How to collect the data needed for your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate report.
You will need information from Flood Insurance Rate Maps, Topographical Maps, Certificates of Elevation, Wind zones, local building codes, property tax information, floodplain managers contact, declared disaster number, disaster assistance ID, DMV title.

By Murray Wennerlund published 1-2-2023 updated 1-3-2023

"How to file your Manufactured Homes Substantial Damage Estimate Report to your Parish or City Floodplain Managers."

Part 1. The data needed for your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate report.

SDE Toolbox:

  • Download the Windows version of the Substantial Damage Estimator Tool |
  • Download all reference materials from the software help tab and all references in this post for your records.
  • Access to land information to include parcel and/or lot number, subdivision name, etc. Referenced here.
  • Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) data from the floodplain information. Reference: LSU AgCenter Flood Maps
  • Local municipal building code wind zone and wind speed. Reference: Wind Hazard Zones
  • FEMA declared disaster number and page. Reference: Declared Disaster Search Page.
  • NFIP Community Contact Information can be found in the DOTD Engineering, Public Works and Water Resources department under NFIP. You can also find the same information in the LSU AgCenter Flood Maps online app. Your Floodplain Manager also called Floodplain Administrator is your SDE contact. When you complete your report you will submit your report for inclusion to the NFIP SDE list.

Supporting documents and agency policies for your substantial damage claim. To better understand the process and if any local agency gives any pushback these are your references supporting your methodology and claim. 

  • FEMA preliminary disaster assessment guide. Appendix H: Individual Assistance Damage Matrices. Manufactured Homes. Note Degree of Damage Major column Damage other than flood. This is your policy guideline for SDE on Manufactured homes.

  • Fannie Mae Single Family Selling Guide pages 611-615 Manufactured Housing Appraiser Qualifications. You will focus on NADA chart values while using the appraisal report form 1004C. You will also ask a manufactured home dealer to give you the estimated trade-in / resell value of the home. 

  • View Reference Videos for the Substantial Damage Estimate Tool on YouTube. This is the training your local floodplain manager would have taken. It's better to know the job so you understand their responsibilities of service to you.

  • Read FEMA Region 6 Floodplain Management monthly training of May 2021. Substantial Damage Documentation How Should Your Permit Files Look After a Disaster? Filed by the Louisiana DOTD Engineering Public Works department.

  • Optional reading and documents:

    • HUD First Time Home Buyers. (Update to program)

Part 1, "The data needed for your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate report", will focus on Louisiana by the parish and their respective agencies and departments.
For all other states you'll have to search for the equivalent agencies and departments. Use the same title names for all federal departments and county/parish government offices with a federal liaison. 

Step 1: Download the Substantial Damage Estimator Tool from FEMA. The link is in the SDE Toolbox listed above.

  1. Install the application and then run/start the application.
  2. Click on the Help Tab from the top row. Download the help file by using the popup download link.
  3. Create a file folder (if missing) where your SDE software was installed and name it "Help". \FEMA-SDE\Help
  4. Open the PDF help file and read the document. You will later be using this document to answer any and all questions you have about the SDE software. 

Follow the links to online training and watch the YouTube videos related to the SDE tool that are listed in the SDE Toolbox above. 

Once you are comfortable with the software and can navigate the different tabbed sections and start inputting data. Be sure you practice and review your data before sending the files to your local floodplain managers. The quickest way to be ignored, blocked or banned from submitting your SDE is to not properly complete all the fields.

After you completed all the tasks listed above, you should now start looking for the specific data related to the NFIP Community report information. In Part 2, "How to complete your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate" I will cover in detail all the actual information that is needed to complete the SDE report form. 

NOTE: Spend some time with the software and the training material. If you're not comfortable with this process, ask a family member to help. If your short list of helpers runs dry and you're thinking about asking me if I know anyone, keep in mind that my time is not compensated by a third party, unless that third party happens to be you then I'm funded.

Part 2: How to complete your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate.

Part 3. How to have your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate third party reviewed.

Part 4. How to file your Manufactured Home Substantial Damage Estimate with your county/parish Floodplain Manager.

Part 5. How to file for federal grants to replace your Substantially Damaged Manufactured Home using the SDE.