Hurricane Damage Assessment: The First 5 Steps

Natural hazards have a way of interfering with personal lives as well as business operations. Most affected businesses tend to agonize over their lost merchandise, data, as well as physical structures which means they are back again to ground zero. Natural disasters occur whenever extreme hydrological, meteorological, and geological events exceed the ability of the community to withstand the event. The severity of the events depends on how vulnerable your business environment is.

Studying and analyzing extreme happenings is important because it exposes a lot of information about the underlying physical phenomena and how best we can respond or prevent occurrences of these events in future.

Hurricane damage assessment is not a one-stop event, but rather a process that begins immediately following the occurrence of the disaster and continues beyond the post-impact period. Below are the steps taken by damage assessment and forensic analysis professionals such as New Rome.

Planning and Preparation

Planning and preparation can start immediately after the disaster occurs, but in some scenarios, it may begin before the disaster. This phase mainly determines the sources of data. The planning and preparation phase outlines how the field investigation will be carried out, the sites to be visited, how the investigation will be organized, and the data collection methodology.




This phase follows immediately after the planning and preparation phase. This is where the damage assessment is done with the outcome being written records, videos, and photographs. The quality of the implementation will be determined by how well the planning and preparation was done. Data collection during the implementation phase serves as crucial physical evidence of the scale and nature of the disaster.

Data Examination and Analysis

Once the data is collected, the next phase is to examine it to extract relevant information. One of the critical functions of the data examination process is to help in drawing connections between the damage that has occurred and other pertinent data which may not be apparent or available at the time of field investigation. The analysis of the data helps to bring out the cause of damage and assist in understanding what failed and what did not fail.


Reporting is usually the last stage in disaster assessment and details all the information collected as well as the processes used in the collection of information. The results of the data analysis are also included in the report as well as photographs of the area studied.


Although this may be included as part of the report, the recommendations section is an essential part of the disaster assessment. Recommendations focus on the remedial action and what needs to be done to reduce the impact of the disaster or minimize the damage of a similar scale from occurring in future.

Hurricane damage assessment is an important process, and it should be done by a qualified company that has the tools and the technique for executing every stage with precision.


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