Preliminary Damage Assessments are one of the key first steps in the process of seeking a federal major disaster declaration to assist individuals and public entities recover

Beginning on Wednesday, May 10, State Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency specialists fanned out across flood-impacted areas of Missouri to participate in joint damage assessments.

The SEMA and FEMA specialists are participating, along with local emergency managers and officials, in two types of teams, known as Preliminary Damage Assessment teams, surveying damage: Individual Assistance (IA) teams and Public Assistance (PA) teams. Team members will carry official identification. Residents should not hesitate to request that they show their ID.

Individual Assistance Assessments

joint Preliminary Damage Assessment team meets with a Carter County resident on May 12, 2017.

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment team meets with a Carter County resident on May 12, 2017.

Individual Assistance teams assess damage to homes and personal property. Teams will not visit every house; the assessments are meant to get a broad overview of damage.

If a federal major disaster declaration is declared, Individual Assistance can help eligible individuals and families in counties included in the declaration with temporary rental assistance, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other means.

The following counties will be surveyed for potential Individual Assistance, based on initial assessments conducted locally: Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Christian, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Jasper, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, and Wright.

Public Assistance Assessments

SEMA disaster specialists meet on May 10 before fanning out to flood-affected areas of Missouri to participate in joint Preliminary Damage Assessments.

SEMA disaster specialists meet on May 10 before fanning out to flood-affected areas of Missouri to participate in joint Preliminary Damage Assessments.

Public Assistance teams assess disaster damage to public infrastructure like roads, bridges and schools as well as certain nonprofit entities.

If a federal major disaster declaration is declared, Public Assistance can help eligible governmental subdivisions and certain nonprofits with grant assistance for repairs to infrastructure and response costs.

The following counties will be surveyed for potential Public Assistance, based on initial assessments conducted locally: Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Butler, Camden, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Howell, Iron, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Ralls, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Webster, and Wright.

Additional Counties Expected to be Assessed

Additional counties are expected to be added to the request for either Individual Assistance or Public Assistance damage assessments as the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency receives more information from local officials. At the time of the original request to FEMA for the assessments, some areas of flood-affected counties were still impacted by floodwater delaying the initial, local assessments that lead to the Preliminary Damage Assessments.

Participating jointly in the teams are local emergency managers and officials, SEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and, for Individual Assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration.

What You Can Do

Those affected by the flooding and severe storms are encouraged to report damage to their local emergency management officials and to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts.

Individuals and business owners should notify their insurance companies of damage and not wait for damage assessments.

For information about Missouri flooding recovery and resources check Mo.gov/flood. The site is regularly updated with new information.