Storm Events and Damage Assessment

During storm events, the Community Development Department is here to do its part to help Longwood residents recover from the storm.

First, when a storm is approaching, the Community Development Department mobilizes as part of the County-wide post-storm Damage Assessment. As soon as its safe, Community Development team members travel the entirety of the City and identify damaged or affected structures and report this information back to Seminole County Emergency Management.

Additionally, the Building Official enacts an emergency permitting process intended to help get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

After the Storm: Temporary/Transient Housing Permit Information

In the unfortunate event your residential home is damaged or to the point is no longer occupiable, or destroyed entirely during a natural disaster, the State, along with the City of Longwood allow for Temporary/Transient Housing to be placed on your property. Below is an outline of the verbiage in Florida Statute 125.023, and the associated requirements necessary for the proper permitting of these housing units. 

Florida Statutes 125.023

  1. For the purposes of this section, the term “temporary shelter” includes, but is not limited to, a recreational vehicle, trailer, or similar structure placed on a residential property.
  2. Notwithstanding any other law, ordinance, or regulation to the contrary, following the declaration of a state of emergency issued by the Governor for a natural emergency as defined in s. 252.34(8) during which a permanent residential structure was damaged and rendered uninhabitable, a county may not prohibit the placement of one temporary shelter on the residential property for up to 36 months after the date of the declaration or until a certificate of occupancy is issued on the permanent residential structure on the property, whichever occurs first, if all of the following circumstances apply:
    1. The resident makes a good faith effort to rebuild or renovate the damaged permanent residential structure, including, but not limited to, applying for a building permit, submitting a plan or design to the county, or obtaining a construction loan.
    2. The temporary shelter is connected to water and electric utilities and does not present a threat to health and human safety.
    3. The resident lives in the temporary structure.

After a disaster, the City’s Damage Assessment Team goes out and evaluates the City for damage. If a residential structure has enough damage to be deemed uninhabitable or destroyed, this is noted in our system, and reported to the State and FEMA. This allows you, as the owner to start the rebuild process. 

The following is an outline of some items that you should be focused on after any such event, and the information necessary to acquire a Temporary/Transient Housing permit while you’re focused on rebuilding. 

  1. Take extensive pictures of the property and all damage done. If you’re unsure about whether something qualifies, it is best to document and then work through it later.
  2. Contact your property insurance company and report the damage
  3. Reach out to either the County, State or FEMA (Depending on the severity of the incident, one or more of the entities will be gathering data to help in guiding you to the right agency for assistance). After any such event, it is imperative to report the extent of your damage. The Seminole County website, will provide updated guidance to assist you in finding the available resources to rebuild. 

After these events, the State and/or FEMA may assist you in getting Temporary/Transient Housing set up on your property. Under the guidance, set forth in F.S. 125, this type of housing is allowed for a period not to exceed 36 months. In order to qualify for this the following items must be accounted for, and completed:

  1. This program only applies to a residential property and damage done to the primary dwelling unit. 
  2. A Building, Electrical and Plumbing permit will be required to set up the Temporary/Transient Housing unit on your property. This can be done by you, the owner, or in conjunction with an applicable agency (State of Florida/FEMA). The following information is required for the permit package:
    1. Site survey showing the location of the proposed temporary/transient unit
    2. Brief description of how the unit will be connected to the existing power, water and sewer utilities associated with the main dwelling unit. 
    3. In order for the Temporary/Transient Housing Permit to be approved, the property owner must be actively pursuing all necessary building permits for the remediation of the main dwelling unit.

Once all work has been completed on the main dwelling unit and the new Certificate of Occupancy has been issued, or no later than 36 months after the issuance of this permit, the unit must be removed from the property. 

For clarification, or any other questions not outlined here, please feel free to contact the Building Division via one of the following methods:

Phone: (407) 260-3486