CLINTON, Miss. -- Mississippi flood survivors are facing an important decision: How can I make sure I'm not flooded again?
One of the most common methods is to elevate your home.
"Elevation may be the best solution for flood survivors who want to stay in their current location," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack. "If your home is structurally sound, elevation may be one of the most effective ways to protect your home, your family and your possessions."
Flood survivors should also check with their local officials to see what requirements may be on repairing or elevating their homes.
"If your home was flooded and your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you may be required to reduce your future flood risk," said Federal Coordinating Officer Terry L. Quarles.
Through NFIP, communities enact and enforce floodplain management regulations. At a minimum, these regulations govern construction in Special Flood Hazard Areas. Residents in these flood-prone areas whose homes were "substantially damaged" in the historic 2011 flood will need to flood-proof their home.
Financial help may be available to flood insurance policyholders.
"If you have flood insurance and live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you can get up to $30,000 from your policy to pay the increased cost to elevate your home and bring it into compliance with your community's floodplain ordinance," said Quarles.
Homeowners should also know the details about elevating their home, Womack said.
"The process doesn't happen overnight," he said. "Home elevation isn't simple or cheap, but it is extremely effective."
To get an idea of what is involved, check out the following videos on FEMA's website that show a home elevation following Atlanta's historic 2009 flooding: www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/1849 and www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/2281
Related online FEMA publications include:
Above the Flood: Elevating Your Flood Prone House: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=1424
Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=4654.
To search the FEMA library for other publications, go to: www.fema.gov/library/index.jsp.
Homeowners also can get technical assistance by calling FEMA's building science hotline at 866-927-2104 or submitting questions by email to FEMA-Buildingsciencehelp@dhs.gov.
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.