If a structure is severely damaged during a disaster, the owner should contact the local building inspector to ensure that permits can be issued to rebuild, federal and state recovery officials advised today.
"Local floodplain management ordinances require that if a disaster-related 'substantially damaged' structure is to be rebuilt, then it must be brought up to all current codes and standards. The local building inspector or floodplain manager is available to advise those in such situations on the best course of action," said Deputy State Coordinating Officer Richard Roman of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.
Federal Coordinating Officer Ron Sherman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said, "This requirement does not affect a homeowner's eligibility for federal or state aid made available through President Bush's disaster declaration for Auglaize, Darke, Logan, Mercer, Shelby and Van Wert counties."
"We encourage all in these counties with any disaster-related damages to register with FEMA's toll free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) as soon as possible," he said.
Substantial damage is described as repair costs that would exceed 50 percent of the building's pre-disaster value. The costs include all structural, labor and finish costs, including owner's labor, and appliances, lighting, carpeting, cabinets, tile and any required demolition.
The building value is the market value of the structure only. It does not include the value of land the structure stands on nor any improvements, such as swimming pools or paving.
Under President Bush's disaster declaration, homeowners with disaster-damaged structures may be eligible for FEMA and state grants and U.S. Small Business Administration low interest disaster loans. "Help is just a phone call away," said Sherman. "Call us at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week."