DES PLAINES, IL - APRIL 19: Octavio Castillo paddles a boat down a flooded street to reach the home of his cousin on April 19, 2013 in Des Plaines, Illinois. The suburban Chicago town is battling floodwater from the Des Plaines River which is expected to crest at a record 11 feet later today. Record-setting rains and rising rivers have caused wide-spread flooding in many Illinois communities. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Many Chicagoans and Midwesterners are beginning to rummage through debris of homes and belongings lost in the flooding that stormed through the area this week. Here’s a list of sites that you might want to check out to kick start your recovery.
How it can help you: This site offers helpful tips and links for preparing for a flood, evacuating during a flood, recovering after a flood, obtaining flood insurance and other information on floods.
What it can’t do: While this site offers outside resources for further information, it does not immediately provide a resource for financial advice after a flood.
How it can help you: Recovering from a flood is challenging, emotionally and physically, and understanding safe measures to take in the event of another flood can help manage the emotional distress. This site also offers ways to be aware and precautions to take when a flood warning takes effect.
What it can’t do: Though the National Weather Service can help you understand what to do during and before a flood, it does not offer much advice for the aftermath of a flood.
How it can help you: This site can help you file a claim after a flood and also gives brief tips on the preliminary precautions to take.
What it can’t do: Outside of filing a claim, the material on this site is brief and does not offer specific resources to learn about the tips it provides.
How it can help you: Flood Smart provides a series of articles and resources for everything from finding family and friends affected by a flood to filing an insurance claim to vital safety precautions to take after a flood.
What it can’t do: There really isn't much this site can’t do.
How it can help you: This site not only offers ways to prepare for flooding, but also managing personal hygiene after a disaster, cleanup of flood water, precautions to take when returning home, and other educational materials.
What it can’t do: The information offered is mainly educational material. It does not provide specific places to go for help or specifics for how to fix your home.
How it can help you: The Occupational Safety & Health Administration offers facts on risks and health concerns associated with floods and tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy in the event of a flood.
What it can’t do: This site does not provide advice beyond immediate safety and health concerns and focuses more on workers than homeowners.
How it can help you: This website offers a four step disaster recovery process. It gives tips for helping family members, pets, and people with disabilities, as well as salvaging belongings, handling electrical appliances and furniture, how to contact insurance companies and receiving government support.
What it can’t do: Though the site is full of tips and advice for managing specifics after a flood, it does not offer direct resources in your area to reach out to.
How it can help you: This video from Home Depot shows you how to safely remove water, clean and restore your home after a flood. It reviews necessary equipment and processes as well as ways to get help on these processes.
What it can’t do: The video does describe the process and offers a look at the equipment but does not physically show the process at hand.
How it can help you: The American Red Cross offers tips on how to safely begin drying out your home, what to look for when hiring a contractor and how to avoid fraud in home repairs.
What it can’t do: This site does not offer much information when it comes to managing stress or financial issues outside of hiring for repair services.
How it can help you: This checklist can offer you tips on everything from financial recovery to managing stress after a flood and how to clean up your home. It provides you with step by step directions for how to manage the many tasks that lay ahead in flood recovery.
What It can’t do: There isn't much this checklist doesn't tell you, but because it is generic, it does not provide specific places near you to obtain needed resources or services.