Beginning Tuesday, February 12, four Preliminary Disaster Assessment (PDA) teams will be conducting surveys throughout the State. Teams, comprised of federal, state, and local officials, will visit affected areas to view storm damages firsthand, assess the scope of damages, and estimate repair costs. The PDA is expected to be completed in two to three days.
On Sunday, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assist state and local communities, in all five counties, in this process. "We are thankful for FEMA's quick response to our request," said Governor Chafee. "We understand that the PDA is the first step in the process to determine if the extent of damages would qualify the State for federal assistance, and it does not guarantee a federal disaster declaration."
The governor's PDA request is for Public Assistance and Individual Assistance. Public Assistance provides aid to local, state, and tribal governments on a cost-share basis to repair or restore publicly owned infrastructure, remove debris or accomplish emergency protective measures needed at the time of the incident. Individual Assistance provides financial help or direct services to individuals who have necessary expenses and serious needs if they are unable to meet the needs through other means.
Information gathered during the PDA will be passed to the state for review. Based on this information, the Governor will decide whether to proceed with a formal request for federal assistance.