37: Preliminary Damage Assessment training

Many ARES members nationwide have assisted Red Cross chapters and local emergency managers by training for and conducting Preliminary Damage Assessments (PDA) following disasters.  PDAs are a natural match for ARES and Red Cross volunteers, as damage assessment teams require regular communications with the Red Cross chapter, the local emergency operations center or both.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute (EMI) recently released IS-772: IA PDA Orientation to explain how FEMA and the Small Business Administration (SBA) participate in a second round of PDAs, which helps to determine if a federal disaster declaration will include Individual Assistance – help for individuals and families.  While this may be confusing, many federal declarations only provide Public Assistance, which helps local governments and some non-profit organizations recover financially from emergencies.

IS-772 takes roughly one hour to complete online, and is available at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-772 .