Acting Governor Kehoe Seeks Joint Damage Assessments in Preparation for FEMA Major Disaster Declaration Request

MAY 30, 2024

 — Today, Acting Governor Mike Kehoe announced the state has requested the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) participate in joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) in Barry, Butler, Carter, Howell, New Madrid, Ripley, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, and Texas counties following severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred May 19 - 27. This request begins the process of obtaining federal disaster assistance for the 10 counties.  

“As I observed during my visit to the area earlier this week, the severe storms that hit southern Missouri have caused major damage and disrupted the lives of families and businesses across the region,” Acting Governor Kehoe said. “I am grateful for the work of emergency responders, local elected officials, legislators, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and many volunteer organizations who have assisted in recovery efforts. It is important to take these actions today so we can continue to work alongside local and federal partners, offering support and assistance to communities in need.”

Joint PDA teams are made up of representatives from FEMA, SEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and local emergency management officials. Beginning Monday, June 3, four teams will verify documented damage to determine if Individual Assistance can be requested through FEMA. Individual Assistance allows eligible residents to seek federal assistance for temporary housing, housing repairs, replacement of damaged belongings, vehicles, and other qualifying expenses.  

Acting Governor Kehoe also issued Executive Order 24-07, extending Missouri's current State of Emergency declaration in response to severe weather that has impacted communities across the state in recent weeks. Governor Mike Parson first declared a State of Emergency on May 2, 2024, through Executive Order 24-06.

On Tuesday, May 28, Acting Governor Kehoe was joined by SEMA Director Jim Remillard, Mayor Greg Turnbow, and other elected state and local officials to view damage in Sikeston, receive an update on power restoration, and visit displaced residents at a local American Red Cross shelter. 

Since late April, Missouri has been repeatedly impacted by severe weather with the most recent storm system occurring over Memorial Day Weekend. On May 26, multiple rounds of severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes swept across the state, particularly southeast Missouri, leaving thousands without power and causing widespread damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Flash flooding continues to be a concern with additional rainfall forecasted in the coming days.

Extending the State of Emergency ensures the state can directly assist local jurisdictions, allowing increased flexibility and capacity to support response and recovery efforts. A State of Emergency is also the first step required by FEMA to seek a major disaster declaration.

SEMA continues to coordinate with volunteer and faith-based partners to identify needs and assist residents over the coming days and weeks. The American Red Cross has opened a 24-hour shelter at the Sikeston YMCA, located at 511 Taylor Street, for individual and families that have been displaced or otherwise impacted.

The Southeast Missouri Food Bank has arranged mobile food distribution sites for local residents in addition to its food pantries hosted weekly throughout the region. Dates, times, and locations can be found at and on the SEMO Food Bank Facebook page.

Convoy of Hope is supporting a point of distribution for shelf-stable food, water and other supplies at Sikeston First Assembly of God, 306 S. Kingshighway, Sikeston, MO 63801. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hot meal service is also available at this location from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Missourians with unmet needs are encouraged to contact United Way by dialing 2-1-1 or the American Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767. For additional resources and information about disaster recovery in Missouri, including general clean-up information, housing assistance, and mental health services, please visit

Executive Order 24-07 will expire on June 30, 2024, unless otherwise terminated or extended.