The i-Tree Storm Damage Assessment Protocol Utility is now simply called i-Tree Storm. i-Tree Storm establishes a standard method to assess widespread damage immediately after a severe storm in a simple, credible, and efficient manner. This assessment method is adaptable to various community types and sizes, and it provides information on the time and funds needed to mitigate storm damage. A new Hurricane Adaptations has also been integrated into i-Tree Storm for users of i-Tree v3.0.|
Using sample street segments which are randomly chosen in a community, a survey is performed, and time and cost estimates are made. Data collection applications for use on personal digital assistants (PDAs) facilitate data collection and entry. Paper forms are available for those choosing or needing to do this work manually.
The protocol includes an optional pre-storm stage that evaluates a community's street-side and adjacent trees, and estimates the amount of cleanup that might be needed after a severe storm. The advantages of this pre-storm work are to create the critical random sample before an emergency, and to provide reliable cleanup numbers that are useful in persuading community officials of the seriousness of the potential event.
Once a storm has passed with community-wide damage, the same sample plots are re-surveyed; if pre-storm work was not done, random sample plots are created and surveyed. A qualified damage assessor evaluates the amount of debris and tree damage in each plot.
A template developed in Microsoft's Excel allows all computations to be carried out automatically as soon as the field data are uploaded or manually entered. It estimates the initial resources necessary for hazard mitigation and debris cleanup for the entire community.
[Summary provided by the USDA Forest Service.]