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Resources for repairing, retrofitting and rebuilding after severe storms, flooding and tornadoes

by Minden Press-Herald

Like all natural disasters, tornadoes can end up causing massive destruction to homes, property and infrastructure. Typically, tornadoes cause the greatest damage to structures of light construction, including some manufactured homes and other residential dwellings.

Mitigation measures are available to improve personal safety and reduce or eliminate the risk of future damages to structures and personal property. FEMA building specialists can give you information on how to repair, retrofit, or rebuild your home to be safer and stronger before the next disaster.

Mitigation Topics to Consider


Roof failures are a common cause of major damage to buildings and their contents from high winds. There are mitigation measures that can be taken to reduce potential roof damage.

These mitigation measures include:

  • Designing Wind-resistant Roofs
  • Reinforcing Gable Roof Ends
  • Securing Sheathing Properly
  • Installing Shingles Properly


Exterior doors and windows are the weakest parts of a structure’s outer shell. If they are broken or blown in, high winds can enter a structure and create internal pressures which act on the roof and walls, resulting in serious damage. Once the structure is breached, wind, debris, and rain can damage the interior of the structure or injure any person inside.

Breach point mitigation measures include:

  • Reinforcing Garage Doors
  • Securing Double-entry Doors
  • Installing Impact-resistant Glass 


Always check with local building official before beginning any repairs or rebuilding because:

  • Building codes, permits, inspection requirements, and zoning ordinances may be involved.
  • A floodplain ordinance will affect rebuilding when the structure has sustained substantial damage and is situated in a floodplain.

Building officials will reinforce the point that only licensed professionals are qualified to perform structural repair or structural mitigation work.

Email a Specialist

If you are unable to call, email your questions, comments, or issues to [email protected] to receive a written response from a Specialist.

Speak to a Specialist

  • Mitigation Helpline – Available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by calling 833-FEMA-4-US or 833-336-2487.
  • Web page is accessible through this QR Code or by visiting: Arkansas Disaster Web Page (cosocloud.com)
  • Not available when you call? Leave a message and a Specialist will return your call within 24 hours.

Online Resources

For the latest information visit fema.gov/disaster/4788. Follow the FEMA Region 6 X account at X.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.

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