Estimating Damages — Post-Disaster

Capturing the extent of the damages is what you need, along with a dollar amount.

by Eric Holdeman / November 23, 2019

One of the tasks that falls to emergency management is determining the amount of damages in dollars following a disaster.  I came across this story, Emergency Management office now has access to damage assessment app.

Crisis Track is the software company they are using. I read the story initially thinking it would be all about private-sector and homeowner damages, but the story focused on public infrastructure and using teams of people to go out and capture damages. Evidently the state of Mississippi has purchased the software and provided it to all its counties. 

In looking at the app online, it appears there is a method to collect damage reports from citizens. The challenge is that the federal government wants the estimates very early to determine if individual assistance would be eligible for a presidential declaration. And, it is "uninsured" losses that matter. It really becomes a guestimate with people calling in, or in the case of this app, having the option to do it all on the Web. 

I likely have told this story before, but it is a good one. We had a big windstorm with trees down everywhere. We needed property owners to call in with damage assessments. They didn't have power, so we decided to use mobile road work signs, the type that are programmable, to inform people of the number to call. I made sure our PIO double-checked the number before giving it out. Then, multiple signs were posted that had a number on it that went to an adult sex line. The best-laid plans of mice and men. We scrambled to fix it!

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