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Hazus Resources

Available GIS and Emergency Management Software

The links below will take you to web sites that provide GIS and Emergency Management Software. Please note that some of the software listed below is not free, may need to be ordered online instead of downloaded.

ArcGIS Explorer
ArcGIS Explorer is a lightweight GIS data viewer developed by ESRI. This free software offers an easy way to perform basic GIS functions. ArcGIS Explorer is used for a variety of display, query, and data retrieval applications and supports a wide variety of standard data sources. It can be used on its own with local data sets or as a client to Internet data and map servers.

Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool
This NOAA-sponsored website is focused on helping communities address coastal issues and has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. The dynamic Digital Coast Partnership, whose members represent the website’s primary user groups, keeps the effort focused on customer needs.

Earthquake Vibration Software
This page includes a large list of specific software programs designed to test particular earthquake characteristics. The site charges for unlimited use of its programs.

Fire Simulation Software
These fire simulation programs, results, and publications are developed or sponsored by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory. Of note are the NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator, Smokeview, and CONTAM, which calculates building airflow is useful to assess the adequacy of ventilation rates in a building.

Hazardous Material Software Collection from NOAA
Programs and downloads available from the Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Hazardous Material Software-CAMEO
Hazardous materials responders in the US and other countries use the CAMEO electronic information management system when they respond to chemical emergencies. The software helps to quickly get information about chemicals and guidelines for dealing with them safely, to predict the hazard area downwind of a hazardous gas release, to use electronic maps to view the extent of an affected area, to search for especially vulnerable locations, and to plan a response.

HAZUS-MH is a powerful risk assessment software program for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. In HAZUS-MH, current scientific and engineering knowledge is coupled with the latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology to produce estimates of hazard-related damage before, or after a disaster occurs. HAZUS can currently estimate damages from Hurricane Winds, river and coastal flooding, or earthquake damages. HAZUS requires ESRI’s ArcView GIS software and its Spatial Analyst extension to run.

Hurricane offers real-time live hurricane storm tracking and historical storm archives in both Shapefile and KML formats for display in ESRI’s ArcGIS and Google Earth.

Hurricane Software-Tracking the Eye
Tracking The Eye is a Hurricane Tracking program For Windows. The program is free to use if you enter data manually off-line. For a monthly fee, you can download real-time Satellite photos, Current position, Latest Real Track, Official NHC Prediction Path, Tropical Weather Outlook, Tropical Weather Discussion, Strike Probabilities, Public Advisories and Forecasts directly into the program. You can even setup alerts to your cell phone and email.

Hurricane Tracker-Eye of the Storm
The Eye of the Storm program is an interactive hurricane-tracking program and hurricane season preparedness resource. The download includes electronic versions of educational and preparedness materials from FEMA, NOAA, and the American Red Cross about storm safety and preparedness.

National Flood Mitigation Data Collection Tool
FEMA’s National Flood Mitigation Data Collection Tool (referred to as the National Tool or “NT”) was developed for nationwide use to gather information about flood-prone structures in order to determine potentially appropriate long-term mitigation measures. The ultimate goal of the NT is to provide a standardized, systematic approach to collecting and interpreting property data and mitigation project development. While the focus of the NT is on data collection for repetitive loss properties, it can be used to gather information related to flood risk, building construction, and building value for any structure.

National Weather Service Software Programs
Software listing of programs offered directly from the National Weather Service.

Seismology Software Library
Collection of links to seismology software for PC users.

USGS Water Resources Software
This software and related material (data and (or) documentation) are made available by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to be used in the public interest and in the advancement of science. You may, without any fee or cost, use, copy, modify, or distribute this software, and any derivative works thereof, and its supporting documentation, subject to the USGS software User Rights Notice.

WeatherBug is a free program that gives up to the minute weather reports and weather warnings on your PC with a constant internet connection. The free version contains banner ads and internet advertisements, while the pay version (WeatherBug Plus) contains no ads. Please read the terms of use and privacy policy before downloading.

ForecastFox is a free browser extension for the Mozilla Firefox browser, that displays real-time weather reports in a small line at the bottom of the Firefox browser. It requires the free Firefox web browser in order to run.

UM Weather: Software Archive
With the applications at this site, you can create high-resolution radar maps, access weather services on the Net, or even track hurricanes.

Weather Related Software Links
At the request of the private meteorological community, the NWS Industrial Meteorology Staff posted known URL’s for government, military, university, and commercial software (including freeware and shareware) that may be of assistance in viewing and validating various NWS data streams.

Online Technical Manuals

Coastal Construction Manual
FEMA released the Coastal Construction Manual, an updated and expanded version of the manual first issued in 1985. The new Coastal Construction Manual is intended to help design professionals, state and local officials, and builders mitigate natural hazards to one- to four-family residential buildings in coastal areas.

Community Safe Rooms Construction Manual
This document is a guidance manual for engineers, architects, building officials, and prospective shelter owners. It presents important information about the design and construction of community shelters that will provide protection during tornado and hurricane events. For the purpose of this manual, a community shelter is defined as a shelter that is designed and constructed to protect a large number of people from a natural hazard event. The number of persons taking refuge in the shelter will typically be more than 12 and could be up to several hundred or more. These numbers exceed the maximum occupancy of small, in-residence shelters recommended in FEMA 320: Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room Inside Your House.

Protecting Building Utilities From Flood Damage
This publication outlines principles and practices for the design and construction of flood resistant utility systems.

Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting – Protect your house from flooding
As a homeowner, you need clear information about the options that are available to reduce flood damage to your home and straightforward guidance on selecting the option that is best for you. Quite often this is a difficult task. The publication described here is for readers who have little or no knowledge of flood protection methods or building construction techniques. You should take action to avoid repetitive flood damage to your house. First, you need to know what damage-reduction methods are available, the degree to which they work, how much they cost, and whether they meet your needs. All of these questions are answered by the guide.

GIS Tips and Tutorials
Several free useful tips and well-developed online tutorials from Tufts University for getting started with GIS.

HAZUS User and Technical Manuals
The HAZUS user and technical manuals are available for download from FEMA. Additional technical support is avaiable through the HAZUS Help Desk, the USEHAZUS forums, and

How To Protect Your Property
How to Guides provided by FEMA on How to Protect Your Property, Home or Business from Disaster.

Residential Safe Rooms
Having a safe room in your home can protect your family and save the lives of those you care about.

USGS Publications Warehouse
A searchable database of USGS publications.

Emergency Management and GIS Data Online

While there are far too many sites providing data on emergency management and community hazards to list them all here, the links below provide a solid starting point for basic data on various topics. In addition, the organizations cited below often provide data beyond what is detailed here.

Earthquake Observatory Data
Boston College observatory lists several sources of data from their records.

USFA Fire Statistics
The National Fire Data Center at the US Fire Administration has an entire section of its web site dedicated to fire statistics.

Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)
This page contains an overview of the standard national reporting system used by U.S. fire departments to report fires and other incidents to which they respond and to maintain records of these incidents in a uniform manner. The page also includes information on training, technical support, and information for vendors who develop NFIRS-compatible software programs. Visitors to this page may also download coding handbooks, sample forms, and a system documentation manual.

Flood Forecast
The Northeast River Forecast Center provides data on the river flow status of regional rivers.

Online GIS Data Sources
Tufts University maintains this site of links to various sources of GIS data.

The National MSDS Repository
A searchable Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) database for hazardous Materials.

Hurricane Data
Historical Hurricane Data from the National Weather Service (near the bottom of the page).

Hydrologic Observation Data
Data provided by the Boston office of the National Weather Service on hydrologic conditions.

National Weather Service Internet Weather Source
National Weather Service data products available over the internet.

Storm Prediction Center
Product and report archives from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.

USGS Map Database
National Geologic Map Database. A collection of maps and related data about: geology, paleontology, and marine geology. The database also includes geologic hazards data.