Rebuilding After Tropical Storm Irene? Obtain The Required Permits; Consider Flood Smart Building Techniques

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Release date: 
October 12, 2011
Release Number: 

WINDSOR, Conn. -- The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urge Connecticut home and business owners to obtain required permits and consider flood smart building techniques before rebuilding property after Tropical Storm Irene.


Many home projects require a building permit from the town in which the work will be accomplished. Find out which permits are required in your community and secure them before rebuilding property.

“Residents should contact their local building officials to determine if permits are required for rebuilding property located in designated floodplains,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Reuben F. Bradford.

Securing the correct building permit is the homeowner’s responsibility. Homeowners who agree to have their contractor secure a permit should follow up with building officials to verify accuracy.

“The permit must be in hand before the work begins,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Stephen M. De Blasio Sr. “The homeowner or the contractor may apply for the necessary building permit, but it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure the correct required permit is obtained.”

Additional permits may be required for properties located in federally designated floodplains, special flood hazard areas. For advice on rebuilding in these areas, consult your local floodplain administrator before beginning repairs.

To learn more about building permits, visit the Department of Consumer Protection’s website at

FEMA is not a permitting agency and does not give permission to rebuild or repair by way of your receipt of a disaster grant, loan or flood insurance claim.


  • Relocate or elevate water heaters, furnaces and major appliances. Elevate water heaters, furnaces and appliances, such as washers and dryers, especially if they are located in a basement. Place them on a pressure-treated wood or masonry base at least 12 inches above ground level.
  • Elevate or relocate electrical systems. Electrical panel boxes, circuit breakers, wall switches and wall outlets should be at least one foot above the 100-year flood level. Some basement or first-floor electrical systems may even be moved to a higher floor.
  • Anchor fuel tanks. Indoor and outdoor fuel tanks should be anchored by non-corrosive metal straps or pressure-treated wood to prevent them from turning over or floating away.
  • Repair leaks and cracks immediately. Leaky roofs and foundation cracks let water into a home more readily. This weakens a structure and provides an ideal habitat for mold. If wet spots appear on the ceiling or cracks appear in a foundation, fix them immediately.
  • Clean gutters and drains. If gutters and drainage systems are blocked by leaves or debris, water can overflow and quickly flood a home or yard. Check all gutters and drainage systems regularly for leaves and nests. Also double-check storm drains on your street, as leaves and debris can block them, causing water to collect.
  • Invest in a battery-powered sump pump. Sump pumps remove water out of a structure and can be an excellent defense against flooding—unless they’re powered by electricity and the power is out. Battery-powered sump pumps are a relatively inexpensive solution. Be sure to purchase a backup battery as well.
  • Install a backflow valve, check valve, drain plug or standpipe. These me...
Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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