Course Overview, Course Goal, and Objectives

Welcome to the Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions course.

The course provides an overview of detailed Damage Description and Dimensions development. By the end of the course, State, local, Tribal, and Territorial Applicants and Recipients should be able to understand the components and completion of the Damage Description and Dimensions and how it fits into the greater Public Assistance grants reimbursement process.

Upon completion of this course, the participants will be able to:

  • Define and specify the components of a completed Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions
  • Explain how to review, verify, and sign a completed Damage Description and Dimensions form in the Grants Portal
Select this link to access the Public Assistance acronym list.
Lesson 1 Overview and Objectives

This lesson provides an overview of the Damage Description and Dimensions and its integral role in the Public Assistance grant development process.

Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the administrative requirements of the course
  • State the goals and objectives of the course
  • Explain how the Damage Description and Dimensions is the foundation of a Public Assistance grant that feeds into supports scoping and costing
Overview of Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions (1 of 2)

The basis of the Damage Description and Dimensions begins with the Damage Inventory. The Damage Inventory is a specifically itemized catalog of the Applicant's damage claims from an incident.

The Damage Inventory is introduced to the Applicant during Phase I of the Public Assistance process, first during the Exploratory Call and should be completed by the end of the Recovery Scoping Meeting. The Applicant has the option to develop the Damage Inventory themselves before the Recovery Scoping Meeting or to complete it during the Recovery Scoping Meeting with the assistance of FEMA staff.

No Regardless of the option the Applicant chooses, the Program Delivery Manager works with the Applicant to help ensure the Damage Inventory is as accurate as possible, since it serves as the foundation for the rest of the process.

Once complete, the Applicant will enter the Damage Inventory into Grants Portal.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 1-1 for a full description.
Overview of Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions (2 of 2)

The Damage Inventory will be used by the Program Delivery Manager to group damage line items into projects and the line items will be used to generate Site Inspection Work Orders. The Site Inspector will review and document the physical damage and generate the Damage Description and Dimensions for work to be completed. The Consolidated Resource Center will generate the Damage Description and Dimensions for completed work using Applicant provided documentation and a project description developed with the Program Delivery Manager.

FEMA relies on the information in the Damage Description and Dimensions to determine project eligibility for Public Assistance and define the expectations for the scope of work and associated costs. Providing accurate and complete information for this section is critical to ensuring the best possible outcome for the Applicant.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 1-2 for a full description.
Role of the FEMA Site Inspector

Site Inspectors use the data collected from their inspections (e.g., photographs, site sketches/drawings, measurements) to develop the Damage Description and Dimensions.

During the site inspection, the Site Inspector will document:

  • Dimensions of the facility
  • Dimensions of the work that has been completed, including materials, and dimensions of the work that has yet to be completed

FEMA and the Applicant will then work together to reach an agreement on the Damage Description and Dimensions (as well as Emergency Protective Measures and debris impacts). After the FEMA Program Delivery Manager reviews the Damage Description and Dimensions, they will release it to the Applicant for review and approval in Grants Portal.

FEMA Site Inspector conducting a site inspection
Completed Work

For Completed Work, a site inspection may not be required. A site inspection may be part of a validation process. The Program Delivery Manager will work with the Applicant to support the Damage Description and Dimensions using the Applicant's incident-related documentation. The following are examples of supporting documents the Program Delivery Manager may collect from the Applicant to develop the project description and for the Consolidated Resource Center to develop the Damage Description and Dimensions:

  • Photographs of damage or repair
  • Mutual aid agreements invoices and contracts
  • GPS latitude and longitude coordinates
  • Equipment logs/call logs
  • Force Account labor/equipment records
Work to be Completed

For Work to be Completed, a site inspection is required to quantify the damage(s) which was a result of the incident. The damages are recorded on the Site Inspection Report, which will generate a Damage Description and Dimension.

The Site Inspector will work with the Applicant to capture the facility damage, with photographs, sketches, measurements, location map, flood map (FIRMette), notes of observations and discussion, and any other method to document the site inspection. These are compiled in the Site Inspection Report which is entered into Grants Manager and used to generate the Damage Description and Dimensions. The Site Inspector will ask how any outstanding work will be completed, whether by Force Account, contract, or a combination of both.

Damage Description and Dimensions and the Scope of Work

Once the Applicant concurs with the Damage Description and Dimensions, FEMA uses the Damage Description and Dimensions to populate the scope of work and cost estimate. If an Applicant provides the scope of work, FEMA will validate the information.

The scope of work must align with the Damage Description and Dimensions and be a direct result of the event in order to qualify for funding.

A Pyramid with three tiers: “Detailed Damage Descriptions” is the base, “Scope of Work” is the second tier, and “Cost” is the top tier.
Lesson 1 Summary

In this lesson, we discussed the purpose of the Damage Descriptions and Dimensions and provided a basic overview of the contents.

The next lesson will look further into the components of a Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions.

Lesson 2 Overview

This lesson explains the components of detailed Damage Description and Dimensions.

Upon completion of this lesson, the participants will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the different components of the Damage Description and Dimensions
Review of the Damage Inventory

As discussed in Lesson 1, completion of the Damage Inventory is an essential step in the Public Assistance grants process. The Damage Inventory is a spreadsheet containing specific itemization of damage. It is introduced to the Applicant during the Exploratory Call and should be completed by the end of the Recovery Scoping Meeting.

Developing an accurate Damage Inventory is a critical because the Program Delivery Manager uses it to group damage line items into projects, and to generate a Site Inspection Work Order. A thorough Damage Inventory may potentially expedite the site inspection, saving time for both the Applicant

Later in the process, the Site Inspection Report and associated documentation are used to build the Damage Description and Dimensions that the Applicant approves in Grants Portal. The signed version will be what is used to create the scope of work and cost for the Public Assistance grant.
Naming the Damage Inventory Item

Ensure the name of the damage line item is clear and distinctive. This is important because the name of the damage auto-populates as the first words of the Damage Dimension and Dimension.

  • “Damaged Road” should be “Mills Road” or “Countywide roads”
  • “Building” should be “City Hall” or “Sam Houston Library”
  • “Culvert” should be “Old Rockport Road Culvert” or “Smithson Creek Culvert”
  • “Category A” should be “Debris removal countywide”

Select this link for the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 2-1 for a full description.
Components of a Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions

As discussed in Lesson 1, the Damage Description and Dimensions is the most important section of the Project Details page in Grants Portal. A detailed Damage Description and Dimensions will:

  • Describe the date and cause of the damage
  • Identify latitude and longitude
  • Demonstrate that the Applicant is responsible for performing the work
  • Describe the pre-incident condition of the facility
  • Quantify specific incident-related damages or emergency services provided
  • Use correct grammar and spelling
  • Be easily read and understood

The Applicant should have all the information regarding the damages for the Site Inspector. Together they will review and discuss the information on the Site Inspection Report to ensure all components are captured, so when the Site Inspector Report is entered into Grants Manager the Damage Description and Dimensions are as accurate and detailed as possible.

Damage Description and Dimensions: Category of Work

The development of Detailed Damage Descriptions and Dimensions depends on how FEMA categorizes the work. FEMA uses the following categories to organize types of eligible work:

  • Emergency Work (Completed within 6 months of Declaration)
    • Category A: Debris Removal
    • Category B: Emergency Protective Measures
  • Permanent Work (Completed within 18 months of disaster declaration)
    • Category C: Roads and Bridges
    • Category D: Water Control Facilities
    • Category E: Buildings and Equipment
    • Category F: Utilities
    • Category G: Parks, Recreational Facilities, and Other Items

FEMA uses separate Site Inspection Reports for each category of work in order to capture details unique to each category.

Special Considerations for Emergency Work: Category A (1 of 2)

Debris Removal

There are special considerations that an Applicant should take into account when formulating their Public Assistance project depending on which Category of Work it is classified. Although the Site Inspector will ask special consideration question, each Category of Work will have a set of unique questions. While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category A (Debris) project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Debris removal may be covered by the Applicant's policy. There are no insurance obtain and maintain requirements for Emergency Work. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to determine potential coverage for the costs.

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: There are no hazard mitigation opportunities for Emergency Work.

Special Considerations for Emergency Work: Category A (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: The Applicant must provide documentation of the required permits for any final disposition or staging areas for debris removal. Any project involving debris removal prompts this special consideration. Specific coordinates (latitude and longitude) are used to verify that any final disposition or staging area are not in an environmentally sensitive area. If the debris removal is to occur in a body of water, the project will require a review by an Environmental Specialist. The Damage Description and Dimensions should address:

  • Whether the project can potentially affect protected resources
  • If there are invasive species in the proposed project location
  • Whether the proposed project location is polluted

4. Historic preservation considerations: Debris removal rarely triggers any historic preservation issues, however debris caused by construction or demolition of a historic landmark or building would require the recovery of the materials from the destroyed facility.

5. Floodplain considerations: The coordinates of the proposed project location will be used to verify that the staging areas (or final disposition) is not in a floodplain by using the FIRMette mapping.

The following slides contain examples of Category A projects involving special considerations and how they affect the Damage Description and Dimensions.

Category A Damage Description and Dimensions Example

Damage #2491; Debris Removal, Baker County

On October 10, 2017, straight line winds from Hurricane Harvey generated 80 cubic yards of vegetative debris and deposited it on Baker County roads county-wide, blocking access and creating a hazard to public health and safety. To clear the roads, the Applicant removed debris and transported it to two temporary debris staging sites.

  • Site 1 coordinates: 31.33873 -84.57310
  • Site 2 coordinates: 31.31520 -84.33508
  • Site 1: Intersection of Willow Nook Rd and Julia Jones Rd; public roads
  • GPS: 31.33873 -84.57310; 40 cubic yards (18 feet x 12 feet x 5 feet) of vegetative debris
  • Site 2: Old Courthouse intersection of Main St. and Court Ave; public roads
  • GPS: 31.31520 -84.33508; 40 cubic yards (18 feet x 12 feet x 5 feet) of vegetative debris
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begin debris removal after Hurricane Harvey.
Category A Damage Description and Dimensions

The site inspection and the resulting Damage Description and Dimensions serve as the foundation of the documentation process for the grant. The Damage Description and Dimensions documents the “who, what, when, where, why, and how much” of identified damages caused by the disaster. The Site Inspection Report with its photographs, maps, sketches, checklists, questionnaires, and notes supports the Damage Description and Dimensions. All are found in the Grants Portal.

For eligibility purposes and for compliance review, debris removal grants must document the debris from start to completion, including whether it was temporarily at a staging area. The coordinates are especially important to Environmental Historic Preservation and Floodplain Specialists for compliance, eligibility determinations, and audits.

Emergency Work Damage Description and Dimensions often record the Applicant's preparation and response activities required to address the event, or Emergency Protective Measures in a Category B grant.

Special Considerations for Emergency Work: Category B

Emergency Protective Measures

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category B project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

  1. Insurance considerations: Certain Emergency Protective Measures may be covered by the Applicant's policy. There are no insurance obtain and maintain requirements for Emergency Work. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.
  2. Hazard mitigation considerations: There are no hazard mitigation opportunities for Emergency Work.
  3. Environmental considerations: Emergency Protective Measures rarely trigger any environmental issues. If there are Emergency Protective Measures, such as temporary levees, coordinates will be used to verify that the area is not in an environmentally sensitive area.
  4. Historic preservation considerations: Emergency protective measures rarely trigger any historic preservation issues.
  5. Floodplain considerations: If there are Emergency Protective Measures, such as temporary levees, coordinates will be used to verify that the area is not in a floodplain.
Category B Emergency Protective Measures Example

Damage # 40481; Emergency Protective Measures (Completed Work), City of Wallis

The City of Wallis police and public works departments provided Emergency Protective Measures in preparation for and during Hurricane Harvey. The incident period began on August 23, 2017 and lasted until September 15, 2017 within Wallis.

During the incident period, Hurricane Harvey posed an immediate threat to public health and safety, causing flooding, power loss, and street closures. Emergency response and protective measures were necessary.

  • Provided Emergency Operations Center for police and public works at 6810 Guyler Street, Wallis, Texas 77485 (29.634743, -96.066834) from August 23, 2017 to August 30, 2017
  • Provided security for public safety and response to emergency needs from August 25, 2017 to September 9, 2017
  • Provided security by providing continuous night time patrols in areas without power from August 23, 2017 to August 30, 2017
  • Provided personnel and equipment to block flooded roads
A flooded house in a neighborhood in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.
Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category C (1 of 2)

Roads and Bridges

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category C project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Permanent restoration may be covered by insurance, even roads and bridges. It is important to note that some states, for instance Texas and Missouri, have some road facilities such as culverts insured. When an Applicant receives assistance for an incident-damaged facility then the Applicant is required to obtain and maintain insurance up to the level of the damage, and for the risk that caused the damage. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.

  • For example, for a flood event, flood insurance is required. For a wind event, wind or general insurance with a wind rider or amendment is required.

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: Every Permanent Work category has the potential for hazard mitigation. Hazard mitigation for roads and culverts is common and is an excellent way to make the facility more resilient to incident-related damage.

Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category C (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: Coordinates are used to verify that any project work areas are not in an environmentally sensitive area. If the project includes hazard mitigation that will cause "new ground" disturbance, an extensive environmental review will be required.

4. Historic preservation considerations: If the damaged facility is located in a historic area such as a battlefield, historic district, or school campus, historic preservation issues are triggered and will require a review.

5. Floodplain considerations: Coordinates of the project proposal will be used to determine if the project will be located in a floodplain. If it is, then an extended review will be required. A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRMette) extract will be required.

Category C Roads and Bridges Example (1 of 2)

Damage #4330; Brownhill Road

Brownhill Road (built in approximately 1954) is a 1.4-mile gravel road, located in Houston, Missouri (between 37.310550, -91.897620 and 37.327410, -91.892530). Brownhill Road is owned and maintained by the Applicant. It is a two lane, 18 feet wide gravel road constructed of subbase, base, and surface aggregate material with ditches (2 feet wide by 2 feet deep) on both sides of the road. The following components were damaged by surface water flooding on April 28, 2017.

A damaged road due to surface water flooding.
Category C Roads and Bridges Example (2 of 2)

Damage #4330; Brownhill Road (continued)

  • Surface, 838 cubic yards of gravel, 7,392 feet long x 18 feet wide x 0.17 feet deep, washout of aggregate by surface water flooding, 0% work completed
  • Base, 1,232 cubic yards of 1-3 inches shot rock, 7,392 feet long x 18 feet wide x 0.25 feet deep, washout of aggregate base due to surface water flooding, 50% work completed
  • Ditches, 383 cubic yards of gravel/dirt/shot rock, 2,587 feet long x 2 feet wide x 2 feet deep, deposited road surface material and road shoulder scouring due to surface water flooding, 0% work completed
A damaged road due to surface water flooding.
Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category D (1 of 2)

Water Control Facilities

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category D project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Permanent restoration may be covered by insurance, including water control facilities. When an Applicant receives assistance for an incident-damaged facility then the Applicant is required to obtain and maintain insurance up to the level of the damage, and for the risk that caused the damage. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.

  • For example, for a flood event, flood insurance is required. For a wind event, wind or general insurance with a wind rider or amendment.

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: Every Permanent Work category has the potential for hazard mitigation.

Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category D (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: Coordinates are used to verify that any project work areas are not in an environmentally sensitive area. The Applicant must provide the permits, if required, for any project. Most states require permit to work in or near water.

4. Historic preservation considerations: The Applicant is responsible for indicating whether the potential project area is on a historic site. There are historic dams, including historic dirt dams. If the damaged facility is in a historic area such as a battlefield, historic district, or school campus, historic preservation issues are triggered and will require a review.

5. Floodplain considerations: Coordinates will be used to ascertain whether the project work areas are in a floodplain. If the project work area is in the floodplain, then an extended review is required. A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRMette) extract is required for all Permanent Work projects.

Category D Water Control Facilities Example

Damage #4454; City of Sparta Lift Station #1

City of Sparta Lift Station #1 is an Applicant owned and maintained pump and lift station surrounded with a concrete retaining wall. It is located on Bull Creek Road (36.993893 -93.084849). It is a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition pumping facility used for pumping out excess water, with 1 x 3 horsepower, 3000 gallons per minute flow sized pumps and 3,000 gallons per minute capacity. Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition is a computer system used to monitor and control the station's pumps and other equipment. The pumps have a 6-inch valve size, with the intake pipe measuring at 4-inch, with no generator.

The following components were damaged by an electrical power short circuit and power surge April 29, 2017:

  • Pump, 1 each of 3 horsepower, 3000 gallons per minute capacity
  • Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition electrical components shorted out, 20% work completed
A lift station.
Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category E (1 of 2)

Buildings and Equipment

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category E project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Permanent restoration may be covered by insurance, especially buildings and equipment. When an Applicant receives assistance for an incident-damaged facility then the Applicant is required to obtain and maintain insurance up to the level of the damage, and for the risk that caused the damage. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.

  • For example, for a flood event, flood insurance is required. For a wind event, wind or general insurance with a wind rider or amendment. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs
  • Buildings may also have flood insurance requirements, if located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, requiring insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: Every Permanent Work category has the potential for hazard mitigation. There are many options for hazard mitigation proposals for buildings, but not for equipment.

Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category E (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: Coordinates are used to verify that any project work areas are not in an environmentally sensitive area. The Applicant must provide the permits, if required, for any project, especially if the equipment may have hazardous waste or e-waste disposal issues.

4. Historic preservation considerations: Buildings may have historic or cultural significance, which will trigger a review.

5. Floodplain considerations: Buildings may have already been required to have National Flood Insurance Program coverage if it is in a Special Flood Hazard Area. Coordinates will be used to ascertain whether the project work areas are in a floodplain. If the project work area is in the floodplain, then an extended review is required. A Flood Insurance Rate Map extract is required for all Permanent Work projects.

Category E Buildings and Equipment Example (1 of 4)

Damage #3489; Building-Holman Homes Community Center

The Holman Homes Community Center (built in 1981) is a 1 story 1462 square foot (43 feet long x 34 feet wide) community center building described as brick with an architectural asphalt shingled roof, located at 2128 Gordon Ave, Albany, Georgia 31721 (31.566864 -84.201723). The following components were damaged by straight-line winds to the building and wind born debris (broken off tree tops) to the fence on January 21, 2017.

A damaged community center.
Category E Building and Equipment Example (2 of 4)

Damage #3489; Building - Holman Homes Community Center (continued)

Building Damage

  • Exterior building, 4 each of metal soffits on the west elevation, 1 feet long x 3 feet wide, blew off by straight-line winds, 0% work completed
  • Exterior building, metal soffit J-channel (1-5/8 inches wide) on the west elevation, 4 feet long, bent by straight-line winds, 0% work completed
  • Exterior building, metal fascia flashing (6.5 inches wide) on the south elevation, 18 feet long, was dislodged by straight-line winds., 0% work completed
  • Exterior site, metal chain link fence top rail (1-1/4 inches diameter) on the north property border, 21 feet long, was bent when tree tops snapped off by straight-line winds and fell on it, 100% work completed
A damaged community center.
Category E Buildings and Equipment Example (3 of 4)

Damage #2884; Equipment- Fire Station Training Center

The Fire Station Training Center, owned and maintained by the Applicant and located at City of Albany's Training Center, at 115 Honeysuckle Drive, Albany, Georgia 31701, has supplies and equipment that were damaged by straight-line winds and wind-borne debris on January 21, 2017.

Two fire chiefs having a discussion at a fire station.
Category E Buildings and Equipment Example (4 of 4)

Damage #2884; Equipment- Fire Station Training Center (continued)

  • Equipment: 1 each of 20 feet long, dual axle, enclosed trailer, manufactured by LGS Industries, type EWLFBGXZ0TE3, VIN 53BTE2022CU223394, with 0.5 inch plywood interior siding and decking, and aluminum sheeting exterior
    • Capacity: 10,000 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight
    • Year Manufactured: 2011
    • Trailer was 20 feet long x 8.5 feet wide x 7 feet high, and the trailer was picked up by high velocity winds and thrown 300 feet into ditch
    • Date Damaged: January 21, 2017, 0% work completed. The trailer is damaged beyond repair
  • Supplies: 1 each of medical supplies located within the destroyed trailer, damaged from straight-line winds and blown debris which lifted and threw the trailer over a 6-foot fence and into a ditch, destroying it and its contents. A comprehensive list of the contents and supplies are attached in the document section, 0% work completed.
Two fire chiefs having a discussion at a fire station.
Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category F (1 of 2)

Utilities

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category F project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Permanent restoration may be covered by insurance, including utilities. When an Applicant receives assistance for an incident-damaged facility then the Applicant is required to obtain and maintain insurance up to the level of the damage, and for the risk that caused the damage. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.

  • For example, for a flood event, flood insurance is required. For a wind event, wind or general insurance with a wind rider or amendment

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: Every Permanent Work category has the potential for hazard mitigation. There are many options for hazard mitigation proposals for utilities.

Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category F (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: Damaged components may have hazardous waste or e-waste disposal issues, for example, damaged transformers contain hazardous waste and require specific final disposition. Projects like these would trigger an environmental issues review.

4. Historic preservation considerations: It is the Applicant's responsibility to inform FEMA whether the project site is in a historic area. If so, it will require a review.

5. Floodplain considerations: Coordinates will be used to ascertain whether the project work areas are in a floodplain. If the project work area is in the floodplain, then an extended review is required. A Flood Insurance Rate Map extract is required for all Permanent Work projects.

Category F Utilities Example (1 of 2)

Damage #6766; Waste Water Treatment Plant

A Waste Water Treatment Plant (built in 1989) is a facility owned and maintained by the Applicant for collection and treatment of municipal wastewater, described as .58-acre facility treats wastewater and returns treated water to adjacent stream. It is located at 30653 State Highway 413, Galena, Missouri 65656 (36.809341 -93.465695). The following components were damaged by floodwater overtopping entire facility on April 30, 2017.

A flooded waste water plant.
Category F Utilities Example (2 of 2)

Damage #6766; Waste Water Treatment Plant (continued)

  • Aeration tanks: 1 each of Dayton motor, 2 horsepower, 115 volts, 60 cycle. Blower, motor, and associated electrical components were rendered useless and damaged beyond repair. Blower has already been removed for rebuilding, 2 horsepower, complete submergence in 4 feet of floodwater rendered motor unsalvageable. 0% work completed
  • Filters: 3 each of entire drum filter system and drum filter were destroyed by floodwater inundation and water borne debris. 0% work completed.
  • Controls/Sensors/Gauges: 1 each of flow meter was destroyed by inundation. 1000 gallons per minute, electronic flow meter was rendered useless by submergence. 0% work completed
  • Pumps: 2 each of sludge removal pumps electrical disconnects have been lost to oxidation due to submersion. 30 A, dual sludge removal pumps are inoperable due to loss of electrical components, 0% work complete
A flooded waste water plant.
Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category G (1 of 2)

Parks, Recreation, and Other Facilities

While developing the Damage Description and Dimensions for a Category G project, the Applicant should address the following special considerations as they may pertain to their project.

1. Insurance considerations: Permanent restoration may be covered by insurance, including components of parks and other recreational facilities. When an Applicant receives assistance for an incident-damaged facility then the Applicant is required to obtain and maintain insurance up to the level of the damage, and for the risk that caused the damage. Every Category of Work has an insurance review to ascertain potential coverage for the costs.

  • For example, for a flood event, flood insurance is required. For a wind event, wind or general insurance with a wind rider or amendment

2. Hazard mitigation considerations: There are many options for hazard mitigation proposals for many of the components found in parks etc.

Special Considerations for Permanent Work: Category G (2 of 2)

3. Environmental considerations: Coordinates are used to verify that any project work areas are not in an environmentally sensitive area. The Applicant must provide the permits, if required, for any project, especially if new ground may be disturbed in a park, or other recreational area.

4. Historic preservation considerations: Parks or recreational areas may have historic or cultural significance, which will trigger a review.

5. Floodplain considerations: Coordinates will be used to ascertain whether the project work areas are in a floodplain. If the project work area is in the floodplain, then an extended review is required. A Flood Insurance Rate Map extract is required for all Permanent Work projects.

Category G Parks, Recreation, and Other Facilities Example (1 of 2)

Damage #2824; Parks and Recreation Department

Parks and Recreation Department owned and maintained by the Applicant and built in 2000 is an athletic facility described as four baseball fields, 4 covered shelters, and a 2-story field house located in the center between the fields.

Additional aspects of the park include batting cages, a multitude of chain link fencing, foul ball poles, backstop netting and fencing, portable backstops, bleachers, and lighting fixtures, along with 12-52-inch outdoor ceiling fans located in the 4 covered shelters, all located at 2529 Hwy 41 North, Ashburn, Georgia A 31714 (31.737680 -83.668120).

The following components were damaged by straight line winds, wind borne debris, and fallen trees on January 2, 2017.

A city park.
Category G Parks, Recreation, and Other Facilities Example (2 of 2)

Damage #2824; Parks and Recreation Department (continued)

Covered Shelters

  • Covered shelters, 12 each of 52-inch outdoor ceiling fans, 5 blades, damaged by straight-line winds and wind-borne debris. 10% work completed
  • Batting cage #2:
    • Athletic equipment, 2 each of steel horizontal support beams holding nylon mesh netting for batting cage, 18 feet long x 1 inch in diameter, were detached from posts by straight-line winds and wind-borne debris, 0% work completed
  • Batting cage #3:
    • Fencing, 1 each of chain link gate consisting of two swinging doors and a 7-inch wheel attached to the bottom of the gate damaged by straight-line wind and wind-borne debris
  • One door measures 7.75-foot long x 7.75 feet high and the other is 15.5 feet x L 7.75 feet high
A city park.
Closer Look at Applicant-Provided Information

After explaining the special considerations for the different Categories of Work, the following slides will take a closer look at the types of information the Applicant will need to upload into Grants Portal for supporting an accurate development of their Public Assistance grant.

Applicant Representative and Documentation

The Applicant's representative who is sent into the field must be knowledgeable regarding all relevant incident-related damage. The best way to ensure this is through supporting documentation. Applicants and their representatives must upload all applicable documentation to help substantiate the development of a detailed Damage Description and Dimensions.

Examples of supporting documentation include the following:

  • Photographs of the damage
  • Site maps of damaged locations
  • Drawings, sketches, and plans of pre-incident facility design (to scale)
  • Drawings and sketches of incident-related damages (to scale)
  • Calculation sheet detailing specific dimensions and quantities of damage
  • Lease agreements for leased properties
  • Facility maintenance records (e.g., for roads, engineered channels, debris basins, and other facilities requiring maintenance to ensure proper function)
  • Facility inspection/safety reports (as may be available for bridges and dams)
  • As-built drawings, if available
Demonstrating Applicant Responsibility

To be eligible for assistance, work must be performed by an eligible Applicant. FEMA will determine if the Applicant is the owner and maintainer of the damaged property or facility. The Site Inspector will ask the Applicant the following questions:

  • Is the Applicant responsible for performing the emergency services provided?
  • Does the Applicant own the facility?
  • Is the facility leased by the Applicant? If so, the Site Inspector will request a copy of the lease to determine the responsible party for repairs. FEMA may conduct a legal review of the relevant documents to determine the responsible party.
  • Is the repair of the facility the responsibility of another federal agency?
    • Example: Some roads and bridges fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Highway Administration, while some levees and flood control facilities are the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Is the facility under construction?
Importance of the Date and Cause of Damage: Overview

It is important for the Applicant to be aware that how they describe the damage, the cause of damage, and other relevant elements that can be a determining factor in deciding their Public Assistance eligibility.

The cause of damage will have implications for how the grant is processed, eligibility requirements, and insurance implications. For instance:

  • Insurance policies varies for damages that is the result of wind-driven rain, compared to water-borne debris or floodwaters
  • There are different requirements for Emergency Work (incident-related conditions) and Permanent Work (incident-related damage) that must be accounted for in a Damage Description and Dimensions
  • Emergency Work must demonstrate or explain the conditions that required the emergency response; there may not be any visible damage but the Emergency Work, e.g., sand-bagging, was required for a specific reason

Other special considerations such as hazard mitigation and environmental and historic preservation may play a role as well depending on the specific cause of damage.

Date and Cause of Damage: A Closer Look

To be eligible for assistance, the work must be required as a direct result of the declared disaster. The exact nature of how the damage occurred is critical for the insurance review, hazard mitigation, and scope of work determination. Therefore, it is important to provide the specific cause of the reported damages.

The next several slides highlight key considerations when documenting the date and cause of incident-related damage.

Date and Cause of Damage: Damage Timeframe

All eligible damages must have occurred within the disaster incident period. In some cases, Emergency Protective Measures and other preparation activities performed within a reasonable and justified time in advance of the event may also be eligible.

  • Example: If a flood crest on a major river is forecast a few weeks in advance, sandbagging and construction of temporary levees to protect the community may be eligible
Date and Cause of Damage: Pre-Incident Damage Eligibility

Damage that results from a cause other than the designated event, such as a pre-incident damaging event or work to correct inadequacies that existed prior to the disaster, is not eligible.

For example, widespread "alligator cracking" or "Stress cracking" of roads is generally not eligible for repair because it indicates damage that was present before the disaster. However, cracking in specific areas due to uplift from soils saturated by floodwaters, or cracking caused by heavy equipment may be eligible for repair.

Date and Cause of Damage: Multiple Hazards

If the disaster involved multiple hazards (i.e., a hurricane with high winds, storm surge, and wind-driven rain), it is important to describe the specific condition that caused the damages. This information may be used to assess available insurance coverage. These types of damages should be described separately.

  • Example: Wind-driven rain, water-borne debris, and floodwaters will have specific implications for how a grant is processed, general eligibility, insurance implications, etc.
  • Example: If an uninsured public building located in the 100-year floodplain is damaged by wind, the total cost of repairs is eligible. However, if the same building is damaged by a flood, the amount of assistance would be reduced by the maximum amount of flood insurance available under the National Flood Insurance Program. Both scenarios could occur in the same disaster.

Other special considerations, such as environmental and historic preservation and hazard mitigation, may play a role as well depending on the specific cause of damage, particularly hazard mitigation.

Date and Cause of Damage: Emergency

Different conditions may apply for incident-related conditions for Emergency Work  and Permanent Work damage descriptions. The Applicant will need to illustrate the conditions that necessitated the specific response.

For Emergency Work to be considered as eligible, the Applicant must demonstrate that the disaster conditions caused an "immediate threat."

  • Example: Documentation of Emergency Work must demonstrate or explain the conditions that required the emergency response; there may not be any visible damage but the reason for the Emergency Work (e.g., sand-bagging) must be logically and clearly documented.
Documenting Pre-Incident Conditions (1 of 3)

Eligible work includes restoring a facility to its pre-incident condition, including any codes and standards applicable to the approved work (this applies to Permanent Work only). Therefore, the Applicant must describe the pre-incident condition (including design, function, and capacity) of the facility. This information will support the general eligibility of the facility itself.

The Site Inspector will work with the Applicant to ascertain the following pre-incident characteristics of the facility:

Pre-incident design (including footprint, configuration, size, materials, etc.)

  • At a minimum, the Applicant will need to provide specific pre-incident design information for each damaged element, including the year of facility construction. The Applicant may want to provide an "as-built" drawing.
    • Example: For simple road damages, indicate the general road design; "Miller Road is 14 feet wide with varying shoulder widths, but an average of 4 feet and has a compacted gravel surface of approximately 2 inches thick over a compacted base."
  • For more complex buildings, the Damage Description and Dimensions will include a general facility description, followed by a more detailed description of damaged components
Documenting Pre-Incident Conditions (2 of 3)

The Site Inspector will work with the Applicant to ascertain the following pre-incident characteristics of the facility (continued):

Pre-Incident Function:

  • The Site Inspector will need to describe the pre-incident function of the facility
    • Example: For a school building, the Site Inspector will need to know if the building is currently in use as a school or if it was used for storage or any other type of facility at the time of the event
  • Public Assistance grants only cover repairs restore a facility to its pre-incident use
    • Example: If a facility was used as a warehouse prior to the disaster, Public Assistance grant funding cannot be used to convert the facility to an office complex
  • If a facility requires regular maintenance to perform its designed function (e.g., roads, bridges, dams), the Applicant may need to provide pre-incident inspection reports

Pre-Incident Capacity

  • Repairs that would increase a facility's pre-incident capacity are generally not eligible for Public Assistance grant funding.
    • Example: Expansion of a schoolhouse that could accommodate 500 students pre-incident to 750 students post-repairs
Documenting Pre-Incident Conditions (3 of 3)

The Site Inspector will work with the Applicant to ascertain the following pre-incident characteristics of the facility (continued):

Pre-Incident Facility Status:

  • The Applicant will need to show that the facility was in active use at the time of the disaster
  • If the answer to all of the following questions is "no," the facility is considered to not have been in active use prior to the disaster:
    • Was the facility temporarily inoperative for repairs or remodeling?
    • Was the facility temporarily unoccupied between tenants?
    • Was future use by the applicant firmly established in an approved budget?
    • Can the applicant clearly demonstrate that there was intent to begin use within a reasonable period of time?

Other considerations of a facility or its location may impact the scope of work and will need to be documented in the Damage Description and Dimensions. The Applicant should keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Is the facility a known historic structure?
  • Is the facility located in a known floodplain or Coastal Barrier Resource System Unit?
  • Is the facility in a location known to be prone to repetitive damage?
  • Is the facility under construction?
Incident-related Damages and Required Emergency Services

It is critical that the Applicant is aware of the facility's specific incident-related damages, Emergency Protective Measures, and debris removal so that they can be relayed to the Site Inspector for inclusion in the Damage Description and Dimensions. The Applicant will need to work with the Site Inspector to develop the following:

  • A general assessment of the extent of damages (e.g., partially damaged, destroyed, eroded, washed out)
  • A description of the damages in terms of the facility, features, or items requiring repair

The Applicant should use the following guidance when gathering data for the Damage Description and Dimensions:

  • All damaged elements must be clearly defined in quantitative terms with physical dimensions (e.g., length, width, depth, and capacity), and not just quantities
  • Damages to the facility should be organized by hazard. If different parts of the facilities were damaged by different hazards (e.g., roof damaged by wind, basement by flooding), record these damages separately
  • For Emergency Protective Measures and debris removal, quantify the damage in terms of the immediate threat to public health and safety or to improved property
  • For example:
    • Requires emergency shoring of 100 linear feet of retaining wall
    • Requires removal of 5,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris
    • Requires a shelter to be provided to accommodate up to 100 persons
  • If all or a portion of the damages have been repaired, describe the basis upon which you have confirmed that the damages were, in fact, incident-related
Identifying Latitude and Longitude Coordinates

The Applicant will need to provide the specific coordinates of each work site.

  • If the project is jurisdiction-wide, or the coordinates were recorded at a location other than the facility, define the location where the coordinates were recorded
  • If the project encompasses multiple work sites, the Applicant will need to provide longitude and latitude for each site
    • Example: A two-mile long road has three washouts. The Applicant will need to provide longitude and latitude for each washout site
  • For debris removal projects, the Applicant must provide coordinates for both the staging area and the final disposition of debris
Damage Reporting Timeline

The Applicant is required to identify and report all incident-related damage, Emergency Work activities, and debris quantities to FEMA within 60 days of the Recovery Scoping Meeting. The Damage Description and Dimensions will be developed during this period.

This timeline may be extended due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., site inaccessibility).

Lesson 2 Summary

In this lesson, the different components of the Damage Description and Dimensions were identified and discussed as well as several scenarios regarding special considerations for projects across all Categories of Work.

The next lesson discusses reviewing and signing Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal.

Lesson 3 Overview

This lesson covers how to review and sign a Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal.

Upon completion of this lesson, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the key steps in the approval and signing process for a Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal
  • Demonstrate how to properly navigate in Grants Portal
Approving a Complete Damage Description and Dimensions

The Applicant must complete the Damage Inventory within 60 days of the Recovery Scoping Meeting. The Program Delivery Manager group damage line items into projects while submitting Site Inspection Work Order requests.

The Damage Description and Dimensions should:

  • Describe the causes of damage
  • Demonstrate the Applicant is responsible for performing the work
  • Describe pre-incident conditions
  • Quantify incident-related damages and emergency services
  • Identify the latitude and longitude of the site
  • Support basic eligibility determination
  • Define expectations for the scope of work and associated costs

After the site inspection, the Site Inspector will use the information in the Site Inspection Report to generate the Damage Description and Dimensions. The Program Delivery Manager will then review it and make it available for the Applicant to review and approve in Grants Portal.

Editing the Damage Description and Dimensions

At this point, the Applicant will not be able to edit the Damage Description and Dimensions. If edits are deemed necessary, the project must be redirected to the Program Delivery Manager. From there, the Program Delivery Manager must send the Damage Description and Dimensions back to the Site Inspector to make the requested edits.

If there is any necessary information missing, the Program Delivery Manager may send the Applicant a Request for Information.

Reviewing Site Inspection Records and the Damage Description and Dimensions

Applicants should review the site inspection documentation and compare them to the Damage Description and Dimensions to identify any issues that must be resolved before approval.

The Work Order's header and footer block usually contain comments, such as extra damage (which may not have been noticed by the Applicant). The Applicant should review these comments and take any discrepancies to the Program Delivery Manager as discrepancies may benefit or jeopardize the Applicant's claim.

FEMA Site Inspector working on a Site Inspection Report with an Applicant.
Timeline to Sign a Damage Description and Dimensions

The Applicant will have five days to conduct a review and approve the Damage Description and Dimensions. FEMA will notify the Applicant when this timeline has started (i.e., when the Damage Description and Dimensions has been uploaded online).

If the Applicant is unable to meet the deadline, a rationale for not signing the form within that timeframe must be provided. Those issues can be resolved with the Program Delivery Manager and a new work order can be generated for a follow-up site inspection to be conducted, if necessary.

The Program Delivery Manager will talk with the Applicant if they have not signed the Damage Description and Dimensions. If the Applicant cannot provide a reason for not signing, the Program Delivery Manager will notify the Recipient, which will then work with the Applicant on a solution.

There are two main reasons that may delay an Applicant's grant processing:

  • Not signing the Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal
  • Not having appropriate supporting documentation

The following slides will provide instructions for signing the Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal.

Notification of the Damage Description and Dimensions

The Applicant will receive a notification through Grants Portal via email that the Damage Description and Dimensions is complete and ready for their review and signature.

Applicants can also track and monitor projects by selecting 'My Tasks' in the task pane on the left side of the Dashboard of Grants Portal.

Instructions for beginning the review and approval process on Grants Portal:

  • The Applicant should use the Firefox Web Browser to access Grants Portal
  • The Applicant logs into Grants Portal with their username and password
  • After logging in, the Applicant sees the Dashboard and selects on the notification bell icon in the top right corner
  • In the My Tasks page, the Applicant sees the list of outstanding tasks. The first item on the list is review and approval of their project's Damage Description and Dimensions
  • The Applicant selects on the blue "Review" button to the left of the project title
Select this link to access the full image description.
Refer to Appendix 3-1 for a full description.
Viewing the Damage Description and Dimensions

The Applicant will open the task by selecting "Review" which will open the Project Details page in Grants Portal. From here, the Applicant can view their project's detail such as project number, category of work, project title, project type, status, process step, and cost share information.

Below the project details are a series of bars that expand when selected. To view the Damage Description and Dimensions, the Applicant scrolls down to the Damage Description and Dimensions bar and selects on it to expand.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-2 for a full description.

Reviewing the Damage Description and Dimensions

The Applicant can now review the Damage Description and Dimensions. It is highly important that the Applicant examines each line item and ensures everything is accurate and flags any discrepancies for potential rework by the Program Delivery Manager and Site Inspector.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-3 for a full description.
Signing the Damage Description and Dimensions

After reviewing the Damage Description and Dimensions, the Applicant can select 'Sign DDD' or 'Send Back' if changes are needed.

The 'Sign DDD' button is green and the 'Send Back' button is orange, both are in the top right corner of the screen.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-4 for a full description.
Project Signature

When ready to electronically sign the Damage Description and Dimensions, the Applicant selects 'Click to Sign.' This orange button is at the bottom of the screen, beneath the Damage Description and Dimensions.

The 'Click to Sign' button will cause a dialog window to appear. The Applicant will input their project signature in that dialog window.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-5 for a full description.
Input Signature and Style

The Applicant enters their information into the appropriate fields. This includes their name, signature style, and Grants Portal password. After all information is entered, the dialog window will close, and the Applicant will return to the Project Details page.

The Applicant will see their information displayed in the 'Sign Document' section at the bottom of the Project Details page.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-6 for a full description.
Submit Signed Project

At this stage, the Applicant selects the green 'Submit' button at the bottom of the Project Details page. At that time, it will cause another pop-up window to appear, asking, "Are you sure you want to submit? Please ensure you have reviewed the Damage Description and Dimensions information on this page."

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-7 for a full description.
Confirm Signed Damage Description and Dimensions Submittal

When the Applicant is ready, select 'Yes' in the pop-up window and confirm the signed Damage Description and Dimensions submittal in Grants Portal.

Select this link to access the full image description.

Refer to Appendix 3-8 for a full description.
Lesson 3 Summary

In this lesson, participants learned about the review and approval process for a complete Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal.

The next lesson will review the key points of each lesson in the course.

Lesson 4 Overview and Objectives

This lesson will review the course objectives. Participants will take a Post-Course Assessment at its conclusion.

At the end of this lesson, participants will be able to summarize the content of this course.

Course Objectives

Participants should now be able to:

  • Define and specify the components of a completed and detailed Damage Description and Dimensions
  • Explain how to review, verify, and sign a completed Damage Description and Dimensions form in the Grants Portal
Lesson 1 Objectives

The purpose of Lesson 1 was to introduce the Damage Descriptions and Dimensions and its components, as well as how it fits in the Public Assistance process.

Participants should now be able to:

  • Identify the administrative requirements of the course
  • State the goals and objectives of the course
  • Explain how the Damage Description and Dimensions is the foundation of a Public Assistance grant that feeds into scoping and costing
Lesson 2 Objectives

The purpose of Lesson 2 was to discuss the components of a Damage Description and Dimensions in-depth and the type of information that Applicants are responsible for providing to support their narrative.

Participants should now be able to:

  • Identify and explain the different components of the Damage Description and Dimensions
Lesson 3 Objectives

The purpose of Lesson 3 was how to review and sign a Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal.

Participants should now be able to:

  • Identify the key steps in the approval and signing process for a Damage Description and Dimensions in Grants Portal
  • Demonstrate how to properly navigate in Grants Portal
Course Summary

This course is complete.

The course provided participants with information that will enable Applicants to make appropriate decisions when developing the Damage Description and Dimensions and reviewing and approving them.