CAPTION: Photo from IANR Media – UNL https://ianrnews.unl.edu/

 

Nebraska Extension has been one of the leaders in assisting Nebraskans with Flood Information.

There are a number of resources available for those that need assistance. The most up-to-date information is available at flood.unl.edu.

As of May 24, 2019

The New Nebraska Disaster Resource Guide has been released and can be found here: https://nema.nebraska.gov/sites/nema.nebraska.gov/files/doc/disaster-resource-guide.pdf 

  • 81 out of 93 Counties have received Emergency declarations (NEMA website)
  • 104 Towns/Communities have received Emergency declarations. (NEMA website)

This is an issue that will impact Nebraska family farmers and ranchers for years. Below is a brief list of resources that are available to residents in the State of Nebraska. If you would like to donate, please scroll to the bottom of the page for a list of organizations. If you, or someone you know, is struggling, whether that is mentally, physically, or financially, we ask you to please reach out for help. We know how good it feels to help someone in need. Allow your fellow Nebraskans that same feeling by helping you or someone you know.

If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed with stress, depression, or other mental health related issues, they are urged to contact the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline at 800-464-0258. 

When a farmer, rancher, or rural resident calls the Hotline, they are connected to an experienced staff person who is equipped to assist callers through the COMHT (Counseling, Outreach, and Mental Health Therapy) Program. Staff members are trained to work with individuals over the telephone or in their home providing confidential information and assistance. No-cost counseling vouchers are also available for individuals in crisis who wish to seek further support through a mental health professional.

In addition, staff may refer callers to attorneys, financial counselors, clergy, other farmers, or mediation to assist with the crisis they are experiencing.

The Nebraska Rural Response Hotline is provided by the Farm Crisis Response Council through Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska. Funding for the COMHT Program is provided in part through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Rural Health, and the Community Service Block Grant.

If you or someone you know are in need of these services please call the Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

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 866-720-5721.
  • Always use licensed and bonded contractors and ask for credentials. Never pay for anything in advance of work being done.

Ways to Donate

We understand that many of our generous donors want to assist with immediate relief and response to Nebraska flooding. Below is a list of qualified public charities here working on these efforts. Use caution when donating through crowdfunding websites and social media, as scammers may be looking to take advantage of people’s sympathy. A better option would be to give a tax-deductible donation to a qualified public charity subject to accountability, reporting and oversight.

List of Community Foundations–Supporting Relief and for Long-Term Recovery, this includes links to the NebraskaStrong website as well.  Visitors to the NebraskaStrong website can also list specific resource needs, and those with resources to donate can connect with those in need.

Nebraska 4-H Foundation.

Nebraska Department of Agriculture – If you have hay, feed stuffs, fencing materials, equipment, etc. that you are willing to donate, please contact the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at 1-800-831-0550. Be prepared to share your name, contact information and what you have that you are willing to donate and the amount, along with your location.