Download the Flyer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Library.
FEMA 154 is a paper-based method to rapidly compile a building database from field observations. Developed in 1988 and revised in 2002 by Scawthorn and the Applied Technology Council (ATC) for FEMA, this pre-earthquake screening tool is widely used to inventory portfolios of buildings and to identify those that might pose a risk in the event of earthquakes and thus warrant additional study. The FEMA 154 process helps a building owner address the greatest risks and prioritize building evaluation and rehabilitation.
Figure 1. Field equipment (left) and a database server (right) are used to compile a building database and assess risk
A project for FEMA by SPA Risk LLC, Instrumental Software Technologies, Inc. and ATC has designed, implemented, and enhanced FEMA 154 in an open-source, mobile computing environment referred to as Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER). It uses Windows Mobile smartphones and GPS devices, plus a PC-based data server that can send assignments to field users and aggregate field results back from the field via wired synchronization or remotely via IP, either daily or on the fly. The database is controlled through a web browser, and resides in the user’s office or it can be hosted securely by others. ROVER’s enhancements to FEMA 154 are several: automated geolocation; integrated digital camera and digital sketch capability; greater field productivity; automated compilation of field data into a database; automated site-specific soil and seismic hazard lookup from U.S. Geological Survey soil and hazard raster maps; automated watermarking of photos; improved calculation of risk score; and integration with other risk-related software (HAZUS, ShakeCast, and soon ATC-20i, software for the de facto standard postearthquake safety tagging system). ROVER is open-source software and can be adapted to post-disaster reconnaissance, insurance risk management, etc.
For more information, contact
- Dr. Keith Porter, SPA Risk LLC, Denver CO (626) 233-9758, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Thomas R. McLane, ATC, Arlington VA (703) 351-5052, email@example.com
- Mr. Sidney Hellman, ISTI, Saratoga Springs NY (618) 602-0001, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mr. Mai (Mike) Tong, FEMA, Washington DC (202) 646-4681, email@example.com