This page discusses FEMA's Hazus program and related news updates. This page is intended for Hazus users and other parties interested in using Hazus to support risk-informed decision making efforts by estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods and hurricanes and visualizing the effects of such hazards.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) Methodology for Estimating Potential Losses from Disasters
Hazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. Hazus uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to estimate physical, economic and social impacts of disasters. It graphically illustrates the limits of identified high-risk locations due to earthquake, hurricane and floods. Users can then visualize the spatial relationships between populations and other more permanently fixed geographic assets or resources for the specific hazard being modeled, a crucial function in the pre-disaster planning process.
Hazus is used for mitigation and recovery, as well as preparedness and response. Government planners, GIS specialists and emergency managers use Hazus to determine losses and the most beneficial mitigation approaches to take to minimize them. Hazus can be used in the assessment step in the mitigation planning process, which is the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction and repeated damage. Being ready will aid in recovery after a natural disaster.
As the number of Hazus users continues to increase, so do the types of uses. Increasingly, Hazus is being used by states and communities in support of risk assessments that perform economic loss scenarios for certain natural hazards and rapid needs assessments during hurricane response. Other communities are using Hazus to increase hazard awareness. Successful uses of Hazus are profiled under Mitigation and Recovery and Preparedness and Response. Emergency managers have also found these map templates helpful to support rapid impact assessment and disaster response.
Register for the Hazus User Conference — The 8th Annual Hazus User Conference will be from December 9-11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event, hosted by the Georgia Hazus User Group, brings Hazus users together and provides an information sharing platform for success stories, best practices, lessons learned, recent research, and workshops and discussions on Hazus topics of interest. This year's theme is "Hazus and the Emergency Management Life Cycle: From Practice to Policy." Registration is free, but space is limited so reserve your attendance now.
Hazus Modernization — As part of an effort to modernize Hazus, a number of updates have been released or are in progress. The first update was released in January 2015 and provided compatibility of Hazus with ArcGIS 10.2.2 and Windows 8. A service pack to the January release was put out in May 2015 and features several enhancements to the flood module. This included the application of dasymetric General Building Stock (GBS) approach and the implementation of study region aggregation at the custom jurisdiction or neighborhood level. In November 2015, Hazus 3.0 was released, which featured a number of architectural changes to the Hazus code structure.
Hazus Success Stories
Success stories and interesting news items that feature the use of Hazus are highlighted and documented on the Hazus Success Stories page. If you or your organization have recently participated in an exercise using Hazus or you have a story to report on related to Hazus, reach out to the Hazus Program Manager at email@example.com and perhaps your story will be featured here as well!
Here are some interesting news bulletins featuring Hazus:
- "UC Berkeley Finds 10 Buildings At-Risk" February 26, 2014, Canyon News
- "Valley Susceptible to Quakes, Volcano" February 10, 2014, Yelm Online
- "Latest state maps show Astoria's vulnerability to landslides," October 18, 2013, The Daily Astorian
- "Just How Devastating Will Earthquakes be in Washington?" -May 21, 2013, Seattle PI
Hazus-MH 3.0 is now available! For more information on the release, visit the Map Service Center Hazus download page.
Hazus software is a powerful risk assessment methodology for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane and earthquakes. In Hazus, current scientific and engineering knowledge is coupled with the latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology to produce estimates of hazard-related damage before or after a disaster occurs.
Potential loss estimates analyzed in Hazus include:
- Physical damage to residential and commercial buildings, schools, critical facilities and infrastructure;
- Economic loss, including lost jobs, business interruptions, repair and reconstruction costs; and
- Social impacts, including estimates of shelter requirements, displaced households and population exposed to scenario floods, earthquakes and hurricanes
Technical assistance is available via the Hazus Help Desk at https://hazus-support.msc.fema.gov/. If you do not yet have login credentials for the Help Desk site, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to gain access.
Users can also call the FEMA Map Information Exchange (FMIX) at 1-877-336-2627 as an alternative means of support. The FMIX gives Hazus users the ability to speak directly with a support representative during normal business hours to follow up on Help Desk tickets, receive assistance in using the Help Desk or get answers to general questions about Hazus.
Federal, state and local government agencies and the private sector can download the latest version of Hazus free-of-charge online by visiting the FEMA Flood Map Service Center (MSC).
International users may download the Hazus-MH 3.0 software, but not the U.S. state or territory datasets. International users who require technical assistance downloading the software may email the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.