December 9, 2009 By Corey McKenna
HAZUS is a standardized methodology and software program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that combines hazard layers with national databases, and applies standardized loss estimation and risk assessment methodology.
Upon deploying HAZUS, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division experienced problems updating data within HAZUS and is now in the third phase of a project to implement a Web-based system that simplifies the process for adding data to HAZUS.
HAZUS works with ESRI ArcGIS to allow state and local emergency managers to model damage to a structure or group of structures caused by an earthquake, flood or hurricane. Those estimates can be used by elected officials to expedite requests for disaster recovery assistance and improve building codes. Emergency managers can use the estimates to pre-position resources ahead of a disaster and get an estimate of the damage shortly thereafter.
Go to Emergency Management's Web site, to learn more about South Carolina's Web-based system.