Hazus is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis. 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 earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis. 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.
Hazus can quantify and map risk information such as:
- Physical damage to residential and commercial buildings, schools, critical facilities and infrastructure.
- Economic loss, including lost jobs, business interruptions, and repair and reconstruction costs.
- Social impacts, including estimates of displaced households, shelter requirements, and populations exposed to floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis.
- Cost-effectiveness of common mitigation strategies, such as elevating structures in a floodplain or retrofitting unreinforced masonry buildings.