FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Elevated Family Home Pays Off   [open pdf - 28KB]

Alternate Title: Elevated Family Home Pays Off High and Dry, Safe and Secure

This document is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Best Practices Portfolio. The Best Practices Portfolio is a collection of true stories about people and communities who have experienced disasters, and what mitigation they used to survive, rebuild, and prepare for disasters. From the document: "In 1998, Scott and Susan Deal decided to add a bedroom to their existing home for their growing family. But their building permit was denied. The local floodplain ordinance, adopted by the city, required that existing structures with the lowest floor built below the required base flood elevation (BFE) be elevated to or above the required BFE when substantial additions or alterations are to be done or if the structure has been substantially damaged. The Deal home was 1 foot below the required BFE. 'When I first found out about the requirements, I was exasperated,' Scott related. 'The house had been here forty-eight years without flooding. Why should I have to go through all this when all I wanted to do was add one bedroom?' To comply with the local ordinance, the Deals had three choices: keep their existing home without substantial addition or alteration; demolish their home, clear and fill the lot, and build a completely new house; or elevate the existing house and fill in the area below the structure to meet the requirement. Working with a local contractor, the Deals secured plans and estimates and found that to demolish the house, clear and fill the lot would cost $25,000, plus the cost of building the new house. For approximately $40,000, they could elevate the existing structure 16 feet above the BFE. This elevated level would far exceed the requirement and allow a space underneath to build a first floor." 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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