New Damage Assessment Mobile App in Somerset County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New Damage Assessment Mobile App in Somerset County

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 CRISFIELD, Md.-Hurricane season is inching closer and members of the damage assessment team in Somerset County are testing out a new mobile application to improve efficiency.

When Hurricane Sandy swept through the streets of Crisfield in October of 2012,  several homes and businesses were destroyed. Last year, the county established a damage assessment team, comprised of 20 members, from all parts of the county.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) introduced the team to "Collector," a mobile app that enables members to record and store data that can be accessed by officials at emergency management agencies on the local, state and federal level.

Victoria Lloyd is an emergency planner with the Somerset County Emergency Services Department. She said the team practiced using the application Thursday in Princess Anne, and it received great reviews.

 "After Sandy,  when we had to go out, this was all done on paper, in the rain; it was just difficult," Lloyd said. 

Lloyd said the assessment took time to sort and complete for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but the new app speeds up the process and keeps all information in one place.

When members log into Collector, they can complete a digital questionnaire that would typically be done on paper. When the assessment is over, the official will click a black dot on the app that identifies the home under review. 

Once the dot is checked, it turns into an icon that looks like a home. The official will then assign the icon a color: red meaning destroyed, green meaning major damage and orange to represent minor damage.

Lloyd said MEMA and FEMA officials can log-in and review the data in real-time. She said this will be advantageous for property owners because resources could be available quicker. 
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