Substantial Damage Estimation (SDE) Workflow

A structure is determined to have Substantial Damage when the total repair costs amount to at least 50% of the structures pre-disaster market value and the structure is also in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)/ 100-year floodplain. Local floodplain management ordinances require communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to determine Substantial Damages. Once a local building official or floodplain manager determines that a structure has Substantial Damage, the structure must be brought into compliance with local floodplain management regulations. 

Substantial Damage Estimation (SDE) assessments should be conducted after your initial damage assessment so that you identify the structures that are in a 100-year floodplain are at least 50% damaged, having a damage level of major or destroyed. The SDE assessments are a more detailed damage assessment that will then only be conducted on those structures identified as being significantly damaged.

This workflow will walk you through the process of estimating Substantial Damage for residential and commercial properties. FEMA has a Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) Tool, which helps communities more quickly determine Substantial Damages of residential and non-residential properties in an effort to begin reconstruction soon after a disaster, while also meeting the minimum NFIP requirements.

Using Crisis Track's SDE entry form and SDE document, you can easily import entries into FEMA's SDE Tool to create Substantial Damage Estimation assessments and calculate damages.

Assigning Structures to SDE Task and Creating SDE Entries on Console

1. On the Crisis Track home screen, select your incident from the Existing Incident dropdown list. 

2. Once inside of the Incident, create an SDE Task by selecting the  Tasks module → Add → New. Fill in the details using the definitions below.

  • Name: Name of the Task.
  • Type: Optional. The type of this task using your own terminology.
  • Status: "Request" initially. Other statuses are appropriate throughout the life of an incident.
  • Date: Start date of the Task.
  • Description: A description of the Task.
  • Special Instructions: Any instructions that may be helpful for the team that completes this task.
  • Assign: The team to which to assign this task.
  • Time Charge Category: Choose the FEMA time charge category for the work being performed for this task.
  • Limit Forms: Allows you to specify which forms will be available for this task. Select SDE. If this is left blank, then all forms will be available.
  • Click Save.

3. Your Substantial Damage Estimation assessments will be based on structures located within a flood zone that have undergone damage assessments and have been identified as having major damage or have been destroyed. Click on Tasks near the top left corner of the screen to go back to your Tasks list. Select View next to your Damage Assessment task.

Select the  Map tab. Under 'Additional Layers' in the side panel, select the NFHL check box to turn on National Flood Hazard Layer. Position the map to the desired area of structures with damage levels of major (red icon) or destroyed (dark red icon). 

4. To create SDE Entries, select  Assign Structures → Select Structures Freehand Polygon. Draw around major and destroyed structures in the flood zone. Change the form to SDE. Click Assign

5. Move SDE entries from the Damage Assessment Task to your SDE Task by switching selecting Edit Entries → Select Entries → Freehand Polygon. Draw around major and destroyed structures in the flood zone. Change the task to your SDE task. Click Change

To see the newly assigned SDE assessments, go back to tasks list and click View next to your SDE task. Assigned assessments will appear as the blue icons shown below. Any completed SDE assessments will appear as the red icons shown below.

6.  Select an SDE assessment, input damage information, and add photos for the assigned structures.  *NOTE* The FEMA SDE Tool caps photo size limits at 3MBs per entry, which should allow 20 to 30 photos to fit per entry. If an entry has more than 30 photos, you can choose the photos you want to use once in the FEMA SDE Tool.

a. To edit structure information while in the task map view, select an SDE structure and click  Edit

b. To see a list of assigned SDE structures, select the  Entries tab and edit the damage information for the entries. 

c. Once an entry has been updated, save its  Status as Complete.

Completing SDE Assessments on Mobile App

Follow the steps below for when you are in the field and have already been assigned structures to conduct SDE assessments on via the Crisis Track mobile app.

1. After logging into your account, select your SDE  Incident → Collect Data → your Team →  your Task → Start (if you're the Team Lead), otherwise select View.

2. Select an entry from the list with the status of Assigned, input damage information, and add photos.

Creating SDE Entries on Mobile App

Follow the steps below for when you are in the field and need to add a new SDE structure via the Crisis Track mobile app.

1. On the Entries screen, select the + button in the top right hand corner → SDE

2. On the SDE form, select Locate to bring up the 10 closest addresses. Select the address you want to use and update the information for the entry. Add Photos. Click Submit, review information, and select Save/Upload if you have a data or WiFi connection, or Save Locally to your device and information will be uploaded to Crisis Track servers once an internet connection is established.

Exporting SDE Entries from Crisis Track into FEMA SDE Tool

1. After SDE entries have been completed, go back to the Incident home screen and select  Documents → Add → SDE (FEMA P-784 Substantial Damage Estimator). Only SDE Entries that have been completed will appear here. 

a. Click Edit next to an assessment to open the SDE Document for that assessment. The fields in the SDE Document were developed based on the fields included in the FEMA SDE Tool. Go through the document and include information for the incomplete fields. Here is where you can add the NFIP Community ID, FIRM Panel Date, Regulatory Floodway, Mailing Address, Inspector Name and Phone, Date Damage Occurred, and Cause of Damage which are required in the FEMA SDE Tool. Once you've updated all necessary information, click the Update button in the top left corner of the screen. Select Update again on the pop-up screen.

b. Repeat Step 6a for each additional assessment.

c. Once all SDE Documents for all of your SDE assessments have been updated, click Save in the top left corner of the screen. 

d. Create a name for your completed SDE Documents and click Save.

e. Your saved SDE Document with all of your updated SDE assessments will now appear on the Documents home screen. Click View next to the saved Document and then click Export. Download and extract the zip archive.

2.  Download and install FEMA SDE Tool Version 3.0 using instructions from the SDE Tool Installation Guide.

3. Open FEMA SDE Tool. 

            a. Under Reports, Imports/Exports, and Geofiles, select Import/Export Functions. You can also import SDE data by selecting Import/ExportImport SDE on the menu bar and skipping to step 3c.

  b. Select Import SDE Data.

  c.  Select Directory. Locate your SDE Exports file folder and click OK.

d. Select  Check All to select all properties and assessments. Only click Overwrite for assessments you are re-uploading.

e. Click Import. You will receive confirmation messages when data imports successfully and calculations run successfully.

 f. Back on the SDE Tool Main Menu, select View/Search All Records. → Filter, and your imported SDE assessments will now appear. If you need to further narrow your search results, you can use the optional search fields. 

g. Open an assessment and select View/Edit Assessment Info to make sure all property information, cost data and elemental percentages are correct.

 i. Select the Photos tab to choose a default image for the entry, which can help make it easier to differentiate the entries. The description box will populate a link to the image's location in Crisis Track. Update photo description as needed.

ii. Click Save. If any information is missing, the SDE Tool will alert you. Select Address Errors/Warnings to correct the information. Save Assessment.

h. Print a Report Summary or Detailed Report for the assessment.

i. Repeat Steps 3g-h for additional assessments.

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