AUSTIN, Texas – It is important to make home repairs and clean up debris as soon as possible following a natural disaster. For the residents of Hidalgo and Cameron counties, FEMA urges that needed work be started even if the home has not been inspected or your damage claims approved. Doing so will never disqualify homeowners from federal assistance.
Accomplish any work that will help make a home safe, sanitary and habitable again.
First, consult with local officials and secure the required permits. Take plenty of photographs of damage before repairs are made, and keep all receipts.
Choose a contactor wisely. And, if possible, rebuild so as to minimize future damage from floods or other disasters.
- Consider using building materials that are more resistant to flood, wind, corrosion and decay.
- If siding or roof sheathing needs replacement, consider installing hurricane/seismic connectors at the rafter-to-wall or truss-to-wall connections. Adding wall-to-foundation ties may also be possible. (These upgrades could reduce your wind-damage insurance premiums.)
- Windows, doors and skylights should be checked for leaks. If they need replacement, consider impact-resistant units.
- Check your attic for adequate insulation. Straps should be added from rafters to wall top plates, and gable end-wall framing should be braced.
- Inspect soffits to determine if structural upgrades are necessary.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, elevate electric meters, outlets, breaker boards and appliances.
Those with questions about repair and rebuilding can find answers at any disaster recovery center. Find one online at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.
Take a moment to visit with FEMA mitigation specialists staffing tables at home-improvement stores. Find locations and hours of operation at https://go.usa.gov/xUUW8.
For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4377, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.