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Plan Ahead as Rainy Days Lead to Flooding
Iowa Ag Connection - 03/15/2019

Portions of Iowa were under flood watches and warnings this week, with more rain expected. Fast-moving ice jams clogged the Des Moines River in Ottumwa this week and collapsed a trail bridge in Johnston, sparking fears that more low-lying and water-adjacent areas could face problems in the coming days, especially the Raccoon River near Des Moines.

Iowa State University's Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) believes that any company who does not have a flood plan already in place should immediately begin making preparations for trouble.

To help, CIRAS has maintained a Flood Preparation Checklist since 2008 that includes last-minute steps that companies can take to prepare for a crisis. It includes a list of items that company leaders should plan to take with them in case of evacuation and steps they can take, if time allows, to minimize the damage done to what's left behind.

Additionally, the CIRAS website contains other information, including how to retrieve important data from flooded computers, advice for dealing with damaged documents and guides to other valuable resources.

Flooded businesses are urged to contact CIRAS if they need assistance, and staffers will work to direct them to the appropriate resources. For more information, contact CIRAS program manager Mike O'Donnell at modonnll@iastate.edu or 515-509-4379.

During times of natural disaster, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers educational resources to reduce the personal impact of natural disasters, working in partnership with the local, state and federal agencies addressing the disaster. Research-based educational resources for specific types of disaster (flooding, severe weather, fire and drought) are available on the Disaster Recovery webpages at all times. Bookmark the pages for use during times of need.

The best time to plan for a disaster is before an event occurs, and a helpful resource for planning is the All-Hazards Booklet from the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. This 100 page booklet was developed as a resource for citizens of rural agricultural communities. The booklets' four sections contain an overview of a particular hazard and several informational handouts in a check list format to help guide individuals in preparing for a particular hazard before it occurs, during the event, and recovering from the situation.

Other publications that offer guidance during times when flooding is a threat are:

- Make a Family Emergency Plan - Ready Iowa -- provided by Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management

- Know DNR's Role in Disaster Response and Recover

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