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AN EVALUATION OF PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PLANS - page 29 / 38

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Preliminary Damage Assessment

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The ability of GIS systems to integrate two critical GIS elements, those being property

address and degree of damage, opens the door to a host of other valuable facts such as building

value and type of structure which then can be reported on the required PDA forms for the State

and FEMA. Once information is in GIS format, it can be sent electronically to other websites

and servers giving address specific data with digital photos to residents seeking information

about their property. The use of GIS enabled cameras gives a very accurate pattern of the extent

of the destruction that can be analyzed for use with initial re-retry and rehabilitation phases later

on. Many localities take digital photos of property as part of the assessment process. This data

assists in establishing the actual condition of a structure prior to the event.

The plan delineates in detail the specific responsibilities of each of the secondary

organizations involved and it includes a flow chart for duties and chain of command for each

level. All of these items were included in the plan to expedite the collection of applicable data

and to have the ability to reproduce the results in the shortest time-frame possible.

A regional simulation was conducted on February 14, 2007 for the Eastern Shore of

Virginia and its jurisdictions. It presented an excellent opportunity for implementation of the

newly formulated County PDA. During the tabletop drill, individuals represented the

subordinate agencies listed in the PDA. We were able to use the guidelines stipulated for Level 1

& 2 assignments. Although computer data collection and the use of GIS enabled cameras were

not included in the drill, damage information was made available to crews using photos of

damaged properties. The information provided was then compiled by the damage assessment

group leader and used to complete a PDA report. It is anticipated that after an actual event,

modifications will have to be made to the PDA based upon the event’s size and intensity. In

addition, a complete evaluation will be conducted. Given the number of individuals involved in

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