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AN EVALUATION OF PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PLANS - page 27 / 38

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Preliminary Damage Assessment

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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

Assistance Assessment. The Department of Public Safety Staff including Fire Medics will

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