KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Residents who need to make repairs to or rebuild their damaged homes as a result of the severe storms, flooding and tornadoes of May 4 - 19 have a responsibility to themselves, their families and their neighbors to rebuild in a way that reduces future flood and storm losses. This is called 'mitigation'.
Although the disaster declaration for these storms does not provide funding for individuals, these mitigation steps are important enough, and provide such value to the homeowner, that they should be incorporated in any restoration or replacement work at homeowner expense.
Mitigation steps that can be taken by homeowners to avoid repetitive flood loss include rebuilding with materials less likely to be damaged by water and raising utility connections and electrical outlets. Owners should avoid rebuilding in a flood plain and should consult with their local building official regarding structural elevation or reinforcement before starting any reconstruction activities.
Mitigation steps that can be taken by homeowners to avoid future tornado damage include using common connections in wood frame buildings, such as anchors, clips, and straps to provide a continuous load path for all loads - not just gravity loads - and reinforcing or retrofitting garage doors to resist wind forces. Shelters are the best means of providing near-absolute protection for individuals who are attempting to take refuge during a tornado.
"Not only does mitigation save life and property," said Lee Rosenberg, FEMA federal coordinating officer. "A mitigated home may also qualify for lower-cost flood insurance, made available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.