Be Ready for the Next Disaster - and the Public Assistance Process!

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...should be specifically identified. For instance, a special code can be assigned so all labor, equipment, materials, purchases and invoices, etc., that were utilized can easily be tracked and separated from normal day- to-day costs. For example, let’s say a city is anticipating a severe stormwith a chance of four to six inches of rainfall forecast to hit the area by late afternoon. During normal working hours the DPW road crews would be performing regularly scheduled maintenance and repair work. The daily work orders should have a specific code for this work that tracks the additional labor, equipment and any material used.

Once a disaster hits and crews are deployed in response to it, daily work orders can be coded with a specific number or similar description that correlates to disaster- related activity — tracking all labor, equipment and material usage. If the disaster evolves into a major catastrophe and eventually qualifies for a presidential declaration, the city has documentation that can easily be retrieved when it is time to prepare the PWs for grant submittal.

Equipment Inventory for Disaster Usage Reimbursement

One of the first steps a municipal department can take in preparation for a disaster is to have a current and complete inventory of their equipment. This should include the type, year, make, model, capacity (if applicable), engine horsepower (if applicable), unit identification number, length of blade (if applicable), load capacity (trailers), etc. An example might be: County # 102 —Dump Truck – 2010 – Ford F-350 – 8 cyl – 400 HP, etc. This will be very helpful when it comes time to formulate a PW that includes the use of the equipment.

FEMA will apply a cost code based on an established national rate for the use of equipment that includes operation, fuel, insurance, depreciation and maintenance. Some applicants may have an established hourly rate for their equipment’s usage. These local rates may be used, but FEMA will use the lower of the two rates unless it can be certified that the local rates do not reflect the actual rate — then the higher rate may be applied.

“One of the first steps a municipal department can take in preparation for a disaster is to have a current and complete inventory of their equipment.”


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