BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration, State of North Dakota, and local and tribal officials expect to begin Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) in some flood-affected communities tomorrow. Teams are ready and plans are made, however, existing snow and continuing bad weather could delay the start.
These PDAs are on-the-ground surveys of damage to neighborhoods and business districts, not individual residences. Community residents do not have to be present for these surveys.
PDA information gathered is one of several factors that determine whether federal Individual Assistance from FEMA is needed. All information is reviewed at the FEMA regional office in Denver and at FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The information may or may not result in an expansion of the disaster declaration to include individuals and families under the provisions of the Stafford Act.
"We know that those who have already been affected by the flooding are anxious to know which way to turn and what assistance will be available," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael J. Hall, in charge of coordinating the FEMA response in North Dakota.
"FEMA has brought in dozens of personnel from all over the U.S. to join with state, local and tribal officials in the flood fight," he added. "Protecting lives and property is first and foremost. We are working to assess the situation and pull together the information as soon as possible. FEMA officials at the highest level are in full support of our efforts and will do everything possible to help the state and its citizens."
It is important to remember that FEMA isn't the only source of aid available to individuals. Many other federal and state agencies have programs that are not tied to a disaster declaration, and community organizations have additional resources to bring to bear. FEMA is available on a continuing basis, whether or not a disaster is declared, to offer technical assistance to emergency managers at all levels.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.