DNR and IDALS Encourage Removing or Protecting Hazardous Materials from Flooding
Posted: 06/07/2011

DES MOINES - Two state agencies recommend Iowans protect their investments and remove hazardous chemicals and petroleum products before flood waters hit. They should also anchor larger containers such as home heating tanks to prevent flood waters from dislodging them.

The Iowa departments of Natural Resources (DNR), and Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) issued the recommendations Tuesday.

"People in flooding communities are naturally concerned about their own safety and getting their personal belongings out," said Kathy Lee with DNR's emergency response unit. "However, they can also save money and protect their greatest investment - their home or business - by securing or removing hazardous materials from their property."

"We want to encourage people to secure tanks such as home heating and propane tanks, and move mobile tanks like anhydrous nurse tanks to high ground keeping them out of flood waters," said Kevin Klommhaus, chief of IDALS fertilizer bureau.

They recommend removing household hazardous materials such as pesticides, lawn fertilizer, paints, solvents, engine oil, gas or other petroleum products like small propane tanks for gas grills. Taking precautions before flood waters rise prevents contamination in the home and around the building's foundation. It saves money in two ways: not wasting the product, and preventing the potentially expensive cost of disposal and clean up after the flood.

Check the DNR's website http://www.iowadnr.gov/disaster.html for information about safely anchoring home heating fuel tanks. Removing or securing materials now cuts down on the number of containers that must be collected and properly disposed of after the flood - saving taxpayers money.

Keeping chemicals and petroleum products out of harm's way protects people, property and Iowa's water quality.

Find more information on the following websites:
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at www.iowaagriculture.gov/
Iowa Department of Public Health at www.idph.state.ia.us/
Iowa Department of Natural Resources at www.iowadnr.gov/
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management at www.iowahomelandsecurity.org/