DICKINSON, Texas – “I got tired of being flooded,” said Claire Rhoads, a resident of Dickinson, Texas. After watching her home flood eight times, Rhoads used funds from the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance program (HMA) to elevate her home of 37 years.
HMA helps communities, and homeowners like Rhoads, implement hazard mitigation measures following a major disaster declaration. The assistance program, administered by the state, helps enact mitigation measures that reduce the risk of loss of life and property from future disasters.
Homeowners, like Rhoades, who maintain their flood insurance policies may apply for HMA funds to elevate their homes to combat future flooding. By contacting their local floodplain administrator or emergency manager, homeowners can begin mitigation processes that may ultimately save their home or reduce damages after a flood event.
After Hurricane Ike in 2008, Rhoads’ home qualified as a repetitive loss structure because
- It incurred flood-related damage on at least two occasions in which the cost of the repair, on average, equals or exceeds 25 percent of the market value at the time of each flood event; and
- At the time of the second incidence of flood-related damage, the contract for flood insurance contained increased cost of compliance.
The success of her home elevation was tested as Hurricane Harvey rolled into Dickinson. Its rain inundated the city with more than 60 inches of rain over a three-day period as Rhoads and three neighbors took refuge in her home. The house was in the only one in her neighborhood that stayed dry. The remainder of Rhoads’ neighborhood and 90 percent of Dickinson flooded.
Her neighbors are taking notice since her home escaped Harvey’s wrath. “I think they will elevate now if given the opportunity,” said Rhoades, who has no regrets about the decision to elevate her home.
For mitigation information and resources for residents and communities in Texas recovering from disaster, visit: www.fema.gov/Texas-disaster-mitigation.