Homeland Security, FEMA urge caution to Missouri residents retur - KMOV.com

Homeland Security, FEMA urge caution to Missouri residents returning home

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

As the flood waters recede and several spots along the Missouri and Mississippi crest, many Missouri and Illinois residents will return to their homes. But the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are urging caution. 

The government agencies offered tips for those making the return to their flood damaged homes and properties. 

When returning home, residents should check the structural damage before entering the home. If there is damage to any water, gas, electric or sewer lines, residents should contact professionals immediately. 

When it comes to food, throw away all food that may have come in contact with flood waters and boil water until officials have deemed the water safe to drink. 

Mold can develop on surfaces and items between 24 and 48 hours. To get rid of the mold, residents are urged to use non-ammonia soaps and cleaners. After wiping away the mold, allow the surfaces and items to dry for several days. If mold develops again, the items must be thrown out. Allow the interior of your home to be dried thoroughly to avoid mold accumulation. 

Homeland Security and FEMA encourage homeowners to inspect their house and property for damage, then file a claim with their insurance immediately.

For more information on what to do when returning home following a flood, you can head to FEMA's flood page.  

Those residents in Missouri who are in need of shelter information or disaster information should call 211. 

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