D'Iberville Partners With FEMA To Help Residents Rebuild

Barbara Taylor is a lifelong D'Iberville resident looking for a little guidance as she tries to rebuild her family home.

"I need to find out exactly where I go from here. I've got an idea of what I want the house to look like," says Taylor.

The city is working with FEMA through a community outreach program to make sure residents have the resources they need to rebuild- resources such as the geoportal found on the city's webpage. On the geoportal, you can find just about everything you need to know on how to rebuild just by typing in your address.

"{You can find} where flood hazards are, where the zoning areas are, how high you to have to build, what the topographic height of the land... where the flood ways are located," says Hank Rogers, City of D'Iberville Building Department.

The city's current elevation standard is 14 feet, but, residents should also consider building to the Advisory Base Flood Elevation if they want to apply for MDA grants or pay less on flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

"If you're building at 14.4 feet, you get credit for 14 foot.  If you build at 14.5 feet, then that one foot is worth 8 percent in discount," says Rogers.

Building smarter is also an issue.  FEMA has a model home on display in the D'Iberville city hall with features such as strapping from the roof to the foundation.  This could prevent the house from falling under storm pressure.

"I know we all want to get back into our homes as quickly as possible, but we need to do it wisely. We need to do it with the proper techniques so the next storm that comes by we won't be homeless," says Ted Stuckey, FEMA Community Education Outreach.

The city is working to avoid another situation like the aftermath of Katrina by making sure residents get the information they need to rebuild.  The next community outreach symposium is scheduled for February 21st in the city's council chambers.