Preliminary Damage Assessment
A Preliminary Damage Assessment, at the local level, requires placing an actual dollar
figure to the loss a community has sustained. Costs factored into this assessment may include
costs arising from protective measures taken pre and post storm. Acceptable costs could also
include the following: extra law enforcement personnel, overtime payment for staff responding
to increased emergency and rescue calls, debris clean-up, and replacement costs for
infrastructure such as road, bridges and other public buildings.
In evaluating properties it is important to quantifiably demonstrate the impact of wind
and flooding damage on each property. FEMA outlines the process and defines the areas to
assess; however, FEMA does not indicate how a locality is to carry out the process.
Accomack County is one of two Virginia counties that join with seven other Maryland
counties to form the Eastern Shore. The northern end of the Eastern Shore adjoins the State of
Delaware to form a landmass named the Delmarva Peninsula. At the southern end of the
peninsula is a 17 mile-long bridge tunnel system connecting the peninsula to mainland Virginia.
On the peninsula’s western border is the Chesapeake Bay and to its east is the Atlantic Ocean.
On the Atlantic side, Accomack County has a string of seven barrier islands four of which are
currently inhabited with a total population of approximately 5,000 people. In addition, the
County also has two islands in the Chesapeake Bay: Tangier Island, with a population 600 and
Saxis Island with a population of 2,000. It is significant to note that Tangier Island’s year round
population can only be reached by boat or plane. Accomack County has a total population of
38,000 permanent residents and an increase to approximately 50,000 residents during the
summer months. Elevation throughout Accomack County ranges from sea level to 50 feet above