Damage assessment is the systematic gathering of information that details an emergency’s or disaster’s nature and includes categories such as the effects on public and private property, numbers of people and communities affected, the potential dollar cost and the extent or severity of damage in the communities/counties affected. The prompt and accurate assessment of damage to Binghamton University property following an incident will be of vital concern to University officials in order to facilitate an effective and rapid response and recovery.
Concept of the Operations
The first assessment conducted should focus on the people's needs. This begins with identifying the extent of damage to Binghamton University property. The threshold for determining when to conduct assessments is whenever the disaster is of such magnitude and impact that Binghamton University cannot conduct daily operations. The primary focus is on the number of structures that sustained damage. The evaluated extent of damage earmarks a structure in one of following levels of damage: destroyed, major, minor, affected but habitable and inaccessible. Information gathered by Binghamton University personnel provides an in-depth look at the disaster event.
Preliminary Damage Assessment
Once a determination is made to activate a formal damage assessment process, Binghamton University personnel shall establish a Damage Assessment Team (DAT). The DAT conducts preliminary data gathering and conducts on-the-scene surveys and assessment of damage to Binghamton University property. The information is given to the University’s Incident Management Team (IMT), which summarizes the data and transmits that report to the University’s senior staff.
Final Damage Assessment
The final damage assessment is conducted to update, verify and collect detailed information on damages and their costs. The final damage assessment will begin immediately after the completion of the preliminary damage assessment or as soon after the initial damage assessment as allowed by conditions.
Forming and Training the Teams
Being able to respond quickly with well-trained staff familiar with campus buildings and equipment will help lessen the chaos caused by a disaster event. The director of operations for Facilities Management, or his/her designee, will be responsible for forming the Damage Assessment Team(s).
Administration and Logistics
Plan Maintenance – The director of operations for Facilities Management, or his/her designee, should meet annually with DAT personnel to review and/or revise this portion of the plan.
Damage Assessment Emergency Response Checklist
Checklists are here only for guidance in developing a more specific checklist appropriate for each locality.
- Attend training in the damage assessment process
- Establish central point of contact
- Establish Damage Assessment Teams
- Train Damage Assessment Teams
- Purchase supplies/equipment for Damage Assessment Team such as cellular phones and pagers to facilitate direction and control
- Notify DAT and other agencies with damage assessment responsibilities
- Define perimeter of disaster area
- Ascertain safety of affected areas prior to sending field teams in for damage assessment
- Coordinate and compile damage reports from DAT and advise the university’s Incident Management Team (IMT)
- Train and assign personnel to assist in collecting damage reports. Provide for expedient training of DAT if necessary
Note: Depending on the circumstance, situation and speed of the incident, you may want to activate the Damage Assessment Team during the Response Phase.
- Activate DAT
- Complete the Preliminary Damage Assessment and submit to the University’s IMT
- Complete Final Damage Assessment Summary and submit to the University’s IMT
- Complete Preliminary Damage Assessment. Provide information to EMC.
- Be prepared for more comprehensive assessment