The first step after a declared disaster is to develop a management approach. An “ad-hoc” recovery team needs to be created, roles and responsibilities delineated, and a well-organized filing approach must be established to handle the many projects. 9
Determine your losses beginning with your cleanup and emergency response. Then building, equipment and supplies losses must be quantified “as it was” and “as it has to be.” Lost revenues and temporary relocation costs need to be calculated as well.
Categorize the losses: FEMA categories A-G, insured/uninsured, responsibility of OFA, and special considerations.
Determine eligibility. General eligibility requirements include the following: it needs to be required as the result of the event; it must be caused by the event (no pre-existing damage); it must be located within the designated disaster area; and it must be the legal responsibility of an eligible applicant.
Develop a rebuilding plan. The applicant needs to consider the recovery “as they want it to be” considering whether to replace or relocate certain buildings, fixtures or infrastructure. The mitigation approach is outlined in Section 406 and Section 404 of The Stafford Act. Categorization of anticipated insurance proceeds also needs to be well documented.
Develop a funding approach. These can be broken down into the following: Standard Project, Alternate Project, Improved Project or in special circumstances the Grant Acceleration Program.
Implement the plan. Implementation involves the development of applicable project worksheets and proposals and the completion of approved projects.
Final inspection and close out. This includes the state audit of all large projects, dispute resolution, re-evaluation of applicable insurance reductions and the acquisition and maintenance of adequate insurance if reasonable and practical.
The audit process. FEMA’s Office of the Inspector General often selects sub-grantees for program and financial audits. This can occur any time throughout the process; up to three years from the completion of all projects.
Following a declared disaster, organizations need to implement a well thought out recovery approach.
Adjusters International has identified nine key steps to a successful recovery under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.