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Release date: 
December 5, 2012
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TRENTON, N.J. -- 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:

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.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at www.fema.gov/blog, www.twitter.com/fema, www.facebook.com/fema, and www.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at www.twitter.com/craigatfema

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.