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Texas Disaster Mitigation

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.

Building Permits - Necessary After ANY Disaster or Structural Damage!

  • 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. 

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 to learn more about cleaning up after a flood.

More Information On Flood Recovery

Know Your Flood Risk:  Has it changed?

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.

Important Message for Flood Survivors With Flood Insurance

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:

1-800-427-4661 or visit: www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-technical-support-hotline

Below are links to general flood insurance information:

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, Policy Number, Contact Information

  • How to Start Your Flood Claim

  • 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.

  • File claim with your Insurance Company within 240 days of the May 2015 floods. This is required to pay your claim.   

  • 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

  • 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 Cost of Repairing, Rebuilding, or Re-Locating

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.

The National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at: 1-800-427-4661

If You DON'T Have Flood Insurance

What you need to know:

  • Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
  • Whether you rent or own, make sure to ask your insurance agent about contents coverage. For most standard policies, contents coverage is not automatically included with the building coverage. 
  • Review Why You Need Flood Insurance for facts and information you may need for recovery, for example
    • Everyone in a participating community of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can buy flood insurance.
    • Clear up common misconceptions about flooding and flood insurance, that includes important facts about flooding and the coverage options available to you.

Next steps:

  • Contact your local Insurance Agent to learn about purchasing flood insurance for structures and contents.
  • Visit Flood Smart at www.floodsmart.gov to learn more about flood insurance and to find an agent.

How Do I Find My Flood Zone?

Map Specialists at the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) support the public and other FEMA stakeholders with inquiries pertaining to a wide variety of flood hazard mapping and floodplain management topics including how to find and read flood maps on the Flood Map Service Center, preliminary flood hazard data, Letters of Map Change, Elevation Certificates, and the National Flood Hazard Layer. The FMIX also connects stakeholders with technical experts specializing in subjects such as hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, coastal mapping and the Hazus loss-estimation software.

Rebuilding Safer and Stronger - After a Flood, Tornado, or Other Natural Hazards - FEMA Building Sciences Can Help

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):

Recursos para Sobrevivientes de Habla Hispana

Videos

Best Practices

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

General Mitigation Publications

Find Help in Texas

To Register with FEMA

Region 6 Mitigation Contacts

Region 6 Mitigation Contacts -- to talk to a FEMA Mitigation Specialist

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 Now for Future Disasters

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.

Last Updated: 
08/05/2019 - 09:37