HAZUS: Mitigation & Recovery Planning

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During the past decade, Hazus-Multi Hazard (Hazus-MH) has evolved into a powerful tool for mitigation and recovery planning and analysis. An increasing number of states and localities are using Hazus-MH in the preparation of risk assessments and mitigation plans under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. Hazus-MH is also being used to support post-disaster planning for recovery from hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. The below projects and studies are states where Hazus-MH was implemented.

Hospitals Get a Jolt of Reality with Hazus-MH Earthquake Analysis Results
In Southern California, hospitals are getting prepared for a “big one” with a system that uses GIS technology to estimate hospital building damage and related effects on hospital services. In March 2009, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties completed a two-year study that analyzes economic loss; population impact; and damage to essential facilities including fire and police stations, hospitals, and schools.

Using Hazus for Flood Loss Estimates and CRS Flood Mitigation Planning
The City of Savannah, Georgia embarked on a mission to prepare a comprehensive upgrade to their existing Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan. Principal goals were (1) to assess and quantify current flood hazard risks using new geospatial data and best available technology; (2) to increase public and stakeholder involvement in the City’s mitigation planning efforts; and (3) to maximize potential credit points under FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS) through quality plan development and implementation. These goals were achieved in large part due to the use of Hazus.

Arkansas Tech University Uses Hazus-MH for Mitigation and Business Continuity Planning: Arkansas Tech University’s Use of Hazus Shows the Benefits that the Hazus Data Offers in Microanalysis Situations
Arkansas Tech University’s use of Hazus shows the benefits that the HAZUS data offers in microanalysis situations. This research was conducted simultaneously to the formation of the Arkansas Hazus User Group (ARHUG). The purpose of the ARHUG is to facilitate the use of the Hazus-MH models for flooding and earthquake risk assessment in Arkansas and to form the basis for both pre- and post-disaster decision-making. By bringing together technical, policy, and emergency management specialists, the ARHUG will establish a solid risk assessment resource base for Arkansas. Download Story Handout.

Johnson County, Iowa Wins Honorable Mention for Initiative Using Hazus to Speed Disaster Recovery From 2008 Iowa Floods
The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) presented the Johnson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) with an Honorable Mention for the national 2009 James Lee Witt Local Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management at their Annual Conference, June 11 in Orlando, FL. This award recognizes outstanding programs at the front lines of floodplain management —where “the rubber meets the road” to support, enhance and encourage local floodplain management capabilities.

Hazus-MH was used to estimate the potential flood impacts to learn what would likely happen when the water reaches 28 feet. The Johnson County EMA along with emergency support functions coordinated risk assessment data compilations which helped map a quick road to recovery during the Iowa Floods.

Use of Hazus-MH to Support Individual Assistance
Since the late 1990s, Hazus has been used to support analysis of shelter requirements, displaced households, and residential losses from earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. This analysis has important potential applications for FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP).

Pennsylvania Emergency Management Completes Statewide Flood Study Using Hazus-MH
In 2007, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) concluded a new, broader statewide study using Hazus-MH MR2 that includes damage estimates for 10-, 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-year flood events.  The study computed damages in dollars for total economic loss, building and content damage, and other economic impacts.  The study also estimated the number of damaged homes and the degree of damage to those homes.

Use of Hazus-MH to Support Long-Term Community Recovery and Mitigation (ESF#14)
Under the National Response Plan (NRP), Emergency Support Function #14 (ESF #14) provides a coordination mechanism for the Federal government to assess the consequences of disasters and to coordinate the long-term recovery. ESF #14 is typically activated for large scale disasters that require Federal assistance to address significant long-term impacts on the affected area (including impacts on housing, business and employment, and community infrastructure).

Harris County, Texas, Uses Hazus-MH for Risk Assessment and Hurricane Preparedness
Harris County, Texas is the latest in a growing number of urban counties that has used Hazus-MH for risk assessment and preparedness planning. In 2005, the county enlisted the support of CivilTech Engineering, a FEMA authorized Hazus vendor for flood and hurricane models, to assess the risk to flood and hurricane hazards.

FEMA Prepares New Study of Annualized Earthquake Losses
FEMA has updated the 2001 landmark study, Annualized Earthquake Losses (FEMA 366), which utilizes Hazus to compare the earthquake risk across the U.S., and specifically to estimate annualized earthquake loss to the national building stock.

Maryland Hazus-MH Flood Study
The Hazus-MH flood model is being used by the State of Maryland as part of a comprehensive vulnerability assessment of the state’s built environment to riverine and coastal flooding.

Gallatin County, Montana, Completes Hazus-MH Earthquake Study
Gallatin County, Montana, has completed a comprehensive, two-year study of the potential impacts of two scenario earthquakes: a maximum probable event and a maximum credible event. The study results are being used by several local agencies and organizations.

Application of Hazus in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
This presentation describes how Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, officials recently used Hazus analyses to educate the public about the costs of mitigating flood hazards in their community and to estimate potential losses avoided as a result of these changes.

King/Pierce County, Washington, Port-to-Port Transportation Corridor Earthquake Vulnerability Study
King and Pierce Counties in Washington State used Hazus as part of a regional “Port-to-Port” Transportation Corridor Vulnerability Mitigation Project to learn more about the earthquake vulnerability of the vital corridor between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. This initiative was the first in the nation to proactively estimate post-earthquake survivability of a critical transportation corridor. The study area included interstate highways and key connecting routes between the two ports.

Hazus-MH: FEMA’s Gold Standard for Mitigation and Recovery Planning Graphic of Mitigation and Recovery Planning handout
What is the cost-benefit ratio for each mitigation strategy identified in your mitigation plan? Which schools in your city would be safe from flood waters and available as shelters post disaster? How much debris will a magnitude 6.0 earthquake generate? Hazus-MH has the answers! Hazus-MH combines science, engineering and mathematical modeling with GIS technology to estimate losses of life and property. Hazus-MH estimates impacts to the physical, social and economic vitality of a community from earthquakes, hurricane winds and floods. Hazus-MH is the tool that state and local governments use in all phases of emergency management planning. Hazus-MH is used to create customized maps showing hazard risks to decision makers, community leaders and project managers. Hazus-MH is the application standard for mitigation and recovery planning. Hazus-MH risk assessments are proven to be accurate. Use this handout as part of your mitigation planning efforts. (07/2008)

Fast Facts

Did you know?

  • Hazus-MH combines science, engineering, and methematical modeling with GIS technology to estimate losses of life and property.
  • Hazus-MH estimates impacts to the physical, social and economic vitality of a community from eathquakes, hurricane winds and floods.
  • Hazus-MH is the tool that state and local governments use in all phases of emergency management planning


Relevant resources can be found in the links below.

Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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