skip to Main Content
Substantial Damage Estimator

Substantial Damage Estimator from FEMA

The FEMA substantial damage estimator is one of the tools used to assess the state of structures after a flood.

Community planners must coordinate with many levels of government in order to provide protection against flooding and recovery plans to mitigate damage if a flooding event occurs. In order to be eligible for flood insurance coverage like the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), communities must develop floodplain management strategies and legal ordinances. 

If a flood occurs, there are several tools and practices used to assess damage. These assessments help create recovery plans. 

What is Substantial Damage?

When a structure such as a building is flooded, substantial damage means the total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more than the structure’s value. This value is determined by market value before the flood occurred. 

It is up to local officials to determine the percent of damage. Many communities partner with contractors or hire engineering firms to conduct assessments. Once the assessment is complete, the information provided gives decision makers important data to consider when determining if the damaged structures should be replaced or repaired. 

Substantial Damage Estimator Tool

FEMA’s Substantial Damage Estimator tool helps officials estimate damage for residential and non-residential structures per the NFIP requirements used by that community. When a floor occurs this tool can be used to determine damage if the structure is located on a predetermined 100 year floodplain map. In addition to flooding, this tool can be used to assess damage from other natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes. 

OEI Coordinates to Help with Flood Assessment

OEI’s experience gives us the needed expertise to partner with communities as they prepare for and recover from flooding incidents. As a recognized FEMA partner, we can seamlessly coordinate projects, such as flood map modernization, to ensure your community’s compliance with NFIP requirements. OEI is prepared to help your community assess and recover in the case of a water related natural disaster. Contact us today to discuss your community’s disaster preparedness.