New FEMA Software for Managing Seismic Risk

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New FEMA Software for Managing Seismic Risk
FEMA P-154 ROVER CD, October 2011 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce the release of Rapid Observation of Vulnerability and Estimation of Risk (ROVER), fast, free, mobile software for pre- and post-earthquake building safety screening. ROVER is available on CD-ROM (FEMA P-154 ROVER CD) from the FEMA Publications Warehouse or via online download. ROVER has been successfully pilot tested in Salt Lake City by the Utah Seismic Safety Commission and the Structural Engineers Association of Utah and by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

ROVER automates two de facto international standard paper-based seismic safety screening procedures: FEMA P-154, Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards, and ATC-20, Postearthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings. ROVER’s pre-earthquake module is used by field inspectors to quickly compile an electronic inventory of buildings, record important seismic features of a building, and generate an automatic estimate of the need for detailed seismic evaluation. ROVER’s post-earthquake module is used to quickly perform and manage the safety tagging (red, yellow, and green tags) almost universally applied to buildings after earthquakes.

Highlights of the new ROVER software include:

  • One-time data entry to a built-in database
  • Captures data via digital photos
  • Determines building geolocation
  • Exports to Google Earth for mapping
  • Imports pre-existing data
  • Speeds post-earthquake safety assessment by accessing pre-earthquake data
  • Allows for remote management of screening
  • Optionally integrates with USGS ShakeCast for seismic monitoring of buildings and with FEMA’s HAZUS-MH to estimate future building repair costs, casualties, and loss of use

The ROVER Server is capable of operating as an online service for the ROVER smartphone client and also a web site for direct access by any web browser. The web site service has also been optimized for the small screens found on a smartphone or on any Internet-connected tablet.

ROVER was designed and developed for FEMA by ATC, SPA Risk LLC, and Instrumental Software Technologies, Inc. The ROVER Development Partners will maintain a user-support web page. FEMA will continue to play an important role in implementation and outreach to NEHRP customers.  

To order FEMA P-154 ROVER CD from the Publications Warehouse, call 1 (800) 480-2520 or fax your request to (240) 699-0525. To download the free software, visit

To view or download other NEHRP publications and products, or to sign up for updates on earthquake risk mitigation publications, news, and events, visit Earthquake Publications and Tools,