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Wind and Structures
  Volume 2, Number 3, September 1999, pages 133-150

Assessment and quantification of hurricane induced damage to houses
Gregory L.F. Chiut Sara Jean Wadia-Fascettit

    Significant costs to the public and private sectors due to recent extreme wind events have motivated the need for systematic post-hurricane damage data collection and analysis. Current post disaster data are collected by many different interested groups such as government agencies, voluntary disaster relief agencies, representatives of media companies, academicians and companies in the private sector. Each group has an interest in a particular type of data. However, members of each group collect data using different techniques. This disparity in data is not conducive to quantifying damage data and, therefore, inhibits the statistical and spatial description of damage and comparisons of damage among different extreme wind events. The data collection does not allow comparisons of data or results of analyses within a group and also prohibits comparison of damage data and infonnation among different groups. Typically , analyses of data from a given event lead to different conclusions depending upon the definition of damage used by individual investigators and the type of data collected making it difficult for members of groups to compare the results of their analyses with a common language and basis. A formal method of data collection and analysis-within any single group-would allow comparisons to be made among different individuals, hazardous events and eventually among different groups, thus facilitating the management and reduction of damage due to future disasters. This research introduces a definition of damage to single family dwellings, and a common method of data collection and analysis suited for groups interested in regional characterization of damage. The current state-of-data is presented and a method for data collection is recommended based on these existing data collection methods. A fixed-scale damage index is proposed to consider the damage to a dwelling's features. Finally, the damage index is applied to three dwellings damaged by Hurricane lniki (1992). The damage index reflects the reduced functionality of a structure as a single family detached dwelling and provides a means to evaluate regional damage due to a single event or to compare damage due to events of different severity. Evaluation of the damage index and the data available support recommendations for future data collection efforts.
Key Words
    condition assessment; damage index; data collection; damage difinition; structure functionality; Hurricane lniki; post-hurricane damage assessment; extreme-wind
Gregory L.F. Chiut:Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Yau Yat Chuen, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Sara Jean Wadia-Fascettit: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, U.S.A.

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