UNL service internship helps flood victims

UNL extension has created a summer service internship that is helping flood victims get reimbursements from the flood damage and from other natural disasters in Nebraska. 

UNL extension offices had already been working with the community flood victims when they just needed another hand at the office.

“In the beginning, UNL did a great job in extension, asking us what we needed and one thing that they came up with was bringing interns in to help us with the disaster relief,” UNL Cropping and Water Systems educator, Melissa Bartels said. 

Intern Aryca King’s primary task is to get flood victims used to a computer so they can log their destruction costs properly to the fema grants website.

She is working with community leaders and small business owners to achieve the proper reimbursement for their relief efforts so far.

“I’m currently helping out applicants with all of their duties and everything that they need for the portal,” Butler County FEMA Intern, Aryca King said. 

Those heavily affected are public infrastructure ranging from roads, ditches, houses of worship and schools.

The reimbursements with this program covers not only flood damage, but even straight line winds, hail and severe thunderstorm coverage.

The butler county fair took some impact from the high winds and is in the process of being fixed.

“The roof had sustained some damage, so they had to replace the entire roof, and all of their hours, and then they’ll submit that to FEMA, and then FEMA will reimburse them sometime after,” King said. 

Interns say that though their experience is mainly in an administrative position, they have had the chance to take a first eye view of the realities of the environmental disasters of the state.

Officials say the internship is well worth it. 

“…A good career opportunity to see if that would be something that they would be interested in as they progress through their studies. And hopefully some of them will join us when they graduate,” Bartels said. 

The program should continue through the summer and it runs through many of the counties that were affected.

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