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, hurricanes, and tsunamis and visualizing the effects of such hazards.
Have any interesting Hazus research or success stories to share? Want to get involved with the Hazus program by attending the monthly National Hazus User Group call? Reach out to the Hazus Outreach Team at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, or to be added to the monthly call invitation.
Using Hazus in Mitigation Planning: A new job aid has been published to help users identify and understand the multiple types of reports, tables, maps, and data produced by Hazus, and how this information can be incorporated into a Hazard Mitigation Plan. The document can also be used by those who are interested in applying Hazus for risk assessment. To download the document, visit the Hazus Handouts webpage in the FEMA Document Library.
Hazus 4.2 Service Pack 3 is Released! Hazus 4.2 Service Pack 3 (SP3) release has State Database Updates, defect fixes, and major functionality enhancements.
The Hazus default State Databases have been updated using the latest version of the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) Open Essential Facility Datasets. The Essential Facility Features updated: Care Facilties, Emergency Operations Centers, Police Stations, Fire Stations, and Schools. This HIFLD update has provided a more robust Inventory of Essential Facilities across the US (Except AS,GU,M,VI,FL,HI due to gaps in HIFLD data).
Combined Hurricane/ Flood Model has been upgraded, and now users are able to import and run a combined wind/surge Hazus run with user-defined surge products. Depth Grid formats are limited to .IMG, ArcGrid, File Geodatabase, and TIFF formats.
The Earthquake Model has had defect fixes and new features. Shakemap Grid handling has improved with better error checking. Results quality has improved with facilities located on slivers in ShakeMap data has created lower than expected ground motions. Additionally, AEBM profiles (S5L and PC1) earthquake specific building types are corrected. In the SP3 release, FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) categories are a new summary report, allowing for Hazus ability to support other programs.
In addition to the combined wind and new user-defined surge grids functionality, new features within the Hurricane Model are additional Hurrevac and Historic Hurricane windfield data. This includes updates to the 2017 and 2018 Hurrevac and Historic Hurricane Data (Olivia, Florence, and Michael).
The Tsunami Model has improved evacuation walking speed reduction factors to more accurately model travel times for populations over and under 65.
An in-depth review of all the enhancements in SP3 are in the release notes here
Hazus: 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, flood, and tsunami. 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.
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;
- Social impacts, including estimates of shelter requirements, displaced households, and population exposed to scenario floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes, and tsunamis
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.
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 Outreach Team and perhaps your story will be featured here as well!
Recent Updates to Hazus
Hazus 4.2 Service Pack 3 Software Release
The Hazus Team has released the latest update to Hazus 4.2 software! These updates are distributed as Service Pack 3, which will automatically install on top of Hazus 4.2 for most users. If your network prevents automatic download of software updates, please visit the Hazus download page to download the update executable and see a full list of enhancements and defect fixes. Please note: Hazus 4.2 Service Packs 1 and 2 must be installed prior to Service Pack 3.
This update accomplishes the following improvements:
- Hazus report damage categories align with the FEMA Individual Assistance Program.
- Nationwide data for schools, hospitals, emergency centers, police and fire stations were updated using the latest layers from the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation Level Data (HIFLD) program.
- High-resolution coastal surge data from authoritative agencies can be integrated with wind data for combined hurricane loss estimation.
- USGS ShakeMap data are fully captured by Hazus, improving coordination between major earthquake modeling partners
- Historic observed wind and surge data for 2017 and 2018 hurricanes are now available.
Hazus Applied Research
The Hazus Team has been busy researching new methods for long-term improvements to Hazus risk analysis. We're working on:
- The Hazus Loss Library - an online platform for viewing and downloading Hazus results from risk assessments across the US
- Nationwide structure data using building footprints for potential incorporation into Hazus
- A Hazus GitHub page to share our latest tools
- Aligning Hazus model results with FEMA Lifelines
- Wind damage functions and inventory data for U.S. Territories
- New sources for hurricane data that import directly into Hazus in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center (USGS NEIC)
- Data and methods for Hazus Tornado loss estimation in partnership with the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)
Coming Summer 2019!
Please keep an eye out for links to these releases:
- Structure Flood Damage Tool: calculates flood losses for ~10,000 structures per second using inventory and flood depth data provided by users
- Export and Report Tool: exports Hazus model results and summarizes them in a PDF report with simple infographics in under 30 seconds
Technical assistance is available via the Hazus Help Desk at email@example.com.
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 software, but not the U.S. state or territory datasets. International users who require technical assistance downloading the software may email the Technical assistance is available via the Hazus Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.