Parsons, KS -- Disaster officials of both Kansas Division Emergency Management (KDEM) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge owners of wind-damaged property and building contractors working in the affected area to check with local zoning officials before making extensive repair or rebuilding wind-damaged property.
As victims of the April 19th and 20th severe storms and tornadoes 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 Anne Allen said.
Parsons City Manager Glen Weldon advises people to begin rebuilding as quickly as possible. "While people must have a permit, it isn't necessary that they wait for a FEMA inspector in order to make their homes livable and secure," Weldon said. "However, property owners need to keep receipts for materials purchased, and work completed, in order to substantiate their claim." Weldon added that while photographing storm-related damage is a way to document your damage, it is not mandatory.
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 Louis Botta 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.
Before spending any money to repair or rebuild wind-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.