Client: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Final Product: We are pleased to announce the release of ROVER (Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk), a FEMA-sponsored smartphone application for building professionals (engineers, architects, firefighters, building officials, and others) to do rapid pre- and post-earthquake hazard evaluation of buildings. ROVER brings the advantages of smartphones to the de-facto paper-based standards for rapid pre-earthquake screening and post-earthquake safety tagging of buildings with red (unsafe), yellow (restricted use), or green (inspected) placards (i.e., FEMA 154 procedures for rapid visual screening of buildings for potential seismic hazards, and ATC-20 procedures for postearthquake safety evaluation of buildings). These procedures have been used on hundreds of thousands of buildings, beginning with ATC-20 inspections after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake near San Francisco. ROVER adds the efficiency of built-in soil and seismology geodatabases, unlimited watermarked and captioned digital photos, automatic geolocation, real-time process control, a secure web-accessible database, integration with the U. S. Geological Survey software, ShakeCast, for real-time earthquake monitoring and with HAZUS-MH (FEMA multi-hazard damage and loss estimation software) for prospective risk analysis, and other features. ROVER can inform emergency preparation, business continuity planning related to natural disaster, disaster management, and broader efforts for sustainable building. ROVER has already been successfully tested by the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, and others. Visit to download the software and to view assessments by independent testers of the software. The software can also be ordered on CD from the FEMA Publications Warehouse: Call 1-800-480-2520 and ask for "FEMA P-154 ROVER CD." See details here.

ROVER was developed for FEMA by the Applied Technology Council, in collaboration with specialists form SPA Risk LLC, and Instrumental Software Technologies Inc., and a professional review panel of leading building officials, scholars, and practitioners.