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Public Infrastructure Damage Reports Sought

Tornado warned storm near Minden 6-6-22In recent weeks, various parts of Nebraska have been hit with severe storms, localized flooding, high winds, and tornadoes. This trend of severe weather events will most likely continue for the foreseeable future, and many of those events will cause damage. In order to best support the recovery of our communities following a significant event, The NEMA Recovery Section Team needs Public Infrastructure damage information quickly.

In the initial aftermath of an incident, once the determination has been made that immediate life- and property-protecting measures have been taken and all Incident Status Reports (ISRs) have been submitted to the NEMA Watch Center, the recovery process must begin as quickly as possible. If we are to make the request for a Federal Disaster, we are required by Federal Law to make that request to FEMA within 30 days of the incident.

In order to make that request, we must complete the following steps:

  1. Gather damage information to justify:
    1. An Emergency Proclamation from the Governor
    2. A request to FEMA for joint Federal/State Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDAs)
  2. Complete the PDAs and process the PDA report
  3. Gather information to write an impact statement
  4. Write the request letter and complete the associated FEMA forms
  5. Obtain the Governor’s signature on those documents
  6. Send the request package to FEMA Region 7 for processing and moving forward

For our Public Power Districts and Rural Electric Providers, we ask that damage estimates, broken down by county, be reported as quickly as possible to the local Emergency Manager in the counties impacted. While NEMA understands the desire to report actuals and not rough estimates, the schedule we need to meet does not always allow for the processing of actual costs.

For our Tribes, Counties, Cities, Villages, Townships and departments within, we ask that you gather damage information to the best of your ability and provide it to your local Emergency Manager. Communicating damage information with the Emergency Manager serving your county is of vital importance.

For our Local Emergency Managers, we ask that you gather damage information as best you can from the various entities in the communities you serve and pass that information on to the NEMA Recovery Section as quickly and as accurately as you can. Again, we do not expect that all of the information you provide us will be 100% perfect, but we need the best estimates you can provide. While serving as a conduit for damage information may add to your already overflowing workload, if you are aware of all the damages in your county(ies), you are better informed regarding the need for asking elected officials for emergency declarations.

When you provide damage information, please include as much of the following as possible:

  • Description of the damaged facility
  • Location of the damaged facility
    • GPS Coordinates in Degree-decimal format or physical address
  • Estimated cost to repair the damaged facility
    • Your best estimate is fine, don’t let the perfect hold up the good enough
    • If repairs will require upgrades due to codes and standards or mitigation, please include that information
  • Current status of the damaged facility
    • Has it been repaired, yet?

Following an incident, NEMA Recovery staff will do their best to reach out to Local Emergency Managers in the counties that were impacted. We will make those calls based on reports received by the Watch Center and logged in IC/KC, but we know that despite our best efforts, we will not reach everyone we need to. We recommend that you reach out to the NEMA Recovery staff via our PA Email- NEMA.PublicAssistance@Nebraska.gov, or a phone call to an established point of contact on the Public Assistance team.