Get Local Permits Before You Rebuild After Storms

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Release date: 
November 9, 2011
Release Number: 
4020-127

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York residents are being encouraged by state and federal recovery officials to obtain any necessary building permits before starting new construction or repairs to property damaged by Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.

“Getting building permits is necessary for those with homes or businesses damaged by the storms,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Philip E. Parr. “Residents need to know that permits are based on local codes and ordinances enforced by the community.”

Securing the correct local building permit is the homeowner’s responsibility. Those who agree to have their contractor secure a permit on their behalf should follow up with building officials to verify. Permits may be required for repairs to roofs, walls, siding, wallboard, plaster, insulation, paneling, cabinets, flooring, electrical systems, plumbing and heating or air conditioning systems.

Renovation projects must meet community building codes and ordinances. The codes serve several purposes:

  • Permits assure residents and communities that all proposed work complies with current codes, standards and recommended construction techniques;
  • Local permit offices can provide suggestions and information on how to protect homes or businesses from future disaster-related damages; and
  • Permit offices may also provide consumers with information on selecting licensed contractors and with advice on protecting themselves from unscrupulous contractors.

FEMA is not a permitting agency and does not give permission to rebuild or repair by providing a disaster grant, loan or flood insurance claim. FEMA does not recommend or endorse any contractors, and recovery officials warn people to be wary of any contractors who claim they are authorized by FEMA. They are not.

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.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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