Federal 100: Eric Berman
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Mar 28, 2011
Program Manager, Hazards U.S.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Homeland Security Department
Eric Berman breathed new life into FEMA's sophisticated risk analysis and mapping technology and, by doing so, made the tool a global standard.
Hazus, which FEMA uses to calculate probable damages from natural disasters, is highly sensitive to user inputs, and past inconsistencies led senior officials to suspend the program in 2005. Last year, with a modest budget and no direct staff, Berman rebuilt Hazus by incorporating quality control, standard operating procedures and scientific peer review.
Thanks to Berman's hard work, Hazus was used in Haiti to help with recovery and rebuilding after that country's devastating earthquake, Chilean officials intend to develop a Hazus-like tool to deal with earthquakes in their country, and CNN now uses Hazus to let the public know what to expect from impending hurricanes.
Read more about the 2011 Federal 100 award winners.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.