Post by Claudette Hanks Reichel, Ed.D., LSU AgCenter Professor, Extension Housing Specialist and Director, LaHouse Resource Center
www.lsuagcenter.com/LaHouse | firstname.lastname@example.org | (225) 578-2378
With the spreading floods and other disasters, I want to alert EDENites to a set of new, free educational materials from HUD for dealing with damaged homes. These differ from many other materials I’ve seen in that the core thread is “health”, both during and after recovery.
When homes are damaged, disaster survivors face the daunting and dangerous task of clean-up and repairs – often with little or no professional help. All are eager to restore their homes and lives quickly, yet many are not aware of all the hazards that can be worsened by the process.
To alleviate that, various educational resources were recently developed through the U.S. Dept. of HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes working with Cooperative Extension Service and others. They’re now available from www.hud.gov/healthyhomes web site’s Post Disaster Recovery and Resources link under Popular Topics.
The flagship “how-to” guide is Rebuild Healthy Homes: Guide to Post-disaster Restoration for a Safe and Healthy Home. It’s a detailed, highly-illustrated reference to help homeowners, volunteers and other workers safely restore homes damaged by any type of natural disaster – from floods and storms, to wildfire and earthquakes – to end up with more than just a livable home, but to protect the future wellbeing of their families.
Content includes the Top 10 Tips; personal protective gear; assessing structural and health hazards; work preparation; best practices for clean-out, gutting, decontamination and repair; ways to “restore for more than before” with resilient, energy-saving and healthy home improvements; and, other resources. Content conforms to new federal interagency recommendations for dealing with mold, lead, asbestos and radon after disasters.
This 72-page guidebook was extensively reviewed and refined by disaster survivors and stakeholders from across the nation, including Extension housing specialists; I was primary author. It’s available as a free online pdf file that can be printed in whole or part, as well as a free mobile app for both iPhone and Android devices (search Rebuild Healthy Homes in the app stores).
Other Disaster Resources
- Healthy Homes Disaster Recovery and Response Videos
Three short YouTube videos: Restoring Your Home After a Natural Disaster, Returning to Your Flood Damaged Home, and Addressing Mold after a Disaster.
- Indoor Environmental Pollutants Brochures
A resource for families and for contractors developed by a federal interagency working group to create consistent guidance on post-disaster clean-up and hazard reduction from asbestos, lead, mold and radon in homes.
- Consumer Tips for Post-Disaster Home Restoration
A 12-page online pdf overview of home health hazards and restoration safety steps.
- Guide for Team Leaders to Help Disaster Victims Get Back to a Healthy Home
A 14-page online pdf.
- Important Information for Volunteers in Helping Disaster Victims Get Back to a Healthy Home, a 2-page online pdf to create awareness of restoration hazards.
- OLHCHH Disaster Recovery Toolkit
The HUD Disaster Recovery Toolkit is a 15-page directory of HUD’s resources with descriptions and regional contacts, including a 2-page flyer for duplication and distribution.