On March 31, 2016, FEMA released the FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual. The Manual establishes national damage assessment standards developed from historic lessons learned and best practices already in use and will increase the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of damage assessments by empowering emergency management at all levels with clear information and defined roles and responsibilities. The Manual was created by FEMA subject matter experts and incorporates the perspectives and experience of local, state, and tribal emergency management, and voluntary agency and private sector partners.  FEMA’s public comment period and tribal consultation resulted in over 1,700 comments that were then incorporated into the Manual.


The FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual is built using a framework that encourages local information collection, state or tribal verification, and federal validation. Previous versions of Preliminary Damage Assessment manuals have focused exclusively on the federal role. This document better highlights and provides guidance to state, local, and tribal governments on their role in the assessment. Working collectively with our partners in emergency management FEMA hopes to expedite the assessment process which will allow for faster submissions of requests from Governors or Chief Tribal Executives. To view the manual at: http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/109040.


If you have any other questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.


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