EMERGENCY SUPPORT FUNCTION #23

DAMAGE ASSESSMENT


LEAD:

Emergency Management

SUPPORT:

All County Organizations

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Purpose

To provide for the effective coordination of damage assessment activities.

B. Scope

This ESF applies to all assessment activities in unincorporated Thurston County related to damage resulting from natural, technological, and human-caused disasters.

II. RELATED POLICY

The head of each County Organization is responsible for establishing policy and procedures for assessing damage and reporting that information to the EOC.

III. PLANNING ASSUMPTIONS

A. There are two types of damage assessment:

1. Urgent, for rapid assessment of what has happened county-wide to prioritize initial response activities and determine the immediate need for outside assistance; and

2. Detailed, to document the magnitude of private and public damage for planning recovery activities and to justify requests for state and federal assistance.

B. Initial reports may be fragmented and provide an incomplete picture of the extent and magnitude of damage to the community.

C. There may be a shortage of individuals qualified to assess the damage.

D. Cities, towns, special purpose districts, and public utilities will make detailed damage assessment reports to the County.

IV. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

After any hazardous event which impacts Thurston County, a damage assessment of the affected area will be conducted.

A. Urgent Damage Assessment

1. An urgent damage assessment is needed to provide the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and first responders with an immediate sense of the types and magnitude of damage and of the condition of the transportation and communications infrastructure. This type of assessment is sometimes referred to as a windshield assessment.

2. Urgent damage assessment will generally begin during the hazardous event, such as a flood or windstorm, or immediately following, such as after an earthquake, and continue until the EOC has developed of picture of the types and magnitude of damage throughout the county.

3. Initial, urgent reports may be provided by County Organizations, county employees, the media or the public. Damage reports from County Organizations or employees should be as concise yet informative as possible and without delay. Reports of damage should not be delayed to gather detailed information. As a minimum, urgent reports should contain a location, type of damage, magnitude of damage, whether personal injury or death is involved, and whether immediate assistance is needed to save lives.

4. Damage assessment reports will be made to the EOC by the most expeditious means under the circumstances.

5. Although difficult to contemplate, it may be prudent to bypass an apparently urgent situation to continue damage assessment activities. There may be an even more urgent need down the road.

6. Following urgent damage assessment, and as necessary, responders will establish response priorities, attending to the needs of the public in a way that provides maximum life-saving potential. If local resources are insufficient to respond to all urgent needs in a timely manner, additional resources will be requested through mutual aid agreements or through the EOC.

7. EOC staff will analyze the information received, develop county-wide response priorities and coordinate resources accordingly. EOC staff will also disseminate damage information to appropriate government officials, the media, and the public.

B. Detailed Damage Assessment

1. A detailed damage assessment is needed to document the magnitude of private and public damage for planning recovery activities, to justify requests for state and federal assistance, and to meet the information needs of the public.

2. Detailed damage assessment will generally begin following the completion of response activities to protect life and property. Depending on the nature and magnitude of damage, detailed assessment could last for several weeks.

3. Initial detailed damage assessment of residential and business structures will be conducted by the American Red Cross. The ARC data will be provided to the EOC which will add value and insurance information. When requested, EOC or emergency management staff will forward private damage assessment information to the state for determination of whether Thurston County qualifies for state and federal assistance for individuals, families and businesses.

4. Depending on the nature of the hazard, such as an earthquake or flood, the Thurston County Department of Development Services will conduct structural inspections of privately owned structures and businesses to determine whether they are safe to enter or to occupy. Subsequent engineering evaluations to determine corrective action or to appeal the county's action, will be the responsibility of the property owner or occupant.

5. Additional County Organizations may be involved with private damage assessment depending on the nature of the hazard, information received by the EOC, information discovered by the building inspectors, or decisions made by the Recovery Team.

6. Detailed damage assessment of public property and facilities will be conducted by the cognizant organization. Specialized assistance will be requested from appropriate county organizations or private sources, as appropriate.

7. Any County Organization or public agency suffering damage from a hazardous event will document the damage on preliminary damage assessment forms available from the EOC or emergency management staff. Guidance and sample forms are attached.

8. Completed preliminary damage assessment forms will be returned to the EOC or emergency management staff. Staff will compile the information and, when requested, forward it to state emergency management for a determination of whether Thurston County qualifies for state and federal public assistance.

9. Generally, preliminary damage assessment forms must be provided to the state before any determination is made as to the availability of public assistance.

10. EOC staff will disseminate damage information to appropriate government officials, the media, and the public.

V. RESPONSIBILITIES

A. All County Organizations

1. Include damage assessment activities in organizational training programs and participate in county-wide drills and exercises to evaluate procedures and to maintain or refine damage assessment skills.

2. Implement damage assessment procedures following a hazardous event, as appropriate.

3. Make damage assessment information available to the County EOC or emergency management staff.

4. Assist those organizations with specific damage assessment responsibilities as requested.

B. All County Employees

Following a hazardous event, assess your surroundings and situation, look to your own safety and to those around you, and, safety permitting, communicate observed damage to the EOC. Remember, even in a disaster, 9-1-1 remains the number to call for immediate life-saving assistance.

C. American Red Cross -Thurston-Mason County Chapter

1. Conduct Preliminary and Detailed damage assessments of residential and business structures in accordance with existing ARC regulations and procedures.

2. Make Preliminary and Detailed damage assessment information available to the County EOC or emergency management staff.

D. Central Services

1. Identify critical county facilities and provide a list to the EOC and to Development Services.

2. Assist Development Services with entry and inspection of county facilities.

3. Develop and maintain procedures for both urgent and detailed assessment of damage, other than structural building inspections, to county facilities and property, but not including roads, bridges or associated rights-of-way. Enter buildings only after a determination by Development Services that they are safe to enter.

E. Development Services

1. Develop and maintain procedures for urgent assessment of critical facilities, public buildings and structures.

2. Develop and maintain procedures for detailed inspections of residential, business, and public buildings and structures, with initial focus on critical facilities.

3. Ensure adequate resources and trained personnel are identified to conduct inspections. Develop plans and procedures to register and use resources of other county jurisdictions and government agencies, professional and educational organizations, and volunteers.

F. Emergency Management

1. Assist other organizations in identifying damage assessment resources, including training opportunities.

2. Develop and distribute a list of critical facilities. Critical facilities are those needed for continuity of government and public safety such as disaster management direction and control facilities, shelters, fire houses, correctional facilities, and hospitals.

3. Develop EOC procedures for soliciting, receiving, recording, evaluating, and disseminating damage assessment information.

4. Include damage assessment administration and reporting as part of the county-wide emergency management training program.

5. Develop and distribute damage assessment aids, such as windshield visor cards, wallet cards, and check lists.

6. Develop and maintain a system for registering damage assessment emergency workers.

G. Emergency Management Council of Thurston County

Council members are encouraged to develop procedures and protocols to ensure damage assessment information is shared with the County EOC. In accordance with state procedures, Preliminary Damage Assessment forms (DEM 129 and DEM 130) must be forwarded through the county.

H. Fire Agencies

Develop and maintain procedures to support urgent damage assessment by surveying the fire district immediately following a hazardous event and reporting the situation to the EOC. Critical facilities within the Fire District should receive highest priority for assessment.

I. Roads & Transportation Services

1. Develop and maintain procedures for both urgent and detailed inspections of bridges, roads and transportation rights-of-way.

2. Ensure adequate resources and trained personnel are identified to conduct inspections. Develop plans and procedures to register and use resources of other county jurisdictions and government agencies, professional and educational organizations, and volunteers.

3. Develop and maintain procedures for work crews and personnel to support urgent damage assessment by surveying their work areas immediately following a hazardous event and reporting the situation to the EOC. Critical facilities within the work area should receive highest priority for assessment.

J. Sheriff's Office

Develop and maintain procedures for field personnel to support urgent damage assessment by surveying their patrol areas immediately following a hazardous event and reporting the situation to the EOC. Critical facilities within the patrol area should receive highest priority for assessment.

VI. REFERENCES

A. Washington State Emergency Management Disaster Assistance Guide for Local Governments

B. American Red Cross Disaster Services Regulations and Procedures: Survey/Damage Assessment

C. Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

D. Applied Technology Council Procedures for Post Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings

VII. ATTACHMENTS

1.Documentation of Disaster Related Costs for Government and Government-Like Organizations (with state damage assessment forms DEM 129 and DEM 130)


ATTACHMENT 1

DOCUMENTATION OF DISASTER RELATED COSTS FOR GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNMENT-LIKE ORGANIZATIONS

Government and government-like organizations have a responsibility to document the costs of a disaster, whether for damage suffered or for the costs of response and recovery. The following entities should document disaster related costs: cities, counties, school districts, drainage districts, fire districts, port districts, other special purpose districts, tribes, private non-profit organizations that have either public utility systems or are providing services of a governmental nature. Recognized private nonprofit organizations include: museums, zoos, community centers, libraries, homeless shelters, senior citizen centers, rehabilitation facilities, and facilities which provide health and safety services of a government nature.

Documentation serves several meaningful purposes: it is the basis for declaring a local emergency, for the governor declaring a state emergency, and for requesting a presidential disaster declaration; it serves to identify the scope of damage and allow for prioritizing subsequent activity and distribution of resources; it serves to document damage for insurance purposes; it provides subsequent justification for a budget extension; and it serves as justification for state and federal reimbursement should a disaster declaration be made.

Disaster related costs are classified as either Emergency Work or Permanent Work. Definitions are provided below. To qualify for state and federal reimbursement, there must be a clear audit trail for disaster related expenditures. It is best to establish this trail from the outset of a potentially disastrous situation. The documentation system used is an organizational choice; use what works best for you.

Cost Categories (as used on DEM 129 and DEM 130)

Emergency Work

Category A: Debris clearance (Cleaning up debris off of publicly owned properties).

Category B: Emergency protective measures (Emergency response activities for the protection of lives, property and the environment).

Personnel costs for categories A and B should be based only on overtime costs for permanent full-time employees. Personnel costs include salaries and benefits. If you hire temporary help to respond to the emergency, then their regular and overtime costs can be included. All equipment and material costs, regardless of when used, can be included. Equipment costs should be based upon established hourly rates. Permanent Work (In general, the cost of repair or restoration must be at least $1,000.00 per site or project.)

Category C: Road Systems (Repair of damaged roads. Each individually identifiable damaged segment should be considered a separate project; damage to roads for which the jurisdiction receives federal aid must be submitted to Washington Department of Transportation (WADOT) and must be at least $3,000.00 per project).

Category D: Water Control Facilities (Damages to dikes, levees, drainage channels and other similar facilities).

Category E: Public Buildings and Equipment (Damages to publicly owned buildings and equipment).

Category F: Public Utility Systems (Damages to water, sewer, sanitary sewer, electrical utility systems, water and/or sanitary sewer treatment plants that are publicly owned or owned by private nonprofit organizations).

Category G: Parks (Damages to park facilities, fences, landscaping, etc.).

All personnel, equipment, and material costs (regular and overtime) are recognized for permanent work.



DEM Forms 129 and 130 are available in the distributed copy of the CEMP and from Thurston County Emergency Management. Please call 867-2800.

You will need to specify the Category of Work, provide a brief description of the damage or loss, the location of the damage or loss, and an estimate of cost to repair or replace. Estimates do not have to be formal but rather educated guesses. The purpose of the information is to determine if the County might qualify for federal assistance. Additionally, you must provide the following information:

1. Identify and describe damages which constitute a health and/or safety hazard to the general public.

2. Describe population adversely affected directly or indirectly by the loss of public facilities or damages.

3. What economic activities are adversely affected by the loss of public facilities or damages?

4. Describe how the applicant intends to repair the damage, provide a schedule for accomplishing the work, and describe the source and availability of funds to accomplish the repairs. How quickly can the damage be repaired, without degradation of public services?

5. What is the impact on public services if a declaration is not made?