FEMA: You have to be patient

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“There is a lot of historical data that shows a main risk for the areas that FEMA has been covering,” one of its representatives told him. “Many of those properties will be moving from subsidiary rates to actuary rates over the next four years.” He explained that the actuary rate is based on the lowest level in your home. “If your lowest level is lower than base elevation, that is what they’re basing [your rate] on. Every foot you go above base elevation, your rates go down.”

Bay Park resident Janine Wayar asked whether those who began rebuilding their homes now would be prevented from doing hazard mitigation in the near future.

“No,” said Farr. “Don’t do anything to slow down the rebuilding of your home, [but] if you do the mitigating now, you won’t be able to get grants that are coming down the road.” He added that residents can redo work they have done on their homes, and that the federal government will cover 75 percent of the expense to mitigate.

Farr counseled residents to try to be patient. “The state is backed up,” he said. “They’re working very hard, but they’re still working on Irene.” He urged them to write letters to their state representatives and local elected officials.

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