Preliminary Damage Assessment
It was apparent from the results that most localities relied upon governmental agencies to
perform damage assessment and one central agency was responsible for completing the process.
Another predominate feature was that building inspectors were the individuals expected to
complete the damage assessments. Public Works, fire and police personnel along with tax
assessors, and emergency management staff were also mentioned as individuals responsible for
damage assessment. Only two respondents indicated the use of outside, volunteer CERT teams.
When the training element, included in the established plans, was examined the results
varied. Four respondents skipped the training question completely, five relied on state sponsored
classes, three indicated the use of building inspectors who had damage assessment as part of their
job description and normal operational duties and lastly, three stated that a briefing for assessors
was held shortly before deployment into the field. The remaining respondents did not provide
The employment of technology was another area of interest. Only one jurisdiction listed
the use of paper forms for data collection. Twenty jurisdictions included the use of digital
cameras in their plans. Nineteen respondents reported the use of GIS mapping. Mobile
computers, handheld GPS devices, and computer database applications were also mentioned.
Four respondents indicated the use of aerial photography.
In the determination of property value, thirteen indicated that tax appraised values
were used and 8 respondents stated that they were estimating building values. All of the
jurisdictions using assessed building values were also using GIS mapping technology and 10 of
the 13 were using laptop or other mobile computer devices for data collection.