Local and federal agencies and partner organizations are starting Joint Damage Assessments tomorrow and are asking the community for their cooperation.
Officials will be working as quickly as possible to complete the assessment, which is a necessary part of the process in a request for federal assistance.
JOINT DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS
The Government of Guam and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) begin their joint assessments tomorrow, September 18, for impacts on public infrastructure and Thursday, September 20 for individual homes. This is Guam’s next step necessary for the emergency declaration process.
Following a disaster, the Governor has 30 days to submit his request to the President.
Local Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) were conducted by the Offices of Guam Homeland Security and Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) and other GovGuam support agencies following the passage of Typhoon Mangkhut pursuant to the Guam Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. This is a necessary step in the process prior to coordinating Joint Damage Assessments with federal counterparts.
PDA Teams – An Overview
Federal representatives join local officials to form “PDA Teams.” Teams are responsible for surveying damages across the affected area, going village-by-village, door-to-door, until impacted areas identified by local officials have been thoroughly assessed and documented. The teams will talk to as many residents as possible.
Questions from the PDA teams may include:
Do you have insurance?
Are your utilities working?
Do you have a place to stay?
Was your job affected?
Do you have special medical needs?
Note: Not every disaster survivor will be interviewed; Local Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) made prior to joint assessments will be included as part of overall assessments.
Joint PDA teams are looking at the number of damaged or destroyed homes and will be assessing the impact on the community as a whole, such as the impact on public infrastructure. This includes the cost of debris removal; emergency protective measures taken before and after the disaster; and permanent work projects to repair or replace roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, and parks and other recreational facilities.
The goal of the joint PDA is to capture the overall impact to the community.
It is important to remember that PDA teams DO NOT determine whether a major disaster declaration will be issued.
All compiled data will be packaged by the Office of Civil Defense and provided to the Governor to assist in determining if a request for a Major Disaster Declaration is warranted.
It is important to remember that FEMA assistance is supplementary in nature and will only be authorized when a disaster is of the severity and magnitude beyond the effective response of the local government.
What Should I Do Now?
Notify your insurance company and file a claim.
Keep receipts of any disaster-related expenses such as lodging, medical, repair and cleaning supplies, etc.
Make a list of the major items that have been damaged such as utilities, appliances, furniture, and personal property.
Take pictures of damages before you repair them, for documentation purposes.
For more information, contact GHS/OCD Public Information Officer, Jenna G. Blas at (671) 489-2540 or via email at email@example.com.