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Department of Human Services

DFRA Photo Evidence

REPA Fact Sheet 8

Fact sheet 8: DRFA Photo Evidence (PDF 847.7 KB)

Photo evidence for each damaged asset can prove:

  • location of the damage
  • the damage was caused by the event
  • scope and scale of the damage
  • details of the damage.

Photos do not prove a link to the event on their own – they complement other reporting formats to determine pre-disaster condition. An organisation’s asset management system is the main tool used to assess pre-disaster condition.

Collecting and providing photos

Take photos as quickly as possible after an event – the more time that passes between the event and taking photos, the harder it is to show that the event caused the damage.

As soon as you can, choose your best photos and make sure you give them clear file names and dates.

File the images somewhere easily accessible so you can provide them to the Department of Treasury and Finance, State auditors and Commonwealth government auditors for verification when needed.

Format and file information

  • High-resolution, colour JPEGs
  • Good quality, free of glare or dark/patterned shadows, and clearly showing damage to the asset
  • Includes EXIF metadata in photo file, for example, GPS coordinates and time/date taken.

GPS coordinates linked to photo evidence - example diagram

 Topographic map of an area marked to show areas of damage and referring to photo evidence.

Taking good photos of damaged assets

Preparation and organisation

  • Use a GPS-enabled camera to capture the location of the asset’s damage
  • Check that the GPS is on and reporting correct location
  • Make sure the date and time are set correctly
  • Check that the resolution is set to medium-to-high for quality photos
  • Keep your charger, back-up batteries and memory cards handy
  • Label, save and manage your photos well to link them to the specific asset being claimed
    • Save photos in folders by asset using descriptive file names, for example asset name and chainage
    • Use clear file references when you return to the office and back up your files. This will help when delivering works and during the close-out phase.

Photos of roads

  • Does the photo show the damage from the event? If not, can you see the indicators of damage? Point it out, you have to show the damage to claim it The number of photos needed varies. You need some showing the scale of the damage, some showing the detail (extent/length) of the damage and some looking along the road (or other asset) to show the context
  • Sequential image numbers along chainages help in telling the overall story and enable the order of images to be identified
  • Take photos at set intervals along the damaged asset. This is important to show consistent damage and consistent treatment requirements or variances in damage and variations in treatments
  • Early morning and late afternoon provide optimum contrast to capture damage in road surfaces but avoid glare and dark shadows
  • Get down low to demonstrate distinctive damage features (such as pavement deformation) and support proposed treatments
  • Mark the damage where it is hard to see (for example, use spray paint)
  • Use a straight edge and measure to demonstrate damage. Take a photo of the full straight edge
  • Use a ruler or tape measure to demonstrate depth/width/distance. For large distances/widths, consider using a vehicle, person or other scalable landmark.

How to do it

Use a straight edge

Asphalt road extends from the viewer's feet almost to the horizon. A straight rod has been laid across the road to show the depth of the ruts in the road.
Demonstrates extent of damage into distance and good use of straight edge.
Asphalt road extends from the viewer's feet directly to the horizon. The asphalt marked with spray paint.
Marking out shows damage clearly and planned works.
Dirt road extends from the viewer's feet directly to the horizon. The road edges are cracked and broken.
Shows damage clearly and extends into distance.
Close-up of asphalt road. A straight rod has been put down to show the depth of the ruts in the road.
Use of straight edge to show damage close up.

Showing scope

Asphalt road extends from the viewer's feet directly to the horizon. The asphalt is cracked and rutted.
Clearly shows damage and that it extends into distance.
Dirt road extends from the viewer's feet directly to the horizon. The road surface is deeply rutted.
Shows consistent damage into distance.

Photos of culverts, crossings, flood ways and table drains

  • Does the photo show the damage from the event? If not, can you see the indicators of damage? Point it out, you have to show the damage to claim it
  • Take close-up photos of each damaged component to demonstrate all disaster-related damage and support each proposed treatment, for example damaged head wall, wash out, rock protection, apron
  • Take some distant photos showing the damage within the context of the site or the road – include identifying landmarks to make identification easier
  • Take photos along the length of affected drain as well as close-ups of each site of silt build-up
  • If overgrown, take more close-ups to show consistent build-up of silt. Consider providing flood mapping if appropriate.

How to do it

Crossings and flood ways

Interior of storm water pipe.
Inside pipe work clearly showing damage
A concrete river ford shown side-on. One end of the ford has collapsed into the river.
Perspective of range of damage.
River crossing shown side-on. The road surface has been undercut.
Provides close up of extent of damage.
A dirt road river crossing.
Provides good overview of the crossing and approaches, including construction type..
A damaged dirt road river crossing.
Provides good overview showing scouring.
A concrete river ford. Most of the ford has collapsed into the river.
Shows damage and approach.
A river ford with a gaping crack down one side. A car gives a size context.
Shows damage and scope clearly.
Close-up of the openings of two storm water pipes.
Shows damage to component parts
Dirt road next to a car. The road edge guide post has sunk almost completely into the ground.
Sink holes/blowholes.
Close-up of a road edge guide post that has sunk into the ground.
Use of post to demonstrate depth of subsidence.
Close-up of measuring tape laid across a large gap in concrete..
Use of tape to show damage to pipe.

Landslips

A fence provides a straight edge against which the extent of the landslip can be seen.
Landslips show the context of slip in relation to the asset.
Close-up. A fence provides a straight edge against which the extent of the landslip can be seen.
Landslips show the context of slip in relation to the asset.
A road verge provides a straight edge against which the extent of the landslip can be seen.
Landslips show the context of slip in relation to the asset.
A flooded roadway. A road sign is included to show the height of the water.
Photos like this provide good supporting evidence.
A river ford shown side-on. Half the road surface over the ford is missing.
Photos like this provide good supporting evidence.

Examples of bad photos

How not to do it

How not to do it

A road extends from the viewer's feet to the horizon. Deep shadows from trees obscure the road surface.
Cannot make out damage due to shadow
Asphalt road extends from the viewer's feet and curves to the right. There is no obvious damage.
Cannot see any significant damage directly related to the event.
Close-up shot of an asphalt surface. One spot is marked with paint.
Do not - cannot see any significant damage directly related to the event, nor can you get any perspective of the scale of defects or the location.
Asphalt road extends from the viewer's feet and extends directly away. In the middle distance is a floodway. There is some water over the road at the floodway.
Cannot see the damage to this floodway.
Close-up of earth and small plants. No obvious damage.
Difficult to make anything out.
Close-up of earth and small plants. There are some puddles, but no obvious damage.
Difficult to make anything out.
Photo taken through a car windscreen. An asphalt road extends directly to the horizon. Shadows from trees obscure the road surface.
It is not possible to see clear damage.
A dirt road. Most detail is gone because the photo is over-exposed.
Unable to see damage due to glare.

More information

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements - Australian Government

Local Government Disaster Recovery Assistance Guidelines (PDF 1.4MB)

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS[sm v5.4.7.1] .


Provided by:
SA Department for Human Services
URL:
https://dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disaster-recovery/disaster-recovery-funding-arrangements-drfa/dfra-principles-for-commonwealth-and-state-assistance7
Last Updated:
05 Jul 2018
Printed on:
23 Oct 2019
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