As a result of the president's disaster declaration, 65 counties and five tribal nations were approved for disaster assistance. Which jurisdictions received what type of assistance can be found in the table below. Individual assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Public assistance is used to reimburse the cost of emergency services and debris removal, as well as the repair of some roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and recreational areas.
When disaster strikes, so do the scammers. They pray upon well-intentioned people who want to help or worse yet, those impacted, at their most vulnerable time.
For those being asked to open their wallets:
- Check the charity out! Reputations of charities can be verified at Charity Navigator or GuideStar
- Avoid using email "links", unsolicited phone calls or door-to-door solicitors to make donations
- Examine the website. Often scammers will use sly misspellings or alternate domains like .biz
For those impacted:
- Don't be rushed into signing a contract. Get written estimates from several contractors.
- Be wary of contractors wanting large sums of money upfront or for temporary repairs.
- Investigate the reputation of the person you are considering hiring.
- Before hiring a public adjuster or attorney, attempt to settle the claim directly with your insurance company.
Nebraska's Attorney General Doug Peterson cautions
MUCK CLEAN UP SUPPLIES CHECKLIST
- Kneeling Pad (much better than knee pads (for any low height work project) - you can lay on it, sit on it, crawl on it and get to work!)
- Collapsible Trash Bag Holder (any light weight can for large contractor bags will work)
- Largest, most powerful "wet/dry" shopvac you can find
- Extra shopvac filters (wash and/or bang the dust out outside often and wear a dust mask)
- Shopvac crevice attachment for getting into tight spots exposed around the wooden floor plates under the studs (sill plate) NOTE: straight round tubes work best to collect large debris
- Flat long handle shovel for scooping up large piles of sheetrock crumbles
- Heavy duty floor scraper makes quick work of prying up baseboards AND removing carpet tack strips that are nailed to the concrete
- Five gallon tool bucket (standard operating equiment for any project)
- Nitrile Gloves (for scooping out soggy insulation)
- Heavy duty crow bar
- Wonder Bar (its a small pry bar and one of the most versatile tools for all projects - especially muck outs!)
- Utility knife (some prefer this method of scoring a horizontal line on the sheetrock at the highest breakoff point)
- Heavy leather work gloves
- N95 rated dust masks or greater
- Ear / hearing protection
- Large flat blade screwdriver (much larger than a normal screwdriver - works great to dig out sheetrock in tight places and down behind cabinet and wood floor plate under the studs)
- Safety glasses
- Drill with large aggressive hole saw (1.5" to 2" diameter to open base of cabinets)
- Rotozip (great tool for removing sheetrock and/or wood boards in tight spaces (you set the exact depth so you just barely cut through the wall material- without hitting electrical wires or plumbing in the wall)). Best to use in bathrooms around sinks and toilets where lots of pipes are behind the wall.
- Reciprocating saw with a very aggressive blade. Try a blade called "The AX". It cuts through wood, sheetrock and nails! Great for ripping out the back bottom area of cabinets.
- Heavy duty / large contractor bags
- Extension cords
- Wheel barrow (a solid tire without air is best)
- Bleach or Mildewcide
- Pump up sprayer (1 gallon is a good size)
- High velocity fans (about 2 per room are usually required)
- Dehumidifiers are a great addition