Natural disasters are unpredictable and often have a devastating impact on Iowa towns and the communities within them. If your family, town, or area is experiencing the aftermath of a disaster, there are a variety of resources available in the State of Iowa to help you recover from a loss of shelter, food and water, or belongings. Using the resources below, you’ll find out how to apply for a post-disaster grant, work with a case manager for your individual situation, and more.
Top 4 Resources to Review for Immediate Help
1) Iowa Individual Disaster Assistance Grant Program
The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $41,560 for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. This grant program is activated when the Governor issues a disaster proclamation turning on IIAGP for the affected counties. For a listing of current disaster proclamations that are eligible for this grant, visit dhs.iowa.gov/disaster-assistance-programs.The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website.
2) Iowa Disaster Case Management
Disaster Case Management is a program to address serious needs to overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition. Disaster case managers work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice, and referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor's proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action association or visit www.iowacommunityaction.org.
3) Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team
The Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) is a trained team of volunteers who will respond to the mental health needs of Iowa residents following disasters and critical incidents. The team provides services for community providers based on local area needs and may be delivered at a disaster site in an affected community or statewide. For more information, go to www.iowadbhrt.org.
4) Report Your Damage
Residents of counties impacted by the recent severe weather are asked to report damage to help local and state officials better understand the damage sustained. Damage to property, roads, utilities, and other storm-related information may be reported. This information will be collected by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and shared with local emergency management agencies. Report damage through the form provided by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
More Resources for Iowans
Check to see if the contractor offering services to repair your home is registered with the State. https://contractor.iowa.gov/IowaIWD/CREG/publicSearch/publicSearch.jsp?lid=&eaaUserId=
County Resource Sites
County Emergency Management Offices
Crisis Line and Counseling
Crisis line: 844-258-8858 Online Counseling https://www.cicsmhds.org
When a disaster strikes, people want to help. One thing those affected by the disaster don't need is the logistical nightmare that is created when a surge of unsolicited donations pour into their communities and overwhelm those tasked with recovery.
If you'd really like to donate, cash is always best.
- Polk County Community Foundation - https://dmf.iphiview.com/dmf/FundInformation/tabid/495/dispatch/accountselection_id$222165_hash
- American Red Cross - http://www.redcross.org/
- Animal Rescue League - https://www.arl-iowa.org/
- Salvation Army - https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/help-disaster-survivors/
- United Way of Central Iowa - https://www.unitedwaydm.org/
- Southern Baptist (Baptist Convention of Iowa - linked from Southern Baptist Convention website) http://bciowa.org/donatenow/
- Habitat for Humanity http://www.iowahabitat.org/donate
- Iowa Legal Aid https://www.iowalegalaid.org/donate
- Team Rubicon (click the "DONATE" button in the upper right part of the page) https://teamrubiconusa.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7ra0v8S43AIVmrXACh1UDgSWEAAYASAAEgKSo_D_BwECentral Iowa Community Services Crisis line: 844-258-8858
Emergency Supply Kits
Find out what to put in your kit (Ready Iowa website) - http://www.beready.iowa.gov/be_prepared/build_a_kit.html
Family Emergency plan
Learn what you need to put together for a family emergency plan (Ready Iowa website) - http://www.beready.iowa.gov/be_prepared/make_a_plan.html
Agricultural producers who have sustained losses from recent weather may be eligible to apply for assistance through their local Farm Service Agency office. Visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency website and select the State Offices link at the top of the page for more information. - https://www.fsa.usda.gov/index
Flood checklist for farmers - http://www.prep4agthreats.org/Assets/Factsheets/Floods-and-Your-Farm.pdf
Iowa Concern Hotline
When flooding is a concern, ISU Extension's Iowa Concern Hotline is available for those who need assistance. The hotline is available 24/7. All calls are free and confidential, and the operators are willing to assist wherever possible. 1-800-447-1985 - http://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/
Residents may call 2-1-1 with questions or concerns about the flooding and steps they should take. They are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The primary purpose of the centers is to link people with the resources they need in their communities. 211 can connect you with someone who speaks your language.
Checklist for preparing for a flood, what to do during a flood, and what you need to look out for if you are returning to your home after a flood. - http://www.beready.iowa.gov/be_aware/floods.html
Proper disposal of household hazardous materials is provided by a collection of facilities across the state. Learn more from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. - http://iowadnr.gov/HHM
From information about cleaning and disinfecting, mold, immunizations, damaged items, flooded sewage systems, and mosquito bite prevention, find anything related to your health and flooding here (Iowa Department of Public Health). - https://www.idph.iowa.gov/flooding
Housing - Home Ownership
Whether you’re a first-time or repeat home buyer, IFA offers affordable mortgage financing that may assist you in finding a new home. To learn more, visit IowaFinanceAuthority.gov.
Housing - Rental Units
IowaHousingSearch.org is a comprehensive, up-to-date listing of rental units in Iowa. This web site allows users to search for advanced search features, including short-term leases for flood-impacted Iowans. The service also offers a toll-free call center, staffed with housing specialists who are happy to help you find a housing solution: 877-428-8844
Flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period after purchase before coverage becomes effective. For frequently asked questions, file a claim or find an agent, visit FEMA's FloodSmart.gov - https://www.floodsmart.gov/
- Homeland Security and Emergency Management - email to HSEMDPIO@iowa.gov or call 515.725.3231
- Governor - https://governor.iowa.gov/newsroom/press-contacts
If you are having trouble contacting your loan servicer and need additional assistance working with them, contact Iowa Mortgage Help. Iowa Mortgage Help can assist you in creating the best plan of action to keep your home. Trained mortgage counselors will provide free, confidential services and Iowa Mortgage Help clients may also receive free legal assistance. Regardless of who services your home loan, you can take advantage of Iowa Mortgage Help. Call 877-622-4866 or visit IowaMortgageHelp.com
Natural Resources and Wildlife
Flood, drought, tornado, winter storms, and other disaster resources from the Department of Natural Resources including Flood Plain Assistance, State Revolving Fund and Flood Repair, impacts on wildlife, dealing with asbestos and information on other environmental impacts. http://www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/Social-Media-Press-Room/Disaster-Assistance#305753-tornadowind-storm
Stay current by subscribing to receive press releases the from the Governor https://governor.iowa.gov/press-releases Read the latest news from the Governor on Southwest Iowa: https://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/region/gov-reynolds-meets-with-southwest-iowa-reps-to-see-flooding/article_40ff3e82-49b6-11e9-8c33-03777cd3c906.html
Most shelters do not accept pets. Learn how to prepare your pets for possible evacuation on the Ready Iowa website - http://www.beready.iowa.gov/be_prepared/prepare_your_pets.html
Presidential Disaster Declaration(s)
Declarations will be posted on the HSEMD website if granted. - https://www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/disasters/current_disaster.html
Propane Safety and Floods
Iowa Propane Gas Association website - http://www.iapropane.org/ia-safety-training/floods/
Under the federal Public Assistance program, FEMA awards grants to assist state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations. If available, will be listed here. This page also includes general information about the program, and the minimum amount of damage per capita in Iowa required to receive a declaration. - https://www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/disasters/public_assistance.html
River Gauges/Water Levels
Iowa Flood Information System - view water levels, sign up for text alerts, find resources including shelter locations.
For road closure information, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation 511 website - http://511ia.org/
Beware of scams! If you have been impacted by a disaster, you don't want scammers to take advantage of you. Consumers are encouraged to contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office if they have consumer complaints about questionable contractors or about price-gouging. Price gouging is charging exorbitant and unjustified prices for products or services that are necessary for disaster victims.
- Web - https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/for-consumers/general-consumer-information/home-improvements--repairs/natural-disasters-cleanup-and-repairs/
- Phone - 515-281-5926 (toll-free number outside of the Des Moines area: 888-777-4590)
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- HSEMD - https://www.facebook.com/IowaHSEMD
Report a downed power line, a natural gas leak, a carbon monoxide alarm or other emergency by calling 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268 or #255 from any U.S. Cellular phone)
- Report gas leaks 1-800-595-5325
- Report power outage/wires down 1-800-799-4443
Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives
- Report an outage to your coop - https://www.iowarec.org/iowa-co-ops/our-members/
- Outage map - https://www.iowarec.org/outages/
When disaster strikes, unaffiliated/spontaneous volunteers who want to help will often travel from all over the country to assist their neighbors, friends, and even complete strangers. Yet without a plan, these much needed volunteers can cause complications with rescue response efforts. Register as a disaster response volunteer so you can be contacted when a call for volunteers is issued. - http://volunteeriowa.galaxydigital.com/drm/info/
Link to National Weather Service forecast offices that serve Iowa - https://www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov/resource_room/NWS_offices.html
Well Safety and Floods
If your water well is currently flooded or has been exposed to flooding conditions, contact an Iowa Department of Natural Resources Certified Well Contractor for assistance in determining your well's safety. - http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/files/disaster/well_flooding.pdf
State Offices Impacted
Marshalltown Human Services has been impacted by the tornado on 7-19-18 and is temporarily closed. Please search the Human Services website for other offices: http://dhs.iowa.gov/dhs_office_locator