CLINTON, Miss. -- Now is the best time to protect your home against future flooding say state and federal emergency management professionals.
"Act now, while the impacts of the historic 2011 floods are still fresh in our minds," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director, Mike Womack. "As you continue your recovery, consider ways to improve your flood safety."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a wealth of information and documents to help homeowners and contractors make changes to an existing building to protect it from flooding or other hazards. This is called "retrofitting."
"We don’t want to see Mississippians go through the heartache of flooding again," said Terry L. Quarles, Federal Coordinating Officer. "Let us help you find ways to safeguard your homes."
Retrofitting methods include:
- Elevation -- raising a home so that the lowest floor is above flood levels. This is the most common way to avoid flood damage.
- Relocation -- moving the home to higher ground.
- Wet flood-proofing -- making uninhabited parts of the home resistant to flood damage when water is allowed to enter during flooding.
- Dry flood-proofing -- sealing the home’s exterior walls to protect it from flooding.
- Levees and floodwalls -- constructing barriers to prevent flood waters from entering the home.
- Demolition -- razing the home. Homeowners then can rebuild to flood-safety standards on the same property or buy a home elsewhere.
FEMA has an array of grants that they make available to states and local communities to mitigate the negative effects of flood hazards. Check with your local officials to see what financial assistance you may be eligible to receive. In addition, U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans to individual property owners and businesses can be used to mitigate flood damage.
The FEMA library offers a number of related publications. The booklet, Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting, provides details about each retrofitting method and is available online at: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=1420
Protecting Your Home and Property from Flood Damage also is geared to homeowners and can be found at: www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=4654. To search the FEMA library for any publication, 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.