PDA Training VIDEO Intro When disaster strikes, the first responsibility of emergency managers and local officials is to protect lives and public health. Communities should also take emergency protective measures to reduce the immediate threat of significant damage to improved public or private property through cost effective measures. These activities may include sandbagging, barricading, sheltering, search and rescue, and the dissemination of public information. Since disasters come in many different forms, both natural and man-made, responding to each disaster presents its own unique set of challenges. The response effort may require the full attention of first responders and local officials before, during and immediately after the disaster occurs. Intro II However, as soon as possible, your local jurisdiction should start a coordinated, thorough damage assessment of public infrastructure. While separate assessments should be conducted for individual homes and businesses, this presentation will focus only on assessing public infrastructure and the cost of emergency protective measures and debris removal. These costs may qualify for assistance under the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program if a federal disaster is declared. My name is Bill Boone, Program Specialist and Team Lead, in FEMA’s Region 6 Public Assistance Program. Today we will learn about the process for conducting and Preliminary Damage Assessments. The initial damage assessment will be conducted by local officials and will be used to notify state counterparts of the extent of damages, the costs, the impacts, and the community’s ability to recover from the event. State and tribal leaders will use the information gathered from local damage assessments to determine whether or not the Governor should make a request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA for joint Preliminary Disaster Assessments or PDAs. The joint PDA is the mechanism used to determine the impact and magnitude of damage and the resulting unmet needs of individuals, businesses, the public sector, and the community as a whole. (44 CFR 206.33). A joint PDA will include a local official, a state or tribal official and an official from FEMA, as well as other needed technical advisors. The results of joint PDAs are compiled and analyzed at the state and tribal level as well as at the FEMA Regional level. Information collected is used by the State or Tribal Government as a basis for the Governor’s request (to the President for a federal disaster declaration), and by FEMA to document the recommendation made to the President in response to the Governor’s request. 44 CFR 206.33. There are certain per capita thresholds, updated annually, that are taken into account when analyzing PDA data. If the President approves the request for a federal declaration, FEMA may provide reimbursement to the communities through its Public Assistance Program. What Information to Collect? This presentation is designed to teach you what information local leaders should collect during an initial damage assessment to be thoroughly prepared for the joint PDA with senior state, tribal and FEMA officials. You need to know what was damaged, and how extensive the damage was. You will want to know the status of essential public services, such as water, sewer and utility services. Can emergency vehicles reach all areas of your jurisdiction? Are school bus routes open? Were publicly owned buildings damaged? In order to answer these questions, someone must physically survey all areas where there might have been damage. The people responsible for doing damage assessments should be identified in advance in your emergency management plan and should be updated periodically. Damage assessment team members should be trained before disaster strikes. To accomplish this, local jurisdictions will want to take advantage of training offered by the state, tribal nation and FEMA. No two situations are exactly the same when it comes to assessing public property damage. Flood damage, which primarily affects road systems and water control facilities, differs from tornado damage, which consists primarily of scattered debris and down power lines. Hurricanes may cause both flood and wind damage. In order to effectively approach the damage assessment process, there are several pieces of information you should know in advance, such as what type of damage is eligible? What entities are eligible? There are seven (7) categories of work that are eligible for reimbursement under FEMA’s public assistance program. These cat egories are: • CAT A-Debris removal; • CAT-B-Emergency and Protective Measure which includes sandbagging, search and rescue and security patrols; • CAT C-road systems, which includes streets, bridges and culverts; • CAT D-water control facilities such as levees and dams; • CAT-E-buildings and equipment; • CAT F-public utility systems, such as water and sewer plants, or stations and electrical lines; and • CAT G-other facilities such as public parks, golf courses and airports. Applicants who are eligible under the Public Assistance program are state and local governments, tribal governments and certain private non-profit organizations. Private non-profit organizations or PNPs own or operate non-profit facilities and have an effective ruling from the Internal Revenue Service, or from the State, certifying that they are a Non-Profit Organization. Eligible PNP facilities provide either a critical or essential government service. Examples of PNPs that provide critical services are: emergency or medical facilities, educational facilities, utility facilities, and custodian care facilities. Other organizations that provide essential government services may also be eligible for reimbursement. Some examples are: libraries and museums, community centers, homeless shelters, and senior citizens homes. Now that you know the categories of work or damage and who might be an eligible applicant, let’s look at the procedures for assessing public property damage. During the response phase, emergency activities are taking place and information is being shared. In particular, the emergency operation center gathers information from fire, police, and public works personnel as well as the general public. Some of this information will include the location of damages and records of emergency work. As emergency activities are completed, the information gathered regarding costs related to damages and to emergency work, should be used to develop a strategy for conducting local assessments. Operational Strategy II The pre-identified damage assessment teams should assess all of the areas of damage, using the techniques you are learning today. Damages should be prioritized so that the worst and most costly damages are seen first. Before heading to the field, teams should receive direction from their local coordinator regarding the areas that each team should visit and what damages to expect. This will allow the teams to review all damaged areas in a short amount of time, without duplicating each others’ efforts. Wherever possible, the local damage assessment teams should review damages that most relate to their area of expertise. For example an engineer might be the best person to assess a washed out bridge. While each town, district, or precinct is responsible for surveying its area of responsibility, your local Emergency Management Plan should identify who or what office will be responsible for collection of this information for evaluation and reporting purposes. The local team members responsible for assessing damages should be equipped with cameras to record the damages and GPS devices to record the location of damage. Damaged sites should be supported by photographs. The photographs should be labeled in such a way that someone not familiar with the damage can match the photo to the written description of the site. It is also important to take photographs in the immediate aftermath of the event. It may take as long as 1-2 weeks before a joint PDA team arrives. By then, some emergency repairs may have been made, which could make it difficult for an assessor to determine the extent and impact of the damage. Having photos from the immediate aftermath will document what the facility looked like before any repairs were begun. In addition, team members should have at their disposal: • Annotated maps, identifying damaged areas. As more damages are discovered, team members should add this information on the maps to be prepared for joint PDAs with State and FEMA Specialists. • Necessary office supplies such as a clipboard, tablet, and writing instruments • Communication device – a cell phone or--if cellular service is interrupted, a radio. • Spare batteries for digital equipment. • Safety Equipment or specialized clothing, such as rain gear or a shirt with your jurisdiction’s logo. Safety is an important factor to consider when conducting damage assessments. Avoid standing on the edge of any type of wash-out as scouring may have eroded the surface beneath the roadway, leaving it vulnerable to collapse. Exercise caution when driving in high-debris or flooded areas or when encountering downed power lines. Always be alert to potential hazards and report observed hazards to the Emergency Operations Center and your PDA Coordinator. Site Assessments: Each site should be itemized individually on a damage assessment form. Since FEMA and your State or Tribal representative will prepare these forms, you don’t have to fill them out yourself. But you’ll need to have the information ready for senior officials on a site by site basis. If you’d like to use the FEMA forms, they can be found on fema.gov. Damage assessment teams should note the following for each site: • What is the category of work? • What is the location and name of the site? Both an address and GPS coordinates are needed. • Describe the damages. What are the actual dimensions? In the case of Category B, Emergency Protective Measures, describe what measures were taken. • How will repairs be made? Will the community use its own labor or contract labor to perform the needed work? • What percentage of the work has been completed? • What is the estimated cost of the work to be performed? • Discuss the impacts to the community. Are bus routes closed or can mail be delivered? What kind of economic impact—long or short term—will the damage have? Are there health and safety factors involved? In cases of severe damage, it may not be possible to document each and every damaged element. For example, hundreds of utility poles may have been knocked down. While it is OK to describe the site as “utility pole down” and to project a reasonable number of similar sites, local officials must be certain that they have at least visually inspected those sites. Projections should be grouped geographically. For example, if a county or parish had 100 downed utility poles, these could be broken into smaller groups as shown on your screen. Here is an example of a completed site assessment: • Category B • Site no. 3 • Location: City Park, note the latitude and longitude • Damages: The public works department staff of five (road foreman, two street crew, two administrative workers) worked a total of 64 regular time hours and 60 overtime hours sandbagging city buildings. One vehicle (1/2 Ton pick-up) was also used for 60 hours. 3,000 pounds of sand and 500 sandbags were purchased and delivered by S&S, Inc. • Impact: Threats of flooding required sandbagging to prevent damage to city buildings • Cost: $40,000 Now let’s consider what documentation is required. Since the public assistance program is designed to be a reimbursement program, you should keep careful records of all costs that are disaster related from the moment the emergency action begins until this emergency action is no longer needed. Also document your activity to request a declaration until the event is declared or until all your appeal rights have been exhausted. If a disaster is declared, you will need this documentation to support your project worksheet, which is the funding mechanism for your reimbursement. If you are unsure if the work is eligible, continue to maintain records and seek guidance from your state emergency management office and FEMA. During the response phase of a disaster, emergency actions are being taken and associated costs are being incurred. State, tribal, and local administrative personnel should document these activities, their locations, the personnel and equipment involved, and how many hours were worked. The types of documentation you should maintain are: • Force Account Labor or labor performed using your own employees. When recording hours worked, be sure to distinguish between straight time and over time, since straight time is only eligible for reimbursement in certain circumstances. Labor and equipment costs should be supported by an employee’s daily time and attendance sheet which identifies the location at which the employee was working, the amount of time that employee worked at that location, any equipment the employee was using, and his or her hourly rate including fringe benefits. You can read more about eligible labor costs in the PA Digest and the PA Guide. You can also review Disaster Assistance Policy 9525.7 Labor Costs – Emergency Work • Force Account Equipment or equipment owned by the eligible applicant used during response and recovery • Contract Costs – Copies of contracts, invoices, paid receipts, evidence of procurement process In addition, you should keep records of • Rental Costs • Maintenance Records and • Plans, blueprints, and drawings of damaged facilities Insurance It is important to understand what insurance coverage is maintained by an eligible applicant for an eligible facility and to obtain a copy of relevant insurance policies before FEMA Specialists arrive to conduct joint PDAs. While FEMA Specialists will note the full damage sustained by the facility only the cost of unmet needs can be used in the final damage calculations. If a facility is insured, the deductible is often the unmet need. Having the insurance policy available on the day of the joint PDA saves time in the long run. Once you’ve compiled the results of your initial assessment, you can decide if you will request outside aid for your community. Forward a request to your state or tribal counterpart in accordance with your local procedures. There are several factors you’ll need to consider in making that decision: WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON YOUR TAX BASE? If a large number of homes or businesses are destroyed, they may have to be removed from the tax rolls, severely restricting income for both the short and long runs. DOES YOUR BUDGET HAVE SUFFICIENT FUNDS TO MAKE NEEDED REPAIRS TO PUBLIC PROPERTY? If not, can you reprioritize non-disaster-related projects and use those funds to recover? ARE BASIC UTILITIES OPERATIONAL? Priority must be given to repairing water and sewerage facilities. Electricity must be brought back online quickly, too. ARE LOCAL LABOR FORCES SUFFICIENT TO HANDLE ALL THE REPAIRS IN A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF TIME? It may be feasible to hire extra manual labor if your budget has that flexibility. You may need to consider contracting some projects to local firms. Meeting with FEMA, state and tribal leaders. The state or your tribal leaders will schedule joint PDAs for your community. In preparation for this meeting, advise the state or tribal PDA Coordinator of how long it will take to assess your area of responsibility. Keep in mind that it is typical for an entire county or parish to be assessed in only one or two days. On the designated day, you should: • Participate in the PDA briefing, making note of key issues or known hazards. • Have a knowledgeable escort available to show the damages to the PDA team. Separate escorts should be on hand to review Individual and Public Assistance damages if both types of PDAs have been requested. Individual and Public Assistance teams review different sets of damages and therefore, do not travel together. Meeting with FEMA, state and tribal leaders. • Have an appropriate vehicle or vehicles available that can accommodate several passengers and access the damaged areas. While there is always a representative from the state or tribe, a local representative, and a FEMA Specialist, there are often other parties involved as well such as a Public Information Officer or representative from Hazard Mitigation. Ask your PDA Coordinator for Guidance regarding how many people to accommodate. • Go over your list of damages and map locations with the PDA team before leaving the PDA briefing. Schedule your travel in a logical way that avoids backtracking, while prioritizing the hardest hit sites. • Be prepared to discuss community-wide impacts in addition to the dollar amount of damages and site specific impacts gathered in the site assessments. Provide the State, Tribal and FEMA Specialists with answers to the same questions you discussed when requesting a joint PDA. Time is a critical factor in both doing the survey and in asking for assistance. As time passes, repairs will be made and the impact will not be as evident to state and federal inspectors. Any requests for federal assistance must be processed through the state and received by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within 30 days of the incident. During that timeframe, you must do your survey and file your request. And the state must do its survey and prepare and process a request for the governor’s signature. You should also obtain a copy of FEMA 326, Preliminary Damage Assessment Manual. You can request a copy from FEMA publications by calling the number on your screen. Do this before a disaster strikes. Keep in mind that a Preliminary Damage Assessment is just that—preliminary. Your survey is an estimate of damage based on the best information available at the time. It would be difficult if not impossible, to develop exact figures in the time frame involved. Also, remember that while the dollar amount of the PDA is a major factor in determining if a disaster is declared, it is not a guarantee of funding. If a disaster is declared, the state, tribe and FEMA will work together to formulate Project Worksheets to calculate the exact amount of eligible damage on a project by project basis. By thoroughly assessing the damages in advance of the joint PDA and gathering needed documentation, you will be better able to fully illustrate the impact of the event on your community. This will help the state, tribal and federal inspectors make their recommendation more quickly and accurately.