Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

New Report Shows Moving Displaced Families Back Home Quickly Key To Disaster Rebuilding

August 23, 2012

DAVIDSONVILLE, Md., Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — With Hurricane Isaac fast approaching the southeast and wildfires in the west decimating hundreds of homes, a new report, Strategies for Incremental Reconstruction of Disaster Damaged Homes, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), outlines strategies for rebuilding quickly after natural disasters and reducing displacement. The project’s findings including the report and other resources can be found at www.newportpartnersllc.com.

Liza Bowles, President of Newport Partners, a Maryland-based consulting firm which authored the report said, “Incremental reconstruction after a natural disaster strikes provides for the rapid return of families to rebuild their homes and reinvest in their community.”

With guidance from 12 experts across the country, the report presents a wide range of options for localities to consider when rebuilding from selecting appropriate home designs and types of construction (wood framed, steel or modular), modifying local building codes and encouraging use of certain building materials, to requiring high-level energy-efficiency, adaptability and sustainability standards, and adopting the latest wind and flood protection systems.

The report focuses on building a compact house or small modular unit on what formerly was the slab of the original home’s garage. Displaced families could return to their homes shortly after the debris is cleared, utilities are restored and insurance claims are paid while the remainder of their home is rebuilt or constructed from scratch around their temporary quarters. Once construction of the home is completed, the smaller unit built on the slab could become separate living quarters for a family member, a rental unit or converted back into a garage with a loft overhead.

Such a move is critical to speeding up the healing process for both individuals and the damaged-ravaged community at large, according to Mayor Bob Dixson of Greensburg, Kansas, who served on the advisory group for the disaster housing project. On May 4, 2007, a killer EF5 tornado with 205 mph winds hit Greensburg killing 11 and leveling more than 95 percent of the city. Since then, Greensburg has completely rebuilt its town and housing stock to the highest green and energy-efficiency standards available and reducing its carbon imprint significantly.

“This new report will contribute significantly to the rebuilding process that communities necessarily go through following a natural disaster,” said Greensburg, KS Mayor Bob Dixson. “Applying these strategies will nurture the cohesion of the community as it helps everyone reinvest in a new beginning for themselves and by extension, their community.”

Newport Partners, LLC (www.newportpartnersllc.com) provides economic housing analysis, planning and policy services on behalf of federal agencies including HUD, DOE and EPA as well as private sector clients.

SOURCE Newport Partners, LLC

Source: PR Newswire