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Flood Survival: How to prepare, respond, and recover from a flood.

Experience is sometimes an unforgiving instructor. At Lawsonline™, we learned about devastation caused by flood waters firsthand when Cedar Rapids, IA was hit by a massive flood June 13, 2008. Lawsonline™ is parented by enlighten technologies, inc.™, which includes many other businesses such as LAWCHEK® and LEGALCONFERENCE™. Our headquarters in downtown Cedar Rapids was inundated with water after the Cedar River crested at 31.1 feet (19.1 feet over flood stage) to overtake 1,300 blocks of the city.* The first floor was completely lost and when the water reached 4 feet on the upper level, it was destroyed, as well. After a slow road to recovery, and upon reflection, we've written an article about what to do if a flood hits your home or business. We hope our readers never have to use the practical advice in this article.

Before the Flood
enlighten office after Cedar Rapids IA FloodIt is not always possible to know when a flood will happen. It may be caused by an inundation of rain fall. Cities in Iowa were affected in this way when the Cedar and Iowa Rivers swelled with over 10 inches of rain in only one week.** This can then be compounded when man-made structures give way. This was seen in New Orleans when 50 levees broke during Hurricane Katrina.* So what can you do to protect your business or home before a flood happens?

During the Flood

After the Flood

Flood Damage and Cleanup
Flood Preparation Response and Recovery

After the Flood: Home and Family Recovery – Working with FEMA

After the Flood: Business Recovery – Working with SBA

Additional pointers on page two of this article: Cleaning Up after a Flood & Battling Mold after a Flood

Some Ways to Help Our Neighbors

Cedar Rapids IA 2008 Flood CourthouseAidmatrix Network - Iowa
The Safeguard Iowa Partnership and the Iowa Disaster Human Resource Council have partnered to provide the Aidmatrix Network, an easy way to make monetary and product donations to the nonprofit organizations that are assisting in the response and recovery efforts following recent disaster events in Iowa.

Cedar Rapids Czech & Slovak Museum
The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library was devastated by the Flood of 2008. Five museum-owned buildings in Czech Village were affected, bringing total flood damage to an estimated $11 million. 75% of our collection was safe from the flood and most of the remaining items are in the process of conservation. It will take several more years to complete the process of conservation, cataloging and inventory the collection.

Cedar Rapids Public Library
Library 3.0, the campaign to build a new Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL), is all coming together to help prepare young minds—for the future. Why is the campaign called Library 3.0? Because this will be the third and most forward-thinking version of a main library in downtown Cedar Rapids (Library 1.0 would have been the Carnegie Library, which opened in 1905. Library 2.0 would have been the last library, which opened in 1985 and was destroyed in the flood of 2008).

Corridor Recovery
Corridor Recovery is a not-for-profit partnership between government, civic, business and faith-based organizations, created to respond to the Flood of 2008. As the flood waters peaked, Corridor Recovery quickly became the primary resource for materials and information for Linn County and Cedar Rapids. We provide resources for local governments and agencies to distribute flood-recovery information to the public in a critical time of need, and to coordinate volunteer efforts in the clean-up and recovery process.

Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service
If you are interested in helping in a particular area of the state, please use this section of our Web site to get in touch with local officials, who are collecting a list of where and when volunteers are most needed.

University of Iowa Foundation
For those wishing to support the University as it struggles to recover from flood-related damage not covered by insurance or other resources, we encourage contributions to the UI Flood Relief Fund.

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More Information
FEMA and the American Red Cross have made a pamphlet entitled Repairing Your Flooded Home which is available as a PDF. A great resource, page 55 has a very useful emergency contact list as well.

Click here for Repairing Your Flooded Home by FEMA and the American Red Cross (PDF)

Additional pointers on page two of this article: Cleaning Up after a Flood & Battling Mold after a Flood

Sources for this article which include even more detailed information:

Center for Disease Control ( is your online source for credible health information and is the official Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC is committed to achieving true improvements in people’s health. CDC applies research and findings to improve people’s daily lives and responds to health emergencies—something that distinguishes CDC from its peer agencies. Working with states and other partners, CDC provides a system of health surveillance to monitor and prevent disease outbreaks (including bioterrorism), implement disease prevention strategies, and maintain national health statistics. CDC also guards against international disease transmission, with personnel stationed in more than 25 foreign countries

FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
FEMA has more than 2,600 full time employees. They work at FEMA headquarters in Washington D.C., at regional and area offices across the country, the Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center, and the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland. FEMA also has nearly 4,000 standby disaster assistance employees who are available for deployment after disasters. Often FEMA works in partnership with other organizations that are part of the nation's emergency management system. These partners include state and local emergency management agencies, 27 federal agencies and the American Red Cross.

National Flood Insurance Program
Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to address both the need for flood insurance and the need to lessen the devastating consequences of flooding. The goals of the program are twofold: to protect communities from potential flood damage through floodplain management, and to provide people with flood insurance.

SBA – Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. We recognize that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace.

*Specifics taken from the following articles: **Weather data:

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