SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- A toll-free telephone helpline has been set up to assist Texans who want to rebuild homes or businesses damaged by the storms and flooding that started Oct. 17, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Texas Division of Emergency Management (DEM) said today.
Experts in hazard mitigation - ways to repair, replace or retrofit structures to protect them against floods and other natural disasters - will be available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 1-800-628-5769.
Disaster recovery experts say there are six ways to prevent or reduce damage to a structure:
- elevating it above flood level
- wet floodproofing
- dry floodproofing
- building levees or floodwalls
- demolition to rebuild somewhere else.
However you decide to do it, check with local officials before you start. Local ordinances and codes determine in large part what you can and cannot do - and what you should do.
If you have questions about retrofitting measures, call 1-800-628-5769 and ask to speak to a FEMA mitigation counselor.
FEMA has a free publication, "Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting: Six Ways to Protect Your House from Flooding," which is available from the FEMA distribution center. Call 1-800-480-2520 and ask for FEMA publication #312. The publication also can be found on FEMA's Internet homepage, . The homeowner's guide is posted in Adobe Acrobat format.