Florida SERT: Damage Assessment Teams to Deploy Immediately to Expedite Assistance
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) announced today that, in the interest of bringing assistance to families impacted by Hurricane Michael as quickly as possible, it is proceeding with Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) for FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) immediately.
In disasters prior to Hurricane Irma, local communities completed Initial Damage Assessments (IDA) following the completion of their response efforts. Following that, local communities, the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would conduct joint PDAs. The federal disaster declaration would follow PDA completion.
Due to the unprecedented impact of Hurricane Michael, Governor Scott requested and obtained a disaster declaration immediately following landfall. In addition and at his direction, state personnel have already begun the PDA process.
Typically, federal representatives join state and local officials to form PDA teams. They are responsible for surveying damages in designated counties until impacted areas identified by state and local officials have been thoroughly assessed. In the interest of expediency, state personnel are proceeding with PDAs immediately and without first conducting IDAs, substantially decreasing timeframes when compared to past similar disasters.
The following counties have been declared for FEMA Public and Individual Assistance: Bay, Jackson, Calhoun, Gulf, Gadsden, Liberty, Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor.