LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Rebuilding or repairing a home after flooding can be an overwhelming task. But with the right information, homeowners can build back in a way that reduces the likelihood of future damage. Mitigation specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be demonstrating building techniques and offering free professional advice in area building supply stores.
The schedule is listed below:
June 17-19, 2008
7:30 a.m. -5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday
Barton's of West Memphis
215 W. Broadway St.
West Memphis, AR 72301
Arkansans who are repairing or rebuilding from recent tornadoes are facing many choices-and opportunities-regarding how they put the pieces of their homes and lives back together.
"As people repair or rebuild, it's an ideal time for them to incorporate disaster-resistant measures," said State Coordinating Officer Richard Griffin of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM).
Mitigation information is helpful to everyone, not just the victims of tornadoes. State and federal emergency management officials are hoping that some of those choices will include building techniques that can help prevent damage in future severe storms. The mitigation specialists can also provide information regarding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
FEMA specialists will demonstrate and display some of the engineering techniques that home and business owners can incorporate while rebuilding. The techniques to fortify mobile homes are also presented.
"Many of these are small changes that can make a big difference the next time storms strike," said Federal Coordinating Officer Ken Riley of FEMA.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can also increase a loan by as much as 20 percent to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future. As an example, a berm, retaining wall, or French drains might be eligible for a disaster loan following a flood, while tie downs for a mobile home and window shutters might be included in a loan resulting from a tornado.
Individuals can register for disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for those who have hearing or speech impairments. You can also register online at www.fema.gov. FEMA operators as well as the helpline are available 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice. If residents are not sure if they are eligible, they should still make the call. The FEMA registration deadline is July 21, 2008.
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 terrorism.