This page contains mitigation information and resources for residents and communities in Texas recovering from disaster.
Contact Your Local Building Official and/or Floodplain Manager to Obtain a Building Permit BEFORE Starting Repairs to Your Home or Business to avoid costly mistakes!
- Learn about National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations regarding substantial damage and improvement BEFORE starting to make repairs.
- Ask for a Substantial Damage Determination from your local building official or floodplain manager. They will provide specific details regarding local ordinance requirements which will help you decide the best options for rebuilding.
- Local Floodplain Management requirements for new construction will apply to substantial improvements. The building must be brought into compliance with the NFIP. This may include elevating the building, relocating the building to an area outside of the high-risk flood zone, or demolishing the building and rebuilding in compliance.
- Learn whether or not there are specific re-building requirements for your community.
- Consult local building officials for information and permits when considering new construction or repairs on property affected by recent flooding, tornados/high winds, fire, winter storms, and/or earthquake.
- Obtaining building permits for homes or businesses located within a high-risk flood area is especially important as additional permits may be required, such as a land use permit or zoning permit, depending on the property location.
- Local governments cannot reduce or ignore the floodplain requirements for building or repairs no matter what the cause of the damage.
- Repair projects must meet community building codes and flood-damage prevention ordinances.
- Residents are required to start construction and repair only after they have received permits from their local building department.
Be Prepared for Springtime Severe Storms
As Hurricane Harvey recovery continues, it is now time to be prepared for severe weather that often occurs in the Spring months. To learn how you can prepare your family, friends, and home visit:
- Texas Department of Public Safety Severe Weather Awareness - https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/weather_aware_severe.htm
- Build an Emergency Supply Kit - https://www.dps.texas.gov/dem/Preparedness/emerSupplyKits.htm
- Learn what you need to be ready for severe storms - www.ready.gov
- National Weather Service https://www.weather.gov/safety/
Rebuilding Safer and Stronger - After A Flood - Recovery Publications
- Checklist of Questions to Ask Your General Contractor
- Checklist to Acquire a Building Permit
- Building Codes - Frequently Asked Questions
- Build with Flood Damage Resistance Materials
- Build Back Safer and Stronger
- Building Science Publications: Flood and Wind
- Protecting Your Home and Property From Flood Damage
- Elevating Your Flood Damaged Home to Avoid Future Damage
- Answers to Questions about Substantially Damaged Buildings
- Raise Electrical Components
- Protecting Building Utilities from Flood Damage
- Protecting Manufactured Homes from Floods and Other Hazards
- Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction (1981)
- Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings
- Engineering Principles and Practices of Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Structures, Third Edition
- Homeowner's Guide to Retrofitting Second Edition
- Anchor Fuel Tanks
- Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction (1981)
- Above the Flood: Elevating Your Floodprone House (2000)
- Subdivision Design in Flood Hazard Areas
- FEMA P-798, Natural Hazards and Sustainability for Residential Buildings (2010)
FEMA has multiple publications with information to help you and communities rebuild to be more resilient and disaster resistant.
Learn how to protect your home or business from floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and high winds, and manmade disasters (terrorism/bombs):
Below are examples of Safe Room Resources.
- Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your Home or Small Business (FEMA P-320) - Having a safe room in your home or small business can help provide "near-absolute protection" for you and your family or your employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds.
- Design and Construction Guidance for Community Safe Rooms (FEMA P-361) - This publication presents design, construction, and operation criteria for both residential and community safe rooms that will provide near-absolute life safety protection during tornado and hurricane events.
- Tornado Protection: Selecting Refuge Areas in Buildings (FEMA P-431) - This booklet presents information that will aid qualified architects and engineers in the identification of the best available refuge areas in existing buildings.
- Design Guidance for Shelters and Safe Rooms (FEMA 453) - The objective of this manual is to provide guidance for engineers, architects, building officials, and property owners to design shelters and safe rooms in buildings.
- Safe Room and Community Shelter Resources CD (FEMA 388 CD) - On this CD, you will find displays, posters, handouts, multimedia, and other resources that provide information about mitigating for tornadoes or other high-wind events and about the importance of safe rooms and community shelter construction in saving lives during such events.
Community Safe Room Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provides information about safe rooms and explains that a safe room is a room or structure specifically designed and constructed to resist wind pressures and wind-borne debris impacts during an extreme-wind event, like tornadoes and hurricanes, for the purpose of providing life-safety protection.
Residential Safe Room Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provide information about residential safe rooms and explains that a safe room is a room or structure specifically de-signed and constructed to resist wind pressures and wind-borne debris impacts during an extreme-wind
Anchoring Home Fuel Tanks - This video explain the reason why and how external fuel tanks should be anchored.
Family Elevates Home to Protect It - explains how and why a home in Georgia is being elevated after flooding.
Public Service Announcement - elevation after previous storms and the benefit of elevation.
- Videos - Information on Safe Rooms, "Hardening" of a Home and Flood Mitigation
- What Makes a Safe Room Safe? - An animated illustration of the key Safe Room design elements that give a Safe Room "near absolute protection" from a severe storm, tornado or hurricane.
- Building Stronger After a Tornado - Following tornadoes where homes are destroyed, some homeowners are strengthing their new homes by building safer structures.
- Safe Room Technical Guidance Video - Interview with Bob Franke (FEMA Region VII) regarding FEMA P-320 (Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business) and other guidance/research on regarding building a safe room.
- Safe Room Construction Videos - These four videos depict how to construct a residential or business safe room. These videos do NOT have an audio component.
Do You Know Your Flood Risk? View Your Flood Insurance Rate Map
- Visit the FEMA Map Service Center to find out your risk. You can enter your address and see a map of your property. You may also call and speak to a Mapping Services Specialist
- FEMA Map Service Center
- 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627)
- The flood may have changed your known risks to new risks you face today or tomorrow. Stay informed through your local Floodplain Manager and maintain flood insurance.
Texas Resources and Other Helpful Links
Register for FEMA assistance: online or call 1-800-621-3362 / TTY 800-427-5593
- If you are have questions or concerns about your flood insurance claim call:
- The National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at: 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-technical-support-hotline
- Texas Disaster Fund - Provides assistance to individuals and communities recovering from a disaster
- Comptroller's Disaster Relief Resources - Persons who have property in Texas that has been damaged by a disaster can claim an exemption from sales tax on labor charges and other benefits.
- Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs - Provides a subject list for survivors to use to find the appropriate assistance to meet their needs.
- USDA Farm Service Agency - Disaster Assistance Program - Provides assistance for natural disaster losses, resulting from drought, flood, fire, freeze, tornadoes, pest infestation, and other calamities.
- Texas Water Development Board - Administers State and Federal grant programs for flood protection planning, and implementation of flood mitigation projects.
- Texas Department of Insurance
Your State Hazard Mitigation Officer, NFIP Coordinator, Earthquake Program Manager, Dam Safety Manager, and Floodplain Management Association contact information may be accessed by clicking on www.fema.gov/region-vi-mitigation-partners
- Texas A&M After Disaster Recovery Information
- Recovering from Disaster - Ready.gov
- Hurricane Harvey - Rumor Control - What You Need to Know
- Visit FEMA's Flood Insurance Reform webpage (www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/flood-insurance-reform) for information on the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 and other reforms.
- Communities may be eligible for Hazard Mitigation grants and loans, visit FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance webpage: www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance
- Obtain a tailored list of assistance available on www.DisasterAssistance.gov
- Learn how to build safer and stronger and potentially decrease your flood insurance premiums, go to the FEMA Building Science Branch website. www.fema.gov/building-science
- For information about local building code and permit requirements, contact your local community officials.
Publicaciones en Español
Important Message for Flood Survivors with Flood Insurance
Please contact your insurance agent immediately.
- If your home or business was damaged or destroyed by flood, you face major decisions about your property.
- If you have questions or need help with your flood insurance contact the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center:
1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or visit: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-technical-support-hotline
- Answers to Questions about the NFIP - Explains the basics of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and answers the most common questions.
- What You Need to Know about Federal Disaster Assistance and National Flood Insurance
- NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook - gives policyholders tips about what to do before and after a flood, including filing a claim, and the steps involved in appealing a denied claim.
- Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) - is part of most Standard Flood Insurance Policies. Claims for ICC benefits are filed separately from your claim for contents or building loss.
- Filing a Flood Insurance Claim - provides steps for you to follow to file a claim.
- NFIP Summary of Coverage
Filing a Flood Insurance Claim
Contact your agent or insurance company. An insurance adjuster should contact you within a few days to inspect the property. Have this information ready:
Name of the Insurance Company
Obtain a Proof of Loss form from the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster will collect evidence, take photographs of damaged property, capture high water marks inside and outside the structure, place damaged items outside the home for the adjusters inspection.
Agree to Damage Amount with Insurer. Sign the Proof of Loss. File the claim. If major flooding has occurred, it may take longer to process claims due to the number of claims.
Increased Cost of Compliance - Flood Insurance Policy Holders
- ICC is also “Coverage D” in the NFIP Standard Flood Insurance Policy. It pays the insured up to $30,000 to comply with a state or local floodplain management law or ordinance affecting repair or reconstruction of a flood-damaged building. Qualifying structures must be declared a “substantially damaged” or “repetitive loss” property by a community official.
- Eligible mitigation activities are floodproofing (with few exceptions, floodproofing is only approved for commercial buildings), elevation, relocation, and demolition (or any combination thereof).
- Construction funded by ICC payments must be completed within 4 years of the substantial damage determination. ICC funds are available in addition to some federal assistance allocated for use to protect the building from future loss.
ICC claims are filed through your insurance agent. The NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook provides good information about filing your ICC claim.
Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium
Talk to community officials, builders, and other experts about how you can reduce future flood losses. Then talk with your flood insurance agent about how building smarter can save you serious premium dollars.
Options May be Available to Offset Cost of Repairing, Rebuilding, or Re-Locating After A Flood
Choosing the right option requires research, planning, contacting local officials, and benefit-cost assessments (e.g. relocating or elevating the building will impact flood insurance premiums, while other options will not). Talk to your local community officials about available grants to help fund mitigation activities. Also ask about relocation, buyout or acquisition programs.
If You DON'T Have Flood Insurance
Contact your local Insurance Agent to learn about purchasing flood insurance for structures and contents. NOTE: If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program you can purchase flood insurance.
If you have questions, call 1-800-621-3362 to speak with a Flood Insurance Specialist.
- Flood Insurance vs. Disaster Assistance - Fact sheet outlining the differences between the two programs and it's impacts.
- It affects your health
- The longer it remains in your home the greater the cost to remove it!!
- Visit www.epa.gov/mold or www.cdc.gov/mold
- 8 Tips to Clean Up Mold
- Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Clean Up After Disaster
- Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Clean Up After Disaster - Spanish
- Homeowner's and Renter's Guide to Mold Clean Up After Disaster - Vietnamese
Cleaning Up After a Flood
If you had water in your home, mold can become a health issue you will need to address. The following precautions are suggestions you may want to use:
- Confirm the water supply is safe to drink. Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply has been contaminated by the floodwaters. Remember to carry bottled drinking water and discard any food products that may have come in contact with floodwater.
- Wear protective clothing. Protect yourself during cleanup by wearing boots, gloves and masks. Clean and disinfect everything floodwater contacted.
- Ventilate your home. Open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate and dry out your home. Dehumidify as soon as possible after a flood.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pit and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
- Make a list of lost or damaged items. Be sure to include their age and value, and if possible, have receipts for those items available.
- Isolate any moldy objects. Seal moldy trash in plastic bags and remove them immediately. Objects you can save should be dried or frozen as soon as possible. Freezing deactivates mold.
- Prevent mold growth. Wash all surface areas in the house that came in contact with floodwater. Disinfect and wipe surfaces dry with paper towels to minimize bacterial contamination.
Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to learn more about cleaning up after a flood.
For news, geographic information, and possible financial assistance visit
Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
The Hazard Mitgation Grant Program (HMGP) can be used to fund projects to protect either public or private property, as long as the project fits within State and local government mitigation strategies to address areas of risk and complies with HMGP guidelines. Through your State Hazard Mitigation Officer, communities and Federally Recognized Tribes can learn how to develop an application for a Hazard Mitigation Grant.
FEMA provides a variety of hazard mitigation grants to states and communities. To learn more, see the Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grant Programs Fact Sheet.
Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation
It is FEMA's policy to act with care to ensure that its disaster response and recovery, mitigation and preparedness responsibilities are carried out in a manner that is consistent with all Federal environmental and historic preservation policies and laws. To learn more how you can help with this process visit the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality - disaster response and the Heritage Emergency National Task Force. Also, read “Advice for Saving Damaged Family Treasures” for the care, protection, and restoration of family heirlooms, photos, and other keepsakes, or visit the National Archives for additional information.
Region 6 Mitigation Contacts
FEMA collects Mitigation success stories, encourages the public to share their stories, and to review stories from other residents, it is known as the Best Practices Portfolio.
Hazard Mitigation - The Basics
Hazard Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future disasters by taking action now—before the next disaster—to reduce human and financial consequences later (analyzing risk, reducing risk, insuring against risk). Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security, and self-reliance.
Prepare for Disasters Now
Financial Preparedness - Being ready for a disaster is more than storing water and supplies. You also need to be financially ready. Starting early and having adequate insurance, a plan to pay your bills and access to your important records and accounts will help you get back on your feet faster and avoid problems with your credit when you need it most.
Earthquakes - Sudden rolling or shaking events caused by movement under the earth’s surface, earthquakes happen along cracks in the earth's surface, called fault lines, and can be felt over large areas, although they usually last less than one minute. Earthquakes cannot be predicted — although scientists are working on it!
Extreme Heat - Learn what actions to take when the weather is extremely hot and how to understand heat alerts from the National Weather Service that you could receive in your local area.
Floods - Learn what actions to take when you receive a flood watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a flood.
Hurricanes - Learn what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area.
Severe Weather - Can happen anytime, in any part of the country. Severe weather can include hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, including damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail, flooding and flash flooding, and winter storms associated with freezing rain, sleet, snow and strong winds.
Tornadoes - Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds.
Wildfires - What actions do you need to take if you receive a fire weather watch alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a wildfire.