In an emergency, things move quickly. Some seemingly small details can have large implications for cities if not handled properly on the front end. This page is designed to provide cities with key contacts, recommended steps, and a sample ordinance and forms to prepare for and respond to disasters.
With both pre-disaster and post-disaster activities, cities should be aware of and know how to contact their county emergency manager. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management has developed a contact list of all county emergency managers.
Roofing Registration Act:
It is important for all cities to understand the law surrounding the Roofing Registration Act (RRA) even if the city does not issue building permits. When there has been a severe weather event that will likely bring roofing contractors into your community we suggest you make contact with the attorney general’s office at (785) 296-3751 or by emailing email@example.com.
Insurance Proceeds Lien:
When a tornado or windstorm causes significant damage to a large number of structures, a city may simply not have resources to demolish all buildings. Cities that have adopted the insurance proceeds lien ordinance will find themselves in a better position to facilitate the cleanup of their cities. This law gives cities effective leverage in prompting landowners to quickly repair or remove fire, explosion or wind damaged structures that are rendered unfit for human habitation or constitute a hazard to public safety, health or welfare. A sample of the ordinance can be found here.
If your city has sub-division regulations, it is recommended those regulations provide a procedure for waiving building lot size requirements. In some situations, older neighborhoods may have been built on lot sizes smaller than the current regulations allow. If a home is destroyed and needs to be rebuilt, without a waiver procedure the new house could not be built on the original location.
With the increased seismic activity in our state it is important to have some general information available concerning earthquake disaster planning. The Earthquake Safety Guide is a good place to start, this guide has links to other resources and helpful planning information.
A good source is the City Clerks Disaster Plan from the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers Association. You will find many forms and templates that will be useful in reacting to a local disaster.
The Kansas City Federal Reserve is another resource for disaster planning. You will find forms and checklists that can be used by businesses and citizens to help with disaster planning. You will also find contact information for many organizations and programs to help with community disaster plans and recovery.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has information under tabs related to hazard mitigation, planning and assistance that will help make some decisions about what things need to be included in a disaster plan as well as resource contact information.
Contact Kansas Water, Wastewater, Gas & Electric Mutual Aid Program for information on becoming a member. Members provide help with recovery by making available specialized equipment, material and trained, certified personnel.
Senior Citizen Preparation:
The American Red Cross recommends that senior citizens create a personal support network who will check in on the individual in an emergency. Learn more here.
State Recovery Assistance:
One of the first contacts you will want to make after a major disaster will be the Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC), Business and Community Development Assistance. Renee Lippincott, Regional Project Manager, is the contact point for major disaster assistance and she can be reached at, firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-204-0855. The KDOC will be able to help the city and local business access several different programs. The KDOC will, if requested, make contact with the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide assistance with local business recovery.
Another benefit available through the KDOC is the Urgent Needs Grant program. This funding is available to address emergency needs for issues that are a threat to the health and safety of city residents.
Contact the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for useful disaster recovery information. The site has helpful tips for homeowners as well as flyers and posters concerning health and safety information that a city can distribute to citizens.
For questions on debris management and removal go to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Debris Management Appendix. This page will provide information on the state debris management plan as well as the necessary forms to allow for disposal without a permit.
DisasterAssistance.gov provides disaster assistance information from the U.S. Government. This site has details on over 60 different forms of assistance available from 17 federal agencies.
Contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) if there has been a presidentially declared disaster area. Depending on certain factors there may be money available for temporary housing, repair and or replacement of housing as well as other expenses such as medical, dental, funeral, personal property, transportation and moving and storage.
Contact the Salvation Army for emergency disaster services.
Contact the American Red Cross to find the contact information for your location.
Heart of America Chapter of the International Code Council, can be contacted to have on site building inspectors to provide the necessary inspections of damaged buildings free of charge.
Local community foundations can offer in-depth knowledge of local issues and funding resources to help with recovery. To learn more about community foundations contact the Kansas Association of Community Foundations.