Our area has been affected especially hard by the storm that went through our state last week. Thousands of people, including myself, have gone without power and suffered major damage on their property. Many Iowans are struggling to find food and shelter as we continue to deal with effects of this storm.
This year has been unlike any other, but time and time again Iowans have stepped up to help each other in times of need. People have volunteered both time and resources to help with clean up and help those Iowans affected by the storm. A number of resources are available through the state and federal government.
The Iowa Department of Human Services has disaster assistance programs for food replacement and low-income grants. These resources can be found at https://dhs.iowa.gov/DHS-Derecho_Resources. Information from FEMA specific to this storm can be found at https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4557. Additionally, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security website has details on federal and state disaster declarations, as well as the phone number for the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (515-725-3231).
The Iowa Utilities Board has information on power outages and the number of services remaining to be restored, along with maps on outages. Elderly or disabled persons looking for help with cleanup can call 211 or call the crisis cleanup phone number, 844-965-1386. Iowans can also call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 for free emotional support during this time.
The Iowa Attorney General is also warning against ‘storm chaser scams’, which are unscrupulous contractors who travel to areas affected by heavy storms and try and persuade those people to hire them for work with no intention of completing the work they were paid to do.
If you have any questions about the resources available or are looking for help, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact me.