Missouri flood disaster assessment teams start surveys

Flood damage in Thomasville (U.S. Rep. Jason Smith's Facebook page)
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Teams of local, state and federal disaster specialists on Wednesday started assessing flooding and severe storm damage to homes, personal property and public infrastructure, including schools, roads and bridges, throughout the state. They're going to determine the size and scope of the disaster for the application that Missouri will make to have this declared as a federal disaster.

Two types of teams, known as Preliminary Damage Assessment teams, are surveying damage: Individual Assistance (IA) teams and Public Assistance (PA) teams. Team members will carry official identification. Residents should not hesitate to request that they show their IDs.

Individual Assistance teams assess damage to homes and personal property. Teams will not visit every house; the assessments are meant to get a broad overview of damage.

If a federal major disaster declaration is declared, Individual Assistance can help eligible individuals and families with temporary rental assistance, basic home repairs and other essential disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other means.

The following counties will be surveyed for potential Individual Assistance, based on initial assessments received from the counties: Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Carter, Christian, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Jasper, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Pemiscot, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Ste. Genevieve, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, and Wright.

Public Assistance teams assess disaster damage to public infrastructure like roads, bridges and schools as well as to certain nonprofit entities.

The following counties will be surveyed for potential Public Assistance, based on initial assessments by county officials: Barry, Barton, Bollinger, Butler, Camden, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Howell, Iron, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, Newton, Oregon, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pike, Pulaski, Ralls, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, Washington, Webster, and Wright.

Additional counties may be added to the request for either Individual Assistance or Public Assistance damage assessments as the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency receives more information from local officials.

Participating jointly in the teams will be local emergency managers and officials, SEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and, for Individual Assistance, the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Those affected by the flooding and severe storms are encouraged to report damage to their local emergency management officials and to document losses, including photographing damage and retaining receipts.

Individuals and business owners should notify their insurance companies of damage and not wait for damage assessments.

For information about Missouri flooding recovery and resources check Mo.gov/flood. The site is regularly updated with new information.