Residents Urged to Use Caution When Returning Home, Register for FEMA Assistance
WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) continues to support state and local response efforts to the flooding in Colorado through its National Watch Center in Washington and its Regional Coordination Response Center in Denver, Colo. FEMA urges residents to continue to listen carefully to instructions from their local officials and take recommended protective measures to safeguard life and property while response efforts continue. Impacted residents can apply for federal assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visiting www.disasterassistance.gov.
“Residents should return home only when local authorities indicate it is safe,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Although floodwaters may have receded in some areas, many dangers still exist. If you’ve been impacted by the flooding, let your family and friends know that you are safe and register with FEMA.”
Currently, more than 6,400 Colorado disaster survivors have applied for federal assistance and more than $430,000 has been approved in Individual Assistance. This assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in Adams, Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties can apply for federal assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Disaster survivors 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. Those in the affected area with access to the internet may register by Web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov , or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.
Nearly 500 FEMA personnel are on the ground in Colorado to support response efforts. This includes the following personnel and teams:
• Ten Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are in impacted communities to assist disaster survivors with immediate needs and to register for assistance.
• More than 60 housing inspectors are completing inspections of damaged dwellings.
• Two Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) and a liaison officer on site at the Colorado emergency operations center to coordinate with state and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting disaster response.
• Five federal urban search and rescue teams – Colorado Task Force 1 activated by the state, Missouri Task Force 1, Utah Task Force 1, Nebraska Task Force 1 and Nevada Task Force 1 – are on the ground to support search and rescue operations in hard hit areas.
• Seven mobile communications office vehicles (MCOVs) are deployed to Colorado to support state and local response efforts.
Additional Flood Safety Tips
It may take several days or longer for river levels to crest and begin to recede. Here are a few safety tips to help keep you safe:
• Continue to listen to your local officials – If you evacuated and are returning home, make sure local officials have deemed the area safe to return.
• Stay off the roads – Emergency workers may be assisting people in flooded areas or cleaning up debris. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
• If your power is not working, safely use a generator – Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open. Keep generators outside and far away from windows, doors and vents. Read both the label on your generator and the owner’s manual and follow the instructions.
• Don’t drive or walk through flood waters – It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles. If you encounter a flooded roadway, don’t attempt to pass through water – turn around, don’t drown. And if your home has flood water inside or around it, don’t walk or wade in it. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
For those who are unable to return home, emergency shelters are open. A list of open shelters can be found online at www.coemergency.com or at www.redcross.org. Residents looking for assistance also are encouraged to call 2-1-1.
The Red Cross Safe and Well secure Web site provides a way for people to find information on people affected by the flooding, so friends and family know they are safe. To register, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Open Red Cross shelters can also be found on www.redcross.org.
The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has established a Web portal www.helpcoloradonow.org to coordinate donations and volunteers. Donating cash is the preferred method of giving because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the urgently-needed resources and provides money into the local economy to help businesses recover as well.
Direct federal assistance also is available through the President’s emergency declaration for Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Pueblo, Washington and Weld counties.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
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