FEMA IS-285 Answers

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This training aims to support tribal, local, and state officials in making substantial damage determinations in line with the NFIP, using FEMA’s SDE software.

The course objectives include understanding the purpose of substantial damage assessments, familiarizing participants with the FEMA SDE Tool features and usage, and learning the assessment processes for both residential and non-residential structures.

FEMA IS-285: Substantial Damage Estimation for Floodplain Administrators Answer

The accuracy of the community data used to compile the assessment list can impact the inventory of properties assessed. What can the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool NOT do?Identify omitted properties
Assessment teams should have Right of Entry granted by local authorities. What does this permit when the owner is not present?Access to the exterior of all properties and interiors of all residential properties
When using the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool, what data must first be assembled?Data profiles for each substantial damage assessor
What should you do if the final percent damaged is estimatedDouble-check your values and discuss them with the structure owner
Which is an accurate statement regarding the substantial damage assessment process?The exact dimensions of the structure are not necessary.
Which best practice can help facilitate the substantial damage determination process and avoid inaccurate information?Taking photographs while in the field
What is the formula for the base cost, or starting point, for determining the value of the structure?Repair cost divided by building value equals base cost.
Which structural element is assessed separately in residential structures but not in non-residential assessments?Cabinets and countertops
When completing a non-residential assessment, if the best structure type is only available if you select an inaccurate number of stories, which rule should you follow?Choosing the most appropriate structure use should take precedence over choosing the correct number of stories.
Which residential structural attribute includes: Shingles, standing seam (metal), slate, and clay tile?Roof Covering
When assessing damages, to what percentage value should you round your estimations?20%
What is critical for determining the pre-damage market value of a structure and establishing credibility with building owners?Adjustment costs
How does the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) assist communities that participate in the NFIP?It can support the enforcement of required local flood damage prevention ordinances.
Substantial damage assessors need to begin fieldwork as soon as possible after the damage event. In most cases, when should field work begin?Within 1 week of the event
Which residential structural attribute includes: Stud-framed, masonry, insulated concrete forms (ICF), and common brick?Superstructure
When using the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool for a residential assessment, which Address tab fields are required?Parcel Number and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Name
The Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool’s Main Menu is subdivided into three groups: Reports and Data Features, Resources, and what other group?Access Data
What can Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool data help communities to demonstrate?The community is complying with NFIP regulations.
Which is the best practice for substantial damage assessors?They should communicate and coordinate frequently.
A split-entry, single-family home has a second-story utility room only over the garage. Which option would you select in the Substantial Damage Evaluation (SDE) tool?Two or More Stories
Which residential structural attribute has the following six types: Continuous wall with slab, crawlspace, piles, piers and posts, slab-on-grade, and basement?Foundation
Which Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool feature allows users to edit all data fields for as many assessments as needed from a single view.Bulk Editor
How will using unrealistic pre-damage market values impact a substantial damage determination program?It will undermine the credibility of the substantial damage determinations.
The general guidance for performing substantial damage assessments recommends issuing a public announcement before the start of fieldwork. What should that public announcement include?An explanation of the purpose of the substantial damage assessments
What is the non-residential structural attribute Conveyance System referencing?Elevator or escalator
In the Non-Residential option, what are the critical factors that the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool needs to estimate the damage to structural elements?Cost Adjustments and Construction Quality
Why is the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool considered a resource for seasoned substantial damage assessors?It provides an organized platform to enter data and calculate damages in a consistent format.
The general guidance for performing substantial damage assessments recommends that assessors should carry identification and letters of introduction from local officials. What is the benefit of providing official identification to homeowners?It supports the substantial damage assessment program’s professional image and facilitates property owners’ cooperation.
What is the minimum number of photos that should be attached to a structure’s file in the Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool?2
Unit cost data should be as accurate as possible. What should the estimate of the square footage of the structure include?All areas, habitable and uninhabitable
The Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool’s Main Menu is subdivided into three groups: Reports and Data Features, Access Data, and what other group?Resources
How are interior elements assessed in a non-residential structure?The interior elements are grouped according to structure use.
Which Substantial Damage Estimator (SDE) tool feature allows users to create a new residential or non-residential property assessment file?Add Residential Assessment
What information should be written on a whiteboard and included in photographs of a structure?The structure address, the current date, event/incident data, and the name of the assessment team or assessor’s name
Which of the following would you do first when conducting a substantial damage assessment in the field?Obtain permission from the owner to enter the structure.
Which damage estimate range would you select when you see large sections of shingles blown off or some minor damage to the sheathing, but the structure of the roof is more or less still in place?50% to 75%
Which best practice helps a community to create a successful and credible substantial damage determination program?Selecting a single, defensible method for determining building value and requiring all substantial damage assessors to employ this same methodology
Which damage estimate range would you select in cases where the foundation may initially appear intact, but there are significant structural issues that make the foundation unstable?75% to 100%
The general guidance for performing substantial damage estimates recommends taking the time to explain the purpose of the assessments to community officials and local law enforcement. What other information should be shared?The schedule for the areas to be assessed
Which is a rule of thumb to use when floodwaters reach less than 18 inches above the finished first floor of a structure?The final percent damaged will be less than 40%.
When completing a non-residential assessment which options are only active when the 2 thru 4 or 5 or more story options are selected?Basement
Unit cost data should be from a credible source, like a licensed builder. What else needs to be done with the unit cost data?The unit cost data must be adjusted for local conditions.


  1. IS-285: Substantial Damage Estimation for Floodplain Administrators

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