Creating a Damage Assessment Plan for the Miami Township by bjq93861

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									                                                                  Creating a Damage   1


Running head: CREATING A DAMAGE ASSESSMENT PLAN FOR MIAMI




         Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operation in Emergency Management




    Creating a Damage Assessment Plan for Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS

                                  A. David Schmaltz

                      Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS

                                  Miamisburg, Ohio




                                      May 2008
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                                   CERTIFICATION STATEMENT

       I hereby certify that this paper constitutes my own product, that where the language of

others is set forth, quotation marks so indicate, and that appropriate credit is given where I have

used the language, ideas, expressions, or writings of another.



                                 Signed: _________________________
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                                               Abstract



       The problem is that the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS does not have a policy in

place on how to perform a disaster assessment. This could create a delay in determining the full

severity of the disaster, potentially leading to an unnecessary level of loss of life or injury to the

citizens and visitors of the Township.

       The purpose of this research is to develop a policy on performing a damage assessment

for Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS. Action research was used to answer the following

research questions. What are the current plans at the state and local levels? What should be

included in a damage assessment policy? What are other fire departments doing with performing

damage assessments? What type of incidents might the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS

encounter that would require the use of a damage assessment?

       The Learning Resource Center at the National Fire Academy, the internet, and a survey

of the Montgomery County Fire Chiefs was used to provide the answers to the research

questions. The results of the research showed that Miami Township is not in a good position to

operate if it encounters a major disaster. Furthermore, it is recommended that a policy be

developed to ensure that all Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS employees understand

how to perform a damage assessment as well as ensure that other Township departments work in

conjunction with the Division of Fire and EMS.
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                                Table of Contents

                                                                           PAGE

Certification Statement……………………………………………………………………….                              2

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………….                                       3

Table of Contents……………………………………………………………………………..                                 4

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………...                                   5

Background and Significance………………………………………………………………...                           7

Literature Review……………………………………………………………………………..                                10

Procedures…………………………………………………………………………………….                                     21

Results………………………………………………………………………………………...                                     23

Discussion…………………………………………………………………………………….                                     31

Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………….                                   34

References…………………………………………………………………………………….                                     37

                                  List of Tables

Table 1. Potential Hazards to Miami Township and Montgomery County…………………….     20

Table 2. Survey results………………………………………………………………………..                            28

                                   Appendices

Appendix A: Sample damage assessment checklist and definitions………………………....     39

Appendix B: Letter to Chiefs ……………..………………………………………………….                        41

Appendix C: Survey…….……………………….…………………………….……………...                             42

Appendix D: Draft policy on damage assessments…………………………….……………...              45
                                                                             Creating a Damage       5


      Creating a Damage Assessment Plan for Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS



                                                Introduction

       It is hard to turn on the television or listen to the radio and not hear about a major disaster

somewhere in the United States or around the world. The environment is in constant fluctuation

with storms, earthquakes, fires and other naturally occurring events. As the population continues

to increase and expand into locations that were once uninhabited the more chances there will be

for people to be affected. The Clean Water Action Council states:

               Traditional cities were compact and efficient, but over the past 30-

               50 years, the density of land used per person has declined

               drastically. Although the U.S. population grew by 17 percent from

               1982 to 1997, urbanized land increased by 47 percent during the

               same 15 year period. The developed acreage per person has

               nearly doubled in the past 20 years, and housing lots larger than 10

               acres have accounted for 55 percent of land developed since 1994,

               according to the American Farmland Trust (Clean Water Action

               Council [CWAC], n.d.).

       There have been environmental events that once might have gone unnoticed because the

impact on the population was small or nonexistent have now been escalated to a level of a major

disaster because now life and property have been lost.

               Environmental dangers are not the only thing that we need to prepare for. As we

continue to develop as a society so does our technology. This has the potential to create a new

set of problems. There are new products being developed that can make our lives simpler, but if
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the process of making them gets out of hand it can have a major impact on the community

around it. A prime example was the 1947 Texas City disaster. A ship carrying Ammonia Nitrite

that was to be used as fertilizer or explosives was docked. A fire started and the subsequent

explosion was horrific. 581 people lost their lives that day. There were over 5,000 people

injured with 1,784 people hospitalized in 21 surrounding hospitals. The damage reached as far

as Houston which was 40 miles away (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2007).

       There are the threats from those that are set on creating terror for the general population.

There have been numerous cases of documented terrorist attacks against the United States.

Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center attacks are but a few examples of those who have

used everyday products to produce a cataclysmic event on the community.

       The bottom line is that there is no way for us, as a society, to ever eliminate disasters

from happening, but we can put procedures into place that will allow us to minimize the damage.

The best defense is a good offense. The government has become ever vigilant in trying to get

local authorities to have a plan in place to handle such disasters and any plan should include a

damage assessment tool. The problem is that the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS does

not have a policy in place on how to perform a disaster assessment. This could create a delay in

determining the full severity of the disaster, potentially leading to an unnecessary level of loss of

life or injury to the citizens and visitors of the Township.

       The purpose of this research is to develop a policy on performing a damage assessment

for the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS. Action research was used to answer the

following research questions:

       1. What are the current plans at the state and local levels?

       2. What should be included in a damage assessment policy?
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       3. What are other fire departments doing with performing damage assessments?

       4. What type of incidents might the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS encounter

       that would require the use of a damage assessment?



                                      Background and Significance

       The Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS is currently a full service combination

fire department that provides fire, emergency medical, and fire prevention to approximately

27,000 residents. The Division operates out of four stations, three of which are staffed 24 hours

a day while the fourth (station 47) is primarily un-staffed. Two paid-on-call members respond to

the un-staffed firehouse when available. The Division responded to over 4,000 calls for service

in 2007 with roughly 3,000 of those being EMS related. Mutual aid as well as automatic mutual

aid (AMAR) is relied on when Township equipment is not available.

       The current staffing of the Division consists of approximately 62 personnel. The

personnel are broken down into 33 career firefighters, 24 part-time firefighters, two paid-on-call

firefighters, and three administrative staff. 30 career firefighters work a 24/48 hour schedule

while the Fire Chief, Deputy Chief of Operations, and the Lieutenant in charge of the

Inspection/Prevention Bureau work a 42.5 hour week. The Division runs three shifts with a

minimum staffing of 11 personnel per day. The majority of the part-time firefighters work a 24

hour shift every sixth day and those that can not work under that schedule are assigned a 24 hour

shift based on the needs of the Division and their availability. The State of Ohio also requires

townships to follow a rule that maintains a part-time employee may not exceed 1,500 hours in a

year or the employer is required to provide the benefits that the full-time employees receive.
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         Miami Township is located just south of Dayton, Ohio in Montgomery County. It is

approximately 23 square miles and surrounds the Cities of Miamisburg, Moraine, and West

Carrollton on three sides. The shape of the Township is essentially a “U”. The Township is very

diverse in the aspect that it is composed of urban, suburban, and rural areas. The Township is a

large retail hub for the county and does have some manufacturing along with agriculture. It is

estimated that during business hours the population can grow to exceed 60,000+ and even higher

during the holiday season.

         Ohio is not immune to the natural or manmade disasters that plague the rest of the

country or the world. In fact annual loses from natural hazards continue to rise in Ohio and

across the nation. Going back to 1910 and converting the value of the dollar into today’s worth,

the United States averaged 2.2 billion dollars in damage from flooding alone. By the 1990’s that

number has grown to over 5.6 billion dollars. Ohio’s primary natural hazard is flooding

(Warren, Ferryman, Gartner, & Berginnis, 2002, p. 4). Over the last 100 years Ohio has

experienced some major floods. In August of 2007 northern Ohio experienced the worst flood in

94 years. Hundreds of people were displaced and untold amount of damage done. Six months

later Findlay, Ohio experienced a second flood, although it was not as dramatic as the flood in

August it still caused significant damage to an already ravaged area (Associated Press [AP],

2007).

         Although flooding may be Ohio’s primary natural hazard it is still susceptible to

tornadoes, earthquakes, and massive winter storms that would include snow and ice. Ohio ranks

21st in frequency of tornadoes compared to other states. It ranks 11 for deaths, 4 for injuries,

and 7 for total cost of damages. From 1950 to 1995 Ohio had 656 tornadoes, 173 deaths, 4,156

injuries, and a staggering $969,000,000 dollars in damages. This averages out to 14 tornadoes a
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year, with 4 deaths, 90 injuries, and $21,058,976 dollars in damages per year (Ohio Disaster

Center, n.d.).

       As strange as it may seem Ohio does have the potential for earthquakes. Over the last

two years Ohio has registered 25 quakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or higher. In 2007 there was a

quake that measured 3.8 and the largest one in recent times was in 1986 that reached 5.0

(Insurance Journal, 2008). According to the Richter scale a quake of 2.0 is rarely felt, but

detected by instruments. When a quake reaches the level of 5.0 like it did in 1986, people

experience damage to buildings ranging from severe to moderate with possible loss of life

(MIStupid.com, n.d.).

        Winter storms are no stranger to Ohio and can be counted on to happen annually. Lake

effect snow coming across the northern part of the state can be crippling. Massive amounts of

snow can be dumped onto cities leaving them virtually helpless. Starting on March 7th and

ending late in the evening on March 8, 2008 Ohio was faced with blizzard conditions. Many

areas recorded record levels of snow fall with Columbus receiving almost two feet. As you

move more south, snow plays havoc on the citizens of the area as well, but ice seems to be just as

prevalent. Vehicle crashes compound and it is not unusual to lose utilities.

       The potential threat of a major disaster, whether manmade or natural, supports the

research of this topic based on two of the United States Fire Administration operational

objectives. Those two objectives are: to promote within communities a comprehensive, multi-

hazard risk reduction plan led by the fire service organization; and to respond appropriately in a

timely manner to emerging issues (National Fire Academy [NFA], 2003).

       There is also a direct correlation between the problem identified and the Executive

Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management (EAFSOEM) course of the
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Executive Fire Officer Program. The goal of the EAFSOEM course is to prepare senior fire

officers in the administrative functions necessary to manage the operational component of a fire

department effectively (United States Fire Administration [USFA], 2007, p. SM 1-3). By

researching this topic it will identify the current problems that the Division might face and allow

the Division to respond in an appropriate manner to reduce the risk of unnecessary loss of life or

injury to the citizens of Miami Township.



                                            Literature Review

1. What are the current plans at the state and local levels?

       Every emergency begins at the local level with the initial response coming from the local

jurisdiction affected. This is accomplished by the local jurisdiction working with the county

Emergency Management Agency (EMA). It is only after all those resources are exhausted or

local resources do not exist, that state resources may be requested (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 18).

       The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) requires the State of Ohio to create and maintain an

Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The Ohio EMA is charged with coordinating resources to

the area that are affected by an emergency. The Ohio EMA is also required to prepare for a

disaster through planning, training, and live exercises at the state and local levels. The Ohio

EOP follows the guidelines of the National Response Plan (NRP) that have been outlined by the

Department of Homeland Security. The plan incorporates all aspects of the National Incident

Management System (NIMS) as well (State of Ohio, 2006, p.1).

       The Ohio EOP’s purpose is to guarantee that a documented system is in place so that

state-level emergency response and recover resources are available for deployment when they

are requested (State of Ohio, 2006, p.13). Within the State of Ohio’s EOP there are four phases
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of Emergency Management. The four phases are mitigation, preparedness, response, and

recovery (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 14-15).

       The mitigation phase consists of steps that are taken before or after an event. During this

phase it is the goal to eliminate or reduce the risk to life and property as well as reduce the costs

associated with a response and recovery operation. Mitigation is accomplished with a hazard

analysis. The hazard analysis identifies what events are likely to occur, the likely hood of the

event, and the consequences of the event when it does occur (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 14).

         The preparedness phase ensures that those involved will be able to respond effectively.

Preparedness is made of training, exercises, planning, resource identification, and acquisition.

Due to the fact that one can not eliminate all hazards, preparedness will help to reduce the impact

of the hazard before it occurs. This step involves all those that have a stake from the local to the

federal level (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 14).

       The response phase begins immediately after an event has occurred or that it is

determined that the event is unavoidable. The actions that take place during a response are to

save lives, minimize property damage, and enhance the overall operation. Maintaining discipline

and following the plan during the operation is crucial. This will help to maximize the resources,

keep responders safe and accountable as well as to help secure the event in a manageable size

(State of Ohio, 2006, p. 14-15).

       The last phase is recovery. The recovery begins right after the event or emergency has

concluded. This phase can overlap with that of the response phase. The goal of the recovery

phase is to return the area affected to as normal as possible. This can take place immediately or

last as long as a few years (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 15).
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       Under the State of Ohio’s incident management structure, local governments or other

State organizations will notify the Ohio EMA when an event has transpired within their

respective areas. This information will determine how the state will react under the Crisis Action

System (CAS). The CAS has three levels of operation. Level 1 starts the assessment process.

This level starts the information sharing within the Ohio EMA personnel and the local

jurisdiction that experienced the event. This continues from the time of the activation until there

is a change to the Joint Field Office (JFO). The development of the emergency will determine if

the need to move to CAS level #2 is needed or if the current level can be terminated (State of

Ohio, 2006, p. 15).

       If the State EMA determines that the event requires an upgrade to CAS level #2 then an

EMA State liaison is sent to the damage area. The liaison will assess the damage and provide

needed information back to Ohio EMA. During this process the Ohio EMA will notify the

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V of the on-going situation. State

resources can start to mobilize and be positioned in strategic locations for deployment. If

assistance from other states is required then the Governor of Ohio will declare a state of

emergency and CAS level #2 will transition to level #3. If other state assistance is not needed

the Ohio EMA will continue to monitor the situation until the incident is over or there is a

transition to CAS level #1 (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 15-16).

       CAS level #3 is the activation of the Ohio Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The

EOC will be staffed at different levels, but will be operational 24 hours a day until the event is

scaled back to CAS level #2 or #1. FEMA Region V monitoring may increase to the level of

pre-positioning federal resources for deployment to the area. State-level damage assessments
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and information gathering will continue. During level #3 the state will maintain close contact

with local EMA’s and coordinate activities with the federal JFO (State of Ohio, 2006, p. 16).

       Just as with the State plan, under the ORC all counties are required to develop an EOP.

Montgomery County signed a resolution dated May 20, 2003 that listed the responsibilities and

authorities of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management (MCOEM). The

Montgomery County EOP corresponds with the State of Ohio EOP (Montgomery County, 2003,

p. BP-1).

       Under the Montgomery County EOP, in order to have the plan activated the request must

come from the on-scene incident commander (IC) and the IC must determine that local resources

including mutual aid can longer mitigate the incident. When this happens the incident falls under

the Emergency Action Level System (EALS). The EALS is made up of four levels. EAL #1 is

when the local authorities have the ability to handle the emergency, but the MCOEM begins to

coordinate and mobilize in case the situation escalates (Montgomery County, 2003, p. BP-9).

       If the event moves to EAL #2 then the MCOEM EOC is fully activated. The EOC will

begin to provide resources to the on-scene IC. The EOC will remain operational on a 24 hour

basis until the incident is over or scaled back to a EAL #1 (Montgomery County, 2003, p. BP-9).

Under the EAL #2 an assessment team is mobilized. It is headed up by the Montgomery County

Operations Officer (Montgomery County, p. BP-17). The assessment team may be required to

conduct on-scene assessments in coordination with local authorities. The county assessments

will be supported by the initial assessments of the local authorities, but if there has not been a

local damage assessment the county will conduct one. Initial county assessments will include

damage to homes, businesses, utilities, and to determine if emergency needs are being met

(Montgomery County, 2003, p. O-2). The damage assessment can be conducted under three
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options. The team can complete a flyover with an aircraft, do a windshield survey, or complete a

walk-through assessment (Montgomery County, p. O-3).

       A flyover is conducted by either a fixed wing craft or a helicopter. A flyover will be

conducted because the area affected is so large that this gives the EOC the information needed to

identify specific areas. Another reason would be that the damage is so extensive and massive

that a damage assessment is not necessary (Montgomery County, 2003, p. O-3).

       A windshield survey is usually accomplished by local emergency responders, but can be

completed by the county team. A windshield survey is used to acquire information from a large

area in a short period of time. This is accomplished from some form of ground transportation

that allows the team to exchange views as they look at the area together. It allows the team to

determine the number of structures effected and people injured as well as raw figures to give a

good overview of the disaster (Montgomery County, 2003, p. O-3).

       The last method is the walk-through which is the most time consuming. This is used

when the information needs to be as detailed as possible. This will help when it comes time to

request federal disaster assistance (Montgomery County, 2003, p. O-3).

       Under the EALS, Level #3 is when the county resources are unable to mitigate the event

and state resources are requested. EAL #4 is defined as the need to request federal support

because state resources are inadequate, but the request for federal resources usually falls under

the responsibility of the state EOC (Montgomery County, 2003, p. BP-10).

       The Montgomery County EOP suggests that all local jurisdictions establish an EOP

(Montgomery County, 2003, p. BP-1). Miami Township adopted the current plan in 2003. A

single emergency can stress or overwhelm local and state resources. It is important for local

emergency responders to be able to carry out coordinated disaster response plans using local
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resources. However, it is likely that resources from local jurisdictions and agencies, the State of

Ohio, and the federal government may be necessary for complete mitigation of many disaster

situations in the Township.

       Emergency and disaster operations can affect all levels of local government. Therefore,

it is imperative that all Township departments maintain their respective attachments to this plan,

as well as department standards (i.e. Standard Operating Guidelines or Procedures) to address

issues such as depth of staffing, line of succession and mode of operation.

       Some disasters may leave one part of the township isolated from another. It is important

to supplement this document by implementing public education plans to help families prepare for

disasters and other catastrophic emergencies (Miami Township, 2003, p. 7-9).



2. What should be included in a damage assessment policy?

       The Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency Management

(EAFSOEM) student manual defines a damage assessment as “the gathering of information

related to the impact of an event, or series of events, on life and property within a defined area”

(USFA, 2007, p. SM 6-3). There are essentially two damage assessments that take place during

an incident. One is the immediate assessment and the other is the post assessment.

       An immediate damage assessment is a rapid survey of the area or damaged site. It takes

place during the initial phases of the emergency. It produces a rough estimate of the amount of

damage done to the community including life and property. A properly executed initial damage

assessment will yield valuable information. It will help the IC in formulating a plan to decide on

the amount of resources needed and where to deploy those resources in the most effective
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manner as well as to allow the IC to distribute accurate information to other agencies (USFA,

2007, p. SM 6-4).

       The components of the immediate damage assessment will help give the IC an overall

picture. The area impacted will be identified. The condition of all emergency personnel,

equipment, and public structures will be evaluated. This will include public works and utilities.

The transportation network will be checked for damage and to determine access routes in and out

of the damaged area. Residential, commercial, and target hazards will be inspected as will the

schools in the area. Each category will be graded on the amount of damage sustained as well as

any injuries or fatalities (USFA, 2007, p. SM 6-15).

       An immediate damage assessment can be conducted by a flyover, a windshield survey, or

a walk-through. A flyover is conducted by either a fixed wing craft or a helicopter. A flyover

will be conducted because the area affected is so large or not assessable for motorized vehicles

(Montgomery County, 2003, pg. O-3).

       A windshield survey is usually accomplished immediately after the incident by fire and

police personnel. A windshield survey is used to acquire information from a large area in a short

period of time (Montgomery County, 2003, p. O-3). The personnel are usually given a

predetermined area to survey which in most occasions are the areas of that they are normally

responsible for. The responders will drive the affected areas and gather the information that is

required by the IC. The information will be documented as accurately as possible and radioed

into the command post. This will take place throughout the damaged area until every area that is

assessable is surveyed (USFA, 2007, p. SM 6-5, 6-7).

       The last method is the walk-through which is the most time consuming. This approach

can happen both during the immediate and post damage assessments (Montgomery County,
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2003, p. O-3). During the immediate damage assessment phase it will be used when areas are

not assessable by vehicles or a more detailed evaluation is required (USFA, 2007, p. SM 6-7).

        The post incident assessment takes place after the emergency operations phase of the

incident. This assessment is a more methodical survey of the damage. It is used to gather

specific data for numerous reasons. One is to compile information for the private sector and for

the community to collect as much information as possible to be used for possible financial

recover from the federal government. The information can be used as a training tool for

responders and to help in reducing the damage from another event (USFA, 2007, p. SM 6-7).



3. What are other fire departments doing with performing damage assessments?

                The City of St. Cloud, Minnesota has established a plan for doing damage

assessments. A damage assessment is to be completed as soon as possible after the disaster has

occurred. Pictures are to be taken and a map is to be filled out that shows the damaged areas.

This will be coordinated by the Branch Director in charge of damage assessments. The survey

will show the number of families affected, number of injuries and fatalities, homes damaged and

destroyed, roads closed or blocked, and what type of resources will be needed. All city services

will be involved with the damage assessment as well as outside agencies like the Red Cross or

Civil Air Patrol (Stearns Co/St. Cloud, 2007).

        The City of Springfield, Oregon has an annex to its EOP that details who is responsible

for doing specific functions of a damage assessment and outlines those responsibilities. The plan

calls for four separate surveys. The first is a rapid damage assessment followed by the initial,

preliminary, and finally, the secondary. The rapid assessment starts with determining the status

of the infrastructure of the city. The condition of personnel, facilities, utilities, and vehicles will
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be critical. Once that is completed personnel will be assigned to manage the damage assessment

functions. The rapid damage assessment will be a windshield survey conducted by the fire

department within 24 hours. This will be coordinated by the District Chiefs utilizing station

companies. This phase will focus on life threatening conditions will be recorded on the

appropriate check sheet and then forwarded onto the Damage Assessment Manager (City of

Springfield, 2007, p. 10-3).

       The immediate damage assessment will be completed within 72 hours of the event. The

information gathered will be used to issue a state of emergency declaration. The immediate

damage assessment is a more detailed survey than the rapid damage assessment and focuses

primarily on financial losses to both public and private property. The preliminary damage

assessment is will consist of technical teams that can evaluate emergency and recovery costs.

These teams will normally consist of Red Cross personnel as well as state and federal

representatives. The secondary damage assessment will be made up of experts that can

determine if and when structures, roads, and bridges are safe to use. The fire departments main

role will be in performing the rapid damage assessment and then supporting the operation by

providing EMS and rescue operations (City of Springfield, 2007, p. 10-4).

       The City of Los Angeles has a very detailed EOP. It provides a flow chart of how

information is to travel from the EOC to the field and back. It details what every city department

is responsible for. Within the plan the fire department will support the damage assessment by

doing windshield surveys on moderate disasters like fires, floods, and earthquakes. When a large

scale disaster takes place the fire department will be assigned to providing life safety responses

and the police will perform the windshield surveys (City of Los Angeles, 1998).
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       The City of Lewes, Delaware has an appendix to its EOP entitled Damage Assessment

Procedures. The procedure outlines how to assess and report the extent of damage to the

affected area. It details the steps to assist the Sussex County EOC with performing a damage

assessment (see appendix A). The EOP doesn’t state what department will handle the damage

assessment survey or outline any of the other needed functions (City of Lewes, 2005).



4. What type of incidents might the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS encounter

that would require the use of a damage assessment?

       The types of incidents that Montgomery County will face will be the same for Miami

Township. The events that Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS will encounter encompass

both natural and manmade hazards. According to research conducted for the Montgomery

County Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment, Montgomery County is a densely populated

county situated in the southwest corner of the State of Ohio with an estimated population of

560,000, making it the 4th most populous county in the State. Fifteen hazards are likely to affect

Montgomery County and lead to emergency/disaster declarations (Montgomery County, 2003).

       Due to the connection between urban areas to the east and rural areas to the west, many

of the community-based hazards, such as a roadway hazardous material or agricultural chemical

release, are possible on a daily basis (Miami Township, 2003, pg. 7-9). Table 1 lists the hazards

that can affect Miami Township as well as Montgomery County.
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Table: 1

                   Potential Hazards to Miami Township and Montgomery County

                                                   Potential
Haz                                                 Hazard
                Hazard              Probability                                     Primary Risk
 #                                                    #'s
                                                  Generated
      Large Fire (Pipeline/        High/ High/    2, 5, 8, 15    Lives, property, urban; municipal
      Facilities/ Range/ Forest)   Medium                        infrastructure; ruptured water mains
 1                                                               from over demand.
      Hazardous material           High/High/     1, 5, 9        Lives, property, medical services (See
      accidents (highway/          Medium/Low                    Appendix 1 to this Basic Plan) for
      railroad/ fixed facility/                                  hazardous material routes
 2    nuclear)
      Extreme temperature          High to        1, 2, 5, 8     Lives, utilities
      events – (Heat, Winter       Medium
 3    Storm)
      Severe Weather Event         High to        2, 3, 5, 7,    Lives. Reduced communications,
      (Storms, Tornados)           Medium         8, 10, 13,     municipal infrastructure, buildings,
 4                                                14, 15         property
      Severe, prolonged            Medium -       1,2, 6, 7      Emergency services, residents, home
      communications & utilities   Low                           health care
 5    loss
      Civil, gang, prison          Medium -       1, 5           Lives, property, residents
 6    disturbance                  Low
      Drought                      Medium -       4, 5           Water system
 7                                 Low
      Mass Casualty Incident       Medium -       10             Lives, medical services
 8                                 Low
      Terrorist attack (NBC or     Medium -       1, 2, 5, 7,    Communications, property, medical
 9    conventional)                Low            8, 11.15       services
      Aircraft incident            Medium -       2, 8           Lives, property
10                                 Low
      Dam Failure/Slow Rising      Low/Medium/    2, 5, 8, 15    Lives, property, crops along river and
      Water/Floods                 Low                           floodplain, municipal infrastructure,
11                                                               medical services
      Earthquake                   Low            2, 5, 8, 11,   Lives, property, infrastructure, etc.
12                                                13, 15
13    Major epidemic               Low            6, 8           Lives, medical services
      Accidental missile launch    Low            2, 5, 13,      Lives, property, infrastructure
14    or warhead detonation                       14, 15
15    Nuclear Conflict             Low            2, 5, 6, 7,    Lives, property, infrastructure
                                                  8, 10, 11,
                                                  13, 15

       Note: From Montgomery County (2003). Montgomery County Emergency Operations

Plan, Basic Plan
                                                                         Creating a Damage        21


       In summary, the literature review revealed a fair amount of information. Most of the

information that was discovered revolved around what should be contained in an EOP regarding

a damage assessment. There was pertinent information that detailed what types of damage

assessments need to be completed, who is responsible for those surveys, and what needs to be

included in a check sheet as well as sample check sheets. A plethora of information was

available on the types of incidents that the Division might face or be asked to respond to. The

research also showed that there is very little information on what local departments in

Montgomery County are doing in performing a damage assessment. The information that was

gathered came from a host of references. The information was obtained from internet sites and

specific city or county emergency operation plans.



                                               Procedures

       Data and information was gathered for the research project in two manners. There was

an extensive literature review along with an external survey of fire departments in Montgomery

County, Ohio.

       The research began at the National Fire Academy’s Learning Resource Center and its

LRC online card catalog. The catalog was searched for references to damage assessments using

the following key words: damage assessment, fire departments performing a damage assessment,

and damage assessment policies. The search produced a great deal of up to date and relevant

information. The research was then directed toward the internet. The same key words that were

used at the LRC were used for the internet search. In addition to those words, area specific terms

were used. Those terms were: hazards to Ohio and Montgomery County, State of Ohio

Emergency Operations Plan, and environmental damages to Ohio. The Director of Emergency
                                                                         Creating a Damage      22


Management for Montgomery County was contacted by e-mail in reference to obtaining the

county EOP and it was explained that each fire agency should already own a copy and if not one

could be obtained. Chief David B. Fulmer of the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS was

contacted and a subsequent copy of the county EOP was provided. The Miami Township EOP

was obtained from Fire Division computers. The research of the LRC, internet, and local

resources provided enough information to answer all of the research questions.

       An external survey was completed of the Montgomery County Fire Departments in an

effort to add additional information to question #3 (see appendix C). The surveys main purpose

was to determine if surrounding departments had a damage assessment policy in place. The

intent was to also give a better perspective of what is occurring in the immediate area of Miami

Township. 28 surveys were sent out and only 14 were returned.

       Limitations

       With any project there is going to be some limitations. There was some difficulty in

locating actual damage assessment policies, but the survey provided the greatest limitation to the

project. Only 14 of the 28 departments returned the survey. This gives a limited perspective of

how the surrounding departments are handling damage assessments in their area. It also makes

the comparison of the surrounding departments with each other, as well as Miami Township,

difficult because the size of the sample was limited.
                                                                           Creating a Damage      23


                                                  Results

1. What are the current plans at the state and local levels?

       The State of Ohio, Montgomery County, and Miami Township all operate under the

jurisdiction of the ORC. The ORC addresses the need and requirement for an EOP at the state

and local levels which also should include a damage assessment procedure. The Ohio EOP’s

purpose is to guarantee that a documented system is in place so that state-level emergency

response and recover resources are available for deployment when they are requested, but can

only be requested after all local resources are exhausted or local resources do not exist (State of

Ohio, 2006). The Montgomery County EOP follows the same outline as the State of Ohio’s

EOP. To have the plan activated the request must come from the on-scene IC. The IC must

determine that local resources including mutual aid can longer mitigate the incident before

county resources are deployed (Montgomery County, 2003).

       The Ohio EMA is charged with coordinating resources to the areas that are affected by an

emergency. The Ohio EMA is required to prepare for a disaster through planning, training, and

live exercises at the state and local levels. The Ohio EOP follows the guidelines NRP and

incorporates all aspects of NIMS (State of Ohio, 2006).

         The State of Ohio’s EOP has four phases of damage assessment. The four phases are

mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The mitigation phase consists of steps that are

taken before or after an event with the goal being to eliminate or reduce the risk to life and

property as well as reduce the costs associated with the response and recovery operations.

Mitigation is accomplished with a hazard analysis which identifies what events are likely to

occur, the likely hood of the event, and the consequences of the event when it does occur (State

of Ohio, 2006).
                                                                            Creating a Damage      24


         The preparedness phase ensures that those involved will be able to respond effectively.

Since all hazards cannot be eliminated, preparedness will help to reduce the impact of the event

by providing, exercises, planning, resource identification, and availability before the emergency

occurs (State of Ohio, 2006).

       When an event has occurred or that a future emergency is unavoidable then the response

phase begins (State of Ohio, 2006). The response phase is typically accomplished by the local

responders in the first hours of the incident. The actions that take place during a response are to

save lives, minimize property damage, and enhance the overall operation. This can be

accomplished by performing a fly-over, windshield survey or completing a walk-through of the

disaster area (Montgomery County, 2003). Maintaining discipline and following the plan during

the operation is crucial. This will help to maximize the resources, keep responders safe and

accountable as well as to help secure the event in a manageable size (State of Ohio, 2006).

       The last phase is recovery. The recovery begins right after the event or emergency has

concluded. This phase can overlap with that of the response phase and the goal of the recovery

phase is to return the area affected to as normal as possible (State of Ohio, 2006.

       Under the State of Ohio’s incident management structure as well as Montgomery County,

local governments will notify either their county EMA or if the county is affected then the state

EMA when an event has transpired within their respective areas. This information will

determine how the state and county will react. The state has the acronym CAS where as the

county uses EAL. They both operate the same way, but the county has a fourth EAL that

includes the activation of federal resources which is usually done by the state EOC. Level 1

starts the assessment process. This begins the information sharing and continues from the time

of the activation until there is a change to the JFO at the state level. Level #1 at the county level
                                                                            Creating a Damage         25


means that local resources can handle the event, but the county EMA begins to mobilize. The

development of the emergency will determine if the need to move to CAS/EAL level #2 is

needed or if the current level can be terminated (State of Ohio, 2006) (Montgomery County,

2003).

         If the state/county EMA determines that the event requires an upgrade to CAS/EAL level

#2 then an EMA state liaison is sent to the damage area and the EOC is activated at the county

level with a county damage assessment team mobilized. The liaison will assess the damage and

provide needed information back to Ohio EMA as will the county team. During this process the

Ohio EMA will notify FEMA Region V of the on-going situation. State resources can start to

mobilize and be positioned in strategic locations for deployment. If assistance from other states

is required then the Governor of Ohio will declare a state of emergency and CAS level #2 will

transition to level #3. If other state assistance is not needed the Ohio EMA will continue to

monitor the situation until the incident is over or there is a transition to CAS level #1 (State of

Ohio, 2006) (Montgomery County, 2003).

         CAS level #3 is the activation of the Ohio EOC and EAL#3 means that the county cannot

handle the emergency so the state EMA will be activated. The state EOC will be staffed at

different levels, but will be operational 24 hours a day until the event is scaled back to CAS level

#2 or #1. FEMA Region V monitoring may increase to the level of pre-positioning federal

resources for deployment to the area. State-level damage assessments and information gathering

will continue. During level #3 the state will maintain close contact with local EMA’s and

coordinate activities with the federal JFO (State of Ohio, 2006).
                                                                           Creating a Damage       26


2. What should be included in a damage assessment policy?

                According to The Executive Analysis of Fire Service Operations in Emergency

Management (EAFSOEM) student manual a damage assessment is comprised of two

components. One is the immediate assessment and the other is the post assessment (USFA,

2007).

         The immediate damage assessment is a rapid assessment of the affected and it takes place

directly after the event has occurred. The immediate damage assessment allows the IC to begin

to stabilize the incident by formalizing an action plan that will identify the needed resources.

The immediate damage assessment starts with the evaluation of the overall infrastructure of the

agency. This would include all emergency personnel, public works and equipment, public

structures, transportation routes, as well as the utility systems. The assessment would then turn

to the evaluation of residential, commercial, schools, and target hazards (USFA, 2007).

         The immediate damage assessment can be conducted by three ways. Those being a fly-

over in a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft, a windshield survey, or a walk-through of the

damaged area. Each one of these methods has their place and function. The fly-over is usually

conducted when the area is extremely spread out and inaccessible to responders by foot or

vehicles. The windshield survey is conducted by emergency responders in vehicles. This is

accomplished by driving through the damaged areas and recording the findings which is then

radioed back to the IC. The walk-through is a methodical process that is performed when access

by a vehicle is impossible or it requires a more in-depth survey (USFA, 2007).

         The post incident assessment takes place after the emergency operations phase of the

incident has completed and is a more precise survey of the damage. It is used to gather specific

data for the private sector and for the community to obtain possible financial recover from the
                                                                         Creating a Damage         27


federal government. The information recovered will be used to help reduce the damage from

another incident by preparing responders to handle similar situations as well prepare the

community.



3. What are other fire departments doing with performing damage assessments?

       The City of St. Cloud, Minnesota performs a damage assessment as soon as possible after

the disaster has occurred. The responders take pictures of the damage and fill out a map showing

where the damage has occurred with that information being relayed back to the command post.

The City of St. Cloud as well as Springfield, Oregon details the need to use other agencies who is

responsible for doing specific functions of a damage assessment and outlines those

responsibilities (Stearns County/ St. Cloud, 2007). The City of Los Angeles also details what

agencies a will be in involved and describes what each department will be responsible for. The

fire department will perform damage assessments through the windshield survey method for

moderate events. In the event that the emergency becomes too large for the fire department to

handle both EMS and damage assessment functions, then the police will be assigned to perform

the windshield surveys while the fire department concentrates on life safety (City of Los

Angeles, 1998).

       The Springfield plan calls for four separate surveys. The four surveys are a rapid damage

assessment, initial, preliminary, and secondary. The rapid assessment starts with determining the

status of the infrastructure of the city and then the responders complete a windshield survey of

their assigned areas. Once completed the information gathered will be radioed to the IC with the

hard copy delivered as soon as possible (City of Springfield, 2007).
                                                                         Creating a Damage        28


        The immediate damage assessment is a more detailed survey and focuses primarily on

financial losses to public as well as private property. The preliminary damage assessment will

consist of technical teams that can determine what structures are safe to occupy as well as what

roads or bridges are safe travel over. Within all the operations the fire departments main role

will be in performing the rapid damage assessment and then supporting the operation by

providing EMS and rescue operations (City of Springfield, 2007).

        Since there was no information in regards to Montgomery County Ohio Fire Departments

performing or having a damage assessment policy in place a survey of those departments was

created. 28 surveys were sent out and only fourteen were returned accounting for a 50% return

rate. Not everyone that finished the survey completed all the questions. The one answer that

truly stood out is that two agencies felt that a damage assessment was not needed. The

remainder of the results is listed in table 2.

        Table 2

    1. What is your departments Staffing make-up?

        Career                                           3

        Volunteer                                        0

        Combination (career and part-time)               11



    2. Has your agency adopted an all hazards emergency operations plan?

        Yes                                              11

        No                                               3
                                                                     Creating a Damage      29


   Table 2 continued

3. Does your agency have a policy in place on performing a damage assessment?

   Yes                                               6

   No                                                7



4. If “Yes” to the previous question, do you have pre-established forms for the crews to fill

   out?

   Yes                                               5

   No                                                3



5. If “No” to question #3, do you have one of the following agencies do your damage

   assessment?

   Police/Sheriff                                0

   County EMA                                    4

   Other Fire Department                         1

   Other                                         5

6. If you perform a damage assessment, please check all the apparatus/vehicles that perform

   this function?

   Engine                                        1

   Ladder                                        1

   Medic/ Ambulance                              0

   Rescue                                        1

   Staff vehicle                                 6
                                                                         Creating a Damage     30


    Table 2 continued

   7. If you have a damage assessment policy, do your personnel get annual training on

       performing a damage assessment?

       Yes                                   1

       No                                    7



   8. If you have a damage assessment policy, does it address whether or not the apparatus is

       to stop for an emergency before completing the damage assessment?

       Yes                                   1

       No                                    6



   9. Has your agency ever had to activate a damage assessment?

       Yes                                   3

       No                                    10



   10. Do you feel that a damage assessment policy is important?

       Yes                                       11

       No                                        2



4. What type of incidents might the Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS encounter

that would require the use of a damage assessment?

       Miami Township is comprised of both urban and rural areas which will require the

Division of Fire/EMS to handle different types of incidents that a department that is only urban
                                                                            Creating a Damage        31


might not face. This holds true to a department that is only responsible for a rural area. Due to

the make-up of the area protected by the Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS, the

incidents encountered will be the same types of incidents that the entire Montgomery County

area will encounter in some form or fashion. The incidents that Miami Township will come

across have been identified as: large fires, hazardous materials, extreme cold and heat, severe

weather, loss of utilities, civil disturbances, drought, mass casualty incidents, terrorism, aircraft

emergencies, floods, earthquakes, epidemics and pandemics, and nuclear emergencies

(Montgomery County, 2003).



                                                 Discussion

       After analyzing the literature review and the results of the survey it is apparent that the

Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS needs to have a policy in place on performing a

damage assessment. A single emergency can stress or overwhelm local and state resources. It

is important for local emergency responders to be able to carry out coordinated disaster response

plans using local resources. However, it is likely that resources from local jurisdictions and

agencies, the State of Ohio and the federal government may be necessary for complete mitigation

of many disaster situations in the Township (Miami Township, 2003).

       The Miami Township EOP does not provide any guidance on how to perform a damage

assessment nor does the Division of Fire and EMS address this any policy or procedure. The

Miami Township EOP actually leaves it up to each individual department to develop this through

their own operating guidelines (Miami Township, 2003). The State of Ohio EOP specifically

puts the job of a damage assessment into the hands of the local jurisdictions that are affected by
                                                                            Creating a Damage         32


stating that every emergency begins at the local level with the initial response coming from the

local jurisdiction affected (State of Ohio, 2006).

        The ORC states that all counties are required to develop an EOP. Montgomery County

complied with the statute by signing a resolution dated May 20, 2003 that listed the

responsibilities and authorities of the MCOEM (Montgomery County, 2003). The Montgomery

County EOP was modeled after the State of Ohio’s EOP by dividing the responses up into

different levels. Unlike the state plan, Montgomery County listed for four levels instead of three

and called them Emergency Action Level Systems instead of a Crisis Action Systems. This

should make one question as to why there are two different designations for virtually the same

operations when the NRP and NIMS were designed to bring communality in communications to

all emergency responders which would include all EMA’s.

       Although each response is given a different designation under the two different plans

they operate in the same manner. They both start out with the lowest level being an emergency

that the local jurisdiction can handle by itself or with mutual aid and then escalating it up until

federal resources are required. This highlights another deficiency in the Miami Township EOP.

The Township EOP does not break down the system into manageable levels and gives little to no

direction to the IC on when the County EMA should be contacted (Miami Township, 2003).

       The survey clearly pointed out that Miami Township is not alone in being absent of

damage assessment policy. 11 out of 14 that responded stated that they have adopted an all

hazard response plan, but only half of those have a damage assessment policy in place. That

would lead one to believe that although they may have identified major hazards in their

respective areas, they have not determined how they will respond to those events. The survey

also suggests that most of the respondents are willing to let other agencies handle their damage
                                                                          Creating a Damage       33


assessments for them. This will probably work as long as those willing to come in from another

area are not needed in their own jurisdiction for possible the same disaster.

       The City of Los Angeles EOP is a good example of how the city is going to operate in a

crisis situation. It describes the events that the city might encounter and explains how each

department of the city is going to function. The EOP lays out the chain of command in flow

chart so that everyone knows how the information is going to travel from top down and vice

versa. The LAFD is responsible for doing a windshield survey for disasters that are considerate

moderate, but if that emergency is elevated to a severe disaster then the LAPD will do the

damage assessment. The LAFD will then be reassigned to handle only life safety emergencies.

The beauty of this is that each department already knows what its responsibility will be during an

emergency which will reduce stress on the responders and lessen the likely hood of injury caused

by freelancing (City of Los Angeles, 1998).

       Just because an EOP address what each department is responsible for doesn’t mean that

the emergency responders will know how to operate out in the field. This will take training on

how to perform a damage assessment and what is expected from each individual. The process

starts by identifying the major hazards and infrastructures within the jurisdiction. Each

department within the jurisdiction that will be responsible for performing a damage assessment

needs to be familiar with each one or at least have access to the information on each location.

       A damage assessment will be conducted by three means. It will take place from the air,

in a vehicle, or on foot. Most of the initial damage assessments will be done by a windshield

survey from either a fire apparatus or another emergency vehicle. The apparatus will begin by

ensuring that all personnel and equipment are accounted for and communicate that to the IC.

The crew will then disseminate out into their assigned areas to begin the survey. The crews will
                                                                          Creating a Damage       34


do a drive by of all major hazards and high populated buildings first. They will then direct their

attention to the less vulnerable areas next. As they proceed with the windshield survey they will

record the damage that they see. Once the survey is completed they will report their findings

back to the command post (USFA, 2007). The City of St. Cloud takes recording of damage one

step further by actually taking pictures of the area and recording the damage on a map (Stearns

County/ St. Cloud, 2007). The City of Lewes, Delaware has an excellent example of damage

assessment report (see appendix A). It outlines the specific information of what the EOC or the

IC will need to formulate the action plan. The report also provides written instructions on how to

complete the report (City of Lewes, 2005).

       The State of Ohio, or better yet Miami Township, might not ever have to face a large

scale disaster like hurricane Katrina or other major events that have plagued the world over time.

What is possible is that Miami Township is susceptible to all sorts of potential disasters. This is

clear just by the list that was developed by the MCOEM from past history as well as target

hazards that were identified for the development of the EOP (Montgomery County, 2003).

       It is clear from the literature review that a properly executed damage assessment will help

to reduce injury and property loss. It is so important that the State of Ohio has mandated that

each county have an EOP and the United States Fire Administration has made it part of the

Executive Fire Officer Program. That is why it is so perplexing that from the survey, two out of

the 14 that returned the survey felt that a damage assessment policy was not important.



                                             Recommendations

       This research project has shown that the Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS

needs to be proactive, instead of reactive when it comes to developing as well as performing a
                                                                           Creating a Damage        35


damage assessment. After analyzing the literature review and the external survey the following

recommendations are being made to help the Division reduce the delays in providing emergency

services to the citizens of Miami Township during a major event as well as reduce the risk of

injury to its personnel.

       1. Develop a draft damage assessment policy that outlines what the expectations are for

           each fire district as well as each piece of apparatus.

       2. Meet with all department heads of the Township, the Township Administrator and his

           staff, and the Board of Trustees to discuss the damage assessment plan. This meeting

           will involve the distribution of responsibilities and determine when and how the EOC

           will be opened.

       3. Provide initial training to all Division of Fire and EMS employees on an annual basis.

           This will include responsibilities at the time of the emergency, the proper steps to

           take and how to properly as well accurately record the information gathered during

           the damage assessment.

       4. Provide each piece of apparatus with a digital camera. This will allow the pictures to

           be downloaded to a computer for faster dissemination to the EOC as long as there is a

           connection, but if a connection is not present will still allow for visual documentation

           for later use.

       5. Assign the line personnel, as well as the Fire Marshal, to perform a community risk

           assessment by identifying all the key structures and facilities that pose the greatest

           threat to the Township. This will include the identification of potential hazards and

           population shifts by time of day.
                                                                            Creating a Damage      36


       6. Continue to be proactive by participating on local committees at the county and

           regional arenas.

       A recommendation to future readers of this research project is to continue to be as

proactive as possible. Be more specific when asking questions about how surrounding

department s are planning on handling a major event. This important because they may call on

you for assistance or you may need them and it will only improve the operation if you know

what to expect. Lastly, do not reinvent the wheel when it comes to preparing for major disaster

or emergency. Model the plan after those that are in existence and make modifications that are

needed for a problem that is unique to an individual department.

       History has proven that no one is immune to a disaster or a major event. It doesn’t matter

whether you live in a big city or somewhere rural. The only thing that is for certain is that it will

eventually happen. So we need to prepare to the best of our ability in an effort to mitigate the

disaster as quickly as possible with as little damage and loss of life as possible.
                                                                       Creating a Damage    37


                                            References

Associated Press (2007, August 22). Ohio governor declares flood emergency. Retrieved

       February 24, 2008, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20391282/

City of Lewes (2005, October 4). Appendix BP-8: Damage assessment procedures. Retrieved

       April 17, 2008, from

       http://www.ci.lewes.de.us/index.cfm?fuseaction=plansprojects.damageassessment

City of Los Angeles (1998, June). Emergency operations master plan and procedures: damage

       assessment annex. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from

City of Springfield (2007, June 21). Emergency Management Plan: Functional Annex D.

       Retrieved April 17, 2008, from

Clean Water Action Council (n.d.). Land use and urban sprawl. Retrieved January 23, 2008,

       from www.cwac.net/landuse/index.html

Insurance Journal (2008, January 15). Frequency of Ohio earthquakes seem on the rise.

       Retrieved February 24, 2008., from

       http://insurancejournal.com/news/midwest/2008/01/15/86427.html

MIStupid.com (n.d.). Richter and mercalli earthquake scale. Retrieved February 24, 2008., from

       http://www.mistupid.com/geology/richter.htm

Miami Township (2003). Emergency Operations Plan (1st ed.). Miamisburg, Ohio: Miami

       Township.

Montgomery County (2003). Montgomery County Emergency Operations Plan, Basic Plan (1st

       ed.). Dayton, Ohio: Montgomery County.

Montgomery County (2003). Montgomery County Emergency Operations Plan: Annex O

       Disaster Recovery (1st ed.). Dayton, Ohio: Montgomery County.
                                                                         Creating a Damage      38


National Fire Academy (2003). Operational policies and procedures applied research

       guidelines. Emmitsburg, MD.: United States Fire Administration.

Ohio Disaster Center (n.d.). Ohio tornadoes. Retrieved February 24, 2008., from

       http://www.disastercenter.com/ohio/tornado.html

State of Ohio (2006). State of Ohio emergency operations plan. Retrieved March 20, 2008, from

       http://www.ema.ohio.gov/ohio_eop/ohio_eop.pdf

Stearns County/ St. Cloud (2007). Damage Assessment Annex H. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from

       http://www.co.stearns.mn.us/documents/EmergMgmtAnnexH.pdf

United States Fire Administration (2007). Executive analysis of fire service operations in

       emergency management (2nd ed.). Emmitsburg, MD.: United States Fire Administration.

Warren, R., Ferryman, S., Gartner, J., & Berginnis, C. (2002, July 12). . Ohio Natural Hazard

       Mitigation Planning Guidebook, p.4. Retrieved February 24, 2008, from

       http://www.dynamo.phy.ohiou.edu/ohio_guide.pdf

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2007, September). Texas City Disaster. Retrieved January

       23, 2008, from http://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/Texas_City_Disater
             Creating a Damage   39


Appendix A
                                                                                 Creating a Damage         40

Initial Damage Assessment Summary Report Form
Completion Instructions
SUMMARY:
This form is intended to provide a standard method of reporting initial and supplemental damage
estimates to the
Sussex County EOC. This information will be used to assess the situation throughout the areas affected
by the
disaster. It will also be combined with other reported information and used to help decide on future
response and
recovery actions.
These forms are intended to be cumulative. If you submit additional reports, all of the columns MUST
show current
totals. For example, if the first form you submitted showed sixteen residential structures damaged and you
identify
four more damaged residential structures, the next form you submit MUST show twenty damaged
residential
structures.
1. Area(s) Affected: Include the name of the area(s) affected and the date of report.
2. Disaster: List the type, time and date of incident.
3. Report by: List name of person submitting report, his/her title, home and work phone numbers. This
person
will serve as the point of contact for additional information.
4. Affected Individuals: List affected individuals based on the category provided. Assign individuals to
only
one of the six categories. For example, do not assign someone to the "injuries" category if they are
already
assigned to "hospitalized."
5. Property Damage:
a. Residence: List the number of residential properties damaged as a result of the disaster (separated
either by single family, multi family or mobile homes) in the categories provided. Provide a total dollar
amount in estimated losses to residences.
b. Business: List the number of business properties damaged as a result of the disaster in the categories
provided. Provide a total dollar amount in estimated losses to businesses.
c. Public Facilities: List the estimate in dollars, the number of sites, and a brief description of damages in
the six categories under “Type of Work or Facility.” Provide a total dollar amount in estimated losses to
public facilities.
CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY DAMAGE:
To assist you with making a determination regarding the level of damage to residences and businesses
affected by the
disaster (i.e., Destroyed, Major, Minor, Affected Habitable), refer to the attached “Damage Assessment
Level Guide.”
The Guide is included as Attachment 8 to the Delaware Emergency Management Agency’s (DEMA)
“Standard
                  Operating Procedure, Initial Damage Assessment, Revision 1, 10/4/2005.”
                                                                                     Creating a Damage          41


                                                  Appendix B

                                         Letter to Department Chiefs

April 17, 2008

Chief ___________
Name of Department
Street
City, State, Zip


Dear______________,

My name is David Schmaltz and I am a Deputy Chief with the Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS. I am
currently in my third year of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. After each year of the
program the student is required to complete a research project based on a specific problem that their department
currently faces.

I have chosen to research the development of a damage assessment policy for Miami Township. One of the
components of my project is to survey surrounding departments and compare them with Miami Township. With
that, I have attached a survey that asks specific questions about your department.

I am asking that you please take a few moments to fill out the short survey at the following link
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=qOtuKz3O54p8owPETHH46A_3d_3d. It should take you less than five
minutes and please complete it no later than May 1, 2007. Your acceptance to participate in this project is greatly
appreciated. Once I have completed the assignment and have received my graded paper. I will be more than
willing to share a copy of it with you if you so desire. Again, thank you for your help.

Sincerely,


Deputy Chief A. David Schmaltz
Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS
2710 Lyons Rd.
Miamisburg, Ohio 45342
dschmaltz@miamitownship.com
937-438-2340 Office
937-438-2335 Fax
937-604-3512 Cellular
                                                                      Creating a Damage      42


                                       Appendix C

                                          Survey

11. What is your departments Staffing make-up?

   Career                                            _______

    Volunteer                                         _______

    Combination (career and part-time)               _______



12. Has your agency adopted an all hazards emergency operations plan?

   Yes                                                _______

   No                                                 _______



13. Does your agency have a policy in place on performing a damage assessment?

   Yes                                               _______

   No                                                _______



14. If “Yes” to the previous question, do you have pre-established forms for the crews to fill

   out?

   Yes                                               _______

   No                                                _______
                                                                   Creating a Damage      43


15. If “No” to question #3, do you have one of the following agencies do your damage

   assessment?

   Police/Sheriff                               _______

   County EMA                                   _______

   Other Fire Department                        _______

   Other                                        _______



16. If you perform a damage assessment, please check all the apparatus/vehicles that perform

   this function?

   Engine                                       _______

   Ladder                                       _______

   Medic/ Ambulance                             _______

   Rescue                                       _______

   Staff vehicle                                _______



17. If you have a damage assessment policy, do your personnel get annual training on

   performing a damage assessment?

   Yes                                          _______

   No                                           _______
                                                                    Creating a Damage     44


18. If you have a damage assessment policy, does it address whether or not the apparatus is

   to stop for an emergency before completing the damage assessment?

   Yes                                   _______

   No                                    _______



19. Has your agency ever had to activate a damage assessment?

   Yes                                   _______

   No                                    _______



20. Do you feel that a damage assessment policy is important?

   Yes                                    _______

   No                                     _______
                                                                           Creating a Damage   45


                                          Appendix D

                  Miami Township Division of Fire/EMS
                                   Standard Operating Guideline
                                         510.XXX
                                       XY MAY 2008 v.1.0

                     Draft Policy on Performing an Immediate Damage Assessment

1. Purpose

This policy shall establish a uniformed method of performing an immediate damage
assessment survey as well providing directions on how to properly document the damaged
areas or structures.

2. Scope

This policy applies to all career, part-time, and paid-on-call firefighters that are employed
by the Miami Township Division of Fire and EMS. This policy will outline the expectations of
the fire/EMS companies as well as administrative responsibilities when an immediate
damage assessment is requested to be performed. This policy does not supersede the
Miami Township Emergency Operation Policy as well as determine the roles and
responsibilities of the different departments within Miami Township or outside agencies.

3. Definitions

    a. Immediate damage assessment is the gathering of information related to the
        impact of an event, or series of events, on life and property within a defined area.
    b. Windshield survey is a rapid gathering of information from a vehicle that drives
        through the damaged area.
    c. Walk-through survey is more time consuming process that requires the responder
        to physically walk through the damaged area to gather information.
    d. Flyover survey is performed from an aircraft to gather information from an area
        that is inaccessible to responders by foot or vehicle. It is also used when the
        damaged area is so large or completely destroyed.
    e. Emergency Operations Center is the nerve center of the operation where all
        information is gathered, resources are ordered and distributed, and a plan for
        mitigation is developed.
    f. Fire Demand Zones are the set response areas for the Division of Fire and EMS.
    g. Fire companies shall include engines, ladders/trucks, quints, and rescues..
    h. Medics shall include all ambulances.
    i. Staff units shall include B50, C1, C2, ISO/L4, SOG truck, and combinations of these
        staff vehicles and trailers designed to be towed by them.


3. Response

Immediately after an event each station that is staffed is to complete the following
procedure:

       a. Determine the status of all Division members assigned to that particular house.
                                                                    Creating a Damage    46

       b. Determine the damage to fire station itself.
       c. Determine the damage to all the vehicles
       d. Once that information is obtained make contact with the shift command/IC/EOC
          and give a report as to the status of the house as well as immediate resources
          that will be needed for your personnel or station.
       e. Inform the shift commander/IC/EOC that you will begin an immediate damage
          assessment of your assigned area.

If the station has the ability to perform an immediate damage assessment the crews will be
broken up into two. Two personnel will be assigned to the medic and two will be assigned
to the engine/truck. If the staffing only allows for the response of one piece of apparatus
then the medic is to be used first.

A windshield survey will be performed by each company that can operate. The target
hazards that have been identified will be examined first then none hazardous areas within
each of the fire demand zones. The crews need to refrain from stopping to perform rescue
and fire operations until the survey of the area is complete or the IC/EOC gives the
permission to deviate from the damage assessment. The reason for this is that the IC/EOC
needs to get the information as quickly as possible in order to request proper resources.

The crews are to complete the survey using the proper check sheets that are located in each
apparatus as well within this policy. Once the damage assessment for each zone is
complete each apparatus is to communicate the results to the IC/EOC. After all the fire
demand zones that have been assigned to each station/apparatus are complete the
apparatus will make themselves available for reassignment. This could range from being
assigned to rehab, relocated to another area to help other companies or start performing
rescue/EMS/fire duties. This will be all based on the IC/EOC action plan.
                       Creating a Damage   47


4. Fire Demand Zones
                                                        Creating a Damage   48


5. Immediate Damage Assessment Checklist

Fire Demand Zone:

Infrastructure Damage:

Fire Station Condition:
________________________________________________________

Fire Personnel Condition:
________________________________________________________

Fire Apparatus Condition:
________________________________________________________

Police Station Condition:
________________________________________________________

Police Personnel Condition:
_______________________________________________________

Public Works/Road Garage
Condition:
________________________________________________________

Street/Road Network: Not Passable




Residential Damage: Heavy >50%, Moderate >25% <50%, Light <25%

Heavy:



Moderate:




Light:



Total
Injuries:_________________________________________________________________

Fatalities:
____________________________________________________________________
                                                        Creating a Damage   49




Commercial Damage: Heavy >50%, Moderate >25% <50%, Light <25%

Heavy:



Moderate:




Light:



Total
Injuries:_________________________________________________________________

Fatalities:
____________________________________________________________________


Schools: Heavy >50%, Moderate >25% <50%, Light <25%

Heavy:



Moderate:




Light:



Total
Injuries:_________________________________________________________________

Fatalities:
____________________________________________________________________
                                                         Creating a Damage   50




Target Hazards: Heavy >50%, Moderate >25% <50%, Light <25%

Heavy:



Moderate:




Light:



Total
Injuries:_________________________________________________________________

Fatalities:
____________________________________________________________________


Public Buildings: Heavy >50%, Moderate >25% <50%, Light <25%

Heavy:


Moderate:


Light:



Total
Injuries:_________________________________________________________________

Fatalities:
____________________________________________________________________

Gas
Leak:_____________________________________________________________________

Electric
Outage:________________________________________________________________

Sewer
leak:___________________________________________________________________

Water Leak:
___________________________________________________________________
                                                      Creating a Damage   51




Telephone Service:
______________________________________________________________



Special Concerns:

								
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