Arkansans affected by the severe storms and flooding between May 21 and June 14 are advised to get proper permits when rebuilding their damaged property.

Every part of a building from roofs, walls and siding to plumbing, electrical, septic systems, and heating/air conditioning systems may require a permit before rebuilding. A permit may also be needed for demolition.

Permits protect owners, residents, communities and buildings by making sure repairs and/or construction meet current building codes, standards, floodplain ordinances and construction techniques. Permits also provide a permanent record of compliance with elevation and/or retrofitting requirements, which is valuable information when selling the structure or obtaining flood insurance coverage.

Obtaining building permits is especially important for those whose homes or businesses are located within a FEMA-mapped floodplain. Residents in the floodplain must also obtain floodplain development permit applications prior to start of repairs to ensure that homes and businesses are repaired in line with current floodplain development regulations.  Please keep in mind that building and floodplain development permits are based on local codes and ordinances that are enforced locally, not by FEMA. For more information, please contact your local Floodplain Administrator.

Officials warn that if proper permits are not obtained, residents may be subject to stop-work orders, fines or penalties.

FEMA does not recommend or endorse any contractors, and officials warn people to be leery of any contractors who claim they are authorized by FEMA. They are not.

To stay informed about the recent disaster in Arkansas, follow us on Twitter: @AR_Emergencies and @FEMARegion6 or visit the disaster page at