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Substantial Damage Estimator Tool

FEMA developed the SDE tool to assist state and local officials in estimating Substantial Damage for residential and non-residential structures in accordance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as adopted by the communities. The tool can be used to assess flood, wind, wildfire, seismic, and other forms of damage.

See answers to frequently asked questions about the SDE tool.

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FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool

EMA developed the SDE tool to assist State and local officials in estimating Substantial Damage for residential and non-residential structures in accordance with the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as adopted by the communities. The tool can be used to assess flood, wind, wildfire, seismic, and other forms of damage. It helps communities provide timely Substantial Damage determinations so that reconstruction can begin quickly following a disaster.

Although the SDE data collection and reporting process remains relatively unchanged from previous versions of the tool, the SDE 3.0 release focuses on enhancing the three key areas of performance, data accessibility, and usability. Updates to the tool’s algorithms and some new embedded functionality create significant performance enhancements over previous versions. Users can now access the underlying database to run queries, perform bulk updates of data, or generate custom reports using their own databases and reporting tools. SDE 3.0 improves the user experience with dozens of enhancements that address user feedback.

Before installing the new version, export any existing SDE data that you want saved from previous SDE versions.

General Guidance for Installation and Use of SDE 3.0

- Although it is not required, FEMA recommends that users uninstall previous versions of SDE from the host computer to avoid confusion between past and current inventories.

- Refer to the SDE Read Me – SDE 3.0 Tool Installation Guide (2017)

FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) 3.0 User Manual and Field Workbook

FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) User Manual and Field Workbook: Using the SDE Tool to Perform Substantial Damage Determinations (August 2017) document have been updated to reflect the enhanced tool.

FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator Read Me – SDE 3.0 Tool Installation Guide

General Guidance for Installation and Use of SDE 3.0

- Although it is not required, FEMA recommends that users uninstall previous versions of SDE from the host computer to avoid confusion between past and current inventories.

FEMA P-758, Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference

To participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), communities must adopt and enforce regulations and codes that apply to new development in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). Local floodplain management regulations and codes contain minimum NFIP requirements that apply not only to new structures, but also to existing structures which are “substantially improved (SI)” or “substantially damaged (SD).” This Desk Reference provides practical guidance and suggested procedures to implement the NFIP requirements for SI/SD.

Understanding Substantial Damage in the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, or International Residential Code

This document will help you understand the concept of Substantial Damage (SD) and how to determine if a building meets this criterion. FEMA's Public Assistance Required Minimum Standards Policy found in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide, Chapter 2 – Section VII.B.2, requires that projects receiving FEMA assistance for repair or replacement incorporate the natural hazards-related provisions of the most recent edition of the International Code Council's® (ICC®) International Building Code (IBC®), International Existing Building Code® (IEBC®), and/or International Residential Code® (IRC®), known collectively as the I-Codes. The Policy applies to buildings that have received designations of Substantial Structural Damage, Substantial Damage or are eligible for replacement in accordance with 44 CFR Part 206.226(f).

FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator Best Practices

The FEMA Substantial Damage Estimator Best Practices (2017) document suggests approaches for dealing with some of the challenging situations users may encounter while using the SDE tool. After a disaster, the complexity of field conditions and the need to prepare for and perform SDE inspections to assess damage can present numerous challenges. This document contains suggested solutions to some common challenges that SDE users may encounter. The information and methods can be used by Federal, State, and local officials when developing SDE-based inventories of potentially substantially damaged residential and non-residential structures. The guidance is organized into three phases of SDE management: 1. Planning for Data Collection, 2. Field Work, and 3. SDE Quality Assurance Reviews.

FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator Forms Combined

Announcing Version 3.0 of the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool Flyer

The Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool was:

Developed to assist State and local officials in determining substantial damage in accordance with a local floodplain management ordinance meeting the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Can be used to assess flood, wind, wildfire, seismic, and other forms of damage

Helps communities to provide timely substantial damage determinations so that reconstruction can begin following a disaster.

Last updated Sep 17, 2020