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FEMA offering tips for Arkansans rebuilding after tornado

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialists are set up at certain hardware stores in Pulaski and Cross counties to give people advice for rebuilding after the tornado.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It has been about a month and a half since a tornado ripped through the state and Arkansans are still rebuilding. Though some might not know where to begin, but FEMA is still in town to give them some advice. 

Rebuilding has been in full swing for Daniel Cline who had a tree fall on his house during the tornado. 

"The first part was the cleanup. We had about four or five trees that were in our front yard," Cline explained.

He has done a few of the repairs himself but has hired professionals for the big stuff. 

"We did a little bit of kind of interior paint and clean up and down on my mother-in-law's house, more of the same cleanup," Cline said.

He also plans to build his mother-in-law a new shed because her old one was destroyed in the tornado.

"I figured that's something that is a little safer to do, and nobody's gonna be living in there," he said.

When it comes to his house though, he's leaving the majority of the work for the contractors. 

"When the equipment and power tools involved, become out of what I have, I'm not going to try and do it with what I have and potentially hurt myself and, and ruin something," Cline added.

To give people some rebuilding tips to help them do it correctly the first time, FEMA Hazard Mitigation Outreach Specialists are set up at hardware stores in Pulaski and Cross counties this week and next.

"We do have a lot of people with leaking roofs on their walls, and just everything is getting wet. So a lot of mold and mildew cleanup," Kervensky Laloi with FEMA said.

He explained that his best advice is to get a safe room. 

"We want to use materials such as concrete, steel, or strongly secured plywood to do that," he added.

Most of the information provided was geared toward do-it-yourself work and general contractors. Laloi said they hope people will rebuild correctly and make their homes even stronger to withstand any future storms. 

"The people I talk to during outreach and people that come to me it does seem like we have helped a lot of people here from Arkansas," he said.

You can find the FEMA Mitigation Specialists at hardware stores in the area through May 27.

They're stationed at Ace Hardware on Cantrell Road in Little Rock, Stanley Hardware on Mac Arthur Boulevard in North Little Rock, and Tractor Supply on Falls Boulevard in Wynne.

Credit: Brooke Buckner, THV11

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