ARKANSAS – Arkansas Tech University’s (ATU’s) use of Hazus shows the benefits that the Hazus data offers in microanalysis situations.
Jessica Lowther, ATU graduate student, conducted research for the purpose of encouraging the use of Hazus-MH for mitigation and continuity of operations planning as well as aiding the state of Arkansas in a better understanding of the threat of tornadoes across the state.
Ms. Lowther conducted a comparative analysis between the default data supplied by Hazus-MH and the user-supplied building and inventory data for a tornado at ATU. Her research asked the question, “Is an organization-specific building inventory data (termed as user-supplied or Level 2) necessary for planning for its survival and continuity of operations after a disaster, or is Level 1 default data sufficient?” In other words, will the quality and quantity of the data and the microanalysis of this user-supplied data greatly impact the hazard modeling results to reasonably advocate its collection and input into the model? The ATU tornado models illustrated that including user-supplied data allows for more precise results and, therefore, better planning. This research confirms the importance of hazard modeling and continuity of operations planning.
This research was made possible by a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) and ATU. Each organization contributed Level 2 user-supplied data sets for input into Hazus-MH.
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.