Skip Navigation

  1. City Departments
  2. City Services
  3. Our City
    1. Accommodations
    2. Architecture
    3. Arts and Culture
    4. All America City
    5. Buffalo My City
    6. Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
    7. Visit Buffalo Niagara
    8. Buffalo Sports & Outdoor Recreation
    9. Education
    10. Buffalo Ambassadors
    11. 1 more items...
  4. Online Payments
  5. My Profile
    1. New User Registration
    2. Existing User Login
    3. Schedule Payment Instructions
  6. Meetings

Home > City Departments > Emergency Management Services > Section IV: Recovery

Section IV: Recovery

A. Damage Assessment

2. The Emergency Services Coordinator may appoint a Damage Assessment Coordinator who is responsible for:

    (a) Developing a damage assessment program;

    (b) Organizing and forming damage assessment teams, pre-emergency, throughout the City ;

    (c) Coordinating damage assessment activities in the City during and following an emergency.

3. All City departments and agencies will cooperate fully with the Damage Assessment Coordinator in damage assessment activities including:

(a) Pre-emergency -

  • identifying City agencies, personnel, and resources to assist and support damage assessment activities
  • identifying non-government groups such as non-profit organizations, trade organizations and professional people that could provide damage assessment assistance
  • fostering agreements between the City and the private sector for technical support
  • utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) in damage assessment
  • participate in annual training
b) Emergency -

  • obtaining and maintaining documents, maps, photos and video tapes of damage
  • reviewing procedures and forms for reporting damage to higher levels of government
  • determining if State assistance is required in the damage assessment process) Post-emergency -


  • selecting personnel to participate in damage assessment survey teams
  • arranging for training of selected personnel in damage assessment survey techniques
  • identifying and prioritizing areas to survey damage
  • assigning survey teams to selected areas
  • completing damage assessment survey reports and maintaining records of the reports
  • submitting damage assessment reports to the State Emergency Management Office

4. Damage assessment teams will consist primarily of local government employees, such as Public Works engineers, building inspectors, assessors and members of non-profit organizations, such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. When necessary, non-government personnel from the fields of engineering, construction, insurance, property evaluation and related fields, may supplement the teams

5. There will be two different types of damage assessment teams: Infrastructure teams assess damage to public property and the infrastructure. Private property damage assessment teams assess impact on individuals and families.

6. Each damage assessment team will have a designated team leader who will report to the EOC.

7. Personnel from City departments and agencies, assigned damage assessment responsibilities, will remain under the control of their own departments, but will function under the technical supervision of the Commissioner of Assessment during emergency conditions.

8. All assessment activities in the disaster area will be coordinated with the Incident Commander.

9. The Damage Assessment Coordinator will prepare a Damage Assessment Report which will contain information on:- destroyed property

  • property sustaining major damage
  • property sustaining minor damage, for the following categories:

(a) damage to private property in dollar loss to the extent not covered by insurance:

  • homes
  • businesses
  • industries
  • utilities
  • hospitals, institutions and private schools

(b) damage to public property in dollar loss to the extent not covered by insurance:

  • road systems
  • bridges
  • water control facilities such as dikes, levees, channels
  • public buildings, equipment, and vehicles
  • publicly-owned utilities
  • parks and recreational facilities(c) cost in dollar value will be calculated for individual assistance in the areas of mass care, housing, and individual family grants

(c) cost in dollar value will be calculated for individual assistance in the areas of mass care, housing, and individual family grants

(d) community services provided beyond normal needs

(e) debris clearance and protective measures taken such as pumping, sandbagging, construction of warning signs and barricades, emergency levees, etc.

(f) financing overtime and labor required for emergency operations

SEMO's Damage Assessment Guidance with appropriate forms is available from the City Disaster Preparedness Office.

B. Managing the Request for Recovery Assistance

1. It is essential that, from the outset of emergency response actions, City response personnel keep detailed records of expenditures for:

(a) labor used

(b) use of owned equipment

(c) use of borrowed or rented equipment

(d) use of materials from existing stock

(e) contracted services for emergency response

Forms for collecting this information are contained in SEMO's Public Assistance Handbook of Policies and Guidelines for Applicants, obtainable from the City Disaster Preparedness Office.

3. The City 's authorized agent will:

(c) Obtain from the Damage Assessment Teams maps showing disaster damage locations documented with photographs and video tapes.

(d) Prepare and submit Application for Public Assistance.

(e)Assign local representative(s) who will work with Federal Representatives.

(f)Coordinate with City Agencies and complete the application in accordance with the guidelines in (b).

(b) Review SEMO's Public Assistance Handbook of Policies and Guidelines for Applicants.
C. Planning for Recovery

1. Recovery includes community development and redevelopment.

2. Community development is based on a comprehensive community development plan prepared under direction of and with technical assistance provided by the City Department of Planning.

3. Comprehensive community development plans are officially adopted by local government as the official policy for development of the community.

4. Localities with public and political support for land use planning and the corresponding plan implementation tools such as zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building codes, etc. have pre-disaster prevention and mitigation capability by applying these methods successfully after disasters.

5. A central focal point of analytical and coordinative planning skills which could obtain the necessary political leadership and backing when needed, is required to coordinate the programs and agencies necessary to bring about a high quality level of recovery and community redevelopment.

6. The Mayor will decide whether the recovery will be managed through existing organizations with planning and coordinative skills or by a recovery task force created exclusively for this purpose.

7. A recovery task force will:

    (a) Direct the recovery with the assistance of City departments and agencies coordinated by the Director of Emergency Management.

    (b) Prepare a local recovery and redevelopment plan, unless deemed unnecessary, pursuant to section 28-a of the State Executive Law.

8. The recovery and redevelopment plan shall include;

    (a) Replacement, reconstruction, removal, relocation of damaged/destroyed infrastructures/buildings.

    (b) Establishment of priorities for emergency repairs to facilities, buildings and infrastructures.

    (c) Economic recovery and community development.

    (d)New or amended zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, building and sanitary codes.

9. Recovery and redevelopment plan will account for and incorporate to the extent practical, relevant existing plans and policies.

10. Prevention and mitigation measures should be incorporated into all recovery planning where possible.

11. If the governor declares a state disaster emergency, then under Section 28-a the local governments have the responsibility to develop a local recovery and redevelopment plan.

  • May be amended at anytime in the same manner as originally prepared, revised and adopted; and
  • Shall be the official policy for recovery and redevelopment within the City.

D. Reconstruction

1. Reconstruction consists of two phases:

    (a)Phase 1-short term reconstruction to return vital life support systems to minimum operating standards

    (b) Phase 2-long term reconstruction and development which may continue for years after a disaster and will implement the officially adopted plans, policies and programs for redevelopment including risk reduction projects to avoid the conditions and circumstances that led to the disaster.

2. Long term reconstruction and recovery includes activities such as:

      (a) Securing funding

      (b) Scheduling planning for redevelopment

      (c) Analyzing existing State and Federal programs to determine how they may be modified or applied to reconstruction

      (d) Conducting of public meetings and hearings

      (e) Providing temporary housing and facilities

      (f) Public assistance

      (g) Coordinating State/Federal recovery assistance

      (h) Monitoring of reconstruction progress

      (i) Preparation of periodic progress reports to be submitted to SEMO

3. Reconstruction operations must conform to existing State/Federal laws and regulations concerning environmental impact.

4. Reconstruction operations in and around designated historical sites must conform to existing State and FEMA guidelines.

E. Public Information on Recovery Assistance

    (a) What kind of emergency assistance is available to the public.

    (b) Who provides the assistance.

    (c) Who is eligible for assistance.

    (d) What kind of records are needed to document items which are damaged or destroyed by the disaster.

    (f) Where to apply for assistance.

    (e) What actions to take to apply for assistance.

2. The following types of assistance may be available:

    (a) Food stamps (regular and/or emergency)

    (b) Temporary housing (rental, mobile home, motel)

    (c) Unemployment assistance and job placement (regular and disaster unemployment)

    (d) Veteran's benefits

    (e) Social Security benefits

    (f) Disaster and emergency loans (Small Business Administration, Farmers Home Administration)

    (g) Tax refund

    (h) Individual and family grants

    (i) Legal assistance

3. All the above information will be prepared jointly by the federal, State, and City PIOs as appropriate and furnished to the media for reporting to public.
1. Public Information Officers are responsible for making arrangements with the broadcast media and press to obtain their cooperation in adequately reporting to the public on:

The adopted plan:

(a) Attend public assistance applicant briefing conducted by Federal and State Emergency officials.
2. Unless otherwise designated by the Mayor, the Commissioner of Administration & Finance will serve as the City 's authorized agent in disaster assistance applications to state and Federal government.
10. The Mayor, through the Emergency Services Coordinator, will submit the Damage Assessment Report to the State Emergency Management Office, Region 5 Office through Erie County. It is required for establishing the eligibility for any State and/or federal assistance
. All departments and agencies in the City of Buffalo must participate in damage assessment activities.