Best Practices - Promoting Successful Mitigation in Louisiana Post Hurricane Katrina
This book represents a sampling of mitigation activities resulting from lessons learned, after action reports and identified needs.
The stories provide insight on mitigation projects that have been executed in southern Louisiana in preparing for future disasters. The contents focus on fostering the journey in rebuilding safer and stronger, and protecting life and property.
It is an invaluable resource to:
- Communicate the importance of identifying hazard risks and ways to minimize risks.
- Identify mitigation ideas to show how mitigation is effective and affordable.
- Demonstrate how mitigation makes communities more stable and productive.
Shopping for Knowledge at Local Home Improvement Stores
- Mitigation Assistance Clinics were held at Lowe's and Home Depot stores throughout Louisiana following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
- FEMA's Community Education and Outreach personnel strive to educate citizens about rebuilding their homes in ways that eliminate or reduce the adverse effects of disasters.
- Shoppers learned about mitigation measures, flood insurance, and FEMA disaster assistance programs.
New Orleans TV Station Designs for Worst-Case Scenario
- Through innovative building design, the TV tower broadcast without interruption during Hurricane Katrina.
- The TV station was constructed to exceed the Base Flood Elevation requirements established for the community.
- Weekly testing of the emergency equipment ensures smooth operation during emergency conditions.
Hurricane Mitigation Protects Plaquemines Parish Home
- A Plaquemines Parish couple's home withstood the 2005 hurricane season thanks to several mitigation measures that helped protect the house against wind and water damage.
- The homeowners will benefit from reduced flood insurance premiums because their home is elevated four feet above the required level.
- Building to coastal construction recommendations and exceeding the minimum local building code requirements cost the couple more money than standard construction methods, but they strongly feel that the investment was worth it.
Sheriff's Home Defies Katrina
- Considering the vast destruction brought to his subdivision, the sheriff's home fared exceptionally well during Hurricane Katrina.
- The house, elevated to 21 feet, stayed above the floodwaters.
- The house is anchored atop heavy-duty pilings.
- Storm shutters successfully defended all of the home's windows.
Strong Building Code Protects Louisiana Town
- City officials, long aware of Mandeville's vulnerability to hurricanes and flooding, took steps to diminish damage before disaster struck.
- A member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since 1979, the City raised its building standards to reduce the flood risk in the community.
- In 1993, the City voted to exceed the minimum NFIP requirement and increase their elevation standard to one foot above the Base Flood Elevation.
- Most elevated properties, including some of Mandeville's historic buildings, withstood Hurricane Katrina thanks to the City's strict building regulations.
- For those insured properties that were not elevated and received substantial damage during the hurricane, Increased Cost of Compliance coverage may help homeowners rebuild.
Safe & Secure Building Allows Hospital Staff to Do Their Job
- The Louisiana Heart Hospital (LHH) withstood Hurricane Katrina thanks to disaster mitigation planning and preparedness.
- The hospital is designed to be resistant to high winds and flying debris.
- Mitigation compliance resulted in lower flood insurance premiums and a safer environment.
- LHH never lost power or water supply during the storm.
- LHH provided housing, meals, meeting rooms, and medical care to law enforcement and response teams in the days following Katrina
- The purchase of additional communication equipment will prevent the hospital from being isolated during future hazard events.
Elevation is Not Enough: Utilizing Smart Building Practices
- This home in Slidell withstood the winds and waters of the 2005 hurricane season.
- The homeowner chose to elevate his home to 16.4 feet and incorporate several hurricane-resistant features into its construction.
- Although the floodwaters beneath the house rose to 15 feet (within about one and a half feet of the floor joists), the breakaway walls survived intact, no water entered the home, and the roof was not damaged.
- The homeowner declared "Get it up in the air and build it strong! It just makes sense to use good building practices when you know you're going to get a hurricane at least every other year."
Simple Retrofit Prevents Structural Damage
- The homeowner installed three International Code Council (ICC)-certified flood vents prior to Hurricane Katrina.
- The National Flood Insurance Program requires flood vents for residential basements, crawl spaces, garages, and other enclosed structures that are below the Base Flood Elevation in Special Flood Hazard Areas.
- Four feet of floodwater flowed through the homeowner's garage without causing structural damage.
Anchoring Code Defends Home from Katrina's Winds
- When Hurricane Katrina brought sustained winds in excess of 150 miles per hour, one Franklinton couple's home remained secure on its foundation.
- Building codes mandate stringent anchoring standards intended to protect manufactured homes from high velocity wind forces.
- The couple believes their home survived because of their compliance with the current anchoring code.