LSU AgCenter Set To Help People Navigate Road Home Program

Claudette Reichel, Skinner, Patricia, Bogren, Richard C.  |  1/9/2007 3:27:24 AM

News Release Distributed 01/05/07

Louisiana residents have another source of information on the Louisiana Road Home program – their parish LSU AgCenter Extension offices.

LSU AgCenter Extension agents around the state participated in an orientation meeting with representatives of the Road Home Thursday (Jan. 4) through the AgCenter’s distance education network.

They attended "to have a working knowledge of the nuts and bolts of this program," said Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for extension.

"A very important part of our mission at the AgCenter is to help people find human and financial resources," he said. "This is a statewide effort. Some people in North Louisiana are there because they lost homes as a result of the hurricanes."

Coreil said he wants "to let our clientele – everyone in all 64 parishes – know we have connected with the Road Home."

Risa Mueller, community outreach manager for the Road Home, conducted the session to provide information that can help LSU AgCenter agents answer questions.

She said the LSU AgCenter’s role in this effort is to encourage people to apply to the Road Home program, to provide informational material to those who need it and to help people understand the program.

Louisiana residents can visit the nearest parish office of the LSU AgCenter to get answers to general questions or to get help with making initial contact with the Road Home program.

In addition to helping people contact the Road Home program, the LSU AgCenter provides information on rebuilding homes.

"We have a wealth of information and educational resources to help people rebuild safer, stronger and smarter homes and avoid costly mistakes in the process," said Dr. Claudette Reichel, extension housing specialist with the LSU AgCenter.

She said the Louisiana House Home and Landscape Resource Center – called LaHouse – in Baton Rouge is a real "showcase of solutions."

The demonstration building, just south of Tiger Stadium on the LSU campus, conducts a mid-construction open house every Friday except holidays.

"People can see first-hand a wide assortment of products, building systems and techniques that are tailored for our climate and conditions," Reichel said. "A tour guide and educational signage are on hand from 9 until 4."

The LSU AgCenter also has an extensive collection of materials developed to encourage and support better building, said AgCenter disaster expert Pat Skinner. She said the AgCenter publication "Building Your Louisiana House" is a homeowner's guide to sustainable construction.

"This book is a comprehensive planning and analysis tool that gives practical information on building a stronger, safer, smarter home while doing your part for national energy independence and environmental protection," she said. "Many of the techniques advocated in the book can be seen ‘live’ by visiting LaHouse."

Because people are looking for ways to protect their existing homes from future floods, the LSU AgCenter has developed two videos on flood protection, Skinner said. One is about elevating slab homes, and the other describes several methods homeowners can use to provide emergency or permanent flood protection against the low-level flooding that is so common in Louisiana.

The methods are also described in a series of flood mitigation fact sheets.

Copies of these fact sheets, as well as the "Building Your Louisiana House" publication, are available at LSU AgCenter offices in each parish. They also can be downloaded from the publications or LaHouse section of the AgCenter’s Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Contacts:
Claudette Reichel at (225) 578-2378 or creichel@agcenter.lsu.edu 
Pat Skinner at (225) 578-2910 or pskinner@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Rick Bogren at (225) 578-5839 or rbogren@agcenter.lsu.edu

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