In the current world where national calamities have persisted, there is a need to come up with a professional way of dealing with those issues, through sensitizing and predicting such occurrences. In addition, it is the government’s role to estimate the extent of the damages during disaster. Hence, the state involves the decision makers in various levels of the administration who are charged with decision-making. As such, the policy makers will provide the basis for the advancing of the mitigation policies and plans, recovery planning, as well as emergency awareness and response.
The Use of Hazus
Therefore, the Federal Emergency Management Agency developed a technology, which would deal with tragedies that would take place in the U.S. Hence, they established a nationally standardized procedure by the name Hazus. The software is a downloadable package that gives access to the models developed by FEMA in estimating the potential losses of floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Hazus uses GIS (Geographic Information System) technology to approximate social, economic, and physical impacts of any disaster. The software can elaborate graphically the limits of recognized areas that have high risks regarding occurrences such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
After Hazus has identified the trends through the GIS technology, the users of the software can visualize the specific hazards that are being modeled, the spatial affiliation between the populations and other, various permanently positioned geographical assets, as well the critical function in the process of pre-disaster preparation. As such, the trends identified can give a clear indication of any disaster as well the intensity expected for preparation purposes.
Hazus is also applied in the process of recovery, response, and preparedness, as well as mitigation. In fact, the GIS specialist, government planners, and emergency managers use the software to establish the losses as well as the most beneficial mitigation methods that should be taken to minimize the outcomes of the Mother Nature. In addition, the Hazus is applied in the mitigation planning process, especially in the assessment steps, which forms the cornerstone of the long-term strategy for the community to minimize the disaster as well as terminate the cycle of disaster damage, repeated damage, and reconstruction. In fact, being prepared will assist in speedy recovery after a disaster has taken place.
Levels of Hazus Usage
There are three levels that the software is applied. The first one is when it applies the default data, which is embedded in the HAZUS-MH and a basic analysis is done. On the second level, there is an additional local data, which is imported to the software. In this case, the analysis is done using a higher quality data. In addition, the engineers and experts in this stage can alter some of the values the Hazus suggests and apply them in the final stage, which is level three. At this level, higher accuracy is obtained for a specific study in a particular region.
As it is evident from the analysis, Hazus software has been critical in the process of recovery, response, and preparedness, as well as mitigation. As such, the software has been adopted by experts, including engineers in the support of risk assessment for natural hazards as well as rapid need assessment, especially during hurricane responses. In addition, the software is being used to increase awareness and disaster response in emergency cases.