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
· Be ready to register. When calling the FEMA number, be prepared to provide your current address, the address of the damaged property, contact information where FEMA can reach you, your social security number, the makeup of your household (occupants), insurance, and income information.
· Register, even if you are insured. Your insurance may not cover everything, and some damage may not show up until later. Do not wait until you have settled with your insurer to register with FEMA.
FEMA Teams Canvassing Disaster-Designated Counties to Help Survivors
· Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams (DSAT) team members can be identified by their federal photo identifications and FEMA clothing. Nebraska residents are reminded to ask for official photo identification before providing personal information. FEMA employees do not solicit or accept money from disaster survivors. FEMA will call to schedule a meeting before arriving at a residence.
· Survivors who have already registered with FEMA can expect housing inspectors to inspect damage sustained by weather related events. When FEMA-contracted inspectors arrive at a home, they will display official photo identification. If the photo identification is not visible, it’s OK to ask to see it. This helps prevent fraud.
· Many legitimate disaster assistance representatives also may visit your property such as insurance agents, damage inspectors, FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) staff. Please ask to see all identification.
· Again, federal workers do not solicit or accept money. FEMA staff never charge applicants for disaster assistance, inspections, or help with registration.
Some tips to safeguard against fraud:
· Ask to see ID badges. All FEMA representatives wear a federal photo ID badge. A FEMA shirt or jacket is not absolute proof of identity. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with anyone you encounter, please contact local law enforcement.
· Beware of people going door-to-door. People knocking on doors at damaged homes or phoning homeowners claiming to be building contractors could be con artists, especially if they ask for personal information or solicit money. Be sure to verify ID badges of disaster assistance staff who may visit your home.
· FEMA does not have “approved” contractors. Beware of contractors who say they are
affiliated with FEMA. Do not sign anything you do not understand, or sign any contracts with blank spaces.
· If you have knowledge of fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at
· Always use licensed and bonded contractors and ask for credentials. Never pay for anything in advance of work being done.
NEMA· The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) continues to address needs and direct resources across the State.
· The NEMA website - www.nema.nebraska.gov [nema.nebraska.gov]- is a good resource for current conditions, photos and video, and information on what to do after returning home.
· NEMA Call Center 402-817-1551
NEMA Joint Information Center has established a hotline currently staffed
24-hours-a-day to connect those impacted with needed resources. When possible, the call center is staffed with Spanish speaking operators and mental health professionals.
Nebraska 211The Heartland United Way 211 is a resource for information including shelter needs, cleanup, food, clothing, etc. If you cannot reach them by dialing 211, please call 866-813-1731.
· Those who are looking for a one-stop option for donations can go to the #NebraskaStrong website: www.nebraska.gov/nebraska-strong [nebraska.gov] . A variety of nonprofit relief agencies are available for donations.
· Visitors to the NebraskaStrong website can also list specific resource needs, and those with resources to donate can connect with those in need.
Resource List from Gov. Rickett's Office
On Sunday and in the coming weeks, we are also encouraging churches, communities, organizations, and individuals who want to organize a volunteer effort to get involved. You can visit www.nebraskaimpact.com [nebraskaimpact.com] to learn more. Click the “Get Started” link at the top of the home page to register. A "how-to guide" can be found at www.nebraskaimpact.com/flood [nebraskaimpact.com].
As we work together to rebuild, state agencies and private organizations continue to offer new resources. Here are some key updates about relief efforts by the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and others.
Individual Assistance (IA): Nebraskans in 15 counties and 1 tribe have qualified for IA. They include Butler, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Nemaha, Saunders, Sarpy, Washington, Boone, Buffalo, Custer, Knox, Richardson, Thurston, and Santee Sioux Nation. Additional counties may qualify as they are reviewed. If you live in one of the qualifying counties, please register with FEMA at www.DisasterAssistance.gov [disasterassistance.gov]. The deadline to register is May 20, 2019. So far, over $7.7 million in IA has been disbursed and over $8 million has been approved by FEMA. If you receive a determination letter, make sure you read it closely.
Public Assistance (PA): You may hear references to Public Assistance, also known as “PA,” in the coming weeks. This category is assistance for state and local government – not for individuals. NEMA is hosting eight briefings for public officials across the state this week on the PA program. Information about how to RSVP along with dates and times can be found at www.nema.nebraska.gov [nema.nebraska.gov]. Requests for public assistance must be made by April 20, 2019.
Housing: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is working to connect Nebraskans with resources to rebuild their homes. To apply for a low-interest loan, you can visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela [disasterloan.sba.gov], or call (800) 659-2955. For short-term assistance, the Nebraska Realtors Association has committed $600,000 to mortgage payment assistance and rental costs. For more information, visit www.nebraskarealtors.com [nebraskarealtors.com].
Farmers and Ranchers: Resources have poured in from around the country from at least 33 states to help our farmers and ranchers. One of the greatest needs is hay. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture is coordinating hay drop-off and pick-up points around the state from Elkhorn to Columbus to Chadron. Information about hay relief and other ag-related relief efforts can be found at http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/resources/ [nda.nebraska.gov].
Document, Document, Document: One of my top reminders for folks who are impacted by the flooding and are working to put their lives back together: Before you repair your home or property, make sure you take lots of photos and make itemized lists of anything that is damaged. You will need this whether you are working with FEMA or a private insurance company.
Ask for Help: If you have been impacted by flooding, it may take a while to get back to normalcy. If you need help, please reach out. The 211 line continues to be the best way to make requests for relief. If you’re in a moment of crisis, don’t try to tough it out on your own. The Rural Response Hotline can be reached at 1-800-464-0258 and the Nebraska Family Helpline at 1-888-866-8660.
As we rebuild, these are just a few of the resources on hand. As I said in my column last week, Nebraska is great because our people help one another when we see a need. Government will play a big part in rebuilding, but the most powerful tool we have is stepping up to help our neighbors. As always, if you have questions about this topic or any other, you are always welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-471-2244.
Twitter accounts to follow:
RELIEF FOR NSTEP RECIPIENTS
The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) is offering disaster relief for recipients of the Nebraska Specialized Equipment Program (NSTEP) affected by the extreme weather conditions during the spring of 2019.
“This disaster has touched us all in some way,” said Commissioner Chair, Mary Ridder. “Having the ability to communicate is an important part of the recovery process. We encourage our NSTEP participants who have suffered loss of their equipment due to the extreme weather to apply for relief.”
Persons residing in counties identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in event DR-4420 as qualifying for individual and/or public assistance are eligible to apply. Replacement of equipment damaged or destroyed in this event (DR-4420) will be limited to nonmobile equipment that is specifically designed to assist persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, have a hearing or speech disability, or have visual and hearing loss.
Applications received from individuals with damaged or destroyed mobile equipment will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Applications for NSTEP relief due to the extreme weather events can be accessed through the PSC website TRS/NSTEP Consumer Information page. Applications will be accepted until September 30, 2019.
NSTEP is designed to offer monetary assistance to Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind and Speech Impaired Nebraskans in the purchasing of specialized telecommunications equipment, such as amplified telephones, TTY/TT’s, phone amplifiers and signaling devices.
HUD ANNOUNCES DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR NEBRASKA STORM VICTIMS
Foreclosure protection offered to displaced families
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Nebraska and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes in areas affected by severe winter storms, straight-line winds, and flooding.
On March 21st, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration [whitehouse.gov] for Boone, Buffalo, Butler, Cass, Colfax, Custer, Dodge, Douglas, Knox, Nemaha, Richardson, Santee Indian Reservation, Sarpy, Saunders, Thurston, and Washington counties.
The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties. HUD is:
- Providing immediate foreclosure relief [portal.hud.gov] – HUD’s automatic 90-day moratorium on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages commenced for the Nebraska counties covered under yesterday’s Presidential declaration on the date of the declaration. For assistance, call your loan servicer or FHA’s Resource Center at 1-800-304-9320;
- Making mortgage insurance available [portal.hud.gov] – HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims whose homes were destroyed or damaged to such an extent that reconstruction or replacement is necessary and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing, including closing costs;
- Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation [portal.hud.gov] – HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
- Making information on housing providers and HUD programs available – The Department will share information with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties. This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners. The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.