Extension provides free information on flood preparation, recovery

Texas Cooperative Extension has free information available on what to do before, during and after a flood, said an Extension expert.

In addition to disaster-related publications, Extension has a variety of information and tips related to preparing for and recovering from flooding available through the Internet, said Janie Harris, Extension housing and environment specialist.

"With flooding, there are a number of things you can do to minimize damage to your home or business, protect your family's health and restore your property after the flood," she said. "Extension provides useful, objective information that we hope will help keep property safe."

The Texas Extension Disaster Education Network site, http://texashelp.tamu.edu, has access to information on flood preparation, cleaning flood-damaged homes, emergency food and water supplies, the national flood insurance program and post-flooding safety precautions. Information on floods may be found under the "Hot Topics" section of the site's home page.

The site also contains a link to the free "Preparing for the Unexpected" booklet, which provides details on what steps to take in advance of a natural disaster or other emergency situation. The booklet is also available in Spanish.

More information on flooding preparation and recovery can be found under the "Disasters & Emergencies" link at the Extension Bookstore, http://tcebookstore.org. This site contains free printable materials on topics including flood recovery safety tips, controlling mold, basic first aid, caring for important papers and post-disaster considerations for older adults.

"The first thing people affected by a flood need to do is emphasize safety when returning to their home or business," Harris said. "They need to be aware of possible structural or electrical damage and possible damage to gas lines. They also need to be aware of possible contamination from flood water and what they can do to reduce that risk."

The potential for mold is another consideration, she added. And procedures to minimize mold can be found in Extension materials information and through the Environmental Protection Agency link at the disaster education Web site.

Personnel in many Extension's county offices have been trained in disaster preparedness. For more information, contact the Extension office in your county.

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