FEMA to assess flood damage in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

Federal, state and local agencies will combine on Tuesday to inspect and assess damages wreaked on homes and businesses by the cloudbursts that drenched metro Detroit on Aug. 11.

Teams from the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management/Homeland Division, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local officials will conduct preliminary damage assessments in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

The inspections will measure damages and disaster impacts against federal assistance eligibility criteria. They will take place from 1 p.m to 5 p.m. today.

Damage assessment teams use a number of factors in considering the eligibility for federal individual assistance, including:

■ The size and scope of the damages as well as the threat to public safety.

■ The number of primary homes requiring extensive repairs or with structural damage.

■ Floodwater or sewer backup damages in recreational rooms, unoccupied basements or storage spaces do not generally qualify for FEMA assistance programs.

However, disaster-related damages to a home’s mechanical components or those in areas of a residence that meet the federal definition of essential living space may be eligible for federal aid.

■ Duplication of benefits: by law FEMA cannot duplicate benefits, such as those from insurance, local housing authorities, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

■ Number and length of time people are displaced.

■ The ability of a community to recover.

■ The voluntary agency/state program assistance that is available.

■ Extent of business losses.

Once the damage assessments are complete, state officials use the damage totals and impact data to determine whether the disaster meets established criteria and can warrant the governor requesting a federal declaration and assistance.

For more information about FEMA’s declaration process or disaster assistance programs, visit www.FEMA.gov or www.disasterassistance.gov.


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