FEMA Releases Damage Assessment Operating Manual March 31, 2016, FEMA released the FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual. The manual establishes national damage assessment standards developed from lessons learned and best practices already in use and is intended to increase the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of damage assessments by empowering emergency management at all levels with clear information and defined roles and responsibilities.  The standards put forth in the manual will be the national standard utilized by states and tribes conducting damage assessments after disasters.