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SVIP FDCA Industry Day Questions 5-3-22.pdf

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PIID: 70RSAT22R00000020

Department of Homeland Security

Silicon Valley Innovation Program

Flood Data Collection and Analysis Topic Call: Industry Day Q&A Responses

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) held an Industry
Day event on March 31, 2022 as part of its open Flood Data Collection and Analysis Topic Call (Notice ID
70RSAT22R00000020). Information about the Industry Day, including links to a recording of the event
and the presentation slides can be found at: SVIP FDCA Industry Day (regfox.com). SVIP was unable to
answer all the questions that were received during the Q&A portion of the Industry Day and is providing
the following information to answer some of the remaining questions. Please direct any additional
inquiries to DHS-Silicon-Valley@hq.dhs.gov.

QUESTION: What TRL is SVIP/FEMA looking for?

ANSWER: SVIP typically works with startups who are currently developing prototype solutions in the TRL
5-7 range or have commercial market offerings that would need to be adapted or modified for DHS use.
Applicants with less mature technologies will need to have a development roadmap that can achieve at
least TRL 7 within 2 years.

QUESTION: What data sets/sources does FEMA currently use, e.g., internal FEMA systems, stream
sensors, wind sensors, utility assets, or commercial data?

ANSWER: FEMA uses the following data sources, but remember, we’re looking for innovative
approaches to deliver real-time data on flooding:

• FEMA flood maps, which are publicly available maps showing flood risks
• United States Geological Survey publicly available data
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publicly available data on coastal and

precipitation information

• National building inventory publicly available data
• US Census Bureau publicly available data from the Decennial Census and American Community

Survey
Limited satellite and imagery data is used in extreme circumstances when adjusters are not able
to travel to affected areas, due to the presence of water or other hazards which prohibit safe
travel

Consolidating these many data sources to provide a clear picture of flooding to a community would be
of great value to FEMA. DHS is seeking a capability to provide a near real-time picture of a flooding
event across pre-flood, active flood, and post flood situations to understand what is happening, and to
learn from what did happen during a flood.

QUESTION: Will FEMA provide any data sets as part of this project? Is there de-identified data for
property and policy holders that can be used for analysis and development?

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ANSWER: FEMA has publicly available datasets for NFIP policies and claims on OpenFEMA.

• OpenFEMA Data Sets – OpenFEMA Data Sets | FEMA.gov

• OpenFEMA Data Set on Policies – FIMA NFIP Redacted Policies - v1 | FEMA.gov

• OpenFEMA Data Set on Claims – FIMA NFIP Redacted Claims - v1 | FEMA.gov

QUESTION: If policyholder data is not available for this project, will address-only data be provided?

ANSWER: FEMA can work with startups to share access to data that would support the successful
delivery of an innovative solution. FEMA has publicly available datasets for NFIP policies and claims on
OpenFEMA.

QUESTION: Do data sources need to be publicly available?

ANSWER: No, the data sources do not need to be publicly available. For some additional information on
the FEMA requirements, the following items are incorporated into all scenarios and technical topic
areas:

• All Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) used to provide flood data SHALL be publicly
documented, patent free, royalty free, non-discriminatory, available to all, and free to
implement using widely available and supported programming languages.

• All flood data provided SHALL be on patent free, royalty free license terms.

• All flood data provided SHOULD be in industry standard data formats.

• Value added services provided MAY be built on top of or leverage the flood data.

QUESTION: How does FEMA prefer to receive/consume data?

ANSWER: FEMA does not have a preference at this time. We are eager to consider all solutions for
receiving and consuming data.

QUESTION: What are some gaps in current products, remote sensing, and other external data inputs?
Has FEMA considered using remote sensing data for verifying insurance claims?

ANSWER: FEMA would value a solution that provides new sources of data and/or consolidates the many
data sources available that could provide a near real-time picture of a flooding event across pre-flood,
active flood, and post flood situations to understand what is happening, and to learn from what did
happen during a flood. FEMA uses remote sensing data in verifying insurance claims only on a rare and
limited basis, and does not currently have tools or procedures to apply remote sensing data for this
purpose.

QUESTION: Is FEMA seeking only complete/comprehensive solutions that address all needs, or will
solutions that address only various components of the problems presented be considered?

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ANSWER: While DHS hopes to meet the goals of all the TTAs, that is not a requirement. You are
encouraged to apply even if your solution meets only one TTA.

QUESTION: To provide accurate and real time flood data, are sensors placed in strategic locations
allowed?

ANSWER: Yes, sensors placed in strategic locations would be welcome as long as they contribute to
providing a near real-time picture of a flooding event across pre-flood, active flood, and post flood
situations to understand what is happening, and to learn from what did happen during a flood.

QUESTION: What is FEMA’s ideal deliverable, e.g., a new platform, GIS data feed, or policy reports,
and how does FEMA see that being integrated into current or new toolsets? Can flood data be
delivered through a platform vs a geospatial file/data service?

ANSWER: S&T would like respondents to provide their recommendations in their proposed solution.
FEMA is interested in flood data as an end-product but not in the ownership, leasing, operation, or
management of technical assets (e.g., satellites, drones or other assets that generate the data). Any
special conditions, exemptions, or waivers, particularly those that are related to the granting of policy or
legal exemptions in the collection and sharing of any flooding data with DHS should be clearly and fully
articulated as part of any response to this Call.

QUESTION: Will prototype analytics be tested at a national scale or will they be tested regionally first?
Should solutions focus on narrow but deep capabilities, for example in a specific region, vs a less
specific but broader coverage?

ANSWER: FEMA prefers a solution that can be delivered on a national scale. Testing can occur at a
regional level.

QUESTION: DHS has stated it does not want to own, lease, operate or manage technical/physical
assets; does this include common off-the-shelf-software to consume the data, such as ESRI software?

ANSWER: Yes, FEMA does not want to own, lease, operate, or manage additional software as a
byproduct of implementing a solution to this SVIP topic call.

QUESTION: Is there a need for FEMA analysts or data scientists to build their own models or integrate
new data in self-service ways?

ANSWER: FEMA analysts and data scientists will leverage this data for analysis in a self-service way.

QUESTION: Are damage and cost estimates needed in aggregate for a given event, or for individual
policy holders?

ANSWER: FEMA would prefer damage and cost estimates at the individual household and property level
of detail.

QUESTION: What is the desired pre-event window for predictive flood data, and desired level of
accuracy?

ANSWER: The classification of weather predictions and damage estimations as pre-flood ranges from
weeks before to 24-36 hours before a flooding event. DHS requires this information to make decisions
on mitigation and response activities, as well as understanding the potential damage to structures and

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the monetary cost of that damage. FEMA requests the desired level of accuracy with a high degree of
certainty and accuracy but does not have a specific benchmark in mind.

QUESTION: Is FEMA looking to orchestrate, manage, and streamline the assessment and claims
process, or just for data and analytics as outline in the Technical Topic Areas?

ANSWER: FEMA remains interested in the data and analytics in the Technical Topic Areas.

QUESTION: Are there potential uses for AI/ML in analyzing specific policy holders and their current
policies?

ANSWER: FEMA does imagine potential uses for AI/ML for analyzing data in the flooding and insurance
space.

QUESTION: How does FEMA coordinate with other disaster support providers, such as state and local
agencies and non-profit organizations?

ANSWER: FEMA has developed many ways to coordinate disaster support from decades of experience.
FEMA plans to use solutions to our request for data on flooding to supplement and enhance these
efforts.

QUESTION: How are FEMA adjuster deployments currently tracked?

ANSWER: FEMA maintains an adjuster database and works closely with adjusters during flooding events
to support their and policyholders needs… Show All