Rapid Cost Estimation for Storms Recovery Using Geographic Information Systems

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Rapid Cost Estimation for Storms Recovery Using Geographic Information Systems

Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics

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The present study introduces a new approach to estimate the recovery costs of public property in the aftermath of a storm, by integrating geographic information systems. Estimating recovery costs for a disaster is a current concern for emergency responders. This work focuses on applying economic indicators, population, and storm event tracking to geographic information systems for rapidly estimating recovery costs. Firstly, recovery costs of historical events are normalized and adjusted for inflation, wealth, and population. Geospatial analysis is used to predict, manage, and learn political boundaries and population density. Secondly, rapid recovery cost estimation is accomplished by defining population, personal income, and gross domestic product. Finally, a jurisdiction fiscal capacity is calculated illustrating the economic capability of jurisdictions to finance public property recovery based on their economy size. The variability of estimated absolute errors between cost estimates and actual normalized costs are also examined. Our results reveal that jurisdiction fiscal capacity is a more suitable metric for rapidly estimating recovery costs of public properties than the method presently followed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This new approach effectively aids the local government providing quick cost guidance to recovery responders, while offering the ability to construct accurate recovery cost.


Rolando A. Berraos-Montero is a Professional Engineer who has worked as performance improvement consultant, data analyst, construction estimator, and construction quality control consultant. His knowledge and experience has been applied in a variety of areas in the broad field of construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and technology. Berraos-Montero received his bachelor s degrees in industrial & systems engineering from the Ohio State University and civil engineering from Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and his masters degree in economics from University of Puerto Rico. He is also a Ph.D. candidate in Systems Engineering at the George Washington University.

Steven M. F. Stuban is the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agencys Facility Program Office. He is a Professional Engineer and Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level III certified in the Program Management, Program Systems Engineer and Facilities Engineering career fields. He has a bachelors degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy, a master s degree in Engineering Management from the Univ. of Missouri – Rolla, and both a master s and doctorate in Systems Engineering from the George Washington University. Dr. Stuban is an Adjunct Professor with GWU and serves on a standing Doctoral Committee.

Jason Dever works as a Systems Engineer supporting the National Reconnaissance Office, responsible for developing an open IT framework such that software components can be shared across the Government. In previous positions, Jason has supported numerous positions across the systems engineering lifecycle; to include requirements, design, development, deployment, and O&M. Jason received his bachelor s degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, master s degree in Engineering Management from George Washington University, and Ph.D. in systems engineering from George Washington University. His teaching interests are project management, systems engineering, and quality control.