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 can be found at flood.unl.edu.

As of 3/25/2019

  • 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 (3/26/2019).
  • $400 Million – Livestock loss – Includes: death, loss, veterinary care, loss of performance, additional transportation costs as well as additional labor costs
  • $440 Million – Crop loss – Includes: removal of sand/debris, inability to plant this year, loss of inventory
  • Numbers do not reflect loss of infrastructure and will most certainly go up.

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.

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 A current list of local emergency managers can be found at http://nema.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/0bc3537ed2a145bba2ffbd37b54209ed
  • 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
  • Document your damage. Take photos or video. Make lists of damage
  • Register with FEMA. The process is free, take about 20 minutes:
    • Register online at DisasterAssistance.gov (this will be the quickest option).
    • 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.
    • 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 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 866-720-5721.
  • 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 – 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.

Other resources include:

  • Nebraska Department of Agriculture – Not only are there resources here for agriculture, but for all businesses and homeowners.
  • Disaster Response and Recovery Guides from the American Institute for Conservation. Resources here involve caring for damaged family heirlooms, textiles, and photographs.
  • 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 all businesses (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. Residents and Business owners with questions about SBA’s disaster assistance can call (800) 659-2955 or go to sba.gov/disaster to apply online.
  • Nebraska 211 – The 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.
  • CropWatch website: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/
  • Water website: https://water.unl.edu/
  • Resources on livestock carcass disposal
  • Well Water Safety After Flooding
Farm Service Agency (FSA) Programs
Resources to Support Youth Emotionally

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.