FEMA Releases Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide

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Trey Shanks

Environmental Scientist

On May 8,  FEMA released its Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide (PDA Guide), the update to the 2016 Damage Assessment Operations Manual. The purpose of the PDA Guide and its accompanying PDA Pocket Guide is to establish a framework for how emergency management officials, at every level of government, document and validate details of damage following a disaster.

Guidance in the PDA Guide went into effect on June 8 and will have a one-year public comment period until June 8, 2021. The guide includes a concept of operations, defined roles and responsibilities, recommended methodologies and the documentation and data required to validate damage.

Summary of Changes

  • Inclusion of Desktop Assessments as a Possible Methodology for Public Assistance PDAs
  • Changes to the Definitions of Degrees of Home Damage for Individual Assistance (Flooding and Non-Flooding)
  • Development of a Tribal-Specific Considerations Appendix
  • Removal of “Soft-Costs” from Public Assistance Estimates

Review the Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide here.

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Trey Shanks, CFM, IAM, leads Freese and Nichols’ Asset Management services. He is a Principal in our Fort Worth office. trey.shanks@freese.com