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Public Infrastructure Initial Damage Assessment

TO: Local, Tribal and State Emergency Management partners


In order to assess the magnitude, severity and impact of the January 2024 severe winter storm, we are asking those counties that have impacts to conduct an Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) for public infrastructure. However, if you have impacts beyond public infrastructure, please also report it. If your jurisdiction had no significant impacts, let us know by responding to this email with “no impacts” in the subject line.


Initial Damage Assessment Forms

Public Assistance (infrastructure) IDA Field Data Collection Form is attached and can also be found on the following link:


Who completes the Initial Damage Assessment Field Data Collection form?


  • State agencies,
  • Tribal governments,
  • County Departments,
  • Municipalities, cities, towns,
  • *Certain Private Non-profit Organizations (PNP),
  • Special Districts under State Law


These entities complete their own IDA Public Infrastructure Data Form and submit the completed form(s) to the County EM for roll up of impacts and costs for that County. The County submits the IDA County Summary Report Form and the local jurisdiction Initial Damage Assessment Field Data forms to OEM for review and consolidation into the State’s overall impacts.


State agencies and Tribal government can submit directly to the OEM for roll up on statewide impacts (please identify damage by county area).


Attached to this email for reference and distribution/submission:

·        Public Infrastructure Guidelines and Categories

·        Initial Damage Assessment (IDA) Field Data Collection Form(IDA Data Collection Form Public Infrastructure)

·        **IDA Power Utility Questionnaire

·        IDA County Summary Form

·        Public Infrastructure IDA PDA Process & Federal Indicators

·        * FEMA PA Private Nonprofit (PNP) List


**please be advised that utilities must be a public or private non-profit to be eligible for inclusion in the IDA


For the purpose of the IDA, we request you report for those costs and damages that occurred as a direct result of the severe winter weather on or near ~January 12, 2024 – ~January 17, 2024 ( approximate TBD)


Note that the incident period is defined as the time span during which the hazard causing incident occurs. Typically, the incident starts and stops with the atmospheric weather system. OEM will work with the NWS on the period of length and type of incident.  In order to define the incident period, it is very important to identify the date of occurrence of damage/response and the cause of the damage (peril) in your damage assessments.



Please submit your IDAs by January 29, 2024, COB. Keep in mind that you can update the IDA upon receipt of additional information, we just ask that you notify us that the County IDA has been updated. Note: The State has 30 days from the end of the incident period to request a Major Disaster Declaration if warranted.


Please submit your Infrastructure IDA data forms (IDA – Data Collection form), IDA power utility questionnaire (if applicable) and County Summary (IDA County Summary Rollup of Impacts) to


Once the state receives all of the IDA information, we will review the information and determine whether to request FEMA to conduct a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) for evaluation of potential federal assistance.  The purpose of a joint PDA is to ground truth the numbers provided in the IDA and determine if a Major Presidential Disaster Declaration is warranted.


Event Specific FEMA Public Assistance (public entities) Policy Guidance


Snow Removal/Deicing

Limited snow removal and deicing activities may be eligible, only if the snow/deicing related activity was necessary to perform an otherwise eligible work category (Category B or repairs), such as snow removal /deicing to:

  • Gain access to repair a downed power line or
  • Snow removal/deicing to allow access to sheltering, evacuations, Search and Rescue.
  • Snow removal/deicing to protect infrastructure from failure (most be documented)


The snow/deicing is an extremely limited provision in FEMA policy. It will be very important to document the purpose of the snow/deicing activities to demonstrate the eligibility to be included in the IDA.


Debris Removal

Debris removal activities, may include the estimated cost for the clearance, removal, and disposal of debris, if the removal is in the public interest based on whether the work:

• Eliminates immediate threats to lives, public health, and safety.

• Eliminates immediate threats of significant damage to improved public or private property.

• Ensures economic recovery of the affected community to the benefit of the community at large*


The local jurisdiction must have the legal responsibly for the debris removal. You may include regular time, overtime, equipment usage and materials and contract costs on the IDA. Please identify the estimated quantities of debris removed and to be removed as best you can.


Removal of debris from improved public property and public rights-of-way (ROWs), including Federal-aid roads, is eligible. If State, Local, Tribal Territory (SLTT) governments authorize residents to place incident related debris on public ROWs,* FEMA provides PA funding to remove the debris from the ROWs for a limited timeframe (PAPPG, page 99).


For further eligibility of debris removal and documentation requirements (have available) for potential future reimbursement see page 99-100 of FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG):


FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG)


FEMA Debris Removal Fact Sheet (May 2023)


Questions on this Public Infrastructure Damage Assessment can go to:


Your Regional Coordinator and /or email questions to


Other Assessments

If you need guidance on collecting information on damage and impacts to homes, businesses, or negative economic impacts, please email your questions to   - Note that as we learn of impacts to households, we are assessing whether the Individual Assistance (IA) program might apply. With what has been reported thus far, we are not likely to pursue IA assessments. FEMA requires the majority of damage made homes inhabitable. However, we do still want to be sure to assess the impacts to those households and make sure they are securely connected with their insurance providers, have accessible loan opportunities, and are being connected with social services and community resources.


Thank you for your continued efforts, commitment, and tireless resolve!