Storm Damage Assessments

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are working on Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs) following severe weather events produced by the December Winter Storm.

The damage assessments are for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance in those areas hardest hit by high wind, landslides, mudslides, flooding, and erosion in December. Teams comprised of staff from OEM, FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and local governmental representatives will conduct the PDAs and assess the impact and magnitude of damage while determining unmet needs of individuals, businesses and the community as a whole.

“Disaster recovery requires community-wide coordination and collaboration, and extends beyond a single jurisdiction or level of government,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps. “Joint damage assessments are an important initial step towards a full recovery, and the information gathered during these assessments will inform how to proceed with our potential requests for federal recovery assistance.”

The reports are also used by federal officials to determine whether aid is warranted. Public Assistance damage assessments are scheduled for Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Curry, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Multnomah, Polk, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill counties. These assessments are schedule to run this week, Jan. 11-15.

If granted, the Public Assistance program provides federal funds to help eligible local, state and tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations to pay for eligible debris removal, emergency protective measures, and the repair, replacement, or restoration of disaster-damaged facilities.

“A number of factors are involved in considering a request for Public Assistance, said Clint Fella, the designated State Coordinating Officer for the PDAs. “These include the estimated cost of repairs to damaged government and private eligible infrastructure, emergency protective measures, and debris removal.”

The Individual Assistance PDAs will are also scheduled to be completed this week from Jan. 11-15 for Lane, Lincoln, Clackamas, Columbia, Tillamook and Multnomah counties. These state and FEMA assessments may be expanded to include other counties if deemed appropriate.

If granted under a major disaster declaration, the Individual Assistance program provides federal grants to eligible individuals and families to help pay for temporary housing, emergency home repairs not covered by insurance, uninsured and underinsured personal property losses, and medical, dental and funeral expenses caused by the disaster, along with other serious disaster-related expenses. As a part of the declaration, the SBA makes low interest loans available to those eligible.

Information about FEMA’s disaster assistance programs can be found at www.fema.gov/disaster-process-disaster-aid-programs; or public.info@state.or.us.