Rebuilding that hurricane-damaged home just got easier

Patricia Skinner, Morgan, Johnny W.  |  7/31/2008 6:25:11 PM

News Release Distributed 07/31/08

As rebuilding efforts continue to ramp up in the hurricane-affected areas of Louisiana, the LSU AgCenter has joined with other agencies to help make the job a little easier.

With residents of the hardest hit areas of New Orleans looking for information and help in the rebuilding their homes, the LSU AgCenter, along with the University of New Orleans’ Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART), Tulane City Center and the Road Home program have opened the Rebuilding Information Station in New Orleans to answer questions.

The RIS office is in the Center for Energy Resource Management Building at the UNO Research and Technology Park at 2045 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 103.

Pat Skinner, the LSU AgCenter’s disaster recovery and mitigation specialist, said the station is designed to give residents information that will help them understand and manage the process of rebuilding and repairing their hurricane-damaged homes.

“The station houses community educators who are there to provide one-on-one conversations with residents about their rebuilding projects and also serve as a source of information on various aspects of rebuilding,” Skinner said.

She said the RIS office will provide information that will help people:

-- Make their homes stronger, safer and more energy-efficient

-- Prepare financially for a restoration or rebuilding project

-- Understand the construction process and building codes

-- Weigh the pros and cons of innovative building technologies

-- Navigate the registry of licensed contractors for their particular needs

-- Obtain information on hazard mitigation

-- Learn how to avoid contractor fraud

At a recent RIS open house, Dr. Paul Coreil, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor and director of the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, said the office will save residents time and money as they search for information and will lead to stronger, safer, more durable housing in the community.

“I see this as a locally based resource where people can learn anything and everything they need to know about rebuilding their homes,” Coreil said.

UNO Chancellor Dr. Tim Ryan said the office would put rebuilding on the fast track in the city.

“We see this office as a resource that will definitely save residents a lot of time, effort and money and will help them avoid taking the word of a contractor who may be giving information that is really in the best interest of the contractor instead of the resident or business owner,” Ryan said.

The Rebuilding Information Station is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

The station will host four seminars by the LSU AgCenter's Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Unit. Each will be conducted from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. They are:

-- Aug. 7, protecting windows and doors

-- Aug. 14, storm-resistant roofing techniques

-- Aug. 21, make your house stronger with hurricane straps

-- Aug. 28, foundations for Louisiana houses

Further information is available by calling (504) 280-5577, at the LSU AgCenter Web site www.lsuagcenter.com/rebuilding or the Road Home Web site at http://rebuilding.road2la.org.

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Contact: Pat Skinner at (225) 578-2910 or pskinner@agcenter.lsu.edu

Writer: Johnny Morgan at (225) 578-8484 or jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu

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