California Department of Transportation

Local Assistance Home

Emergency Relief Home

Contacts - Local Assistance









State of California
Department of Transportation
Division of Local Assistance
P.O. Box 942874, MS-1
Sacramento, CA 94274-0001





Local Emergency Relief Program

Application & Forms

Roadways and bridges on a designated federal-aid highway that have been damaged as a direct result of an approved natural disaster or catastrophic failure are eligible for Emergency Relief (ER) funding to restore the damaged roadway to its pre-disaster condition. As a general rule, items eligible for participation as a part of regular federal-aid improvement project under Title 23 United States Code (USC) may also be eligible for ER funding should disaster damage occur on a declared disaster event.

Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) Submittal

The Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) spreadsheet is how local agencies first report their disaster damage to Caltrans. This information is used by the Department to determine if the disaster has reached the minimum $700,000 disaster damage threshold, required before Emergency Relief funds can be released to eligible state and local agency associated disaster projects.

Local Agencies also must report their disaster damages to CalOES, which works closely with the Governor's office and help the Governor determine if a Disaster Proclamation is warranted. A disaster proclamation by either the California Governor or the U.S. President is also a prerequisite to releasing Emergency Relief funding for the disaster recovery.

Contact your DLAE or District ER Coordinator for more information on this, if needed.

Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) Spreadsheet
Damage Assessment Form (DAF) Submittal Package

A DAF must be filled out for each site and approved by FHWA to qualify the site for ER funding. The required elements of a DAF Submittal Package are as follows:

1. DAF Cover Sheet

2. DAF Cost Estimate (a.k.a. Engineers Estimate; may use multiple pages, as needed)

  • Permanent Repair work items separated from the Emergency Repair work items
  • No "Contingencies" [not allowed in the ER program]
  • Separate Estimates (may use multiple Cost Est. pages, as needed) for Emergency Opening CON and Permanent Repairs / Permanent Restoration
  • Betterment work items and quantities should be identified (may asterisk in cost estimate(s), with a footnote explanation)
  • Must have signatures from both the local agency and District Local Assistance prior to FHWA review
3. Photos of the Damage before repairs began (may use multiple pages, as needed)

4. Sketch and/or narrative of damage and proposed solution (may use multiple pages, as needed)
  • May be a rough hand sketch showing the disaster damage and the proposed solution
  • May include quantity calculations
5. Betterments & Benefit Cost Analysis (only if betterments present on project)
  • Defined as any construction ER construction feature not existing at the location just prior to the disaster event
  • If betterment(s) is/are used a justification should be provided for why it/they should be ER eligible, if seeking ER reimbursement for Betterment(s)
  • May be justified using a Benefit-Cost Analysis (simplified worksheet available in the BCA link to the left)
Damage Assessment Forms
Damage Assessment Submittal Supplemental Information and Reference

Bill Huang, ER Coordinator, Division of Local Assistancei

To report any difficulty experienced in accessing Caltrans programs, services or activities or any discriminations covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act or the Fair Employment and Housing Act, please contact us at (866)810-6346 Voice; 711 TTY; (916)324-1999. Email:

Page Last Updated: April 5, 2018