FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Elevated Home Serves as Neighborhood Shelter during Katrina   [open pdf - 44KB]

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Best Practices Portfolio consists of mitigation stories submitted by individuals and communities that describe measures they have taken to reduce the loss of life and property from disasters. These Best Practices are meant to provide ideas and concepts about reducing losses and to encourage others to evaluate their own risk and consider mitigation as a long-term solution to reducing that risk." [...] "The Stork family's home is the only elevated building in their community. Although the house was built to mitigate flooding, the family decided to evacuate to avoid being in the path of Hurricane Katrina's reported 90- mile-per-hour winds as it approached the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005. Before they evacuated, the couple offered their elevated home to a few neighbors as a shelter in case of flooding. In the family's absence, the Storks' house became a refuge for 37 neighbors and their pets trapped by a 15-foot storm surge. When the Storks returned, they found their modest house crammed with residents of the community. Sadly aware that nearly all of the homes in their community were under water, the Storks were relieved that everyone in the area survived Katrina, and were pleased that their elevated home played a major role in that survival." This and other individual FEMA Best Practices documents are also combined in "Mitigation Best Practices: Public and Private Sector Best Practice Stories for All Activity/Project Types in All States and Territories Relating to All Hazards [August 10, 2011]," which can be accessed at the following link: [https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=683132]

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