McALLEN, Texas -- Homeowners, landlords and business owners are urged to check with local and county governments regarding permits before repairing or rebuilding a structure damaged by winds or flooding. There can be strict local requirements on how and where structures may be renovated.
"Specific requirements are in place to assure there is a lessening or even a removal of potential for damage in future storms," said Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy Coachman of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Local and county governments use permits to ensure that rebuilding meets the necessary requirements of the most recent flood maps and building codes. Information on requirements is available from local community or county permitting offices.
"There are many approaches to mitigating a storm-damaged structure," said State Coordinating Officer Frank Cantu of the Governor's Department of Emergency Management (GDEM). "They include elevation and relocation of properties, or simple things such as raising hot water heaters, washers and dryers, among other things."
"We urge all rebuilding contractors and property owners to visit their local permitting offices and obtain the necessary permits before beginning the rebuilding process," Cantu added. "Prior planning and good information will produce a structure that would be better able to withstand the next major disaster, and will keep the property owner from having to undergo the costly process of getting the proper permits."
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.