BILLINGS, Mont. -- FEMA will begin a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) today in Custer County to determine damages from the recent flooding. Meanwhile, five joint PDA teams continue their assessment of damages on the Crow Indian Reservation.
Crow Tribal Nation Officials will be leading the teams to damaged areas of their reservation. Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Small Business Administration and Montana Division of Disaster and Emergency Services (DES) are also part of the joint teams. Damage assessments are expected to conclude by the middle of the week.
When an incident occurs FEMA establishes contact with state emergency management officials, in this case the Montana Division of Emergency and Disaster Services (DES), and deploys people as necessary. Montana DES has been working with local and tribal nation officials since the first indication of flooding was reported. Montana DES has helped local officials and tribal nations assess overall damage, and provided resources and assistance as requested throughout the incident.
FEMA Region VIII has taken the following actions since flooding occurred in Montana:
- FEMA Region VIII has been in contact with Montana DES since Monday, June 11, 2007 monitoring the situation and helping to determine any state and tribal needs.
- FEMA Region VIII received a request from the state of Montana to conduct Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) late Wednesday evening, June 13, 2007.
- A FEMA State Liaison Officer traveled to Montana Thursday and started working with Montana DES Friday morning to coordinate visits to impacted areas of the state by Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) teams.
- FEMA sent 13 people, divided into six PDA teams, to Montana to assess damages from this disaster and its impact on individuals and public facilities. The teams arrived in Billings on Sunday, June 17, 2007.
- FEMA Region VIII’s team includes a Tribal Liaison who will provide information and technical assistance to tribal nations impacted by this recent flooding event. FEMA’s Tribal Liaison spoke Friday with the Crow Tribal Nation Incident Commander and will also be working with Northern Cheyenne Tribal Nation officials.
- The Joint PDA teams started their damage assessments today with officials from the Crow Tribal Nation and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Nation. FEMA and tribal nation officials were joined by representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Montana DES.
- Information gathered during the Preliminary Damage Assessments will be provided to the state and tribal nations. Information from the PDA is used to determine whether or not federal assistance will be requested. Under the Robert T. Stafford Act, any request for a presidential disaster declaration must be submitted by the governor of the affected state. To date, FEMA has not received any specific request for a declaration.
FEMA coordinates the federal government’s role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.