TALLAHASSEE, Florida – September 1, 2012
The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) teams continue to conduct joint preliminary damage assessments (PDA) to survey damage caused by Hurricane Isaac. The state also continues to support response efforts in Palm Beach County due to flooding caused by Isaac.
“Water levels continue to decrease across Palm Beach County, with the water management system working at full capacity,” said State Coordinating Officer Bryan W. Koon. “The County continues to address the needs of residents as they are made aware and there are currently no unmet requests for state assistance.”
All residents in impacted areas have been personally contacted through a joint effort between the County’s fire department and Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Florida Forest Service (FFS), and these efforts will continue through the weekend. Well being checks have been completed over 146 one-square-mile grids and requests for assistance are slowly decreasing.
In Palm Beach County, the Deer Run Community remains a concern due to ongoing high water levels The South Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) has three pumps working there and Palm Beach County is working with the Home Owner’s Association on a potential fourth. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are conducting mobile feeding from six open stations today.
Palm Beach County Mosquito Control conducted a successful aerial spraying of more than 270,000 acres in mid-western and western Palm Beach County. The Florida Department of Health is informing residents of dangers of standing water in flooded areas. The County’s Emergency Information Center has fielded more than 3,300 calls.
PDA teams composed of SERT and FEMA representatives will coordinate with local emergency management agencies on plans to assess damage in the requested counties. The purpose of preliminary damage assessments is to verify the severity of the impact and justify the need to pursue a request for federal assistance.
Individual Assistance PDAs are conducted in order to guide State response efforts, assess the need for federal assistance and estimate disaster impact to businesses, individuals and families. Individual Assistance PDA teams are deployed to disaster sites to evaluate damages specifically to homes and businesses. The determination to provide Individual Assistance is based upon several factors, including but not limited to, concentration and level of damages, trauma, special populations, lack of available voluntary agency assistance, under insured or uninsured population and recent multiple disasters.
Individual Assistance PDA teams began surveying damage in Indian River and Palm Beach counties on Friday, August 31. A PDA team is scheduled for an Individual Assistance survey in Okeechobee County next week. Additional requests for Individual Assistance PDAs may be submitted by counties as initial damage assessments are completed at the local level.
The objective of the FEMA's Public Assistance Grant Program is to provide assistance to state, tribal, local governments and certain types of private non-profit organizations so that communities can quickly respond to and recover from major disasters or emergencies declared by the president. In Florida, the damage threshold for federal disaster relief assistance is more than $25 million.
Public Assistance PDA teams will begin surveying damage next week in Franklin, Collier, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. More than 30 counties have had some impact from Hurricane Isaac and additional PDA surveys may be requested in the future as initial damage assessments are completed by local officials.
Preliminary Damage Assessments are initiated by county emergency management agencies. Individuals who have experienced disaster-related damage to homes or businesses should call the local county Emergency Management Office to receive disaster-related information and to document their damages with officials.
Due to the potential impacts of Hurricane Isaac, Governor Rick Scott signed Executive Order 12-199, declaring a statewide state of emergency on Saturday, August 25.
Visit www.FloridaDisaster.org/recovery for details about the damage assessment process and types of assistance that may be available. The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. To GET A PLAN! visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. For the latest information on the 2012 Hurricane Season, follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/flsert and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/FloridaSERT.