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Damage Assessment

Click here to download the IDA Form
Click here to download the Field Observation Sheet for the IDA
Click here to download the DANA Form 

Damage Assessment is a preliminary onsite evaluation of damage or loss caused by an accident or natural event. Damage assessments record the extent of damage, what can be replaced, restored or salvaged. It may also estimate the time required for repair, replacement and recovery.
Damage assessment is an integral part of facilitating effective and efficient response by government agencies and other organisations. Good damage assessment would start the ball rolling for effective response and relief operations such as evacuation, sheltering, search and rescue, mass casualty management, etc.
Damage assessment would be conducted as soon as possible after the disaster, but assessors must put their own safety first. The "all clear" should be given by the appropriate authority.
Four types of Damage Assessment may be considered:
  • Initial Situation Overview (ISO)
  • Initial Damage Assessment (IDA)
  • Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) and
  • Damage and Loss Assessment (DALA).
The Initial Situation Overview (ISO) is carried out to obtain as quickly as possible a broad picture of the extent of damage caused by the impact. It is typically carried out and submitted within the first 8 hours after the event and focuses on issues such as casualties, displacement of the population and damage to lifelines and critical facilities. It is largely based on observations reported by key organizations and officials through general reconnaissance rather than detailed field assessment. The ISO often involves observation from an aircraft, sometimes satellite photographs, and various other reports. The information from the Initial Situation Overview allows national/local officials to determine immediate actions necessary to respond to the effects of the hazard.
Following the event of any hazard impact, the ODPM receives an ISO from the following sources:
  • General Public
  • Disaster Management Units – Municipal Corporations
  • Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT)
  • Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
  • Trinidad and Tobago Fire Service
  • Amateur Radio Operators
  • Community Councillors
Within a couple hours to two days, depending on the severity of impact, more detailed damage assessments are submitted by the following:
  • Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force
  • Ministry of Local Government
  • Ministry of the People and Social Development.
Damage Assessment Training

The ODPM has hosted and facilitated several training sessions in IDA and DANA along with the United States Agency for Internal Development/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). Among those agencies trained are:

  • The Ministry of Local Government
  • Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force
  • Radio Emergency Associated Communications Team (REACT)
  • Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio Society
  • Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Radio League
  • ODPM Staff

Further, on the request of the ODPM, UNECLAC has conducted two (2) international sessions whereby they have trained over fifty (50) persons from various agencies in the use of their DALA Methodology. Several representatives from Trinidad and Tobago were present at both sessions. They include:

  • ODPM
  • Tobago Emergency Management Agency (TEMA)
  • Ministry of Works and Transport
  • Ministry of Local Government
  • Ministry of Public Utilities
  • Ministry of Tourism
  • Ministry of the People and Social Development

The ODPM will be hosting and facilitating future training in IDA, DANA and DALA for ODPM staff emergency responders and councillors.

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