New Mexico – The Federal Emergency Management Agency says federal, state and local officials plan to assess damage in the aftermath of recent storms that brought record cold temperatures to much of New Mexico and left thousands of residents without natural gas service.
The preliminary damage assessment is the first step for a state in determining whether to request a presidential declaration.
The team will be collecting information on the type and amount of damage, the threat to public health and safety, the number of people who are displaced and the cost of business losses and emergency workers' overtime.
The findings could be used by Gov. Susana Martinez's office to support a request for federal help if the damage is beyond state and local recovery capabilities.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.