Emergency Management Officials

Reporting Disaster Damages

In the event a jurisdiction exceeds or expects to exceed its response capabilities during a major emergency or disaster, chief elected officials should make contact with their TDEM District Coordinator for any help needed in navigating disaster response and recovery efforts.

Declare and Submit a Local State of Disaster: The chief elected official of the jurisdiction has the responsibility to declare a local state of disaster requesting disaster recovery assistance.

Disaster Summary Outline: As soon as possible, all jurisdictional departments should begin gathering response costs and initial damage estimates. These figures need not be exact but are necessary to complete the Disaster Summary Outline (DSO). The DSO is the first snapshot TDEM receives regarding the extent of damages. DSOs will automatically be sent to the State Operations Center (SOC) through the form found at https://dso.soc.texas.gov

pSTAT: The Public Assistance State of Texas Assessment Tool (pSTAT) is a mobile platform to capture storm-related damages to public infrastructure, debris, and other FEMA designated categories of work.

Federal Declaration Process: If the disaster is of such magnitude that local and state resources are inadequate and areas cannot recover without federal assistance, the governor may request that the president of the United States federally declare the disaster. All emergency and major declarations are made solely at the discretion of the president of the United States. Federal assistance is not intended to fully compensate a community for losses but to supplement available resources and prevent conditions from which the community could not responsibly recover.

Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments

If it is apparent that a presidential disaster declaration may be necessary to assist in the recovery of the impacted area, the state will contact FEMA Region VI and request joint (local, federal, state) Preliminary Damage Assessments. Local damage assessment information is typically gathered after lifesaving and life-sustaining needs have been addressed and serves as the foundation for actions and decisions made in later phases of the incident. Local government representatives are critical to effective joint PDA teams. FEMA Public Assistance (PA) and Individual Assistance (IA) programs require separate assessments prior to requesting federal disaster assistance.

Federal regulation requires that both the state and each county surpass their FEMA threshold to be eligible for PA. Jurisdictions must show they have uninsured damages that exceed this threshold, that can be found at County Dollar Thresholds.

When evaluating the need for IA, FEMA will consider the following six factors for states and territories:

  1. State or territory fiscal capacity and resource availability
  2. Uninsured home and personal property losses
  3. The disaster-impacted population profile
  4. Impact to community infrastructure
  5. Casualties
  6. Disaster-related unemployment

When evaluating the need for PA, FEMA will consider the following six factors for states and territories:

  1. Estimated cost of assistance
  2. Insurance coverage
  3. Other Federal agency programs
  4. Localized impacts
  5. Hazard mitigation
  6. Recent multiple disasters


The Public Assistance – State of Texas Assessment Tool (pSTAT) helps the state identify disaster damages to public infrastructure and to assist emergency management officials assess the damages that occurred. This data will determine if the state of Texas and our communities meet federal thresholds for disaster assistance. The pSTAT is for local government use and should not be released to the public.

TDEM’s Network Attached Software (NAS) is the repository for submitting documentation to certify damage claims submitted through the pSTAT. To certify damage claims, FEMA requires: insurance documents and schedule of values, force account labor and equipment, materials, contracts, and any other supplementary information to support the damage claim.

Public Assistance Funding Opportunities

There are currently no Public Assistance Funding Opportunities

Public Assistance Program

The Public Assistance (PA) Program provides grants to state, territorial, local, and federally recognized tribal governments and certain private non-profit entities to assist them with the response to and recovery from disasters. Specifically, the program provides assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and permanent repair, restoration, reconstruction, or replacement of eligible public facilities and infrastructure damaged or destroyed in a disaster. All work and costs under this program must be in accordance with PA program eligibility requirements as outlined in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG).

The TDEM Recovery has staff in all TDEM regions to assist state, tribal, territorial, and local governments and certain types of private non-profits in navigating this grant program.

Emergency Work: Emergency protective measures conducted before, during, and after an incident are eligible if the measures:

Permanent Work: Permanent Work (Categories C–G) is work required to restore a facility to its pre-disaster design (size and capacity) and function in accordance with applicable codes and standards.


Debris management is one of many competing priorities agencies must manage during such events. It is important that disaster debris be properly managed so as to protect human health, comply with regulations, conserve disposal capacity, reduce injuries, and minimize or prevent environmental impacts. All temporary debris management sites are required to have authorization from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and Texas Historical Commission (THC) for any staging, burning, chipping, or sorting of debris to ensure all regulation, law and policies have been adhered to.

  1. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) TDMS Authorization Application
  2. Texas Historical Commission (THC) TDMS Application
  3. Debris Management Plan Checklist
  4. Local Catastrophic Debris Management Guide
  5. NOAA Waterway Debris Flowchart
  6. Public Assistance: Category A - Debris Removal including Private Property Debris
  7. Public Assistance: Category A - Debris Removal including Private Property Debris - Spanish
  8. Public Assistance Debris Removal from Waterways
  9. Public Assistance Debris Removal Tips
  10. Annex 2019_12_20_Debris-Management_final.pdf


The Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) is FEMA's primary method for providing financial assistance to State, Local, and Tribal governments responding to wild land fires. Because wildfire’s behavior is so unpredictable it can change direction unexpectedly, spread across highways, and destroy homes and buildings.

FEMA Cumulative Fire Cost Threshold Total Eligible Costs
$8,044,159 $42,290,252
  • FEMA Public Assistance only provides these grants when a Fire Management Assistance Declaration occurs
  • Eligible Work is directly linked to firefighting activities
  • Without a Fire Management Assistance Grant Program Declaration, the Recipient cannot apply for a Fire Management Assistance Grant

To receive financial assistance under the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, the Applicant must have eligible work that meets the requirements for one of the program's Category of Work.

For work to be eligible, it must be:

  • The legal responsibility of the Applicant, whether it was performed by the Applicant's own agents or through a secondary party
  • Required as a result of a declared fire
  • Located within the designated area

Eligible work must also directly relate to a Category of Work for the Applicant to receive grant funding. Generally eligible Categories of Work for the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program include:

  • Category B: Emergency protective measures
  • Category H: Fire-fighting activities
  • Category Z: Indirect and Direct Administrative Costs

To acquire a Fire Management Assistance Declaration, a State or Territory must follow a defined process for requesting a declaration and post-declaration actions, which includes:

  • Pre-incident actions
    • Submission of FEMA-State/Tribal/Territorial Agreement
    • Submission of a State Administration Plan
  • Pre-declaration actions
    • The incident
    • State or Territory request for declaration
    • FEMA review of the request
    • Regional Administrator evaluation and determination of the request
    • Determination of qualifying fires in a fire complex
    • FEMA communication of the determination
  • • Post-declaration activities
    • Submission of Attachment C amendment to the FEMA-State/Tribal/Territorial Agreement
    • Modification of a request to add counties
    • Determination of the incident period

The first step in the Fire Management Assistance Declaration process is the State or Territory submitting the request.

If an uncontrolled fire or fire complex threatens such destruction that would constitute a major disaster, the Governor or Governor’s Authorized Representative may submit a request for a Fire Management Assistance Declaration.

The Governor or Governor’s Authorized Representative must submit a request while the fire is burning uncontrolled. As the program declaration request process operates in real time during an incident, declaration requests may be submitted day or night.

When submitting a request for a declaration, the governor or governor's authorized representative completes two steps:

  • Verbal declaration request
  • Written declaration request

Disaster Recovery Loan SB6

Senate Bill 6, by Sen. Kolkhorst, from the 86th Legislative Session relates to emergency and disaster management, response, and recovery. Recommendations contained in the ‘Eye of the Storm’ report guided legislation this past session and through SB 6, the Disaster Recovery Loan Program was created. This program allows eligible counties, municipalities, and school districts who meet the qualifications to access an application for a loan program, to be established by TDEM.

The disaster recovery loan account was created as an account in the general revenue fund with the comptroller, to be administered by TDEM. Money in the account shall be used to provide short-term loans to eligible political subdivisions.


  1. Must  be a political subdivision located wholly or partly in an area declared to  be a disaster by the Governor of Texas or U.S. President;
  2. Prior  to application of the loan, must have submitted within 15 days of adoption  the political subdivision’s operating budget for the most recent fiscal  year, and have submitted an application for a loan from the Federal  Emergency Management’s Agency community disaster loan program;
  3. Must  have completed an assessment of damages due to the disaster for which the  declaration was made;
  4. It is determined, in consultation with FEMA, that the estimated cost to rebuild is greater than 50% of the eligible entities total revenue for the current fiscal year.

Loan Conditions

  1. The loan must be made at or below-market interest rates for a term not to exceed 10 years;
  2. The loan proceeds must be expended by the eligible recipient solely for disaster recovery projects;
  3. If the term of the loan exceeds two years, the state auditor shall conduct an audit of the recipient to determine their ability to repay the loan under the current terms;
  4. Loan forgiveness may be granted to a recipient if the state auditor determines they are unable to repay the loan; this is subject to the approval by the legislative audit committee.

Disaster Recovery Loan Application

Disaster Recovery Loan Applicant Budget Worksheet

TDEM Disaster Recovery Loan Programs Rules