Time To Return Home

09.12.11 | Sarah Harnisch

   There are at least 2-thousand destroyed homes across the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Thousands more homes are damaged. Hundreds of bridges and miles of roads are gone. There are disaster declarations in 44 of the state's 67 counties. 15 counties in New York have been impacted. 13 people have been killed. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is urging returning evacuees to be careful with spolied food and to wear gloves during cleanup. He urged homeowners not to do business with unliscense home contractors. He warned them to watch for loose plaster, holes in the floor, loose boards and exposed nails. Emergency officials are advising people to turn off their gas and electric before setting foot in flooded homes. They say you need to wear rubber-soled footwear and gloves-- and use a piece of rubber, plastic, or dry wood to turn off the main electric switch while standing on a dry board to avoid electrocution. They also advised not pumping basement water until the water has receeded. They say it could cause walls to collapse.

  Also, beware of bogus contractors and other scam artists in wake of flood recovery efforts. That's the word from Pennsylvania's Attorney General. State Attorney General Linda Kelly issued a stern warning to residents to be wary of home-repair scams, fraudulent fundraisers, and price gouging. Home improvement contractors, in particular, are required to register with the state if they do more than $5,000 of business annually and are required to provide a contractor's registration number and written contract for any project costing more than $500 before proceeding with the work.

   If you would like to help anyone impacted by the floods, there's a place you can go. Family Life is organizing churches that were hit hard with floodwater-- and pairing them with people and churches who want to help. To find out what you can do, write us at