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FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool (2017)

Cover photo for the document: FEMA P-784, Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool (2017)

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. 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.

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

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) in the list of downloads below.

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.