Case Study Mar 17, 2021

Mobile Devices for Modernizing Damage Assessments

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The Challenge

When disaster strikes, people want to get disaster relief funds quickly to pay for repairs to property. Historically, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has used paper forms to assess damages and communicate disaster declarations. This process was inconvenient, often error-prone, and unreliable.

The Solution

Ardent iteratively and incrementally advanced the Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) process from paper forms to a mobile application and suite of geospatial tools and dashboards to enhance and better inform decision-makers. In collaboration with FEMA and Esri, Ardent provides the PDA template to State & Local, Tribal & Territorial authorities in order to standardize data elements collected and provide a consistent method for conducting damage assessments across Federal and Local entities. Ardent created a standardized template to ensure consistency in both federal and local PDA damage assessment data collection.

The Outcome

Damage assessments can be implemented more quickly, accurately and more completely, resulting in faster disaster benefits to the recipients. The survey form can be easily customized to include new data fields. Further, since the damage data is in an authoritative database, this field data can be directly shared with other systems such as the FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) system. Even in austere environments, which is typical in a disaster area, data can be collected in the field and uploaded later when connectivity is available.

Tools used to achieve these outcomes:

  • AWS
  • Esri
  • Arc GIS Enterprise
  • Survey12