Citizens need to understand why they cannot immediately move back into their homes and businesses. They need to know about the substantial damage rule. They need to follow the community’s efforts and the area mitigation planning work, and be offered opportunities to participate.
The community must help residents understand safety precautions, mitigation measures, and the insurance claims and disaster assistance procedures. Active outreach will be necessary. These efforts need to instill in each person that they are responsible for their own safety and the protection of their own property from future losses.
A constant and complete flow of information to the public is vital. Various media should be used, including social media. People need to know what is happening and when they can expect answers on the future of their homes and businesses. They need reassurance that the community is working as fast as it can to collect data and make objective decisions.
Messages should also discuss ways individuals can build back safer and smarter. See Step 9.
Here are some sources of informational materials on how individuals can build back safer and smarter.
- The University of New Orleans has a portal on what to do if you’ve been flooded.
- The Louisiana State University AgCenter has information here and here.
- The Red Cross’ Repairing Your Flooded Home offers ideas on pages 37 – 44.
- Several universities’ Extension Services have informational pages on various recovery and reconstruction topics.