WDTD is introducing the Post-Storm Damage Surveying page hosting a comprehensive set of lessons covering all aspects of NWS damage surveying. Three courses draw from this selection of lessons: The EF Scale Course, The Damage Assessment Toolkit, and the comprehensive Post-Storm Damage Survey Training course, containing all lessons related in this page.
Warning Decision Training Division
Office of Chief Learning Officer
Welcome to the Post-Storm Damage Surveying training page. WDTD is hosting three courses: The EF Scale, The Damage Assessment Toolkit, and the comprehensive course titled Post-Storm Damage Survey Training. NOAA users: Please refer to the for estimated lesson availability and strategies for taking the courses or individual lessons within the Post-Storm Damage Survey Training Strategies Page
This course gives you an introduction to the EF scale and a process to apply EF-ratings to damaged structures. This course has two lessons, two case studies and a final quiz in the LMS. The two case studies, narrated by experts in the NWS field, help you practice what you've learned in the lessons.
In each lesson, please access the references tab (upper right) to access the link to the EF kit and the EF scale document to help you answer some of the questions.
There are some changes since the EF-Scale training has been started in 2007. The EFkit has been improved to include more pictures and an easier interface for those using tablet PCs. The new EFkit features a front page with links to the training modules and a glossary of construction terms found in the EF-Scale Damage Indicator descriptions. Two case studies have been added as separate lessons.
Accompanying the lessons, the EFkit is available for use in training or in the field. It is a tool to help you become more familiar with the EF scale as you take the lessons and as you conduct a real damage survey.
NOAA employees and affiliates: To receive credit for completing the EF-Scale Training, you must take the EF-Scale course by requesting and launching the curriculum in the Commerce Learning Center!
WDTD thanks the following for helping to develop the EF-Scale training:
WDTD also thanks the following contributors to the DAT course
The Post-Storm Damage Surveying training has come about into its present form after years of development that began with the adoption of the EF Scale in 2007. The EF Scale course was the first training to come out as the EF Scale was adopted. WDTD thanks Dan McCarthy (then WCM SPC) for co-authoring lesson 1, Steve Kuhl (then MIC NWS Quad Cities) and Brian Smith (WCM NWS Valley, NE) co-authored lesson 2. To develop the original EF Scale course was a result of numerous meetings between the lesson authors, the developers of the EF Scale (including Jim McDonald, Professor Emeritus of Texas Tech; Kishor Mehta, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Texas Tech; Tim Marshall of Haag Engineering Inc.; and Don Burgess of OU/CIWRO) and other experts in NWS damage survey operations (Chris Maier, NWS National WCM; Michael Smith then in NWS/OCWWS; and Greg Stumpf then with OU/CIWRO, NWS/MDL). The external review team greatly improved the EF Scale course including Tom Matheson (then WCM NWS/MTR; Rich Smith WCM NWS Norman; Gary Woodall, then WCM NWS FTW; and Steve Amburn, then SOO NWS Tulsa).
The next course to come about was the first iteration of the Damage Assessment Toolkit (DAT) course in 2016. The DAT was still considered experimental but there was enough usage in operations that WDTD supported developing a course. Parks Camp (SOO NWS Tallahassee, FL) and Lori Schultz (Research Scientist of NASA/SPoRT) helped co-author the lessons with me. We thank Robert LaPlante (SOO - NWS CLE), Steve Nelson (SOO - NWS FFC), David Nadler (WCM - NWS FFC), Anthony Sturey (WCM - NWS GSP), and Chris Maier (National WCM) for their reviews of this course. However the number of years of this version of the DAT was limited as its programming environment, Adobe FLASH, was due to be terminated.
In 2021 the DAT officially was elevated into an operational system, and at the same time, it became embedded in the ESRI Arcmap server environment, including both a web browser and the Survey 123 mobile data collection tool. In addition, the supporting guidance environment changed and the DAT acquired a new capability to archive flooding events. Owing to these significant changes and its upward step into becoming part of the NWS operational environment, the NWS established developing a new DAT course to be a high priority. WDTD developed a new team to help create the DAT course that we have today. Jill Hardy and Katy Christian authored the lesson “Using the Damage Assessment Toolkit for Flood and Flash Flood Damage Surveys”. Kevin Grempler authored the lessons titled “Using the Tools of the DAT for Post-Damage and Pre-Damage Analysis”, and “Producing Derivative Products”. Chris Spannagle authored the lessons titled “Introduction to the DAT: Web Application”, and “Introduction to the DAT: Mobile Application”, and “Damage Assessment Toolkit: Non-field Data Entry”. Jim LaDue authored the lessons titled “The Damage Asssessment Toolkit: Field Data Collection”, “Tornado Track Analysis: The Tornado Vortex Centerline”, and “Tornado Damage Swath Analysis: EF-rating Contouring and the Perimeter”.
The DAT 2021 course developers had a supporting group of experts and reviewers that included Parks Camp, Rick Smith, Kevin Skow, Doug Speheger for the wind damage-related DAT lessons. Meanwhile, DAT flood lesson development was supported by Amanda Schroeder, Dustin Jordan, Edward Plumb, Emily Stephan, Jeff Colton, Jeffry Evans, Jonathan Brazzell, Katie Landry, Louise Fode, W. Scott Lincoln and Scott Overpeck.
At the same time as the DAT 2021 development, a separate team was developing a new course on a previously overlooked aspect of damage surveying, Stress Management. Christina Crowe of OCLO’s Leadership Academy led the development of a course titled “Stress Management for Damage Surveys”. This course complements similar courses on incident stress management and fills a much needed gap in damage survey training in general. WDTD acknowledges the team that assisted in its development and review including Rick Smith, Robyn Heffernan, Ryan Husted, Shawn Jacobs, Megan Taylor, Jill Hardy, Barb Boustead, Valarie Gardner, Cathy Burgdorf, Chris Spannagle, Dave Snider, Jeff Zeltwanger, Katy Christian, and Patrick Gilchrist.
These courses have satisfied the needs of the NWS and yet the training suite was missing a key component of post-storm damage survey training, an introduction to damage surveying. In 2021 and 2022, Jim LaDue developed a lesson titled “Introduction to Damage Surveying”. WDTD thanks the following people for helping improve this lesson: Barb Boustead (WDTD), Rick Smith, Kevin Skow (NWS LaCrosse), Lonnie Fisher (NWS Northern Indiana), Chris Maier, and Doug Speheger (NWS Norman).