Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Access Restrictions


Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Demir, Ibrahim

First Committee Member

Krajewski, Witold F.

Second Committee Member

Young, Nathan


In last decades, the importance of flood damage and loss estimation systems has increased significantly because of its social and economic outcomes. Flood damage and loss estimation systems are useful to understand possible impacts of flooding and prepare better resilience plans to manage and allocate resources for emergency decision makers. Recent web-based technologies can be utilized to create a system that can help to analyze flood impact both on the urban and rural area. With taking advantage of web-based systems, decision makers can observe effects of flooding considering many different scenarios with requiring less effort. Most of the emergency management plans have been created using paper-based maps or GIS (Geographical Information System) software. Paper-based materials generally illustrate floodplain maps and give basic instructions about what to do during flooding event and show main roads to evacuate people from their neighborhood. After the development of GIS (Geographic Information System) software, these plans have been prepared with giving more detail information about demographics, building, critical infrastructure etc.

With taking advantage of GIS, there are several software have been developed for the understanding of disaster impacts on the community. One of the widely-used GIS-based software called Hazus-MH (Multi-Hazard) which is created by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) can analyze disaster effects on both urban and rural area. Basically, it allows users to run a disaster simulation (earthquake, hurricane, and flood) to observe disaster effects. However, its capabilities are not broad as web-based technologies. Hazus-MH has some limitations in terms of working with specific software requirements, the ability to show a limited number of flood scenarios and lack of representing real time situation. For instance, the software is only compatible with Windows operated computers and specific version of ArcMap rather than other GIS software. Users must have GIS expertise to operate the software. In contrast, web-based system allows use to reduce all these limitations. Users can operate the system using the internet browser and do not require to have GIS knowledge. Thus, hundreds of people can connect to the system, observe flood impact in real time and explore their neighborhood to prepare for flooding.

In this study, Iowa Flood Damage Estimation Platform (IFDEP) is introduced. This platform is created using various data sources such as floodplain maps and rasters which are created by IFC (Iowa Flood Center), default Hazus-MH data, census data, National Structure Inventory, real-time USGS (United States Geological Survey) Stream gage data, real time IFC bridge sensor data, and flood forecast model which created by IFC. To estimate damage and loss, damage curves which are created by Army Corps of Engineers are implemented. All of these data are stored in PostgreSQL. Therefore, hundreds of different flood analyses can be queried with making cross-sectional analyses between floodplain data and census data. Regarding to level analyses which are defined by FEMA as three level, Level 3 type analysis can be done on the fly with using web-based technology. Furthermore, better and more accurate results are presented to the users. Using real-time stream gauge data and flood forecast data allow to demonstrate current and upcoming flood damage and loss which cannot be provided by current GIS-based desktop software. Furthermore, analyses are visualized using JavaScript and HTML5 for better illustration and communication rather than using limited visualization selection of GIS software.

To give the vision of this study, IFDEP can be widened using other data sources such as National Resources Inventory, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. census data, Tax Assessor building data, land use data and more. This can be easily done on the database side. Need to address that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies can enhance to broad capabilities of this platform. For this purpose, Microsoft HoloLens can be utilized to connect IFDEP, real-time information can be visualized through the device. Therefore, IFDEP can be recruited both on headquarters for emergency managers and on the field for emergency management crew.


Disaster Response, Emergency Management, Flood Risk, Hazus, Hydroinformatics Cyberinfrastructure, Web-based Systems


xii, 61 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 46-50).


Copyright © 2017 Enes Yildirim