CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Disaster officials of both Iowa Emergency Management Division (IEMD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge owners of flood-damaged property and building contractors working in the affected area to check with local zoning officials before making extensive repair or rebuilding flood-damaged property.
As flood victims recover from the disaster, many have already received disaster assistance grants, settled their insurance claims, or are preparing to dip into their savings to repair or rebuild their homes. "Before beginning any work it is important that you check with your local officials to make sure that you have the proper permits," State Coordinating Officer Jerry Ostendorf said.
If a home or business is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area-the 100 year flood plain-there are local ordinances that will affect how people, repair, renovate or reconstruct dwellings. Federal Coordinating Officer Curt Musgrave reminds residents and business owners that the community must enforce these regulations so that federally-backed flood insurance and most forms of disaster assistance continue to be available to local residents and property owners.
If your property is very severely damaged, community building officials will require you to meet current building code standards. In some cases that could mean that your house might even have to be elevated to comply with local regulations. Before spending any money to repair or rebuild flood-damaged property, state and federal disaster officials stress the importance of consulting community building officials or the planning office for current rules and regulations. Under no circumstances should repairs or rebuilding begin before issuance of an appropriate permit.