Flood damage assessments begin this week - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Flood damage assessments begin this week

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Local, state and federal officials will begin conducting damage assessments in four flood-damaged central Indiana counties starting Wednesday morning.

The agencies will conduct a joint preliminary investigation to evaluate damage caused by severe weather and flooding that began April 17. Their findings will determine how much federal assistance these communities will be eligible for.

Teams will include representatives from those counties, Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The teams will focus on Howard, Madison, Tipton and Wabash counties.

These damage assessments are a key part of the multi-step process to determine whether it is appropriate to pursue federal assistance.

This is the federal disaster declaration process for individual assistance:

An emergency or disaster incident occurs.

Local emergency and public safety personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations and other private groups provide emergency life-saving and -sustaining activities, meet immediate human needs, and restore essential services vital to public health and safety.

A local disaster or emergency is declared.

Preliminary damage and impact information is reported to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) by citizens and local emergency management entities.

IDHS determines whether to request joint preliminary damage assessments should be conducted by federal, state and local officials.

INDIANA IS CURRENTLY AT THIS STEP: Personnel from FEMA and the U.S. SBA are deployed and join state and local representatives to conduct joint damage assessments.

IDHS provides the findings of the joint damage assessments to the Governor's Office.

If the Governor determines the extent of damage indicates adequate recovery is beyond the capabilities of the state and local governments, the Governor submits a written request to the President asking that federal assistance be provided under a major disaster or emergency declaration.

FEMA reviews the request and findings of the joint damage assessments and advises the President whether a disaster or emergency declaration should be granted.

Federal assistance is granted or denied.

If FEMA Individual Assistance is granted, Small Business Administration loans will also be available. If FEMA Individual Assistance is denied, a supplementary request may be filed for SBA assistance.

IDHS is still encouraging anyone who has not yet reported damage to please do so.

How to report damage

Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by severe weather and flooding that began April 17 can report online. In the middle of the page under "Featured Topics," click on "Report Damage from Severe Storms and Flooding - Starting April 17 and continuing."

FOR QUESTIONS

For questions, contact your county emergency management agency. Local agency's contact information is available by accessing this page.

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