Damage & Loss Assessment Methodology

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Disasters occur frequently in Gujarat because of its geographic location and cause huge damage and loss to the society and economy. Undesirable disaster effects may include damage to economic and social infrastructure, environmental modifications, fiscal and foreign sector imbalances, price increases, modifications to demographic structures and changes in development priorities. When a disaster occurs, an immediate assessment is undertaken to estimate direct and indirect impacts of the disaster. 
This assessment must be comprehensive in that it should cover the wide range of effects and their implications for economic and social sectors, physical infrastructure and environmental assets. With such estimates, it should be possible to determine the short and medium term reconstruction and longer term recovery needs. There exist comprehensive methodologies for damage and loss assessment that has proven effective in other parts of the world as tools for recovery needs assessment.
One such methodology developed by the United Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has been used since 1970’s, which is able to provide detailed assessments of damage and loss. Recognizing the need of such a comprehensive tool for the State of Gujarat, the GSDMA commissioned a study to develop a methodology for Damage and Loss Assessment for the State of Gujarat. The Loss Assessment component of the study has been originally derived from the ECLAC Methodology, adapted to the prevailing conditions of the State of Gujarat. After a disaster takes place, an assessment of the Damage should be carried out which would look into the Safety of the buildings for human occupancy and other critical infrastructure.
Once the damage assessment has been completed, the estimation of losses must be carried out. The Study looked into the manner in which damage and losses should be assessed for every sector of the Gujarat State. It also showed that after the Damage and Loss Assessment how a separate analysis should be made to ascertain the macroeconomic effect of the disaster on State. The report provided formats showing how reporting of assessment should be carried out and submitted to the Revenue Department for compilation of the Relief Memorandum after a disaster. The Report also provided a framework for steps to be taken to institutionalize this approach of scientific assessment within the State of Gujarat.