MSU Extension’s Resources to Assist Flood-Impacted Areas

EAST LANSING, Mich. ⁠— Several Michigan counties experienced significant flooding in the past several days. Even when the water levels start to recede, many will still directly feel the impacts of the storm.

Michigan State University Extension has assembled an educational roundup highlighting questions and concerns Michigan residents might have about recent flooding on their Severe Weather and Flooding website. While many of these resources were originally written for a specific instance of flooding, the information for families, communities, homeowners and agricultural producers remains relevant and valuable.

The most frequently asked questions are assembled below. Visit the Severe Weather and Flooding website for a more comprehensive list as well as a list of MSU Extension experts who can address specific flood-related and food-safety concerns related to their areas of expertise.

Have a question? Ask MSU Extension

If you have a question about flood damage, impacted Michigan crops, food safety and more, you can ask your question directly online at

A network of Extension experts from flood-impacted areas, around the state and across the nation, can answer your questions.

Frequently asked questions ⁠about flooding

Michigan Sea Grant partner organization The National Weather Service has put together a series of frequently asked questions related to flooding issues, including where to get accurate water levels, flood stages, flood insurance and more.

Read the NWS’ frequently asked questions about flooding.

Extension Disaster Education Network

The Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN) is a nationwide collective of Extension experts focused on disaster response and education. MSU Extension’s EDEN representative is Joyce McGarry, and she can help direct people to resources found on the EDEN website and also answer questions about appropriate local groups to contact.

Visit the Extension Disaster Education Network.

Nine key financial strategies for recovery after a natural disaster

MSU Extension understands that the period after a natural disaster can be a source of a lot of stress and tough questions. Where do I start? Where will I live? What’s next? Extension’s Disaster Education Network (EDEN) and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has several tools and resources to help.

Tools to help you sort out the pieces of your financial recovery puzzle can be found in the Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit.

Read Nine key financial strategies for recovery after a natural disaster.

Tips to help children emotionally survive a natural disaster

Even if they are physically safe, the scary experience for youth who have been evacuated or have seen family homes under water can be traumatic. MSU Extension offers strategies to help children emotionally cope with the devastation.

Read Tips to help children emotionally survive a natural disaster. 

Strategies to cope with family stress

Families experiencing flooding are undoubtedly experiencing extreme stress. MSU Extension offers coping strategies to guide families dealing with everyday stress and crisis situations.

Read Strategies to cope with family stress.

Should I be worried if floodwaters reach my well?

MSU Extension also addresses a common question that comes up during any flood: Should residents be worried if floodwaters reach their well? MSU Extension recommends playing it safe and having your well tested. In the interim, it is suggested residents use bottled water or boil water while awaiting test results.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality also has a fact sheet on how to protect your water supply in a flood emergency.

Read Should I be worried if floodwaters reach my well?

Food safety during and after a flood

After a flood, following proper food safety procedures is just as important in protecting your water supply. MSU Extension food safety expert Joyce McGarry explains which foods might need to be discarded after a flood and how to properly clean dishes and utensils that might be impacted by flood waters.

Read Food safety during and after a flood.

MSU Extension also offers a Meal Preparation and Food Safety During and After a Flood fact sheet covering emergency supplies, impacted food items, items that can be saved and considerations for drinking water.

Evaluating damaged crops

MSU Extension recently updated a three-part series on evaluating damaged crops. This series about storm damage is designed to assist growers in decision making.

Read Evaluating hail-damaged crops  Part 1
Read Evaluating flood-damaged crops – Part 2
Read Evaluating wind-damaged crops  Part 3

Michigan Sea Grant storm project seeks to help communities prepare for future extreme storms

Michigan Sea Grant is committed to helping to increase awareness of extreme storms and to provide information to communities on how to prepare for such storms, particularly in the Saginaw Bay watershed.

Michigan Sea Grant and MSU Extension outline the role the preservation of wetlands, green infrastructure, protecting floodplains, proper culvert construction and flood insurance play in protecting against future extreme weather events.

Read Michigan Sea Grant storm project seeks to help communities prepare for future extreme storms.