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Water: Fed FUNDS

Critical Actions to Document Damage/Costs/Repairs

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You indicated that you are currently experiencing a disaster or a large-scale service interruption. For reimbursement of costs, you need to thoroughly document both the damage and associated repairs. Follow these critical action steps to assist you in seeking disaster funding. Links to sample forms are highlighted in textboxes to help with recordkeeping. Additional FEMA forms are available if your utility is in a Presidentially-Declared Disaster area. Click the following link to access a printable copy of the Printer-Friendly Version of Current Page (PDF) (3 pp, 366K, About PDF)


squarebox1 Contact your local/operational area/state emergency management agencies. These agencies can provide guidance on handling the disaster and the requirements that apply for disaster funding.

squarebox1 Document all damage on the sample Damage Assessment/System Status Forms. These forms can be used to quickly assess damage to various system components, where repairs are needed, and any impact to public health and safety. Choose from the forms below or use other forms that suit your needs.

  • Print out and provide blank forms to utility personnel that will perform damage assessments. Preferably, complete the damage assessment forms prior to performing ANY emergency/repair work. Once the forms are completed, utility officials can prioritize and perform repairs. These are not official forms for any particular funding program, but represent good recordkeeping practices for utilities.

squarebox1 Take photos of ALL damage. If possible, each field crew should have a camera or camcorder to document damaged equipment and facilities PRIOR to beginning repair work. Crews should document the photo details in a notebook or log. Crews should devise a system to reference the photos in damage assessment or emergency repair forms.

    • Photolog (PDF) (1 pg, 100K): organizes the photographs of damaged facilities and equipment.

squarebox1 Document your request for mutual aid (e.g., WARN, Emergency Management Agency) including any cost estimates (if applicable). Remember to brief all mutual aid crews on the documentation process! For information on WARN and how to join the program in your state, go to http://www.nationalwarn.org.Exit EPA Disclaimer

squarebox1 Document emergency repair work. Each repair crew should use the utility's work order management system/tool, if appropriate, to document the emergency work. If crews from other utilities are utilized via a mutual aid agreement, make sure the work order system and applicable forms are disseminated and thoroughly explained.

squarebox1 Document hours worked, equipment/vehicles used (including miles or hours used), materials purchased, and contractors used. You will need to separately specify regular and overtime hours, include any equipment purchases and rentals, and separate out employee versus contractor versus mutual aid time. Above all, be sure to keep receipts of everything. Capture this information using your own forms/tracking systems or use the sample American Water Works Association (AWWA) form below.

squarebox1 Consider FEMA funding for a Presidentially-Declared Disaster.

    • Determine if a Presidentially-Declared Disaster has been declared for the area that contains your facility. If so, you might be eligible for funds under FEMA's Public Assistance (PA) Grant Program.
    • For FEMA's PA Program, attend the Applicant's Briefing. Contact your state emergency management agency or operational area for information regarding this meeting. Review the information contained in the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program Web pages to learn how the program works for utilities damaged in a Presidentially-Declared Disaster.
    • Complete the Request for Public Assistance form if you are eligible for FEMA Public Assistance.
    • For FEMA's PA Program, document everything you do. This includes labor (both regular and overtime), materials, equipment used/rented, and contractor support. Use the FEMA forms or adapt your own forms or tracking system to capture the information for the FEMA forms.
    • Take the completed PA forms and any related information with you when meeting with FEMA.

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