Damage Assessment is the systematic process of determining and appraising the nature and extent of loss, suffering and/or harm to a community resulting from natural or human-made disasters.
Damage assessment is concerned with determining the who, what, where, when, and how of a disaster and is an integral part of the decision making process. Properly assessing damages can:
1. Provide an intelligence base to assist decision-makers in determining appropriate courses of action and the resources required for effective response and recovery.
2. Assist Franklin County in preparing requests for supplemental assistance from the State.
3. Provide information to assist in identifying hazard mitigation projects or activities to lessen the impacts of future disasters.
4. Keep the public accurately informed regarding the magnitude of the event and any available assistance.
Damage assessment produces a descriptive measure of the severity and magnitude of the disaster. Response requirements and capabilities, effectiveness of initial response operations, and requirements for supplemental assistance can be determined by assessing damage immediately following a disaster.