Getting Back to Normal: Flood Next Steps

September 29, 2016 | United Way Team

Once the threat of flooding subsides, there may be many steps to getting flood affected families and businesses back to normal. No matter where you live, we can help. Here are a few of the next steps you can take.

Next Steps:

Home and Business Owners May Need Volunteers

In 2008, volunteers helped by:

  • Sandbagging and moving items out of basements.
  • Sandbag cleanup and moving items back into homes. (priorities include elderly and disabled individuals)
  • Assisting in basement and yard clean up for those minorly affected by the flood (priorities again include elderly and disabled individuals).
  • Clean and gut homes at later. Homeowners with major flood damage won’t be able to move into homes until inspected by city and approved as safe.
  • Providing emotional support to those affected. This flood could bring back strong memories so

Whether you are a business, organization or individual who needs help, contact 211 to let them know your needs. (For the more details on 211 information, visit the end of this article.)

Sign up as an individual or in a group to help.

Community Clean Up

The Emergency Volunteer Center is working with local companies, area church/youth groups and national faith-based organizations trained in disaster response to help with major clean-up efforts in our community to form teams. These groups will coordinate work through the Emergency Volunteer Center.

One-on-One Support for Recovery Plans

In the coming days, trained Red Cross workers may begin meeting one-on-one with people who need additional support to create recovery plans, navigate paperwork and locate help from other agencies. Those needing Red Cross assistance can call 515-243-7681.

Applying for Disaster Assistance

Individual disaster assistance is available for people living/renting in a home that has been determined to be flood affected. Individuals must apply for assistance. Approval for funding is not guaranteed: the applicant must meet income guidelines and live in flood affected homes. Applicants will be notified if they are/are not eligible for assistance after they have completed an application

After initial assessments, the county/city will compile a list of addresses that they determine have been flood affected. Eligibility is determined from this list. Visit to find information regarding assistance or they can mail one to you. People can also pick up hard copies at Ladd Library.

Disposing Sand Bags

Residents are to keep sandbags they want to dispose at their property. To find out more about this, visit your city’s website.

Click here for debris and sandbag disposal information for Cedar Rapids.


Information on Re-Entry of Home or Business

Flood water, even minimal levels, can create safety hazards in your home or business. Re-establishing safe utility services are critical as residents re-enter and evaluate their properties. Properties may have water in the basement from sewer backup. Please consider electrical systems, furnaces and water heaters that have been submerged dangerous and unsafe.

Call both your electrical and gas provider immediately:


But most of all, if you don’t know where to start, contact 2-1-1. The dedicated team can guide you to where you need to go. You can call this number from most landlines. Unfortunately some cell phone carriers and VOIPs do not recognize the short code 2-1-1.  If you are unable to use the short code, please call 319-739-4211 or 1-866-469-2211.


Linn Area Partners – Active in Disaster (LAP-AID) is a joint effort of many organizations dedicated to building a better prepared Linn County. In response to the 2008 flood, more than 70 organizations worked to bring dollars, resources and services to Linn County. As a results, Linn Area Partners – Active in Disaster (LAP-AID) formed to be ready in the event disaster struck again. LAP-AID aims to empower communities, expedite local response, improve management of volunteers and donations and provide resource for facilitating long-term recovery.