Flooding in Burlinton, Iowa in 2008
DNR's Role in Disaster Response and Recovery

The DNR provides expertise, resources and assistance during natural disasters that impact Iowa, such as floods and tornadoes. This page provides links for important information related to Iowa disaster response.

DNR's focus is to protect Iowa's natural resources - clean air, land and water and a diverse wildlife and natural environment. Following a disaster the DNR will work with the local community and other partner agencies to begin clean-up. If a community's water or waste water infrastructure is damaged, the DNR will work with them to determine the impact, plan for immediate community needs, and plan to repair or rebuild infrastructure. Debris collection sites, tree and brush burn sites and solid waste collection sites will be established with DNR assistance.

Are you prepared for the tornadoes and flooding spring and summer often brings? Each of the tabs below have information on preparing for, responding to, and recovery from common Iowa weather.

The best way to RESPOND to a disaster is to PREPARE for it.

To report tanks, drums or other containers found in flood debris use the form below.

News Releases

 More DNR News Releases >>

Many of the disasters that occur in Iowa leave behind similar debris. This tab contains information helpful to those dealing with that debris.  For specific information preparing for, responding to, and recovery from Flooding, Drought, Tornado/Wind Damage, Winter Storms or Foreign Animal Disease Outbreaks please check the appropriate tabs.

Waste Disposal and Tree and Shrub Burning:

Disposal of Household Debris and Waste Materials:

  • Recyclable Debris and Waste - Information on recycling special waste in Iowa including appliances, electronic waste and mercury containing materials.
  • Household Hazardous Materials - Information on local public facilities that collect, store and dispose of hazardous household materials. 

Clean-up of Asbestos Containing Materials:

General Health and Safety:

Links to Federal Agency Information (FEMA, EPA, and CDC):

Floods can occur in many areas of Iowa not just along small streams, rivers and lakes. A blocked storm sewer can cause waters to rise and create unsafe driving conditions. This tab contains information specific to flood related disasters. 

Additional information relating to debris disposal, asbestos requirements, and health and safety during flood recovery is contained in the General Information tab.


Debris Management

Flood Protective Measures:

Flood Monitoring:


Flood Recovery:

Rebuilding After a Flood:

  • Flood Plain Assistance or 1-866-849-0321 - Assistance and approval information for the repair, maintenance and construction of flood damaged homes in a flood plain.
  • SRF and Flood Repair - Information on restructuring existing State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans, using SRF loans as match for FEMA funds, using SRF funds as short-term loans to be repaid with FEMA grants, and using SRF loans to pay for repairs.
  • Flooded UST Systems Policy and Procedures.pdf - Information for owners and operators on what to do before putting a flooded UST system back into operation.
  • Emergency Haying and Grazing on DNR Land.

Links to Federal Agency Information (FEMA, EPA, and CDC):

Droughts not only impact crops, parks, and lawns they can also impact a community's ability to fight fires and provide drinking water.  Information about droughts and response to drought conditions are discussed on this tab.  General information about responding to and recovery from disasters is located in under the General tab.

Water Summary Update is a graphical overview of the status of Iowa’s water resources and supplies. It is published every two weeks or as conditions change during drought conditions. The Water Summary Update is prepared by the Iowa DNR in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division.

State Agency Resources:     

Weather Forecast Information:

Water Resource Information:

Links to Federal Agency Information (FEMA, EPA, and CDC): 

Tornados and wind storms can be devastating to individuals and communities.  This tab provides general information about protecting yourself during a tornado/wind storm and information about recovering from a tornado/wind storm. 

Protecting Yourself from a Tornado:

Recovering from a Tornado:

Additional information on recovering from tornadoes and wind storms can be found under the "General" disaster tab.

Links to Federal Agency Information (FEMA, EPA, and CDC):


Winter storms can impact Iowans from October through April and include: blizzards, heavy snow events, and ice storms.  This tab provides information on preparing for, protection during and recovering from winter storms.

Winter Storm Protective Measures:

Travel Resources:

Winter Storm Recovery:

Links to Federal Agency Information (FEMA, EPA, and CDC):

The Iowa DNR partners with producers and local, state, and federal agencies to plan for foreign animal disease outbreaks.  When an outbreak occurs in Iowa the impact can be felt locally, nationally and internationally. The Iowa DNR develops plans to reduce impacts to wildlife, properly dispose of carcasses and protect Iowa’s natural resources during a response to an outbreak.  


Key Partner Agencies:

General Foreign Animal Disease Outbreak info

Wildlife Field Safety

Disease Links

Chronic Wasting Disease

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD)