FEMA sets up in-home improvement stores for flood victims - KMOV.com

FEMA sets up in-home improvement stores for flood victims

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An Arnold house flooded by the Meremac River. (Credit: KMOV-TV) An Arnold house flooded by the Meremac River. (Credit: KMOV-TV)
BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

It's been over a month since historic flooding hit the region and some flood victims are still not back in their homes.

FEMA workers have gone door-to-door through areas that were flooded talking with victims and getting them signed up for assistance. But now they're setting up in-home improvement stores to sign up victims and show them ways to reduce the damage if they ever get flooded again.

The financial help for flood victims that comes from FEMA is designed to cover expenses that homeowners insurance doesn't. It varies depending on the amount of damage. But FEMA stresses that victims can't find out what help they can get unless they’re registered with FEMA, online or on the phone.

"If you get into the system and go through the system, it's very possible there might be some assistance available and it's not necessarily always a monetary assistance," FEMA’s William Praust said.

FEMA can also help with things like filling out tax forms to declare losses from flooding or providing crisis counseling. At-home improvement stores are also providing tips on cleaning up after a flood. Commercial cleanup crews often use high powered fans, but FEMA points out a humidifier can dry out flooded areas.

"It works similar to a fan, but you just turn it on and let it do the work for you and then give it a little bit of time, same as a fan, give it enough time to make sure everything is dry before you do something that would seal moisture back anywhere," FEMA’s Catherine Millard said.

Mold is a big issue and the FEMA disaster recovery experts are passing along information on how to prevent mold and information on other recovery issues. Plus, they're giving tips on how victims can reduce the damage, if another flood happens in the future. One tip is to have appliances, where possible, installed at an elevated height.

"We just try to encourage people to think of the concept that if you put it back at a higher level and you get water again then maybe you won’t have to replace these things again," Millard said.

Flood victims only have until March 22 to get registered with FEMA to get financial assistance. Victims can register by clicking here.

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