44 CFR § 206.33 - Preliminary damage assessment.
The preliminary damage assessment (PDA) process is a mechanism used to determine the impact and magnitude of damage and the resulting unmet needs of individuals, businesses, the public sector, and the community as a whole. Information collected is used by the State as a basis for the Governor's request, and by FEMA to document the recommendation made to the President in response to the Governor's request. It is in the best interest of all parties to combine State and Federal personnel resources by performing a joint PDA prior to the initiation of a Governor's request, as follows.
(a) Preassessment by the State. When an incident occurs, or is imminent, which the State official responsible for disaster operations determines may be beyond the State and local government capabilities to respond, the State will request the Regional Administrator to perform a joint FEMA-State preliminary damage assessment. It is not anticipated that all occurrences will result in the requirement for assistance; therefore, the State will be expected to verify their initial information, in some manner, before requesting this support.
(b) Damage assessment teams. Damage assessment teams will be composed of at least one representative of the Federal Government and one representative of the State. A local government representative, familiar with the extent and location of damage in his/her community, should also be included, if possible. Other State and Federal agencies, and voluntary relief organizations may also be asked to participate, as needed. It is the State's responsibility to coordinate State and local participation in the PDA and to ensure that the participants receive timely notification concerning the schedule. A FEMA official will brief team members on damage criteria, the kind of information to be collected for the particular incident, and reporting requirements.
(c) Review of findings. At the close of the PDA, FEMA will consult with State officials to discuss findings and reconcile any differences.
(d) Exceptions. The requirement for a joint PDA may be waived for those incidents of unusual severity and magnitude that do not require field damage assessments to determine the need for supplemental Federal assistance under the Act, or in such other instances determined by the Regional Administrator upon consultation with the State. It may be necessary, however, to conduct an assessment to determine unmet needs for managerial response purposes.