Natural disasters and other incidents can wreak havoc on our homes and businesses. It can be quite a pain to ascertain how much it’s worth. There are overarching websites like this one that can show us statistics on a large scale, but applying that to our own properties…well, unfortunately, it can get complicated.
There are ways that we can make it easier on ourselves now, thankfully. With the vast range of technology available, it should come as no surprise that there are no phone applications that can assist you with this. However, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
What is Damage Assessment?
There are a few key pillars to this to keep in mind. First, it provides information on things such as what the inciting event was, the scope of it, and how severe it was. The impact that it has had and/or will continue to have on the surrounding communities is another consideration.
This leads to a better understanding of what resources will need to be provided to them to assist with recovery. If a disaster has been declared by a governing body, there is also an intent to justify this with the data collected.
It can also get any information about the emergency out to the public and help us formulate prevention plans for the future. Why is all of this important? Well, it’s critical that we understand the scope of the natural disaster or another event.
This data assists in understanding how many people were displaced from their homes and need shelter provided, for example. Additionally, it helps us know how many are already in a shelter, the number of people who were injured (seriously and otherwise), the number of fatalities that can be confirmed, and the scope of the structural or property damage.
Types of Structural Damage
If you’re considering using a damage assessment app, it’s probably a good idea to know what you’re looking for. There are different tiers, after all, and the methods of cleanup or repair can vary based on this. The first I’ll cover is the most serious – complete destruction.
A structure is considered destroyed entirely if it is uninhabitable. A key thing to note here is that it will remain that way permanently. If it can be salvaged somehow, it’s considered a major structural loss.
This generally includes any jobs that would require over thirty days’ worth of work to make the property habitable again. If it would take less than that, the destruction would be considered minor instead. Now, if the building remains habitable, it is simply “affected.”
The properties that can be evaluated this way are homes, but also cities, counties, villages, special districts, state universities, schools, townships, state agencies, and some private non-profits.
How Apps Work
If you’re worried about any disasters that occur on your property, as you can see some outlined here, https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/, that’s understandable. With the development of mobile applications, though, the assessment process afterward can be less hectic.
We certainly don’t want any added stress in these situations, after all. Things are hectic enough. Being able to take photographs and upload them digitally can save you time and energy. It’s certainly not the only option out there, but it’s something that I consider each time I experience a tragic event like this. Given where I live, it’s often, because there is a lot of flooding each year.
Many people look to get grants from FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in the aftermath. Using an application can help you sort out the paperwork and overall streamline the process. Usually, this can take months. It’s a headache, to say the least.
When you can transmit the data quickly and efficiently, it also helps your community get back on track. That’s possibly the most difficult part of recovering after a flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other disasters can be. Life feels like it’s going too fast and standing still at the same time, and we hardly know what to do.
Easing back into our everyday routines can be hard, for sure, but when the structures around us are repaired, it gets a bit easier. Not having to live in an emergency shelter and getting to go home is one of the best feelings there is.
Is it Worth it?
There’s hardly even a question here – getting a damage assessment is always worth it, no matter which method you take. Be it a physical inspection or an information collection app, you should have examinations done to determine the depth of the property and structural damage that has occurred.
Hopefully, this information will serve you well. In a dream world, no one would have to worry about this stuff. In the case that it does occur, though, it’s good to be prepared.
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