Storm Damage Assessment information for Municipal Officials


Damage Assessment Process

As quickly as possible following a disaster, damage assessment should begin. It is the responsibility of the Municipality to report up to the County who will in turn report up to PEMA and then to FEMA.

A preliminary assessment is important to help identify the adverse impact to essential facilities and services, and estimate the amount of supplemental assistance needed.

There is no guarantee that funds will be available. But if you do not complete the process & forms you are 100% guaranteed that you will get nothing should assistance become available.

Steps to Follow

  1. As soon as any resources are used in any disaster response, document the labor, equipment and materials used including location and type of work performed. This information is vital to recover costs if the disaster is federally declared.
  2. Prepare a list of locations damaged as a direct result of the disaster using the PEMA-DAP-19 Form (Local Damage Assessment). This list should include a brief description of the damage (i.e. debris cleanup, road washout, bridge damaged etc.), an estimate of the cost to repair to the pre-disaster condition, and an indication of any special considerations that could be present at the site. If work has already been done at a site, a detailed cost breakdown of personnel, equipment, materials, contract costs and photographs of damage prior to starting work in progress or completed are needed to produce an accurate estimate.
  3. Identify and describe the adverse impact of the damages on essential facilities and services. Particular emphasis should be focused on hospitals, schools, access for emergency services, utilities, and other public health and safety concerns.
  4. Mark the location of each damage site on a map and develop a route of travel to each. All damage sites should be identified by the Municipality. List in order of damage severity, Worst first !!!
  5. Have photographs, site sketches, and/or drawings of each damaged site available.
  6. Accumulate needed additional information particularly population, budget, budget balance and impact of disaster event.


DAP-19  LOCAL PUBLIC DAMAGE ASSESSMENT ( for municipality incurred damage)

IA Form 1A  Damage Assessment Field Worksheet  ( for damage to residences/businesses not municipalities)

DAP-7 Volunteer Fire Company Disaster Activity Worksheet (FD activity during disaster, i.e. basement pumping, protective measures. etc)


Download Forms and Instructions here:

2017 FEMA Equipment Rates

Damage Assessment Process

DAP-07 Form Volunteer Fire Company Disaster Activity Worksheet

DAP-19 Local Damage Assessment Form

IDR 2015 updated version

Individual Assistance Damage Assessment Form-3

Reporting Damages

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Reporting Your Damages

The importance of the initial local assessment of damages cannot be over emphasized. This process is essential in determining:

  • What happened and how it has affected individuals and communities.
  • How residential, business and infrastructure property has been affected.
  • Which areas were hardest hit.
  • Which situations must be given response priority.
  • What types of assistance are needed (e.g., local, state, or federal).

Accurate and timely damage reporting is crucial to successfully requesting and receiving federal assistance in the form of either low-interest loans or grants to help Pennsylvania’s citizens, businesses and infrastructure recover from a disaster. The recovery process begins with the identification of damages at the local level and the expeditious reporting of those damages within the emergency management channels:

  • Individuals and businesses report property damages to the community’s Emergency Management Coordinator.
  • Elected Officials report municipal property and infrastructure damages to the community’s Emergency Management Coordinator.
  • Community Emergency Management Coordinators report damages to residential, business and municipal property and infrastructure within their community to the County Emergency Management Coordinator.

•County Emergency Management Coordinators report overall damages to residential, business and municipal property and infrastructure within their county to PEMA using the Initial Damage Reporter function of the automated Pennsylvania Emergency Information Reporting System (PEIRS).