BATON ROUGE, La. – As Louisianians repair or rebuild homes and other property damaged in Hurricane Isaac, state and federal recovery officials have an important message for them: Haste makes waste when building without a permit.
“Before picking up a saw or swinging a hammer, property owners should stop at their city or parish permitting office,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “We want property owners to remember to get appropriate construction permits before they launch any rebuilding or significant repair project.”
By requiring construction permits, the state of Louisiana and its local governments ensure buildings are built to existing codes, which in turn protects the safety of homeowners and the community at large. Permits are required not only for new construction, but also for rebuilding an existing home or building, or doing substantial electrical, mechanical or plumbing work.
“We’d like to see homeowners wisely use their federal assistance grants,” Hall said. “Following local building ordinances is one way to ensure their homes are sound and their families safe.”
The federal disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac makes Individual Assistance grants and U.S. Small Business Administration low-interest loans available to help eligible homeowners, renters and business owners repair and rebuild in 21 Louisiana parishes.
Survivors can register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or via smartphone at m.fema.gov. They may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. Those who use 711 Relay or Video Relay Services may call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, click www.fema.gov/disaster/4080 or www.gohsep.la.gov. You can follow FEMA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FEMA. Also visit our blog at www.fema.gov/blog.
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). For TTY call 800-462-7585.