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ATLANTA-Crawford & Co., a locally based firm that has assisted insurance companies in evaluating damage, death and medical claims during catastrophic incidents for the past 60 years, is preparing for a massive appraisal assignment in New York.

But the specialists won’t be able to start their work until rescue workers clear the lower Manhattan area.

Crawford officials couldn’t be reached for comment at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline. But in a published report, the firm confirms it is building a large assessment team from its 10,000 employees in 65 countries.

The damage and claims are expected to be in the billions. The company itself has 50 employees at its New York office. Some of those workers witnessed the terrorist air attacks Sept. 11.

Besides evaluations on the structural damage for corporations, Crawford assessors will also be reviewing personal death and injury claims made to various insurance companies.

Crawford officials project the damage total will be unprecedented in the country’s 225-year-old history.

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