Preliminary Tornado Damage Assessments Began Today in Southeast Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – Local, state and federal officials began conducting joint preliminary damage assessments in Southeast Indiana starting today, Tuesday, March 6, to evaluate damage caused by severe weather and tornadoes on Friday March 2.
Teams will include representatives from the affected counties, Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Based on citizen reports and damage gathered by local and state emergency management professionals, these teams will focus on Clark, Ripley, Washington, Jefferson and Scott counties.
These damage assessments are a key part of the multi-step process to determine whether it is appropriate to pursue federal assistance. See below for additional information about the federal disaster declaration process.
IDHS is still encouraging anyone who has not yet reported damage to please do so.
How to report damage
Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by tornadoes on March 2 can report online at www.in.gov/dhs. In the middle of the page under “Topics of the Day,” click on “Citizen Damage Reports for March Severe Weather.”
The federal disaster declaration process for individual assistance
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.
INDIANA IS CURRENTLY AT THIS STEP: Personnel from FEMA and the U.S. SBA are deployed and join state and local representatives to conduct joint damage assessments.
IDHS provides the findings of the joint damage assessments to the Governor's Office.
If the Governor determines the extent of damage indicates full 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.
If FEMA Individual Assistance is granted, Small Business Administration loans will also be available. If FEMA Individual Assistance is denied, the Governor may file a supplementary request for SBA assistance.