FLORIDA - The state of Florida has an opportunity to “break new ground” in data management using HAZUS-MH.
Three important pieces are in place: 1) an active network of GIS professionals across the state; 2) leadership that is provided through the Florida DEM and FLHUG; and 3) the Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) and a FEMA sponsored pilot project FEMA to develop a web-based HAZUS-MH portal.
The new Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) permits HAZUS-MH MR3 users to update and manage statewide datasets that support analysis in HAZUS-MH (previously, this task was very complicated and time consuming).
The CDMS supports a variety of methods for managing data, including: 1) Site Specific Inventory (e.g., essential facilities, high potential loss facilities); 2) Aggregated General Building Stock Data (e.g., building counts, square footage); and 3) Building Specific Data.
In January, 2007, FEMA and the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) launched a pilot project to develop a HAZUS-MH Web-based portal that enables users to easily enter, update and share default/up-to-date data for HAZUS-MH, which will greatly facilitate hazard identification and risk analysis for earthquake, flood and hurricane hazards.
Florida DEM is in discussions with FEMA Region IV to implement a Florida HAZUS-MH Web-Based Project that incorporates many of the features of the SCEMD pilot project. A Florida Web-Based Project can provide several important advantages for Florida:
- It will facilitate the sharing, updating and management of HAZUS-MH datasets, yet provide a degree of control (e.g., in merging data) through the Florida HAZUS-MH Administrator.
- It will provide structure and protocols that are important to the development, updating and maintenance of a master state database.
- It will make it much easier for the Florida DEM and FLHUG leadership to assign roles and responsibilities to FLHUG members in reviewing, adding and/or updating data layers.
- It will facilitate data layer searches (county, census tract, census block).
A Florida HAZUS-MH Web-based portal is a tool that will simplify and streamline data management in Florida, and greatly facilitate FLHUG coordination – working through the Florida regions.
The Web-based portal can become an integral part of a Florida DEM supervised data management strategy that is closely coordinated with existing statewide data inventories, including the Critical Facilities Inventory. These tools can become the underpinning of an expanded data management strategy in Florida that examines the following:
- Identification and prioritization of additional categories of data to be included in a master state database.
- Evaluation of the Web-based portal capabilities and specifications, and potential applications in a statewide data management initiative – including use in disaster operations.
- Steps for updating demographic data, and the evaluation of tools and techniques for aggregating and extracting demographic data to support social vulnerability analyses.
Since 2004, Florida has played a major role in the use of HAZUS-MH for disaster operations. The State Emergency Response Team (SERT) has incorporated HAZUS-MH analysis into pre- and post-landfall assessments of potential damages.