Wisconsin Uses Mobile App for Preliminary Damage Assessment After Widespread Flooding

Press-Release-iconThe State of Wisconsin successfully secured federal disaster aid assistance following June 2013 flooding using data collected with a mobile app from RunMobile.

State and local emergency management officials used the company’s Damage Assessment Reporting Solution (DARS) extensively to report and collect damage data, which was then used to populate Uniform Disaster Situation Reports (UDSR) and the state’s Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA).

Based on the PDA, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker formally requested a Federal Disaster declaration on August 2, 2013. Six days later, the declaration was approved by the President, providing public assistance, which covers eligible projects such as debris removal and road repairs, for eight Wisconsin counties and one tribe in the State.

Traditional damage assessment for a statewide PDA can be a time-consuming, manual process requiring assessors to document findings with pen, paper and digital cameras. Paper reports are typically re-typed into spreadsheets requiring additional work hours and data entry.

Using DARS, damage assessment reports can be created in the field on tablets and smartphones and then uploaded to a web-based Command Center database for real-time viewing and analysis by local and state officials.

The DARS app works on any mobile device (Apple, Android, Windows and Blackberry) and provides a form-driven data collection process to ensure consistent and detailed damage descriptions. The app integrates to device cameras and GPS technology allowing assessors to photograph and precisely map damage locations.

Aggregate data from assessor reports can be viewed in a dashboard format and downloaded to support requests for disaster aid from state and federal agencies.

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