DENTON, Texas – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region 6 office, the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and county, local and tribal officials are assessing damage in the aftermath of recent severe storms and flooding in the state.
Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments are the first step for a state or tribe in determining whether or not to request a presidential declaration. Assessments were already conducted for storms that hit the state in late July where teams looked at public infrastructure damage only. The current assessments include review of damages to both residences and community infrastructure from September storms.
During the assessments, the teams collect estimates of the expenses and damages such as the following:
• Amount and type of damage;
• Threat to public safety and people’s health;
• How many people may be displaced and for how long;
• Extent of insurance coverage;
• Extent of business losses;
• Extent of infrastructure damages;
• Impact to critical facilities;
• Cost of emergency workers’ overtime;
• Need for debris removal;
• Damage to roads, bridges or public facilities;
• Additional data from the American Red Cross or other local voluntary agencies may also be reviewed.
The governor’s office and tribal leaders review the results of the joint assessments and then decide whether the damage is beyond state, tribal and local recovery capabilities. The findings could then be used by Governor Susana Martinez or the tribal leaders to support a request for a Presidential declaration. The request for a presidential declaration is then submitted in writing by the governor to the president through FEMA’s regional office. In this request, the governor or tribal leader certifies that the combined local, county, tribal and state resources are insufficient to meet the emergency situation and that the situation is beyond the state’s recovery capabilities.
The request is reviewed at FEMA’s regional and national level. A number of factors are considered:
• Local response efforts, including labor and state/local assistance programs;
• Assistance from other sources – federal, state, charitable, volunteer, private sector;
• Private insurance availability;
• Impact on public health and safety;
• Impact on state and local financial resources;
• State and local involvement in recent disasters;
• Implementation of hazard mitigation and other corrective measures.
FEMA provides the president with an analysis of the situation and a recommended course of action.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the R6 Preparedness website at www.fema.gov/region-vi/region-6-preparedness