Imagery Interpretation Guide: Assessing Wind Disaster Damage to Structures

Agencies are increasingly using the analysis of drone and satellite imagery to conduct assessments of damage caused by wind disasters. While potentially valuable in the aftermath of a disaster, this work has been performed to date without a standard methodology specifically designed for this task. This gap in theory and practice may slow analysis, affect its accuracy, and reduce the potential actionability of these products for ground responders.

The Signal Program (Signal Program) on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) has developed the BAR methodology to help address this gap. The methodology provides a standard classification framework for types of structures and repeating patterns of damage to them.

The guide is aimed at institutional analysts, voluntary technical organizations (VTOs), and affected communities who may be utilizing geospatially-derived data to support ground operations in the initial phase of a wind disaster response. The foreword to the guide was written by Dr. Ray Shirkhodai, the Executive Director of the Pacific Disaster Center.