When a natural disaster strikes a town, many turn to FEMA for assistance, but before they can help there is a significant amount of paperwork you must provide.
The Area 15 Regional Planning Commission based out of Ottumwa is bringing awareness on how you can be prepared. They say recording the damages from incidents such as flash flooding, power outages and loss of utilities is vital.
"We would like to remind communities and individuals to keep receips and take pictures and inform your city what's going on be it flooded basements, sewer backup, anything like that," Matt Bauman, Senior Planner of the Area 15 Regional Planning Commission said.
Thanks to the Iowa Individual Assitance Program, holding onto documentation and keeping track of dates damage occurs allows state resources to be utilized and also emergency crews to respond and help people recover from the effects of natural disasters.