Great Bend, 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 21 severe storms, flooding, hail 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 Gene Krase said.
Federal Coordinating Officer Carlos Mitchell 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," Mitchell said. "However, property owners need to keep receipts for materials purchased, and work completed, in order to substantiate their claim." Mitchell added that while photographing storm-related damage is a way to document your damage, it is not mandatory.
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.