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Citizens Encouraged to Report Flood Damage to Local Officials

Contact: State Emergency Operations Center, Public Information Officer (517) 324-2304
Agency: State Police

News Release No. 4 – Aug. 14, 2014 – 4:30 p.m.

LANSING, Mich. – State officials continue to work closely with local emergency management personnel to assess the extent of damage caused by flooding in the Metro Detroit area on August 11.  Affected citizens are encouraged to report damage to local officials as a part of the recovery process.

“All freeways are now open to motorists and recovery efforts are underway to assess the extent of damage and look into all potential avenues for assistance,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “As local officials continue to assess the extent of damage, it is critical that all affected residents and business owners document any incurred damage and report it to local officials to assist with this process.” 

Impacted citizens should report damages to personal property caused by flooding to local officials who are compiling damage assessment information. To assist with insurance claims, individuals should take an inventory of your valuables and belongings, including taking photographs or a video.  Vehicle owners should report any damages to their auto insurance company.

Residents needing assistance who experienced personal property loss should call 2-1-1, which can assist with looking into possible resources available from nonprofit and government organizations.  Based on the type of assistance and services needed, 2-1-1 operators can help citizens acquire available resources such as food and water, clothes, medication and cleaning supplies.  Staffed by trained specialists, 2-1-1 is a free community referral service available 24 hours a day with multilingual capabilities. 

 

Avoiding scams

Residents are reminded to be aware of potential scams that are often times prevalent during disaster recovery efforts.  The most common post-disaster fraud practices include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations and fake offers of government aid.  Individuals who suspect any fraudulent activity should report it to local law enforcement.

Tips for avoiding scams: 

  • Carefully question strangers who show up and knock on your door, offering repairs.
  • Never give any personal financial information, such as an insurance number or Social Security Number.
  • Never sign any document without fully reading and understanding it. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation.
  • Do your own research before borrowing any money to pay for repairs.
  • Get a loan quote from someone who is not recommended by your contractor and compare their amounts, repayment schedules, and rates. If they differ significantly, ask both parties why.

 

Scam warning signs:

  • The contractor demands full payment up front or in cash only.
  • The contractor has no physical address or refuses to show ID.
  • You have to disclose personal financial information (perhaps to “speed up payment”) to start the repair or lending process.
  • If you have to borrow to pay for the repairs, the contractor steers you toward a particular lender or tries to act as an intermediary between you and a lender.
  • You are asked to sign something without enough time to review it.

 

Local and State Declarations

Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties have declared local state of emergencies, as well as the cities of Center Line, Dearborn, Highland Park, Roseville, Southfield and Warren.

By declaring a "state of disaster," the state of Michigan will make available all state resources in cooperation with local response and recovery efforts in the disaster area as outlined in the Michigan Emergency Management Plan. Snyder's declaration authorizes the MSP/EMHSD to coordinate state efforts. 

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains activated to coordinate state agency response efforts and remains in contact with local emergency management personnel. For additional information and safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/miflood and follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is the emergency operations center for the state of Michigan. Located in Lansing, the SEOC is overseen by the MSP/EMHSD and coordinates response and recovery efforts by state agencies and local government.  The SEOC is staffed by members of state agencies for decision making and information coordination during disasters or emergencies in the state of Michigan.