Response for Homeowners
- Disasters can cause power outages.Use the button above to print a copy for reference.
- If you find that any external link contained on this page no longer works, begin your web search by using the exact title as resources have sometimes been moved.
In some ways, homeowners carrier the biggest burdens resulting from natural disasters: they face potential displacement from their homes, unknown financial burdens, cleanup obligations and other pressures, but often lack guidance on how to addresses these issues. This document is designed to help historic homeowners make sense of the tasks they must undertake in the wake of a disaster in order to insure their safety and compliance while protecting the future of their significant property.
The most critical resources relating to this topic are marked below with a check.
In the hours and days immediately following a natural disaster there will inevitably be a list of tasks homeowners need to tackle in order to secure their home and work towards moving back in. The two most important tasks—and the ones that should guide initial decision making—are ensuring the safety and security of people working on site and preventing potentially valuable or important building fabric (trim, railing, cladding, windows and doors, etc.) from being too hastily discarded.
- Rapid Building and Site Condition Assessment Instructions (FEMA/NCPTT, 2005)
- Repair or Demolish: Protecting the investment in your older home(National Trust For Historic Preservation, written in response to Iowa floods of 2008)
- Information For Owners of Damaged Buildings Following A National Disaster(North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office [SHPO])
- Answers to Questions About Substantially Damaged Buildings(FEMA 213, 1991; relates to National Flood Insurance Program)
- Working With Contractors & Architects: Finding Supplies or Furnishings For Your Historic Home or Building(NTHP June 2008)
- Disaster Debris, information from the EPA about cleaning up debris after disasters.
- Dealing With Debris And Damaged Buildings, post-Katrina information from the EPA specifically relating to structurally unsound buildings and hazardous materials.
- Tree Care After Storms, from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
- Treatment of Flood-Damaged Older & Historic Buildings(National Trust for Historic Preservation)
- Mold Removal Guidelines(LSU Ag Center)
- Coping With Water Damage(video) (Heritage Preservation)
- Brief Guide to Understanding Repairs to Historic Homes Damaged By Hurricane Katrina and Other Related Floods(Preservation Trades Network)
- How To Save Your Adobe Home in the Event of a Disaster(Cornerstones Community Partnerships, 2008)
- Damage Assessment Tips And Resources For Storm-Damaged Historic Properties(NTHP/Iowa Preservation Alliance 2008)
- After The Flood: Rebuilding Communities Through Historic Preservation, a video produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting, talks about the state response mechanisms that acted to save historic resources after the historic 1996 floods in south Georgia.
- Saving Your Flood Damaged Older & Historic Buildings: A Guide for Property Owners Returning to New Orleans (NTHP, October 2005).
- Repairing Your Flooded Home (American Red Cross/FEMA, 1992)
- Temporary Shoring & Stabilization of Earthquake Damaged Historic Buildings(California Building Officials / California Preservation Foundation, 1998)
- Earthquake Aftershocks—Entering Damaged Buildings (Applied Technology Council/USGS, 1990)
- Information for Owners of Buildings with Earthquake Damage (East Bay Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1989)
- Field Manual: Post Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings, Second Edition (Applied Technology Council (R.P. Gallagher Associates), 2005)
After the Immediate Impact
Once your home is stabilized and safe, you may face questions about how federal, state, or local agencies will treat your home, where you can find funding to work on the structure itself, and how to safeguard against future disasters.
- After the Flood: Rehabilitating Historic Resources(Georgia SHPO, 1996). Distinct from the Georgia SHPO's narrative document, After the Flood, Rebuilding Communities Through Historic Preservation, this document is a 172-page technical document on the physical process of bringing structures back from physical flood damage.
- Suppliers and Vendors List (Northeast Document Conservation Center). The Suppliers List is an up-to-date database of vendors that provide preservation or conservation supplies, services, and equipment. Search by supplier name, product or service, or category.
- The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings: Keeping Preservation in the Forefront(NPS bulletin 41)
- 20 Tools That Protect Historic Resources After an Earthquake (California Preservation Foundation, 1996)
- FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program
- National Trust For Historic Preservation Grant Funds
- The President's Advisory Council On Historic Preservation: Federal Financial Assistance for Historic Preservation Projects—Disaster Response
For Further Reading
- After the Flood: Rebuilding Communities Through Historic Preservation(Georgia SHPO)
- Water-Resistant Design and Construction: An Illustrated Guide to Preventing Water Intrusion, Condensation, and Mold(McGraw Hill 2007, 286 pages).
- Home Builder's Guide to Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheet Series(free, FEMA)
- Repairing Your Flooded Home (American Red Cross, 1992)
- Earthquake-Damaged Historic Chimneys: A Guide to the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Chimneys (Historic Preservation Partners for Earthquake Response)
- Surviving the Postdisaster Disaster (Small Town Journal, by Jerry Knox, 1996)
- Procedures for Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings (California Office of Emergency Services/Applied Technology Council, 1989)