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Hazus User & Technical Manuals

The Hazus User Manuals are designed to support model functionality, while the Hazus Technical Manuals provide detailed information about how the models work and how to generate loss estimates. You can find these resources for Earthquake, Hurricane, Flood, and Tsunami models, as well as additional Hazus manuals, below.

For changes related to subsequent updates to the Hazus program, please see our release notes for the latest software updates.

Hazus Earthquake Manuals

The Hazus Earthquake User and Technical Manuals provide detailed information on how the model calculates damage and loss estimates to buildings, essential facilities, transportation, utility lifelines, and population based on real-time, scenario, or probabilistic earthquakes.

Additionally, they address debris generation, fire-following, casualties, and shelter requirements design and calculations. Direct losses are estimated based on physical damage to structures, contents, inventory, and building interiors. The earthquake model includes the Advanced Engineering Building Module for single- and group-building analysis.

Hazus Hurricane Manuals

The Hazus Hurricane Wind User and Technical Manuals provide information on the model outputs, uncertainties, running basic and advanced analyses, damage functions, debris generation, shelter requirements, storm surge, and impacts such as direct economic loss and building damage. The Technical Manual also includes validation studies for historical hurricanes. The Hazus Hurricane Wind Model provides improvements over existing loss estimation models because of the wind hazard-load-damage-loss framework.

Hazus Flood Manuals

The Hazus Flood User and Technical Manuals provide guidance on Flood hazard and analysis, methodology, inventory requirements (including inventory updates), running basic and advanced analyses, results, and how to interpret loss estimates. Specific outputs include damage to building stock, lifelines, economic losses, and much more.

The flood loss estimation methodology consists of two modules that carry out basic analytical processes: flood hazard analysis and flood loss estimation analysis.

  • The flood hazard analysis module uses characteristics, such as frequency, discharge and ground elevation to estimate flood depth, flood elevation and flow velocity. Users also have the ability to directly import user-defined flood hazard depth grids in multiple forms.
  • The flood loss estimation module calculates physical damage and economic loss from the results of the hazard analysis. Both coastal and riverine information is covered in these manuals.

Hazus Tsunami Manuals

The Hazus Tsunami User and Technical Manuals provide insight into the tsunami loss estimation methodology, inventory data specifications, running hazard analyses, and outputs for damage assessments, casualty estimation, and direct economic losses. The Hazus Tsunami Model provides practitioners and policy makers with a tool to help reduce tsunami damage, reduce disaster payments, and make wise use of the nation’s emergency management resources for 5 very high-risk states and five high risk U.S. territories: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Other Manuals and Technical Documentation

Hazus Export Tool Data Dictionary

A generic file document.

This data dictionary guides users in understanding and utilizing the data from the Hazus Export Tool for improved use of Hazus results for disaster preparedness.

Hazus Export Tool Data Dictionary

Hazus Inventory Technical Manual

In February 2021, FEMA released the Hazus Inventory Technical Manual to document the background information used to establish the baseline datasets provided within the Hazus software. The manual focuses on common datasets used by all four individual natural hazard models. This serves as a single source document to avoid repeating information over all the hazard-specific Technical Manuals.  The manual describes the classification of different buildings and utility and transportation infrastructure systems. It also describes the data supplied with the Hazus software, as well as data and attributes required for performing damage and loss estimation.

Using Hazus for Mitigation Planning Guidance

In fall 2021, the Hazus Program updated their guidance on Using Hazus for Mitigation Planning to reflect updates to the software, new resources, recent case studies, and mitigation best practices. 

Mitigation planners can use quantitative risk information from Hazus to evaluate mitigation actions, identify cost-effective projects, and communicate risk to community stakeholders. State, local, tribal and territorial governments are encouraged to use Hazus to complete the risk assessment component of their hazard mitigation planning.

Hazus Hurricane Wind for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

With the release of Hazus 5.0, hurricane modeling capabilities were added for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was done through an extensive data development effort that generated island-specific inventory types and custom damage functions required for hurricane loss estimation. Terrain data and storm data for Hurricanes Maria, Irma, Hugo and Dorian were also integrated for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This technical manual provides details on the development and implementation of the Hazus Hurricane Wind Model capabilities for the Caribbean territories.

Hazus Standard Operating Procedures

Hazus has a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for creating earthquake scenario priority maps and performing Hazus level 2 flood analysis. These SOP documents contain step by step instructions and present best practices for using Hazus.

  • The Earthquake SOP outlines procedures for integrating USGS ShakeMap products and conveying results clearly and consistently.
  • The Level 2 Flood SOP defines the process to quickly estimate flood damages from an event in real time to assist with response, and subsequently recovery and mitigation efforts.

Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) Version

The Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) provides users with the capability to update and manage statewide and Hazus datasets, which are used to support analysis in Hazus. Once data are imported in the statewide datasets, the CDMS will allow users to query, sort, export and print information.

Advanced Engineering Building Module (AEBM) Technical and User's Manual

The Advanced Engineering Building Module describes procedures for developing building-specific damage and loss functions.