Emergency management officials are zeroing in on four Central Indiana counties hit by recent flooding and severe weather.
They’ll begin preliminary damage assessments this morning in Madison, Howard, Tipton and Wabash counties, which had damage, according citizen reports and damage gathered by emergency management professionals.
The assessments will be conducted by local, state and federal officials, including the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The assessments are the sixth step in the process of determining whether the areas should pursue federal assistance.
According to the state Department of Homeland Security, that procedure is as follows:
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.
Personnel from FEMA and the U.S. SBA are deployed and join state and local representatives to conduct joint damage assessments (Indiana is currently at this step).
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.
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