Hazus 2.1 Now Available

A new version of Hazus, a geographic information system (GIS)-based software program that uses state-of-the-art technology to estimate damage and loss from potential earthquake, flood and hurricane events, is now available.

The Institute’s Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) program provided reviews of Hazus versions to support its development. IV&V is responsible for establishing a baseline of quality, functionality and accuracy for the Hazus flood, earthquake and hurricane models. IV&V also seeks to improve Hazus performance by identifying its deficiencies and by finding ways to integrate Hazus with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Risk Mapping, Assessment and Planning (MAP) program and other FEMA efforts.

Decision makers use the free program to prepare shelters, evacuation routes, zoning development and emergency mitigation plans to protect their communities from future losses and to organize an emergency response when a disaster event occurs. Hazus version 2.1 is available from the FEMA website.

The 2.1 release includes many improvements to the usability and functionality of the software including:

  • Hazus-MH 2.1 is now compatible with Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3.
  • Hazus-MH 2.1 is now compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 Service Pack 2. Hazus-MH 2.1 runs under Service Pack 3 but is not 100% certified.
  • The underlying database engine has been upgraded to SQL Server Express 2008 R2.
  • Menu options in the user interface of the three modules in Hazus-MH (Earthquake, Flood and Hurricane) have been adjusted to provide greater consistency.
  • IMPLAN default data is no longer provided with Hazus-MH. Users should supply their own data for Indirect Economic Analyses.
  • New damage and loss of use functions have been developed for hospitals, schools and fire stations in the Essential Facilities portion of the Hurricane Module.
  • The windfields for several category 4 and 5 historical storms have been re-analyzed and updated in the Hurricane Module.
  • In recognition of the uncertainties inherent in hurricane forecasts, the Coastal Surge analysis capability has been disabled for forecast/advisories issued more than 24 hours before the expected time of landfall.
  • The Flood Module Average Annualized Loss (AAL) analysis has been reactivated with the following changes:
    • The 2 and 5 year return period extrapolations have been removed from the methodology.
    • The 200-year return period has been replaced by a 25-year return period in the methodology.
    • Refer to the Hazus–MH 2.1 Flood Technical Manual for complete details on the Flood AAL methodology.
  • A riverine level 1 study region automation feature has been added to the Flood Module.
  • The Flood Module is now processing Manning’s roughness coefficients dynamically based on a LULC grid as part of the Develop Stream Network process.
  • The Flood Module Hydraulics process has been optimized for scenarios where a suite of return periods is being analyzed.
  • Occupancy Mapping Schemes have been updated for the Earthquake Module.
  • The Earthquake Ground Motion Module has been updated to use the latest USGS Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) functions.
  • The Earthquake Module now includes a feature to analyze study regions greater than the 8 GB limit of SQL Server Express.


The National Institute of Building Sciences,authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

An Authoritative Source of Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment
© 2009 National Institute of Building Sciences. All Rights Reserved. 
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005-4950 | nibs@nibs.org | www.nibs.org | 202-289-7800