When a disaster occurs that may require response and recovery efforts beyond the capabilities of the state and local jurisdictions, the Recovery Division coordinates and conducts damage surveys with local and federal agencies and prepares, at the Governor’s direction, a federal disaster declaration request. Following a federally-declared disaster, the division is responsible for working with local and federal agencies to request and distribute federal and state funds for all recovery projects and eligible response expenditures. The division also works to coordinate efforts to mitigate against disasters and administers federal mitigation grants. The division is composed of the Public Assistance, Floodplain Management and Mitigation sections.
Public Assistance Section
Public Assistance Section responsibilities include state damage assessments; assistance in revising State Administrative Plans for Public Assistance and oversight of the FEMA Individuals and Households Program. The State Public Assistance program administers federal grants to eligible public entities for emergency protective measures, debris removal, and the repair, restoration or rebuilding of damaged public facilities in federally-declared disaster areas. Such entities include state agencies, local governments, and certain private, non-profit organizations.
SEMA also administers FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program, which provides state-federal assistance to individuals and families for uninsured critical emergency needs when authorized in a federally-declared disaster.
Floodplain Management Section
The Floodplain Management Program administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Missouri. Most homeowner insurance does not cover flood damage, so the purchase of specific flood insurance may be necessary. For those who live in a mapped high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), federal law compels federally backed mortgage lenders to require the purchase of flood insurance. This section works with NFIP-participating communities to ensure they comply with the requirements of the program, which provides nearly $4 billion in flood insurance coverage for homes and businesses in Missouri. SEMA also is a Cooperating Technical Partner (CTP) with FEMA in the production of Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM) under the federal "Risk Map" modernization program. In addition, the section partners with the Missouri Floodplain and Stormwater Managers Association (MFSMA) and others to offer NFIP training for local floodplain managers, planners, insurance agents, elected officials, engineers and surveyors, lenders and realtors.
The Mitigation Section works with local communities to reduce or avoid the adverse impacts of disasters through the administration of the federal hazard mitigation grant program and assists Missouri counties write mitigation plans to qualify for these grants. Community mitigation projects include voluntary flood buyouts, the replacement of community owned bridges and low water crossings, creek bank stabilization and “re-channelizing” streams to lessen the threat of future flooding. In recent years, mitigation funding has been used increasingly to protect Missourians from tornadoes and severe wind storms by constructing school and community tornado safe rooms across the state.