Nebraskans Reminded to Check Permit Requirements Before Rebuilding

Local or state permits may be needed before starting to rebuild after a severe storm, straight-line winds, and flooding in much of the state during March, FEMA and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency are reminding state residents.

An April 24 notice from FEMA and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency reminds Nebraskans that they should check with local building authorities about local or state permits that may be needed before starting to rebuild after a severe storm, straight-line winds, and flooding in much of the state during March. These could include building permits, floodplain development permits, permits for repair of septic systems, and others. State residents can find out which state permits may be required by visiting the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources at for a list of local floodplain management contacts. If a lagoon was breached or a septic system became inundated, repairs may need to be permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Local officials in Nebraska are currently inspecting homes damaged by the flooding to determine whether a structure was damaged to the extent that it will have to meet current codes when it is repaired. A determination of "substantial damage" applies to a severely damaged home or other structure in a Special Flood Hazard Area, or flood zone, where the community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program; those determinations are made by communities, not by FEMA, according to the notice.

Rebuilding a substantially damaged structure in a floodplain requires that the property be brought into compliance with local floodplain management regulations. The owner may decide to elevate the building to a height determined by local officials, relocate the structure outside the floodplain, demolish the home, or flood-proof a non-residential structure.

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