【24】 Inspecting Your Home
   If your house is affected by an earthquake, you may take advantage of one of three types of inspection regimes to determine the extent of damage. These are the ‘Emergency Hazard Determination’, the ‘Extent of Damage Determination’ and the ‘Damage Report for Disaster Victim Certification’. This section will clarify the difference between the often-confused ‘Emergency Hazard Determination’ and the ‘Damage Report for Disaster Victim Certification’.

1) Emergency Hazard Determination

   This system involves an assessor determining the extent of damage to a house in the early aftermath of the earthquake. The assessor will also check if the building is in danger of collapse in an aftershock, look for fallen walls/glass, and determine the danger of other building components collapsing. The aim of this system is to prevent death caused by secondary disasters.
   Depending on the outcome, a colored sticker will be placed on your house in a visible location. A red sticker denotes ‘UNSAFE’, yellow means ‘LIMITED ENTRY’ and green indicated ‘INSPECTED’.

2) Damage Report for Disaster Victim Certification

   This system involves the determination of the extent of damage to a building from the perspective of property value. This is based upon the building owner submitting a ‘Disaster Victim Claim’ with their local authority. This report is the first step to obtaining Disaster Victim Certification. Because the results of this report will influence any insurance payouts and public financial assistance you may receive, it will be conducted in an official and precise manner, usually by local government officials.
   The purpose of these two systems is quite different. Even if you receive a red ‘UNSAFE’ sticker from the Emergency Hazard Determination, the Damage Report for Disaster Victim Certification may yield a less serious result, such as ‘half destroyed’ or ‘partially destroyed’.

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