FEMA’s Methodology for Estimating Potential Losses from Disasters
Hazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods and hurricanes. Hazus uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to estimate physical, economic and social impacts of disasters. It graphically illustrates the limits of identified high-risk locations due to earthquake, hurricane and floods. Users can then visualize the spatial relationships between populations and other more permanently fixed geographic assets or resources for the specific hazard being modeled, a crucial function in the pre-disaster planning process.
For more information about the Hazus program, please visit the Hazus home page. From there, you can learn how to:
- Stay connected with the Hazus Community by joining your local Hazus User Group
- Sign up for Hazus Training from FEMA's Emergency Management Institute
- Find technical support at the Hazus Help Desk
As part of an effort to modernize Hazus, a number of updates have been released or are in progress. The first update was released in January 2015 and provided compatibility of Hazus with ArcGIS 10.2.2 and Windows 8. A service pack to the January release was put out in May 2015 and features several enhancements to the flood module. This included the application of dasymetric General Building Stock (GBS) approach and the implementation of study region aggregation at the custom jurisdiction or neighborhood level.
The most recent release of Hazus available for download below is version 3.0. This release contains a number of underlying software architectural changes, including:
- Migration of the current database structure away from the Personal Geodatabase (pGDB) format to SQL Server Spatial format
- Migration of all VB6 code in the Flood model to a combination of C# and .NET
- Support at the state level for both homogeneous and dasymetric state data, with dasymetric data now serving as the default for analysis
- Alignment with the Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) tool (pushed from Task 2)
- SQL Server-compatible version of CDMS
- Repair of four major defects in block-level aggregation in the Flood and Hurricane models
- Direct Download—select the download image to begin an HTTP download.
- Managed Download—check all the files you wish to download then select the "Start Managed Download" button.
- State Datasets—the release of Hazus 3.0 has removed the need to download separate dasymetric and homogeneous state datasets. One download is needed to get both datasets below. While the dasymetric data will act as the default for analysis, the homogeneous data is also available in the download package. As a reminder, with the homogeneous data, building exposure is assumed to be uniformly (homogeneously) distributed throughout a Census block. Hazus-MH has historically used homogeneous Census data. Using these data may lead to estimating losses in sub-Census Block areas with no building exposure. For dasymetric datasets, homogeneous undeveloped areas (such as area covered by bodies of water, parks, or forests) are removed from the Census blocks. The cumulative building exposure is distributed only in developed sub-Census Block areas. Use these data to more accurately produce flood loss determinations. For documentation on how the dasymetric data was produced, please contact email@example.com. Since Earthquake and Hurricane analysis use the tract level data, users of those models will only be using homogeneous data for their analysis.
Since this release will be a major version update for the Hazus software, users of any older Hazus versions will need to uninstall Hazus on their computers and install the new version. Users who want to know a little more about how to install or uninstall Hazus can check out the Download Tutorial and Quick Reference Guide on the FEMA Document Library and the Getting Started Guide, also available in the Document Library. Note: although the container may say 2.1 manuals, these are the most recent versions and can be used with more recent versions of Hazus. Users wishing to preserve their study regions and transfer them to Hazus 3.0 may do so, but only if they are operating on the most recent version of Hazus (2.2 SP01). They will be able to follow the steps outlined in the Getting Started Guide to extract their study regions in Hazus 2.2 SP01 and then upload them into Hazus 3.0 once it is downloaded. Users that are operating on a version of Hazus older than 2.2 SP01 will not be able to extract their study regions and upload to Hazus 3.0 due to major underlying changes occurring in this release. For questions or issues, feel free to contact the Hazus Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Modernization effort, follow the Hazus program on Twitter or LinkedIn and subscribe to receive Hazus program updates, or contact the Hazus Outreach team at email@example.com. For more information about the Modernization effort, follow the Hazus program on Twitter or LinkedIn and subscribe to receive Hazus program updates, or contact the Hazus Outreach team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the Software
Hazus-MH operates on Esri’s ArcGIS product. Click on the "Hazus-MH Application" link below to download the software. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox web browsers are recommended to perform the download. Google Chrome is not supported. The latest version of Hazus-MH (3.0), must be installed with ArcGIS 10.2.2
International users may download the Hazus-MH 3.0 software, but not the U.S. state or territory datasets. International users who require technical assistance downloading the software may email the FEMA Map Information eXchange (FMIX) at FEMAMapSpecialist@riskmapcds.com.
The entire US state dataset and individual state datasets which have now been updated to reflect Census 2010 data are available for download below.