Before you hang any drywall or put your utilities back in the basement, make sure you’re practicing safe and smart rebuilding methods and following local building codes. It’s your house and you want to get back into it as quickly as possible. But, repairing or rebuilding a storm-damaged home takes thought and requires a lot more than your last do-it-yourself project.

 First step: Check with your local government about permit requirements.


Then, make sure that you do not have any asbestos issues on the property. If you suspect you do,

go to www.state.nj.us/dep/dshw/rrtp/asbestos.htm to view the “Guidance Document for the Management

of Asbestos-Containing Material (ACM).” The document comes from the New Jersey Department

of Environmental Protection.


As you rebuild, consider making changes that will make your home better prepared to withstand

the next disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maintains an extensive

online library, including bi-lingual and multimedia resources that describe measures you can take

to reduce future risks.


For rebuilding information, go to http://www.fema.gov/building-science. FEMA Building Science Resources to Assist with Reconstruction After Hurricane Sandy is an overview of available publications and is found at http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=6651.

Other publications of interest are:



  • Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction: 37 fact sheets for areas subject to wind

and flood forces. http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?fromSearch=fromsearch&id=2138










FEMA also has videos on YouTube: “What is Mitigation?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=057ZkeoFyc4, and “Virginia Mitigation Best Practices – Elevating a Home” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpUEz_GIw4.  


For one-on-one assistance, visit the nearest Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) to speak with a Hazard Mitigation specialist. DRC locations change frequently. The closest open offices can be found online at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm. An alternative is to go to www.fema.gov and search for DRC locator.


The decision to rebuild stronger, safer and smarter may save your life and property in a future disaster.