Damage Assessment Overview


Damage Assessments Overview

There are four types of damage assessments that must be completed when requesting a Presidential disaster declaration. A request for federal assistance must be submitted by the governor 30 days after the last day of the incident period. 

Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA)

The RNA is a quick assessment focusing on issues related to life-sustaining or life-saving needs and operations. 

  • Assessment conducted in the first few hours following a disaster
  • Involves local government coordination with residents, businesses, lifeline operators and subject matter experts.

Initial Damage Assessment (IDA)

The IDA captures damage information and impacts that may influence eligibility for state or federal support or assistance. 

  • Assessment conducted the days following the disaster.
  • Involves state, tribal and local government officials.

State Verification

The state verification of IDA data ensures the level of damage caused by the incident rises to the level of state or federal support eligibility and meets the required indicators. 

  • Verification follows the IDA and is prior to the request for a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment.
  • Colorado DHSEM leads state coordination with tribal and / or local government officials.

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (JPDA)

The JPDA assess and validates the impact and magnitude of damage and the resulting unmet needs of individuals, businesses, public sector and the community. 

  • Assessments conducted days or weeks following the disaster.
  • Involves state, tribal, local governments in coordination with FEMA and the Small Business Administration.

Timeline for Damage Assessments

Below is a flow chart showing the timeline line for the assessment process that includes:

  1. Begins with notice or no-notice incident 
  2. Initial Damage Assessment Process Begins
    1. First Local and Tribal Governments assess damage, collect data to estimate extent of damage
    2. Next the state verifies the IDA data and requests a JPDA
  3. Preliminary Damage Assessment Process
    1. The FEMA Regional Office reviews the state request for a JPDA and validates the IDA information
    2. Next a JPDA Team conducts site visits and assesses damages, compiles cost estimates and documentation and assess damage assessment information to support a major disaster declaration request.
Flow Chart showing damage assessment process explained above.