During any man-made or natural disaster, a bottom to top utilization of emergency responders occurs. This is the process:
- Local Emergency Managers Respond
- If local resources are exhausted, local elected officials can declare a local state of emergency and request assistance from the State.
- State Resources Deployed
- If state resources are exhausted:
- Governor declares a state of emergency
- Governor requests assistance from the federal government with Preliminary Damage Assessments or a Presidential major Disaster or Emergency Declaration
- Federal Resources Deployed
- President issues a Major Disaster or an Emergency Declaration
The governor may request a federal disaster declaration, which is formally submitted to the regional FEMA office.
When deciding whether to recommend a federal disaster declaration, FEMA will consider the following:
- Number of homes destroyed or with major damage
- Extent damage is dispersed or concentrated
- Impact on the infrastructure or critical facilities
- Imminent threats to public health and safety
- Impacts to essential government services and functions
- Level of insurance coverage in place for homeowners and public facilities
- Assistance available from other sources
- State and local resource commitments from previous, undeclared events
- Frequency of disaster events over recent time period
FEMA does not provide assistance until there is a Presidential Declaration for Disaster to your state and county in particular.
Q: How will I know if a disaster declaration has been issued?
A: A list of Disaster Declarations is available on FEMA's website, and is searchable by state. You may also contact your local Emergency Management Agency.
Q: Who do I call to get information?
A: You may contact your local Emergency Management Agency for further information. If there is a Disaster Declaration and you need to report damage, choose an option listed below.
Q: Who do I call to report damage?
A: You can apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov
You can call by phone 1-800-621-3362
You can also apply by phone via TTY 1-800-462-7585