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AN EVALUATION OF PRELIMINARY DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PLANS - page 30 / 38

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Preliminary Damage Assessment

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the preparation of a PDA and the attrition rate, yearly training addressing a PDA is essential.

Utilization of the technology described did not pose a problem for any of the individuals

involved in the drill and PDA.

Discussion

The research findings revealed that the process of damage assessment has been evolving.

The research clearly demonstrated that more and more localities and jurisdictions are relying on

variety of technologies for use in the development and completion of PDA requirements.

Computer data collection, GPS coordinates and the use of GIS were the most frequently

mentioned technical sources being used or under consideration. The literature also supported the

work of Webb and Hamilton (2005) that was conducted in New Orleans, LA, after Hurricane

Katrina. They found that the use of the technologies listed above increased worker productivity,

provided immediate data for decision making and provided a fast and accurate means of relaying

information to private citizens.

It was ironic to note that the most recent training manual for FEMA (2005) PDA, focused

on the use of standard fill-in and check-box forms. The research overwhelmingly encourages

and supports a more technical approach stressing the need for accuracy, accountability and speed

in data collection. The research failed to point out the importance of this level of detail and other

applicable uses for this material once it has been collected. It is apparent that this level of

detailed information could be put to use in the mitigation phase post event. Having this

information available to a locality would serve as an excellent resource in the preparation of a

comprehensive land-use master plan and perhaps encouraging localities to consider participation

in the National Flood Insurance Program.

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