Article published by Omaha World-Herald

The United Way of the Midlands and AmeriCorps Disaster Response Teams are partnering to get the word out about flood relief volunteer opportunities.

Groups needing volunteers will be listed on the United Way’s Get Connected Volunteer Platform at uwmidlands.galaxydigital.com.

Information about volunteer opportunities is also available by calling the United Way’s Helpline at 211, then pressing 6.

If calling from outside Nebraska, call 402-444-6666, then press 6. An operator will be available to assist people on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Organizations looking for volunteers or interested in hosting volunteer opportunities can contact the 211 AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordination Team at 402-235-8262 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays
from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or at nebraskafloodresponse2019@gmail.com.

GOODWILL ACCEPTING FLOOD RELIEF SUPPLIES

Area Goodwill locations are accepting donated flood relief supplies in support of the Salvation Army’s efforts.

Items specifically requested are bleach, work gloves, rakes, mops, shovels, buckets, tarps and household cleaning items.

On April 2, Goodwill dropped off a 53-foot semitrailer truck full of supplies at a Salvation Army distribution center.

Goodwill is also inviting customers to round up purchases to the nearest dollar, with the funds donated to the American Red Cross. On Wednesday, Goodwill presented the Red Cross with a check for $8,094.23 from customer donations.

Goodwill has also issued nearly $25,000 in store vouchers to more than 1,245 people. The vouchers are distributed through 26 local agencies.

The vouchers can be used to purchase items at any Goodwill store.

FEMA TO HIRE TEMPORARY WORKERS

The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to hire Nebraskans to help with recovery efforts.

Anyone interested in temporary job opportunities should go to USAJOBS.gov and create an account.

The website is updated as new postings occur.

In the search box, type “FEMA Local Hire” and put “Nebraska” in the location box.

VICTIMS SHOULD CONSIDER APPLYING FOR SBA LOAN

Homeowners and renters who register for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency may also be contacted by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA said there are good reasons to submit an application for low-interest loan.

It doesn’t cost anything to apply. If SBA is unable to offer a loan, the person may be referred back to FEMA for additional benefits. People are under no obligation to accept an SBA loan.

Those who don’t complete an SBA application process may not be considered for FEMA grants to replace clothing and certain household items, to repair or replace a damaged vehicle or to pay for moving and storage costs.

People may apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659- 2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER IN THRUSTON COUNTY ADDS TWO MORE DAYS

The Disaster Recovery Center in Thurston County has added two more days to its previously announced schedule.

The center, at the Pender Community Center at 614 Main St. in Pender, is now scheduled to be open from April 13 to 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

NPPD CREWS GO TO SOUTH DAKOTA

Nebraska Public Power District crews are going to South Dakota to help with power outages caused by this week’s snowstorm.

NPPD line technicians will be fulfilling a mutual aid request from Xcel Energy in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota, area.

A total of 13 technicians and one supervisor will be helping local crews restore power.

In addition, the utility announced that it will be increasing three residential EnergyWiseSM incentives to help those affected by recent flooding.

The incentive amounts have been increased by about 33% for the High-Efficiency Heat Pump, the Heat Pump Water Heater and Cooling Tune-Up programs through Dec. 31. These incentives are available to all customers, not just those recuperating from flood damage.

In addition, through Aug. 1, the Nebraska Energy Office, in conjunction with Nebraska lending institutions, is offering 1% loans through the Dollar and Energy Savings Loan Program.

For more information, go to neo.ne.gov/loan/floodemergency.html#loans.

For more information on incentive programs offered by NPPD, go to nppd.com/save-money/incentives-programs.

SALVATION ARMY SERVES MORE MEALS IN HAMBURG, IOWA.

The Salvation Army of Council Bluffs is expanding its food service efforts in Hamburg, Iowa.

The Salvation Army has been serving lunch in the flooded community for the past two weeks. On Friday, it started serving dinner as well.

That means that as many as 500 meals per day will be served by Salvation Army representatives in Hamburg.

RED CROSS PROVIDES UPDATE ON DISASTER RESPONSE

The American Red Cross provided a one-month update Friday on its response to the flooding in Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

Among the highlights:

  • It has provided 6,300 shelter stays for displaced residents in a total of 30 shelters.
  • It has served almost 140,000 meals and snacks.
  • It has distributed more than 750 “comfort” kits.
  • It has distributed emergency relief supplies to more than 7,700 households.
  • It has made more than 2,000 health service contacts and 1,300 mental health contacts.
  • The effort has been supported by almost 550 volunteers and staff.