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 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.
2.1 Software Release
We are pleased to announce that Hazus-MH 2.1 is now available! The 2.1 release includes many improvements to the usability and functionality of the software including:
- Hazus-Multi-Hazard (MH) 2.1 is now compatible with Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) Service Pack 1, and Windows XP Service Pack 3.
- Hazus-MH 2.1 is now compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 Service Pack 2. Hazus-MH 2.1 runs under Service Pack 3 but is not 100% certified.
- The underlying database engine has been upgraded to Structured Query Langauge (SQL) Server Express 2008 R2.
- Menu options in the user interface of the three modules in Hazus-MH (Earthquake, Flood & Hurricane) have been adjusted to provide greater consistency.
- IMPLAN default data is no longer provided with Hazus-MH. Users should supply their own data for Indirect Economic Analyses.
- New damage and loss of use functions have been developed for hospitals, schools, and fire stations in the Essential Facilities portion of the Hurricane Module.
- The windfields for several category 4 and 5 historical storms have been re-analyzed and updated in the Hurricane Module.
- In recognition of the uncertainties inherent in hurricane forecasts, the Coastal Surge analysis capability has been disabled for forecast/advisories issued more than 24 hours before the expected time of landfall.
- The Flood Module Average Annualized Loss (AAL) analysis has been reactivated with the following changes:
- The 2 and 5 year return period extrapolations have been removed from the methodology.
- The 200-year return period has been replaced by a 25-year return period in the methodology.
Refer to the Hazus–MH 2.1 Flood Technical Manual for complete details on the Flood AAL methodology.
- A riverine level 1 study region automation feature has been added to the Flood Module.
- The Flood Module is now processing Manning’s roughness coefficients dynamically based on a Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) grid as part of the Develop Stream Network process.
- The Flood Module Hydraulics process has been optimized for scenarios where a suite of return periods is being analyzed.
- Occupancy Mapping Schemes have been updated for the Earthquake Module.
- The Earthquake Ground Motion Module has been updated to use the latest United States Geological Survey (USGS) Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) functions.
- The Earthquake Module now includes a feature to analyze study regions greater than the 8 GB limit of SQL Server Express.
In the 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
- FEMA Library - Hazus User of the Year Awards
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.
Hazus software releases and related downloads are available on the Software page.
Technical assistance is available via the Hazus Help Desk at https://support.hazus.us/. If you do not yet have login credentials for https://support.hazus.us/ please send an e-mail to email@example.com 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 order the latest version of Hazus free-of-charge online by visiting the FEMA Map Service Center (MSC) Web Store.
NEW! Hazus software is now available to download online! Now, in addition to ordering Hazus on DVD, users can visit the Map Service Center (MSC) site to download Hazus software and state datasets. The online download option is only available to US users. International users will continue to order a Hazus DVD by contacting the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) at 1-877-336-2627.
To download Hazus online or to order a DVD, visit the MSC Hazus order page.