When we are affected by weather-related damage, it’s reassuring to know that private communities such as yours can rely on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in certain circumstances. Please note that some of these circumstances may not apply to your association.
While we must continue to be proactive and adhere to the community’s disaster recovery plan, as well as maintain a contingency fund, we can look to FEMA to help with the following if needed:
• While the state or local government removes the debris or hires contractors to have it done, FEMA may cover costs to remove fallen trees, large branches, silt, sand, mud, and building materials from private roadways to create emergency access and egress in the community. Even debris that homeowners have moved to the curb from their private property is eligible for pick-up in many cases.
• By meeting certain criteria, your community also can claim some of the costs to repair educational, medical, custodial, emergency or other specified utility facilities.
• Since FEMA’s purpose is to “eliminate (any) immediate threat to lives, public health, and safety,” severely damaged buildings may also be eligible for removal.
The digest states that when debris or damage on private business and residential property “is so widespread that public health, safety or the economic recovery of the community is threatened,” with some advanced notice, FEMA may fund debris removal from private property. For more details, visitwww.fema.gov/pdf/government/grant/pa/pdigest08.pdf.
Your association may cover some repairs, especially to the common areas. Contact the insurance company of the association to learn what is covered under the master policy of the association.