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AN EVALUATION OF PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PLANS - page 18 / 38

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Preliminary Damage Assessment

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complete and accurate pictorial view of the damaged area or areas. Questions such as when we

can return, what roads are open, what is still flooded and what is the condition of my

neighborhood and my home, can be answered quickly in a picture based format (Hampton &

Webb, 2005).

One new and emerging technology is use of remote sensing imaging. This can be a

combination of technologies such as high resolution pictures from low flight aircraft, images

from commercial satellites specially used to target damages areas, pictography a combination of

vertical and off angle pictures of structures used to create partial 3D model (Thomas, Cutter,

Hodgson, Gutekunst & Jones, 2002). Because of the complexity of these technologies, they are

such being mentioned as technologies which can be explored. Some examples of where these

new technologies have been used are the World Trade Center after 9-11 to determine the amount

of debris that needed to be moved and also provided monitoring of potential shifts in the debris

pile (Thomas et al., 2002) satellite imagery was used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to

assess the pumping-out operation and provide a more accurate picture of the extent of the

damage (National Aeronautic and Space Administration, 2005).

It is the responsibility of government officials at all levels to communicate risk and event

information to the public (United States Senate, 2006). Damage assessment information should

be a key component in all communication to the public throughout the recovery process. During

Hurricane Katrina, the City of New Orleans used a unique approach to communicate damage

assessment information to the public on a daily basis through the use of a GIS platform and the

internet. Using the windshield survey method, PDA teams completed the FEMA assessment of

structures and then color coded the structure to further define the damage.

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