Counties that suffer damages as a result of a natural disaster in Indiana can use a new app to submit their information more efficiently to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. It will streamline data gathering and confirmation following a disaster, with the goal of faster reporting for federal assistance for homeowners, renters and businesses.
Local, state and federal inspectors can use it on Apple or Android-based smartphones and tablets to catalog damage levels after a weather or other type of incident that may qualify for federal assistance.
It allows them to compile information at once, identify existing properties through building records for a more systematic approach, download reports and attach photos to the electronic file. Damage assessments can be completed onsite and stored on a tablet or phone. Initial information can be uploaded to a database immediately if wi-fi is available or saved and uploaded later.
In the past the process relied on a combination of paper reports, on-site surveys and data entry and required more than one site visit by state and federal inspectors.
Training on the app is ongoing.