People at the session also learned that while elevating homes on piers reduces flood danger, it requires extra work to protect the slab foundations lifted out of the ground.
Inspectors saw numerous houses that looked fine but had cracked slabs because they were raised without enough permanent reinforcement, said Erin Ashley of URS Group Inc., a contractor that did damage estimates after Hurricane Isaac struck Louisiana last August.
She handed out CDs of the final report about Isaac.
Among its recommendations:
—Outside stairs to a raised house should have openings between risers to let water through. If that's not possible, the risers should parallel the likely direction of waves.
—If the area between the first floor and the ground is enclosed, use materials that resist flood damage and design walls to break away in a flood.
—If a homeowner plans enclosed parking under a raised building, make the garage ceiling a firewall.