During a disaster, there may be damage to residences, businesses, and public property that needs to be assessed and reported to enable assistance from State and Federal sources. This process is referred to as Damage Assessment (DA) and helps to determine the magnitude of damage and impact to our community.
How do you figure in? EMA helps to provide volunteers to jurisdictions in our county who need to perform DA. We also provide a software solution that volunteer teams (people like you) to use on their smarty-phones to identify households and business who were affected.
When does DA take place? DA needs to be completed quickly and is generally completed within 72-hours of the incident. Teams of 2-4 members are assigned an area (e.g., block, neighborhood, et cetera) to assess.
How is the assessment completed & reported? Volunteers are trained in use of the software app (called Orion) and enter it on their phone. If there is no cellular network up an running, no problem, it stores the data then sync's once you hit a EMA hot spot for upload.
How do "I" become a trained Volunteer to provide DA for my community? Easy...a training opportunity will be setup (to be announced via text to our EMA Volunteer Opportunity Group with a link). As part of the registering process, members will provide the information EMA needs to setup an account for you, will send you a link to download the app, and during the training session (virtual via your computer), you'll enter in "fake" information and photos.
How do "I" get on the volunteer list to see when this opportunity is advertised? Go here and enter your information and ensure the "EMA Volunteer Needs (All)" box is checked. The announcement will be sent here, posted to our Facebook, and posted to our blog like this story. If that is too complicated, then text the word EMAVOLNEEDS to the number 69310.
How will the training take place? This will be conducted virtually via your computer, and you'll have your smarty-phone handy for inputting information (you'll need both). Attending a virtual meeting and entering information at the same time on the phone will not be a good training experience for you.
When will this training take place? I'm coordinating the scheduling with Futurity (who provides the software called Orion) and we are looking at times during the week of 25-29 March (likely 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm).
If DA is needed, how will I know? Once you complete training, you'll be added to a dedicated list that can receive the call to perform DA. Remember, DA needs to be completed within 72-hours of the incident, so we'll take first in for teams.
What will it be like conducting DA? When requested, you'll be provided with reporting instructions (where & when to show up, what to wear [weather related], and what to bring). At the rally time you'll sign-in, receive a safety & mission brief, assigned to a team with areas for coverage, issued a team radio and talkgroup assignments, then transportation to move DA teams to their areas. DA will ALWAYS be conducted during daylight hours.
What if I want to learn more about DA? Start by reading more here.
More information to come.
Start Where You Are - Use What You Have - Do What You Can