Syracuse, NY- When considering new construction, repairs and/or reconstruction after a disaster, first consult your local building official.
"Getting your permits before you rebuild will help protect you and your family," said Edward F. Jacoby, Jr., Director of the State Emergency Management Office and state coordinating officer.
- Help protect you by providing a review of the proposed work to ensure compliance with current codes, standards, flood ordinances and construction techniques.
- Provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation and/or retrofitting requirements, which is useful information when selling your home and necessary for the flood insurance rating.
"Your local permit official can provide you with suggestions or literature on how to better protect your home or business from future flood or other hazard damages," added Justo Hern?ndez, federal coordinating officer. "That official can also give you information on selecting licensed contractors, and advice on how to protect yourself from unscrupulous contractors."
At the request of Governor George E. Pataki, President Bush signed a major disaster declaration on August 29, 2003 to provide assistance to the counties affected during the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes that hit the State between July 21, 2003 and August 13, 2003.
Residents and business owners who were affected by these storms in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Livingston, Montgomery, Ontario, Rensselaer, Schuyler, Steuben and Yates counties can register for assistance by calling the FEMA toll-free teleregistration/helpline number, 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TDD), for the hearing and speech impaired. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizens Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.