Media Release: State to Conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments Following Severe Weather

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and representatives from local communities will conduct Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) for communities impacted by the storms that hit the state over the past month.

Four teams comprised of federal, state and local officials will assess damages to public infrastructure that were the result of severe weather impacts including, sinkholes, subsidence, erosion, landslides, debris flows and flash flooding. The teams will assess damages in eight counties Wednesday through Friday this week.

The state will use information collected during the assessment to determine whether a Major Disaster Declaration is viable based on verified losses before initiating a disaster request process.

The PDA is a joint assessment used to determine the impact, type and extent of disaster damages and to determine the impact on individuals and communities while identifying the resources needed for the communities to recover.

Once a disaster has occurred, and the state has declared a state of emergency, the state and local governments will evaluate their recovery capabilities. If it is determined that the damage is beyond the state and local recovery capability, the Governor may send a declaration request letter to the President, directed through the FEMA Regional Administrator. The President then makes the determination whether or not to declare a major disaster or emergency.

If a presidential declaration is made, FEMA will designate the areas eligible for assistance and announce the types of assistance available.