Recovery: Damage Assessment & Mobile Field Application

“Before we’d have to wait days sometimes to see that stuff,” says Gerald Campbell, chief of planning at Lee County Emergency Management. “Now I see it as it occurs. I can have a running tally of the actual damage in our county.”

Accurate damage assessments are critical for informed decision making by cities, counties, and states to prioritize relief efforts and federal reimbursements and build back after a major event.  Mobile GIS allows field-workers to access and collect accurate data on a hand-held device. The data can be displayed on a map or in an easy-to-use form with drop-down menus. In a connected environment, workers can access information from and report data back to an operations center for real-time updates as inspections are completed. In an offline environment they can sync the data when they return from the field. Either way, current and accurate information is readily available for assessing the extent of damage, managing ongoing activities, and developing appropriate response actions.

With a well-designed mobile GIS application and data environment, collecting and viewing data in the field can include everything from one-click, rapid windshield survey capabilities to more detailed assessments including building inspections, health-related data, and environmental impact information.

Benefits of using a GIS to perform damage assessment include

  • Easily collecting the assessment information
  • Synchronizing with your centralized database
  • Maping the damage for decision makers
  • Reporting results in real-time from the Web page, allowing decision makers and responders to have instant access to damage and loss totals.
  • Viewing and reporting on results in real-time in a standards-based common operating picture
 Field Operations Guide

Learn more about how to implement a damage assessment application [PDF].


Previous: Response