Categorizing Losses


...between Federal aid and non-Federal aid eligible roads. Since it may take several months for this program to be activated in a major event (hurricane, severe flooding, etc.), Subrecipients should begin this segregation immediately.

More information on the FHWA’s ER Program can be found at

Category D—Water Control Facilities

Levees and Dams

If the levee or dam meets the definition of a flood control work and thus falls within the authority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), it is not eligible for permanent restoration.

Drainage Channels

The USACE or NRCS may be involved in some flood channels; in these cases, local drainage channels are not eligible. Man-made channels must show evidence of routine maintenance and will be restored to pre-flood hydraulic capacity. Appropriate documentation, including construction and maintenance records for the man-made channels should be placed in the permanent Subrecipient file. The documentation should include records demonstrating the pre-disaster condition of the channels.

Natural Streams

Debris removal from natural streams is not normally eligible for assistance. Only debris that causes a threat to lives, public health and safety, or damage to improved property from a 5-year flood event, is eligible. Work to protect improved property must have a favorable ratio of benefits to costs. Any work in natural streams must also be closely reviewed and monitored to minimize undesirable environmental effects.

Seeding and Sodding

Seeding, grass, and sod will be eligible only when necessary to stabilize slopes and minimize sediment runoff.


Disaster-caused debris in catch basins and channels is eligible for removal when the pre-existing condition can be established.

FEMA is particularly interested in Category D, as flooding is one of the costliest forms of disasters in the United States. Oftentimes, however, they will deny reimbursement for clearing and repairing those facilities that a Subrecipient does not keep maintained. A good example of this would be a drainage ditch that is laden with storm debris. Subrecipients would like FEMA to provide funds to clear all of...