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Pre-disaster vulnerability assessments are a primary method to proactively measure and mitigate potential damage caused by natural hazards. Vulnerability assessments are essential to hazard research and are central to the development of hazard mitigation strategies at the local, national, and international level. Higher education institutions are a community that benefit from natural hazard vulnerability assessments, since damage to campus buildings and infrastructure can result in significant losses that cause interruption to the institutional mission.

Detailed building assessments are better suited for collecting customized, site specific data that are needed for accurate and thorough vulnerability assessments of individual campus buildings. At the current time, however, there are limited, peer reviewed or broadly accepted protocols for planning and conducting such detailed building assessments.

This presentation will present a formalized approach to field planning and data collection practices that support detailed vulnerability assessments of campus buildings. The described practices may be used for various types of campuses located in regions that are impacted by high-wind, hail, and flood events. Pre-assessment and post-assessment strategies will be discussed at length; in particular, the identification of regional hazards, the prioritization and investigation of campus buildings as relates to the various university functions, (e.g. student life, academics, research), assessment route mapping, qualitative risk and vulnerability assessments critical to field decisions for data collection, and the digital storage and document production of the field assessment data.