Please find below resources for Illinois’ 17th District during continued flooding across our state.
Important Links for Constituent Assistance
Contact Map for Local Red Cross and County EMA offices: https://www.state.il.us/iema/contacts/contacts.htm
Red Cross Hotline: 1-800 Red-Cross
Federal Links https://www.ready.gov/
State of Illinois Updates and Links http://www.ready.illinois.gov
Know the flood risk in your area. Visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center for information.
USDA Disaster Assistance Program: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/disaster-assistance-program/
Prepare for a flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- If flash flooding is a risk in your location, monitor potential signs, such as heavy rain.
- Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response.
- Gather supplies in case you must leave immediately, or if services are cut off. Keep in mind everyone’s individual needs, including medication. Don’t forget pet needs. Obtain extra batteries and charging devices for phones and other critical equipment.
- Purchase or renew a flood insurance policy. It typically takes up to 30 days for a policy to take effect. Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding. Get flood coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
- Keep important documents in a waterproof container. Create password-protected digital copies.
- Protect your property. Move valuables to higher levels. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves. Consider a sump pump with a battery.
What to do during a flood
If a flood is likely in your area, you should:
- Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Be aware of stream, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without typical.
If you must prepare to evacuate, you should do the following:
- Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
If you have to leave your home, remember these evacuation tips:
- Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you must walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive or park into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly.
After the Flood
Your home flooded. Although floodwaters may decrease in some areas, many dangers still exist.
- Use local alerts and warning systems to get information as soon as available.
- Avoid moving water.
- Stay away from damaged areas unless your assistance has been requested by police, fire, or relief organization.
- Emergency workers will be assisting people in flooded areas. You can help them by staying off the roads and out of the way.
- Additional flooding or flash floods can occur. If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, get out immediately and climb to higher ground.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Roads may still be closed due to damage or are covered by water. If you come upon a barricade or a flooded road, go another way.
- If you must walk or drive in areas that have been flooded.
- Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Stay out of any building surrounded by floodwaters.
A flood can cause physical hazards and emotional stress. You need to look after yourself and your family as you focus on cleanup and repair.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewer systems are serious health hazards.
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwaters can contain sewage and chemicals.
- Rest often and eat well.
- Discuss your concerns with others and seek help. Contact Red Cross for information on emotional support available in your area.
Cleaning Up and Repairing Your Home
- Turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box, even if the power is off in your community. That way, you can decide when your home is dry enough to turn it back on.
- Get a copy of the book Repairing Your Flooded Home (737KB PDF) which is available free from the American Red Cross or your state or local emergency manager. It will tell you:
- How to enter your home safely.
- How to protect your home and belongings from further damage.
- How to record damage to support insurance claims and requests for assistance.
- How to check for gas or water leaks and how to have service restored.
- How to clean up appliances, furniture, floors and other belongs.
- The Red Cross can provide you with a cleanup kit: mop, broom, bucket, and cleaning supplies.
- Contact your insurance agent to discuss claims.
- Listen to your radio for information on assistance that may be provided by the state or federal government or other organizations.
- If you hire cleanup or repair contractors, check references and be sure they are qualified to do the job. Be wary of people who drive through neighborhoods offering help in cleaning up or repairing your home.