(CBS DETROIT) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency granted a request for a joint Preliminary Damage Assessment after a tornado hit Gaylord last week.

Officials say the joint assessment with state and local leaders will help expedite the review of damages and response costs. Whitmer says the PDA is the next step in asking for federal assistance.

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The joint teams will include personnel from FEMA, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division(MSP/EMHSD), local governments and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The teams are expected to begin gathering information in the affected communities Wednesday and will be collecting estimated response and recovery costs with a focus on the number of damaged homes, the extent of insurance coverage, displaced individuals and threats to health and safety.

“This assessment is a critical step in seeking federal aid for Otsego County by confirming the reported damage caused by Friday’s tornado,” Whitmer said.  ”We are expediting the damage assessment process to ensure we receive all possible assistance for the people of Gaylord, as quickly as possible. Michiganders are tough, and together, we will do what it takes to rebuild.”

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On Friday, May 20, an EF-3 tornado hit the Gaylord area, killing two people and injuring more than 40 others. Following the tornado, Whitmer declared a state of emergency for Otsego County.

Crews are continuing to clean up the city as the community comes together to help.

On Monday, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced she was sending investigators to review reports of alleged price gouging after the deadly tornado. Nessel says she is not tolerating “any unscrupulous behavior when it comes to gouging” and is reminding residents of disaster scams.

“Residents who are already struggling in the wake of a natural disaster must be protected from bad actors that are intent on exploiting hardship for their own gain,” Nessel said in a statement. “My department’s investigators are on the ground in Gaylord to ensure the price of goods and services are fair and not artificially inflated to take advantage of the circumstances.”

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