Drastic weather changes occur suddenly.
Ethnic Media Services has invited IndigenousNetwork to a special briefing to learn how we can best prepare and respond to weather disasters.
We in California have experienced a destructive natural disaster - there has already been 20 recorded deaths. We have seen rain, snow, levee breaches, and hurricane-force winds.
There is a presidential Disaster Dedication which offers federal assistance programs. Following this declaration, it is important for us to discuss emergency plans should another storm, earthquake or fire happen in the future. Damage assessments are ongoing of the current storm. But looking at the weather reports, the storm is looking to clear by this Friday January 20th.
There are several organizations that can support you.
First of all, it is best to be prepared with post-flood health tips. These are courtesy Jason Wilken, PhD MPH, a part of the CDC Career Epidemiology Field Officer.
Floods can make your water unsafe to drink, so it is important to check in with your local water authority. They will tell you if you cannot use the tap water. If you have a flooded well, contact your local environmental health or water department.
Use bottled water if unsure. To clean, use bleach and water to be safe. Be aware of mold growth on hard services.
Residents and business owners in Merced, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz counties who sustained losses in the designated areas can apply for disaster assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov You can apply for FEMA disaster assistance there.
Contact with floodwater can cause serious illness. So be sure to keep children away from floodwater or any objects that have been in contact with floodwater. There could be live or dead animals the water and children are specifically at risk.
Go to cdc.gov/disasters/floods/after.html. There they provide more information and support for what to do after a flood.
If you have sustained damage, there is also support for you. First be sure to find your insurance policy and submit your insurance claim. Write down all the damage you can find in a "claims diary" which will help you in your case letter. This is very important as sometimes your memory does change. Take pictures and videos, but don't remediate until an adjuster comes. Go to insurance.ca.gov, where you can find more knowledge.
In the future, be sure to get disaster alerts. Go to CalAlerts.org to sign up for free emergency alerts. This allows you to get up-to-the-minute alerts of when hazards could affect your area. Make sure you have a plan so you know how to evacuate your residence. If you can, practice and refresh the plan regularly.