Officials from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with state and local authorities, urge Mississippi residents awaiting temporary housing placement on their property to be aware of the permit policy for their county. Some local governments require residents to have the necessary permits before placing a FEMA-provided travel trailer or mobile home on their property.
“We have a responsibility to our local government counterparts to support their regulations,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the disaster recovery effort in Mississippi. “With the help of our state and local partners, we are working to help Mississippians continue their recovery process safely and legally. We don’t want our neighbors and friends to endure repetitive suffering.”
The permit process ensures that homeowners are protected from unsafe building practices and illegal modifications that could cause potential injury, loss in property value, damage the local environment or conflict with local codes and regulations.
Permits required by law may keep homeowners from unpleasant surprises when buying insurance, filing a claim or selling the property in the future. Some local governments may enforce building ordinances designed to reduce losses in flood-prone areas.
Currently, there are more than 25,700 temporary housing units on the private property of Mississippi residents displaced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina. By placing the units on private property, owners are able to remain on-site while repairs are made.
Federal and state disaster recovery officials urge those who have not done so to apply as soon as possible by calling the toll-free application number at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585 for speech- or hearing-impaired.
Individuals may also register for disaster assistance online at www.fema.gov. The deadline for new applications for Individual Assistance is March 11, 2006.
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