Post-Disaster Building Assessments

a white house tipped on its side with a lot of damage

BC Housing and Rapid Damage Assessment

Post-Disaster Building Assessment (PDBA) enables communities responding to floods, windstorms or earthquakes to more rapidly assess the safety of buildings and allow people to reman in or return to their homes and businesses as soon as possible. This reduces the social impact of such events, allowing communities to recover more quickly and reducing the impact on emergency and social service resources.

BC Housing supports the PDBA process by hosting and Chairing the PDBA Advisory Group; by teaching Rapid Damage Assessment and the Coordination of Damage Assessment skills; and by providing tools such as the mobile app, field manual and various forms for building assessments.

Post-Disaster Building Assessment Guidelines for Communities 

BC Housing is pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Post-Disaster Building Assessment Guidelines for Communities’ .

The purpose of the PDBA Guidelines for Communities is to support local authorities (including municipalities, First Nations, and regional governments) in the development and operation of their own PDBA programs. These guidelines draw on the research that informed the British Columbia Post-Disaster Building Assessment Framework and Recommendations document, and provide direction and resources with regards to the following elements of PDBA programs. A printable PDF version is available in the Document section of this webpage. BC Housing will not be printing copies of the Guidelines for distribution.

This document will be published as a living, dynamic reference for community damage assessment programs. This document is intended to evolve over time, based on feedback and contributions from local authorities and First Nation communities across BC. 

The Security and Emergency Services team at BC Housing want to thank all those who participated in the process to create this resource. We welcome your feedback on all aspects of this document. 

We also welcome your questions and feedback you may have on this document. Please send those by email to

training iconDamage Assessment Training

The Rapid Damage Assessment (RDA) course teaches skills to identify unsafe conditions in wood frame, masonry and concrete construction caused by floods, earthquakes or windstorms. Individuals learn to assess damage to determine whether buildings can be occupied. BC Housing's rapid assessment skills are taught using the Applied Technology Council 20 & 45 guidelines from California, the PDBA Framework and Recommendations document, and feedback from the PDBA Advisory Committee.

Training Courses

mobile phone iconRapid Damage Assessment - Mobile App

Working together with GeoBC, the University of British Columbia Department of Engineering, and the North Shore Emergency Management on damage assessment technology, we have developed a mobile application with GIS capabilities. This app lets field teams record the location and severity of damage to buildings and sites using a smartphone or tablet.
See the Rapid Damage Assessment Template to get the app
Operations Guide from GeoBC (3.2 MB) (pdf).

Rapid Damage Assessment – Field Manual

front cover of Rapid Damage Assessment - Field Manual

The Rapid Damage Assessment Field Manual is a valuable training aid and resource when conducting assessments. They are available for purchase through Crown Publications.

Post-Disaster Building Assessment (PDBA) Advisory Committee

In September 2018, this broad group of stakeholders was formed with a mission to recommend, develop, and enhance standards, processes and guidelines for the effective implementation and the sustainable management of a post-disaster building assessment system for the province of British Columbia.

PDBA Resources


Building Assessor Registry

Register as a volunteer for post-disaster building assessment.

Building Assessor Registry