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Disaster recovery and cleanup

posted Jul 20, 2017, 7:37 AM by Brian Donahoe
Avoid Scams Targeting Flood Damage Victims
Unfortunately, disasters bring out criminals looking to prey on victims. Also, charity or donation scams are common after a disaster. Please remember the following tips:
Don’t offer personal financial information over the phone or on-line. Be wary of clicking links or attachments from unknown sources.
Ask for identification. Government employees should wear an official government photo ID and government workers will never ask for a fee or payment.
When working with contractors, get three written estimates for repair work and get a written contract detailing all the work to be performed.
If you’ve been victimized by fraud, the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s office may be able to help. Visit their website at FEMA also has a toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 if you suspect anyone of fraudulent activities. You can also contact local law enforcement. 

Damage Assessment
Lake County has received a State disaster proclamation due to the widespread flooding in our region. This can open the door for federal assistance. Disaster recovery is a multi-step process starting with an initial damage assessment, which is now underway. Lake County is working with local municipalities and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to conduct the assessment. The US Civil Air Patrol is currently capturing aerial photography of the flooded areas.
We need a complete and accurate damage assessment report that includes damages incurred in both incorporated and unincorporated Lake County. The detail within this report will help determine eligibility for federal assistance.

What Should Residents Do?
• Fill out this form to report your damage.
• If your home or personal property was damaged by the flooding, contact your insurance company to determine coverage and start the claim process. 
• Clean-up: Complete emergency clean-up activities that may include removing water damaged property (carpeting, cabinets).
• Repairs: Consider waiting to conduct repair work, such as replacing drywall or carpeting. This is important because officials may need to inspect impacted facilities as a part of the damage assessment process. While we don't know if federal assistance will become available, doing non-emergency repair work before the damage assessment process is complete may cause the repairs to be ineligible for future FEMA financial assistance.
• Document your flood damage with pictures, and keep all receipts related to the clean-up and repair of your property.
• Contact your village/city or Lake County Planning Building and Development (for unincorporated residents) for assistance with the disaster assessment process.
Please review this resource from IEMA: FAQ’s for Residents Affected by Flooding.

Septic Systems
During heavy rains and floods, the ground is often saturated, preventing proper operation of septic systems. Waste water from malfunctioning septic tanks seeping into the ground can contaminate surface water and ground water. For additional information, including signs that a septic system is not working properly, and precautions you can take, please visit this website

Water Wells
Flood waters may contaminate wells. Drinking and/or washing with water from a private well that has been flooded is not advised as the well water may be contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. Residents on private wells need to have their water tested after floodwaters have receded. The Health Department is offering free water testing to residents whose wells are affected by flooding. For additional information on well water testing, contact Environmental Health Services at 847-377-8020. Fremont Township does have testing kits.

Lake County Recorder Provides Deeds for Flood Victims
Owners of flood-damaged properties who are seeking financial assistance from Lake County banks and lending institutions will need to show proof of ownership in order to secure loans. The Lake County Recorder's Office will be working closely with government officials and impacted property owners to provide any necessary recorded documents at no cost to flood victims. To obtain a free certified copy of the deed, contact the Recorder of Deeds Office at 847-377-2575. Lake County military veterans in flood-damage areas may also qualify for additional programs. Veterans may contact the Recorder of Deeds Office to obtain a free certified copy of their Military Discharge Papers, commonly known as DD214s, for proof of military service. 

Reception Centers
The Red Cross has two reception centers open to assist residents displaced by flooding. The following locations will be open tonight, and Red Cross will assess the need for reception centers on a day-by-day basis. 
• Magee Middle School, 500 N. Cedar Lake Road, Round Lake 
• Jefferson Middle School, 600 S. Lewis Ave., Waukegan 

Check Local Road Conditions and Traffic with Lake County PASSAGE
View a map of road conditions and events, including crashes, stalls, debris, and other roadway incidents, and see camera images of major intersections at iPhone and Android users can also download PASSAGE apps. PASSAGE: 847-377-7000National Weather Service
National Weather Service Warnings, Watches and Advisories (Chicago area).