Preliminary Damage Assessment
Specifically, incidents addressed at this level would be large fires or hazardous material incidents
beyond the abilities of local responders. Information obtained would be sent from the field units
to the Emergency Communications Center and Emergency Operations Center. The information
provided would serve as the basis for Initial Damage Assessment reports to the state to determine
if there is sufficient need to declare a local emergency.
A Level Two damage assessment provides the first step in hard-count documentation of
an incident and is the level at which damage assessment becomes a “Group” under the Incident
Command model. Activation of this level is determined by the Public Safety Director based
upon information supplied to the Director by Level One Responders. The Director of Building
and Zoning serves as group leader and is responsible for both Individual Assistance and Public
Assistance. The actual damage assessment is done by the building department staff, using GPS.
This technology enables the use of cameras with data acquisition ability and supports the FEMA
scale. Because the Public Assistance Damage Assessment encompasses such a diverse range of
areas and disciples the Level Two Damage Assessment includes an outline of the specific
organizations and positions responsible for reporting data and information collection to the
Damage Assessment Leader. The Damage Assessment Leader is also responsible for compiling
the 72 hour Damage Assessment report required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as,
providing the escort for the Joint State/Federal Damage Assessment Verification Team if a
federal declaration is being sought.
Level Three addresses incidents considered as county-wide disasters. The information
provided is the same requirement as stated in Level Two. At this point, building inspectors
would assume responsibility for completion of both the Individual Assessment and the Public