Damage Assessment Program


Damage Assessments are conducted by Palm Beach County (PBC) in order to:

  • Guide Palm Beach County response efforts;
  • Determine the severity and magnitude of the event;
  • Quantify the damage to homes and businesses impacted by the disaster;
  • Assess the need for federal assistance and estimate disaster impact to businesses, individuals and families; and
  • Determine whether local resources will be sufficient to effectively respond and recover from the incident. 

Immediately following a disaster, a Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) is conducted to determine approximately the amount of damages caused to the County and Municipalities.  This information is provided to the state. 

If significant in degree, a request is sent to the state for an Initial Damage Assessment (IDA).  In an IDA, the state sends teams into Palm Beach County to identify the damages in order to quantify the disaster through an analysis in order to determine if supplemental assistance will be needed from the State and/or FEMA.

If the IDA indicates significant damages, a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) is warranted.  The PDA is a more formalized process used to document the damage identified during the IDA and to gather supporting information for the Governor’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration.  If the State’s analysis of the effect of the disaster on Palm Beach County indicates that the damage is extensive enough that a Federal declaration could be warranted, it will request a PDA.  A FEMA/State team will visit PBC applicants and assess the damage. 

In most cases, PBC has already surveyed the affected areas and provided its findings to Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM).  If there is a large scale disaster, the State may request that FEMA participate in the initial assessment as a joint Federal/State PDA.

Once Palm Beach County has submitted the initial damage assessment data and information to the State, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) may conduct a Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) with PBC Damage Assessment Unit.  This action is taken to verify the severity of the impact and justify the need to pursue the request for federal assistance.


Recovery Directory: