Preliminary Damage Assessment
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.
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.