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Flood Emergency Information
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     CONTACT: Peter Judge
November 10, 2005                                                                                                 (508) 820-2002

GOVERNOR ROMNEY ANNOUNCES FLOOD AID ON ITS WAY
Assistance Available for Individuals & Businesses in 9 Counties and in 4 Counties

FRAMINGHAM, MA - Governor Mitt Romney announced today that federal aid would become available to Massachusetts individuals, businesses and communities hardest hit by the most recent flooding events.  The assistance was authorized under a Major Federal Disaster Declaration issued by President George W. Bush after a review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s analysis of Governor Romney’s request for federal assistance for those most impacted by the flooding beginning on October 9, 2005 and continuing.

The President’s action makes Individual Assistance (IA) Programs available to affected individuals and businesses in a 9 county area.  The counties include Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester, Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, and Plymouth Counties.

The IA Programs are for individuals who have suffered damage to their homes or businesses. Assistance, coordinated by MEMA and FEMA, 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 the designated counties, can initiate the application for assistance process by calling the FEMA Teleregistration number, which will be announced on Friday, November 11th, or registering on-line at www.fema.gov. The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate from 8:00am to 6:00pm, seven days a week, until further notice.

The Public Assistance (PA) Program will be made available to assist communities with infrastructure damage in the 4 counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden. The PA program will assist communities with a 75% share of the costs to repair infrastructure damage (roads, bridges, dams, public buildings, etc.).  Briefings for local officials, regarding the PA Program, will begin shortly.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA go to www.mass.gov/mema.

Individuals and business owners, who sustained losses in the designated counties, can initiate the application for assistance process by calling the FEMA Teleregistration number: 1-800-621-FEMA (3363) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired or registering on-line at www.fema.gov.  The toll-free Teleregistration numbers will operate from 8:00am to 8:00pm, Monday through Friday, until further notice.


        Emergency Preparedness information


Be prepared for a disaster emergency before it happens. Make a Disaster Supplies Kit~for your child and your family.~Keep these supplies on hand:

·       Water – a 3-day supply for each household member
·       Food – a 3-day supply for each household member
·       First Aid Kit
·       Essential medications – prescription and over-the-counter
·       Special equipment and supplies for your child with special needs
·       Generator, if your child is dependent of machines using electricity
·       Sanitation supplies (toileting and hygiene)
·       Flashlight with extra batteries
·       Radio with extra batteries
·       Cellular phone with extra battery
·       Cash
·       Extra clothing and bedding
·       Important documents
·       A copy of the Emergency Information Form for Children with Special Needs (See Links for this Form)
·       Important phone numbers
·       Other tools and supplies

Tip: Keep the phone number of an out-of-state contact person in your Disaster Supplies Kit.~Sometimes, it is easier to contact a person out-of-state during a disaster.

For more information on Disaster Planning, contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)~at 800-480-2520 or 800-621-3362 (TTY). You can also contact your loca American Red Cross Chapter.~Many communities have community emergency or disaster teams that work with FEMA and can give families local help.

MEMA Offers Flood Safety Tips
FRAMINGHAM, MA - The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has issued a number of safety tips to assist residents of the Commonwealth for dealing with the floodwaters resulting from the week's storms.

·       DO NOT WALK THROUGH FLOWING WATER - Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths.~ Most of these drownings occur during flash floods.~ Flash flood waters move at very fast speeds and can roll boulders, sweep away cars, tear out trees, destroy buildings, and obliterate bridges.~ Six inches of swiftly moving water can knock you off of your feet.~ If you must walk through a flooded area, use a pole or stick to ensure that the ground is still there and solid, even where the water is not flowing.

·       HEED EVACUATION REQUESTS - Follow recommended evacuation routes, shortcuts may be blocked or dangerous.

·       DO NOT DRIVE THROUGH A FLOODED AREA - More people drown in their cars than anywhere else.~ Cars can be swept away in just 2 feet of moving water.~ Do not drive around road barriers.~ They are there for a reason.~ The road or bridge may be washed out or structurally unsound.~ If your car becomes trapped in floodwaters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground.~ Many deaths have resulted from attempts to move stalled vehicles.

·       AVOID POWER LINES AND ELECTRICAL WIRES - Electrocution is also a major killer in floods.~ Electrical current can travel through water.~ Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.

·       WATCH FOR ANIMALS, ESPECIALLY SNAKES - Small wild animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.~ Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small creatures.

·       LOOK BEFORE YOU STEP - After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris, including broken bottles and nails.~ Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.

·       BE ALERT FOR GAS LEAKS - Use a flashlight to inspect for damage.~ Do not smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out.

·       CARBON MONOXIDE EXHAUST KILLS - Only use camping stoves, generators or other gasoline-powered machines OUTDOORS.~ Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly, so only use outdoors.

·       CLEAN EVERYTHING THAT GETS WET - Floodwaters have probably picked up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and factories.~ Spoiled food and flooded medicines and cosmetics are health hazards.~ When in doubt, throw them away.

·       BE PREPARED FOR A ROUGH TIME - Recovering from a flood is a big job.~ It is rough on the body and the spirit.~~ The aftereffects of this type of disaster on you and your family may last a long time.~ Consult a health professional on how to recognize and care for anxiety, stress and fatigue.
MEMA officials also remind residents who have experienced flood damage to take photographs as soon as possible.~ Those who have a flood insurance policy should contact the insurance company or agent who wrote the policy as soon as possible in order to file a claim.~ The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA).~ The NFIP makes flood insurance available in communities that adopt and enforce ordinances to reduce flood damage.~

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state agency responsible for coordinating federal, state, local, voluntary and private resources during emergencies and disasters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.~ MEMA provides leadership to: develop plans for effective response to all hazards, disasters or threats; train emergency personnel to protect the public; provide information to the citizenry; and assist individuals, families, businesses and communities to mitigate against, prepare for, and respond to and recover from emergencies, both natural and man made. For additional information about MEMA go to [ http://www.mass.gov/mema ]www.mass.gov/mema.

What to Do After a Flood or Flash Flood

Your home and its contents may look beyond hope, but many of your belongings can be restored. If you do things right, your flooded home can be cleaned up, dried out, rebuilt, and reoccupied sooner than you think.
Play it safe. The dangers are not over when the water goes down. Your home's foundation may have been weakened, the electrical system may have shorted out, and floodwaters may have left behind things that could make you sick. When in doubt, throw it out. Don't risk injury or infection.

Ask for help. Many people can do a lot of the clean up and repairs discussed in this book. But if you have technical questions or do not feel comfortable doing something, get professional help. If there is a federal disaster declaration, a telephone "hotline" will often be publicized to provide information about public, private, and voluntary agency programs to help you recover from the flood.

Floodproof. It is very likely that your home will be flooded again someday. You can save a lot of money by floodproofing as you repair and rebuild. See Step 8. You should also prepare for the next flood by buying flood insurance and writing a flood response plan.

Table of Contents

Step 1. Take Care of Yourself First
Protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and health hazards that follow a flood.

Step 2. Give Your Home First Aid
Once it is safe to go back in, protect your home and contents from further damage.

Step 3. Get Organized
Some things are not worth repairing and some things may be too complicated or expensive for you to do by yourself. A recovery plan can take these things into account and help you make the most of your time and money.

Step 4. Dry Out Your Home
Floodwaters damage materials, leave mud, silt and unknown contaminants, and promote the growth of mildew. You need to dry your home to reduce these hazards and the damage they cause.

Step 5. Restore the Utilities
The rest of your work will be much easier if you have heat, electricity, clean water, and sewage disposal.

Step 6. Clean Up
The walls, floors, closets, shelves, contents and any other flooded parts of your home should be thoroughly washed and disinfected.

Step 7. Check on Financial Assistance
Voluntary agencies, businesses, insurance, and government disaster programs can help you through recovery.

Step 8. Rebuild and Floodproof
Take your time to rebuild correctly and make improvements that will protect your building from damage by the next flood.

Step 9. Prepare for the Next Flood
Protect yourself from the next flood with flood insurance, a flood response plan, and community flood protection programs. This step also includes sources to go to for additional assistance.
This information is published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross to help flooded property owners. It is designed to be easily copied. Permission to reproduce all or any section of this material is hereby granted and encouraged.
Hard copies of this information in book form are available from your local Red Cross chapter or by writing:

FEMA
P. O. Box 2012
Jessup, MD 20794-2012

Floods can be slow, or fast rising but generally develop over a period of days. [ http://www.fema.gov/fima/ ]Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in mitigation steps now, such as, engaging in floodplain management activities, constructing barriers, such as levees, and purchasing flood insurance will help reduce the amount of structural damage to your home and financial loss from building and crop damage should a flood or flash flood occur.

What Should I Do?
Tips For Filing Your Flood Insurance Claim

• Buying flood insurance is the best thing you can do to protect your home, your business, family, and financial security.
Preparedness planning involves those efforts undertaken before a flood to prepare for or improve capability to respond to the event.

 
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