Governor Christie Announces State to Begin Flood Damage Assessments and Recovery Process
– In an effort to aid residents and communities impacted by last week’s severe storms and flooding, Governor Chris Christie announced today that he has asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to partner with the State to conduct a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) of affected areas to begin the process of getting a presidential disaster declaration and federal reimbursement.
“This was a significant weather event which resulted in evacuations, personal and public property damage and considerable expense for the impacted municipalities,” Governor Christie said. “We must do what we can to help ease the impact, and this request to FEMA starts that process.”
PDA’s are the first step in determining whether the disaster is of such severity and impact that federal assistance is necessary. The PDA is typically used as a basis for a State Governor's request for a major disaster or emergency declaration. It shows the cost of response efforts, including emergency personnel overtime, other emergency services, and damage to public and private property which is beyond State and local recovery capabilities. The President considers the PDA as one of the factors in making a determination whether to declare a Major Disaster or Emergency in response to the Governor's request.
In anticipation of the flood waters receding, PDA’s are scheduled to commence on Wednesday, when all county and local officials throughout the State will begin to assess and document the impact of the flooding. New Jersey Office of Emergency Management and FEMA representatives will conduct Joint PDA’s in Bergen, Essex, Morris, Sussex and Passaic Counties, the hardest-hit areas. Joint PDA teams will be directed to additional counties, if needed.
The Joint PDA process is used to determine the impact and magnitude of damage caused by a disaster. It summarizes the needs of individuals, businesses, public sector and the entire community. New Jersey is seeking assistance from several federal programs: Individual Assistance, including the Small Business Administration Loan Program, Public Assistance and the Hazard Mitigation and Insurance Program.
The PDA Teams will review the types of damage or emergency costs incurred and the impact to critical facilities, including: public utilities, hospitals, schools, and fire and police departments. The team will also assess the impact on individuals and businesses, including the extent of the damage, the number of people displaced, and the threat to health and safety caused by the incident. During the assessment, the team will collect eligible estimates of the expenses and damages.
The State Office of Emergency Management and its partners are committed to work in the timeliest manner possible to complete the PDA’s. To best serve residents impacted by the flood, accuracy of data collection will be the primary focus. Therefore, the State will not speculate on PDA completion timelines nor give rough estimates on damages. PDA information will be released upon completion of the process and final review by the Governor’s Office.
All residents and businesses that have experienced flood damage to their property as a result of the recent flooding event are advised to contact their insurance company and open a claim for damages. All municipal and county officials should continue to work with their respective offices of emergency management and gather data and damage reports to be forwarded to the State for reviewed.
For more information regarding flood recovery and the PDA process please follow these links:
NJOEM Flood Related Info: www.ready.nj.gov
NJ 211 Call Center:
Call 2-1-1 or click www.nj211.org
; Free 24-hour statewide service - putting people in need of assistance, in-touch with people who can help.
FEMA Flood-Related Info:
Declaration Process: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/dproc.shtm
PDA's: http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/pda.shtm Individual Assistance Info: http://www.fema.gov/assistance/process/individual_assistance.shtm
Public Assistance Info: http://www.fema.gov/government/grant/pa/index.shtm
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