Multihazard Risk Assessment/HAZUS


HAZUS®MH is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) nationally applicable software program that estimates potential building and infrastructure losses from earthquakes, riverine and coastal floods, and hurricane winds.  HAZUS-MH loss estimates reflect state-of-the-art scientific and engineering knowledge and can be used to inform decision-making at all levels of government by providing a reasonable basis for developing mitigation, emergency preparedness, and response and recovery plans and policies.

HAZUS-MH uses geographic information system software (ArcGIS) to map and display hazard data, the results of damage and economic loss analyses, and potential effects on area populations.  HAZUS-MH analyses also can be run in real time to support response and recovery actions following a disaster event.

The HAZUS Earthquake Model was first released by FEMA in 1997 as HAZUS97, which was subsequently updated three times.  The multihazard version of HAZUS, HAZUS-MH, was first released by FEMA in 2004 and its fourth update, HAZUS-MH MR4, became available in October 2009.

Flood Risk Assessments:  The HAZUS-MH Flood Model is capable of assessing riverine and coastal flooding.  It estimates potential damage and loss to buildings, essential facilities, bridges, vehicles, and agricultural crops.  It also addresses the amount of building debris that will be generated as well as shelter requirements.  The Flood Information Tool (FIT) helps users to prepare local flood hazard and other pertinent data for use in the HAZUS-MH Flood Model.

Earthquake Risk Assessments:  The HAZUS-MH Earthquake Model estimates earthquake damage and loss to buildings, essential facilities, and transportation and utility lifelines.  It also addresses debris generation, fire-following earthquake, casualties, and shelter requirements.  The Advanced Engineering Building Module (AEBM) permits the analysis of individual buildings to measure the effects of various mitigation actions.

Hurricane Wind Risk Assessments:  The HAZUS-MH Hurricane Model allows users in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions of the continental United States and Hawaii to estimate potential damage and loss to buildings and essential facilities from hurricane winds.  It also allows users to estimate post-storm shelter needs, and building and tree debris quantities.

Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS)

The Comprehensive Data Management System (CDMS) permits HAZUS-MH users to update and manage the statewide datasets utilized in HAZUS-MH analyses. It streamlines the conversion of data from a variety of sources into HAZUS-MH-compliant data and the transfer of data into and out of statewide datasets. CDMS supports the processing of site-specific and aggregate information at both the Census block and Census tract levels and provides for the validation of all new data.

Once new data are added to a statewide dataset, CDMS allows users to query, sort, export, and print information. It also includes a backwards-compatibility utility that updates HAZUS-MH datasets created with earlier versions of the HAZUS-MH software. CDMS works with HAZUS-MH MR4 and replaces the Building Data Import Tool (BIT) and the Inventory Collection and Survey Tool (InCAST) used with earlier versions of HAZUS.

First released by FEMA in 2007, the third version of the CDMS, v.2.5, became available in October 2009.


For more information on HAZUS and CDMS, including updates, publications, FAQs, training, user groups and technical support, please visit the FEMA HAZUS website.

For questions concerning the Institute's HAZUS-MH Programs and HAZUS-MH training, contact:

Philip Schneider, AIA
Director, Multihazard Loss Estimation Program

National Institute of Building Sciences
1090 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-7800
(202) 289-1092 Fax

Related Documents

Cover of Institute Fact Sheet on HAZUS
HAZUS Fact Sheet PDF

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