COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urges owners of homes and other buildings to get appropriate building permits before they begin any construction work on their property damaged by high winds, tornadoes or flooding.
Permits are especially important for structures located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), also known as 100-year floodplains. This is an area that has a one percent chance of flooding in a given year, or an area vulnerable to frequent flooding.
Communities that participate in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) enforce NFIP regulations in SFHAs as a condition of their citizens obtaining flood insurance. Buildings in SFHAs that are substantially damaged during a disaster must comply with local floodplain management regulations.
Substantially damaged structures are defined as units for which repairs will cost more than 50 percent of the structure's pre-disaster value to restore it to current local codes and standards. Land value, determined by local officials, is excluded from the evaluation.
For example, homeowners who decide to rebuild may need to elevate their homes, and business owners may need to retrofit their structures. In some cases, owners may decide to relocate their structures outside of the SFHA or demolish the damaged building.
Owners can obtain specific information about building permits from local officials who enforce the substantial damage rule and other requirements.
Floodplain management regulations are designed to mitigate future losses of life and property. FEMA, the state of Missouri and local communities are working together throughout the areas affected by disasters to help citizens rebuild and recover with safety and security.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). Those with a speech disability or hearing loss who use a TTY call 1-800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS) to call 1-800-621-3362.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.