Categorizing Losses


...the debris out; however, if the ditch is not routinely maintained, much of the debris can be pre-event, and due to negligence. If the Subrecipient can show that they normally keep the ditch clean through a normal maintenance schedule, then they typically find the debris eligible.

When approaching Category D work, as with damage to Federal-aid roadways, jurisdiction for repairs may reside with other agencies such as the USACE or the NRCS. More information on these agencies can be found at:



Category E—Buildings and Equipment


Buildings are to be restored to pre-disaster design capacity in accordance with present codes and standards.

Use and Occupancy

The building must have been in active use prior to the disaster. If only part of the building was occupied at the time of the disaster, or if the building was being used for a less demanding function than its original purpose, then replacement will be made at the reduced size, or restoration will be limited to that required to resume the immediate pre-disaster use.

Extensive Damage

If repairs to a facility would cost 50% or more of the cost of replacing the facility to its pre-disaster design, then the facility is eligible for replacement. This is known as the “50% Rule,” and is discussed in detail in the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG).


Check on insurance presently in force. Insurance coverage pays first. Uninsured losses are eligible. If repair costs exceed $5,000, a general hazard insurance commitment will be required equal to the amount of eligible damages. Repair costs for flood damages occurring to buildings and/or contents within the 100-year flood...

“FEMA is particularly interested in Category D, as flooding is one of the costliest forms of disasters in the United States.”