Enhanced remote-sensing scale for wind damage assessment

Jianjun Luo, Daan Liang, Cagdas Kafali, Ruilong Li, Tanya M. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study has developed an Enhanced Remote-Sensing (ERS) scale to improve the accuracy and efficiency of using remote-sensing images of residential building to predict their damage conditions. The new scale, by incorporating multiple damage states observable on remote-sensing imagery, substantially reduces measurement errors and increases the amount of information retained. A ground damage survey was conducted six days after the Joplin EF 5 tornado in 2011. A total of 1,400 one- and two-family residences (FR12) were selected and their damage states were evaluated based on Degree of Damage (DOD) in the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale. A subsequent remote-sensing survey was performed to rate damages with the ERS scale using high-resolution aerial imagery. Results from Ordinary Least Square regression indicate that ERS-derived damage states could reliably predict the ground level damage with 94% of variance in DOD explained by ERS. The superior performance is mainly because ERS extracts more information. The regression model developed can be used for future rapid assessment of tornado damages. In addition, this study provides strong empirical evidence for the effectiveness of the ERS scale and remote-sensing technology for assessment of damages from tornadoes and other wind events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-337
Number of pages17
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Damage assessment
  • Degree of damage
  • Enhanced Fujita scale
  • Enhanced remote-sensing scale
  • Remote-sensing
  • Tornadoes


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