WAYS TO HELP
For the latest ways to help please follow United Way of Saginaw County on Facebook.
ACTION ITEMS FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY FLOODING
(Updated, June 25)
Call 2-1-1 if you haven’t already.
If you have not cleaned up yet, you must now. Don’t wait for your insurance carrier to assess damages. At this point, due to expected mold growth, clean-up should be done wearing protective gear. We can connect you with organizations ready to safely help you with these efforts.
Have evidence to show the damage to your home, vehicles, or other structures with photos or video and keep receipts for any expenses you have incurred related to the flood. If your insurance carrier has denied your claim, get a denial letter.
We are waiting for a decision on whether or not the federal government will declare our area a federal disaster, which could mean Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance. Saginaw County’s initial data and damage assessments are being reviewed at the federal level. There is no timeline on when a decision will be made.
If a federal disaster declaration is secured, those impacted by the flood may be able to apply for low-interest loans for personal property, moving, storage, and transportation. In the event those are denied, FEMA has other resources that could potentially be available.
However, we caution everyone to manage their expectations. The maximum federal assistance award is $33,000 while the average award amount is far less.
While we await this decision, follow us on Facebook @SaginawCoEM for announcements and next steps.
RECOVERY PROCESS & FINANCIAL AID OVERVIEW
PHASE ONE: EMERGENCY
Local government and voluntary agencies provide for medical needs and basics like food, shelter, personal care items and cleaning kits.
PHASE TWO: RELIEF
The initial data collected through self-assessments and actual assessments has been submitted to the State of Michigan. That data has now been given to the federal government for consideration of a Disaster Declaration, which could mean potential Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.
ACTIONS FOR HOMEOWNERS
- Document damages (home, vehicles, medical, other structures)
- Work with your insurance company and utilize personal insurance dollars
- If your insurance claim is denied, be sure to get a written denial
- Work with volunteers and National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) groups for initial mucking-out and drying. If volunteers or VOADs have not been to your home for initial clean-up or mucking out, call United Way of Saginaw County 989-755-0505
- Utilize personal savings and interest-free loans available to repair the damage
Property owners with flood damage should contact their insurance agents to assess coverage and amounts. If insurance will not cover damages, be sure to get a Statement of Denial from the insurance company. Property owners are advised to save all receipts and take photo and video documentation of damages and any work done.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services, Michigan’s insurance regulatory agency, provides helpful information and possible remedies related to flooding and insurance. Learn more.
STATE AND LOCAL AID
Here is the process our county must go through for requesting and receiving state and federal aid:
- Assessment. It begins at the local level with damage assessment and data collection
- Review of metrics. Once damage assessments are complete, these metrics are sent to the State of Michigan for review
- State resources exhausted. The State of Michigan reviews the amount of damage sustained and exhausts all possible physical and financial resources available at the State level to assist with this disaster
- Federal government contacted. If a need still remains after the State government has exhausted all resources, the State then sends the damage assessment data to the federal government to determine if it qualifies for a federal major disaster declaration from the President
Only if a federal major disaster declaration is received will any federal aid, such as available assistance from FEMA, be available. This is not guaranteed. Residents may also find this link helpful to understand the FEMA process and the types of aid that may be available should a federal major disaster declaration be made (Understanding the FEMA Process). Residents should not attempt to contact FEMA directly regarding their flood damages.
If a Federal Declaration is secured, the following potential Federal programs may be available (NOTE: Average Federal assistance has been $5,000 per incident; max is $33,000) (links not available yet):
- Applicants complete the SBA Loan Application (low-interest loans for homeowners, renters, businesses)
- SBA-Dependent services (must apply for loan to be considered)
- Personal property
- Moving and storage
- Transportation services
- Group flood insurance
- Other FEMA resources potentially available (if you receive a denial from SBA)
- Personal property
- Critical needs assistance
- Clean and removal assistance
- Other expenses or losses
PHASE THREE: LONG-TERM RECOVERY
The Long-Term Recovery Group is comprised of community organizations, faith-based groups, corporations and volunteers that collaborate and coordinate long-term recovery efforts.
Long-Term Recovery Group Structure:
- Financial Support: Raise and allocate local dollars for flood relief; manage in-kind donations
- Volunteer Coordination: Coordinate local and national groups to aid in rebuilding
- Housing/Rebuild & Construction: Meet short-term housing needs; oversee construction management plans, leverage in-kind donations and coordinate skilled volunteers
- Public Relations/Outreach: Communicate about resources, processes and ways to connect with basic needs, case management, construction support and financial help
- Case Management/Assessment: Guide individuals through the recovery process and connect them with financial and human resources along with basic needs
I don’t know where to start. What should I do?
- If you or anyone with you is experiencing an emergency, call 9-1-1
- To connect with information about available resources, call 2-1-1 or visit www.211nemichigan.org
- Sign up for 9-1-1 text and email alerts through ww.Nixle.com
What is 2-1-1 and how can they help?
2-1-1 is a free, east-to-remember telephone number that connects people in need with people who can help – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are an information and referral service. Their database is continually updated to reflect the most up-to-date resources available. They will not meet your individual needs directly, but can connect you to organizations and services that can help.
There are multiple ways to connect with 2-1-1:
- Dial 2-1-1 from your phone
- Visit www.211nemichigan.org for access to a live chat or search their resource directory
- Text your zip code to TXT211
I have not been able to connect to 2-1-1 or calls have dropped. What can I do?
For many people in the Saginaw area, internet and cell service has been challenging as crews work hard to restore service to this area. It is not uncommon for cell phones to drop calls. This can be very frustrating. If you are getting disconnected when trying to call 2-1-1, remember it is most likely a reception issue. Try using the text option, consider changing locations or going online at www.211nemichigan.org.
I have been displaced from my residence due to the flood. What do I do?
If you are displaced due to flooding and need short-term housing assistance, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 (1-800-RED-CROS) and select the following prompts:
- Please press “4” for a disaster related need;
- Then press “1” for assistance related to the spring flooding of 2020;
- Then press “1” again for assistance related to the spring flooding of 2020; and,
- Press “3” if you are calling for the first time and do not have a case number.
I want to make repairs to my home or business. How do I secure the proper permits or inspections?
Contact your local municipality for assistance on permits for all plumbing/mechanical, electrical and building permits/inspections.
How do I know if I need to secure a permit from the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)?
EGLE permits may be required when working within regulated areas such as the 100-year floodplain, wetlands, lakes and streams. EGLE permits are NOT required for construction outside of regulated areas and are not required to remove debris from the flood. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/jointpermit or contact EGLE District Engineer Joy Brooks at (989) 280-1632.
Where can I access basic needs items?
How can I access food for myself and my family?
There are many options for healthy food throughout Saginaw County. Your first call should be to 2-1-1 to be connected to a food pantry, giveaway or other program closest to you.
Where can I get access to mental health resources?
The following agencies are committed to serving those in need of mental health and substance use support. They offer low- or no-cost services to those facing financial challenges:
- Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority (989)797-3400
- Michigan Stay Well Counselors (888) 535-6136 (press “8” when prompted)
- Call 2-1-1 or log in to mihopeportal.com
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255
- National Disaster Distress helpline (800) 958-5950
- Salvation Army Emotional and Spiritual hotline (877) 220-4195