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City Wide News Releases

Posted on: November 15, 2018

Federal Disaster Declaration Process

The recovery from any disaster is a stressful and extended process.  Part of the recovery involves a request for a Federal Disaster Declaration to allow FEMA and other agencies to provide assistance to the local citizens and jurisdictions.  There are several steps and requirements that must be met in order to receive this declaration.  Below is a summary of the process:

  • The chief elected official (Mayor or County Judge) of the jurisdiction declares a local state of disaster and submits it to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM).  The Governor may issue a disaster declaration for the affected areas.
  • As soon as possible, each jurisdiction completes a rapid damage assessment of both private owned buildings and public facilities, gathering preliminary estimates. 
  • Each jurisdiction submits a damage summary outline (DSO) to TDEM.
  • TDEM, FEMA, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and other agencies as needed conduct preliminary damage assessments in each jurisdiction.  One assessment is for private owned homes and business and the second assessment is for the public facilities and infrastructure. 
  • Based on the preliminary damage assessments, TDEM makes a recommendation to the Governor to submit a federal declaration to FEMA. 
    • To be eligible for a federal declaration, each affected county must meet a fiscal threshold and the state must meet a cumulative fiscal threshold in order to receive assistance for public facilities and infrastructure.  There are no threshold requirements for privately owned buildings. 
  • If the President grants a major disaster declaration, several disaster assistance programs, administered by different agencies, may become available to both individuals and governments.  If the federal declaration is denied, the State can appeal the decision. 

To date, the local jurisdictions and the Governor have declared a disaster for the affected counties.  The local jurisdictions are submitting their disaster summaries to the State and the preliminary damage assessment teams are conducting their assessments in the affected areas.  While the Governor has already made the disaster request to FEMA, this information is needed in order for FEMA to make a recommendation to the President. 


The City of Marble Falls is well into the recovery process.  The majority of the debris has been removed and some individuals are beginning to rebuild.  The City’s damage summary outline has been submitted and both preliminary damage assessments are complete.


The City, along with our citizens, is anxiously waiting on an answer on a federal declaration. 

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