Use Damage Assessment

The Damage Assessment solution delivers a set of capabilities that help you collect damage reports, assign initial damage assessments, monitor the impact of a disaster on the community, brief internal stakeholders, and share information with the public. 

In this topic, you’ll learn how to use the solution by assuming the role of a user and performing the workflows below.

Note:
Use the links below to try the apps with sample data provided by Esri, or use the workflows as a guide for using your own configured apps.

Initial Damage Assessment Process

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has two programs that provide assistance when a natural disaster or catastrophic event occurs. These programs are referred to as the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance. The Damage Assessment solution supports both programs.

Information collected during the initial damage assessment is provided to state and federal authorities to conduct the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessments. This information can be collected early in the process and shared with partner agencies which will save time and help prioritize recovery activities.

Many incidents don’t result in a state or federal declaration but still require some degree of assistance. The Damage Assessment solution can be used for either declared or non-declared emergencies. This process includes; collecting damage reports, managing damage reports, monitoring and sharing damage reports with other authorized agencies.

As damage reports are collected, some of the information can be shared with the public to keep them informed of the recovery activities.

Understand community impact

During an emergency, it’s important for residents in the community to learn how the community has been impacted and how the recovery activities may affect them. The Damage Assessment can be used by emergency management agencies to share damage assessment information with those that have been impacted.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a resident in the community who wants to learn more about the impact of the incident on the community and submit a damage report.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment. to learn how the community has been impacted by the disaster.
  2. Review the scrolling text at the top of the site to get critical information on the current situation.
  3. Review the number of damage assessments completed, number of properties destroyed and number that have major damage.
  4. Scroll down the page to the Damage Reports sections
  5. Click Review conditions to open the Damage Assessment Photo Viewer

    The Damage Assessment Photo Viewer will open with information about damage assessment photos in the community.

  6. Click Explore Damage Photos
  7. Click one of the photos in the photo panel on the left.
  8. Click the Zoom To button in the photo panel.
  9. Click the View in full screen button in the upper left of the photo panel.
  10. When you are finished reviewing the full extent of the photo click the Exit full screen button in the upper right corner of the photo.
  11. Click the Back arrow to review more damage report photos.
  12. Use the Zoom in and Zoom out buttons to navigate on the map.
    Note:

    You can also share the Damage Assessment Photo Viewer using the Facebook, Twitter or Send a link buttons in the upper right corner of the application window.

  13. Close the Damage Assessment Photo Viewer application when you are done reviewing.
  14. Scroll down the page of the Damage Assessment to view additional information about the incident.
  15. Review the Report Damage, Frequently Asked Questions and Cleanup Events sections to learn more about how the community is responding to the disaster.

Submit public damage report

Immediately after the emergency response and rescue operations are completed, initial damage assessments can be submitted to determine the impact of the incident. The Damage Assessment solution allows residents of a community to submit public damage reports using a Survey 123 form available on an emergency management hub site which is hosted by the local jurisdiction.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a resident in the community who needs to submit a damage report on residential property.

Tip:

In some situations, it may not be appropriate to collect damage reports from the public. Therefore, you may choose to skip this workflow and move to the Submit Windshield Damage Reports section if you have chosen not to use the Public Damage Reports.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment and scroll down the page.
  2. Click on the Report damage button

    The Public Damage Report survey form is opened in the browser.

  3. Select the Incident Name from the drop-down list.
  4. Select the Property Type.
  5. Enter the Property Location information as prompted.
  6. Enter the Structure Type, Home Ownership and Homeowners Insurance information and click Next.
  7. Enter the Contact Information and click Next.
  8. Select the type of disaster and other damage information then click Next.
  9. Attach a photo for Damage Extent, Additional Context, Curbside Image and Close-Up Image as needed. ​
  10. Click the Submit button to complete the public damage report. ​

Manage damage reports

The Damage Assessment Operations app can be used by emergency management staff to manage, monitor and share damage information.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a damage assessment coordinator in the emergency management agency who needs to review, update and assign damage reports to be assessed.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment Operations application.
  2. Click Manage to review the number of submitted reports, assigned reports and completed reports​.
  3. Click Manage Damage Reports under the Manage tab at the top of the application window.

Review damage reports

As damage reports are submitted, they are added to the Review Damage Reports list. This list provides an organized way to review, update and assign field users to conduct the initial damage assessments. This list displays damage reports for Individual Assistance and Public Assistance programs. At the top of each list is a number indicating the total number of damage reports within the map view for each program.

  1. In the Review Damage Reports pane, click Individual Assistance to review the damage reports listed by address.
  2. Click on any damage report in the list to see the date, status and type of damage report for the selected address.
  3. Click on the damage report to view a popup window with additional details.
  4. Click Zoom to in the popup window.
    Note:

    By default, the application is filtered to only show those reports that are unassigned. This allows the coordinator to focus on only those reports that need to be assigned to field personnel to conduct the initial damage assessment.

  5. In the Damage report filter, uncheck Filter unassigned individual assistance to see all damage reports.

    All damage reports are displayed including those have been assigned.

  6. Turn on Filter Individual assistance by assigned user to see all damage reports that have been assigned.
    Tip:

    After you deploy the Damage Assessment solution to your organization, you will be able to enter a user name in the Assigned To input box to find all damage reports assigned to a user in your organization.

  7. Turn on Filter individual assistance by status and select Completed from the drop-down list to see all damage assessments for individual assistance that have been completed.
  8. Repeat the same steps for the Public Assistance damage report filters.
  9. Turn on Filter unassigned individual assistance to see all submitted damage reports.

Update damage reports

  1. In the Review Damage Reports pane, click Individual Assistance to review the damage reports listed by address.
    Note:

    Damage reports that have been submitted for the same address multiple times have a number higher than one. This can occur if a resident has submitted a public damage report more than once for the same address. Windshield damage reports will not contain an address but may appear near the same location.

  2. Scroll down the list and select an address with two or more reports.
  3. Review the date in list of repeated damage reports for the same address to determine which are duplicates of the original record.
  4. Click one of the repeated damage reports in the list and zoom in to the selected feature.
  5. Decide which damage report is correct and which is a duplicate.
  6. In the popup window click on the more (…) button and click the Smart Editor option.
  7. In the edit panel, set Report Status to Duplicate which removes it from the map if the Filter unassigned individual assistance is on.
  8. Click on the original damage report and change Report Status to Assigned.
  9. Change Assigned to a user name.
    Note:

    The user name must be a valid user name in the ArcGIS Online organization.

  10. Enter any concerns or instructions in the Coordinator Comments field.
  11. If necessary, move the damage report to the correct location such as building.
    Note:

    After you move the damage report point on top of a building, the Street Address field will be updated using a reverse geocoder to reflect the correct address. When you zoom in to the street level you can use the Switch Basemaps tool to help visualize which building the damage report should be placed.

  12. Click Save to update the damage report location and attributes.
Tip:

The same procedure can be used to review, edit and assign public assistance damage reports.

Assign damage reports

After large disasters such as a wildfire, earthquake or hurricane, it may be necessary leverage additional field personnel from other agencies. In these situations, a reference grid can be helpful to assign those resources and to monitor damage reports within each grid. Then use Update Multiple Records to assign multiple damage reports to a single user.

  1. Click Create a Reference Grid in the upper right of the application window.
  2. Click Define a Grid from an Area.
  3. Click the arrow next to By Dimension.
  4. Click the Draw GRG Area using extent icon and draw a rectangular box around a large geographic area.
  5. Click Create GRG.

    A geographic reference grid will be created with damage reports inside each grid that is labeled.

    Note:

    You can create an assignment grid based on a user-defined dimension or reference system such as United States National Grid (USNG). You can also publish it to the Damage Assessment Grid layer if you want the assignment grid to persist.

  1. Click Update Multiple Reports in the upper right of the application window.
  2. Click the Extent icon and draw a rectangle around a group of damage reports within a grid cell.
  3. Select an Incident Name from the drop-down list to assign
  4. Select Assigned from the Report Status drop-down list
  5. Enter a user name to assign multiple damage reports to the same user.
    Tip:

    You can change status of multiple damage reports to Duplicate, Invalid or Inactive if necessary.

  6. Click Save.
    Note:

    The color of the point representing the damage report will change indicating they are now assigned. If Filter Unassigned Individual Assistance reports is on, then the damage report points will be removed from the map.

Conduct damage assessments

After the damage reports have been assigned by the damage assessment coordinator, public safety officials will need to conduct the damage assessments that have been assigned to them. Each mobile worker who has been assigned to conduct an assessment will receive the assignment in the inbox of the survey they are using.

Submit windshield damage reports

Immediately after the disaster it is important to determine the severity of the impact to the community. In some situations, public safety personnel who are already in the field may be able to provide an initial assessment of damages. Windshield Damage Report is an ArcGIS QuickCapture mobile app that can be used by public safety or volunteers to rapidly capture damage reports while traveling down a road.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a public safety official who needs to submit windshield damage reports.

  1. In a browser, go to the Internal Destination on the Damage Assessment.
  2. Scroll down the page and find the section on the Windshield Damage Reports.
  3. Use the camera on your mobile device and capture the Quick Response code (QR code) to open the Windshield Damage Report.
  4. Scroll down the page to the Damage Categories section and review the images and description for each damage level.
    Note:

    More information on the degree of damage descriptions can be found in the appendix of the FEMA Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide.

  5. Click one of the damage levels in the Individual Assistance group.
  6. Take a picture and send the report.
  7. Repeat for one of the Public Assistance damage categories

    The Windshield Reports are added the list of damage reports.

Perform Individual Assistance assessment

The Individual Assistance Survey can be used by public safety personnel to gather details of private property losses and direct assistance to disaster survivors.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a mobile worker in the emergency management agency who needs to conduct the damage assessments assigned to you using the Individual Assistance Survey.

  1. In a browser, go to the Internal Destination on the Damage Assessment.
  2. Scroll down the page and find the section on the Individual Assistance Surveys.
  3. Use the camera on your mobile device and capture the QR code to open the Individual Assistance Survey.
    Note:

    If you don’t have a QR code assigned to your survey you can open the ArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device and login to your organization. Then download the survey to begin the process.

    Note:

    The Individual Assistance Survey must be used one theArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device. Using the form in a web browser will not perform needed calculations.

  4. Click the Inbox to review which damage reports are assigned to you.​
    Tip:

    If the survey is open in the collect mode, close the survey and find the inbox at the bottom of the survey item page. The number indicates how many damage assessments have been assigned to you. If you do not have assignments, you may choose Collect and perform brand assessments on the fly.

  5. Click Refresh to update the list of assignments.​
  6. Click on the nearest assigned damage report.​
    Note:

    When you open a public damage report some of the information will be provided which allows you to accept or change it as needed. When you open a Windshield Damage Report only the damage level will be provided. You will need to complete the assessment by providing all the necessary details for each location.

  7. Fill out all relevant information and add photos.​
  8. Click Submit.​
  9. Move on to next property in your list.​

Perform Individual Assistance Express assessment

The Individual Assistance Express Survey complements the Individual Assistance Survey and can be used to simultaneously capture many damage structures for example, neighborhood, apartment building, mobile home park, etc. with varying levels of damage.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a mobile worker in the emergency management agency who needs to conduct the damage assessments assigned to you for multiple buildings using the Individual Assistance Express Survey.

  1. In a browser, go to the Internal Destination on the Damage Assessment.
  2. Scroll down the page and find the section on the Individual Assistance Express Survey.
  3. Use the camera on your mobile device and capture the QR code to open the Individual Assistance Express survey.
    Note:

    If you don’t have a QR code assigned to your survey you can open the ArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device and login to your organization. Then download the survey to begin the process.

    Note:

    The Individual Assistance Express Survey must be used one theArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device. Using the form in a web browser will not perform needed calculations.

  4. Click Collect to collect information for an area of properties. ​
    Note:

    The structure of this survey is slightly different so that you can assess damages for buildings, streets, blocks or subdivision and indicate the number of properties affected at each damage level.

  5. Fill out all relevant information and add photos.​
  6. Click Submit.​

Perform Public Assistance assessment

The Public Assistance Survey can be used by public safety personnel to gather details of public-owned properties such as schools, bridges, water treatment and other facilities.

In this workflow, you will assume the role of a mobile worker in the emergency management agency who needs to conduct the damage assessments assigned to you using the Public Assistance Survey.

  1. In a browser, go to the Internal Destination on the Damage Assessment.
  2. Scroll down the page and find the section on the Public Assistance Surveys.
  3. Use the camera on your mobile device and capture the QR code to open the Public Assistance Survey.
    Note:

    If you don’t have a QR code assigned to your survey you can open the ArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device and login to your organization. Then download the survey to begin the process.

    Note:

    The Public Assistance Survey must be used one theArcGIS Survey123 app on your mobile device. Using the form in a web browser will not perform needed calculations.

  4. Click Collect to collect information for a new Public Assistance assessment.​
    Note:

    When you select the type of assessment, additional questions will be displayed that are relevant to the type of facility. Additional question for the cost will be displayed when you select cost status.

  5. Fill out all relevant information and add photos.​
  6. Click Submit.​

Monitor damage assessments

When an incident occurs, local governments need to ensure Individual Assistance priorities and Public Assistance needs are effectively captured and communicated to state and federal authorities to help the community recover. Emergency managers can monitor the impact to the community as the damage assessments are conducted to determine if a state or national declaration threshold has been exceeded.

The impact on the community can be measured in the Individual Assistance Dashboard and Public Assistance Dashboard.

In this workflow you will assume the role of an emergency manager who needs to review key metrics for both the individual assistance and public assistance damage assessments.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment Operations application.
  2. Click Monitor to review the number of destroyed and major impacted properties​.
  3. Click Individual Assistance under the Monitor tab.​
  4. Select the Incident Name from the drop-down list on the left side of the dashboard.
  5. Zoom in to a specific area.
    Note:

    The damage level indicators and the damage report list will be updated as you move the map extent.

  6. Select a Type of Dwelling.
  7. Select either Owner, Renter, Occupant category from the list.
  8. Select an option in the Insured category.
  9. Review the total number of damage reports for the selected incident.
  10. Review the number of damaged properties in each damage level.
    Note:

    The percentage indicator in each damage level show the percent of all damage assessments. The Unknown and Unaffected may be properties that have not been assessed yet.

  11. Click one of the damage reports in the list on the right side of the dashboard
  12. In the popup scroll down to review the information gathered for that assessment and review a photo of the damage if available.
  13. Close the popup.
  14. Click Completed under the Report Status heading on the left side of the dashboard.
  15. Click Public Report under the Report Type heading to determine how many damage reports were submitted by the public.
  16. Continue reviewing the damage assessments by selecting other categories and comparing the results.
  17. Click Public Assistance under the Monitor tab.​
  18. Select the Incident Name from the drop-down list on the left side of the dashboard.
  19. Zoom in to a specific area.
  20. Select the desired Public Assistance Category.
  21. Review the total damage estimate of damage reports for the selected category.
  22. Click one of the damage reports in the list on the right side of the dashboard.
  23. Review the information in the popup on the selected facility.

Administer damage assessments

Local emergency managers need to be able to manage damage assessments for multiple disasters over time. This can be challenging when the recovery period of those disasters can be a year or more. The Damage Assessment solution provides administrative tools to help you prepare damage assessment for impending incidents and close out damage assessments from past incidents.

Collaborate with partners

Information that is collected during the initial damage assessment process can be shared with state and federal agencies. This shared damage assessment information can be used as the starting point for the Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) process. Just as the initial damage assessment process is used to identify the damage, the PDA process is used to validate the damage in a request for state or national declaration.

In this topic you will assume the role of the damage assessment coordinator who needs to share damage assessments with partner agencies.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment Operations application. application.
  2. Click Administer to open the administration tools page.
  3. Under the Collaborate with partners heading, click Damage Assessment Collaboration to open the group page.

    An item page for that group will be opened with a layer view of the completed damage assessments for both the Individual Assistance and Public Assistance feature layers. These non-editable layer views can be further restricted by limiting the fields you want to display.

  4. Click Invite Users to open a list of named users in your organization.
  5. Select the named users from the list that you need to share the layers.
  6. Click Add members to group.
    Note:

    For more information in sharing go to Understand collaborations.

Manage active incidents

When a disaster happens, it is critical to prepare to conduct the initial damage assessments quickly. The first step in that process is to add an incident name to a list so that all damage reports and assessments can be assigned to the correct incident. You can add the incident name to a CSV file and upload the incident name list at the beginning of each incident. The incident names will then appear in the drop-down list for each survey when they are downloaded or refreshed. This assures that the incident name in damage reports will be easily accessible and consistent for all mobile workers. The incident names list in the dashboards will also be populated as damage assessments are submitted for review.

In this topic you will assume the role of the damage assessment coordinator who needs to prepare for the next disaster by updating the list of incident names.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization and browse to the Damage Assessment Operations application. application.
  2. Click Administer to open the Administration Tools page.
  3. Click IncidentNames CSV under the Update Incident List heading.

    An item page will be displayed for the IncidentNames csv file.

  4. Click Download and save the CSV on your computer.
  5. Open the CSV file and update the names of the incidents then save your changes.
  6. Click Update on the IncidentNames item page to upload your updated IncidentNames list.
    Note:

    Mobile workers may need to update their surveys on their mobile devices to see the new incidents.

Provision users

The Damage Assessment Mobile Users group includes all the applications, webmaps and layers needed to support mobile workflows and the Damage Assessment Operations applications. If you have additional mobile workers or assessment managers that need to access these applications, you can quickly add them to the group.

  1. Click Administer to open the Administration Tools page.
  2. Scroll down to Provision users to groups.
  3. Click the Damage Assessment Mobile Users group.
  4. Click Invite users and add the users that need appropriate access.

Generate reports

You may be asked to generate a report summarizing and listing all damage assessments. A simple report can be generated include all Individual Assistance damage reports.

In this topic you will assume the role of the damage assessment coordinator who needs to produce a hard-copy report for decision makers.

  1. Click Administer to open the Administration Tools page.
  2. Click data view to generate a report.
  3. Type in a Report name and optionally choose the Format.
  4. Click Generate.
  5. Download and view the report.
    Note:

    The default report is a generalized street sheet style report. These reports are extensible the template document provided can be modified. See the Survey123 Report templates documentation for guidance on extending the report.

Export photos

Some partner agencies may wish to view the photos captured during the initial damage assessment process. This can be important to prove the damage levels from each assessment. You can use the Damage Assessment Photo Extraction Notebook to export photos into a zip file that can be shared with others.

In this topic you will assume the role of the damage assessment coordinator who needs to share damage assessment photos with partner agencies.

Note:

You must be assigned a role of Administrator or a custom role which includes the privilege to create and edit notebooks in order to run ArcGIS Notebooks and complete the following steps.

  1. Click Administer to open the Administration Tools page.
  2. Click  Damage Assessment Photo Extraction Notebook.
  3. Follow the instructions in the notebook to create the zip file of photos for the selected incident.
  4. Close the notebook.

Archive incidents

The Damage Assessment solution is designed for centralized management of all damages over time. This design allows you to continue to conduct all damage assessments in one layer for the Individual Assistance and another layer for the Public Assistance damage reports. You do not need to deploy the entire solution for each new incident.

When a disaster is over it is important to close out the initial damage assessments that are completed. You can archive all completed damage assessments for each incident to a separate layer. This separate incident layer can be used for reviewing past incidents and ensures you are ready to start conducting damage assessments for any new incident. The archived damage assessments for each incident can also be used as a backup in case of data loss.

In addition, you may want to clean up the IndividualAssistance or PublicAssistance layer to only show incidents that are active by deleting damage assessments of past incidents. The Archive Damage Assessments Notebook can be used to archive and copy damage reports to a separate layer.

In this topic you will assume the role of the damage assessment coordinator who needs to close the incident by archiving the damage assessment of a specific incident.

Note:

You must be assigned a role of Administrator or a custom role which includes the privilege to create and edit notebooks in order to run ArcGIS Notebooks and complete the following steps.

  1. Click Archive Damage Assessment Notebook to open the notebook.
  2. Follow the instructions in the notebook to archive damage assessments for the selected incident.
  3. Close the notebook.