Damage Path Tool


Fig. 1 Damage Path Tool with tornado tracks created from baselines A and B.


Training Job Sheets (click on "html" for web page layout with image links or "PDF" for PDF viewing with images embedded with instruction) 

  • Jobsheets are extension of the Damage Path Tool Training (LMS - Internet; speaker notes PDF).
    • Jobsheet 1: Create Tornado Damage Path from Baselines (html, PDF)
    • Jobsheet 2: Create Damage Path from Generic Box (htmlPDF)


  • Create damage path polygons with comments for Preliminary Tornado, Significant Wind Damage, Hail, Flood, Extreme Ice/Snow, and Other Man-Made/Natural Hazard and distribute to the DAT server (FEMA) or to your local web page
  • General workflow
    • Create a polygon using DPT (simple box or a tornado path from a baseline)
    • Set properties to assign Hazard Type, Name, Event Time, and Comments (<500 characters)
    • Export to LDAD (FEMA) or export to a file to share with your local EMs, etc.

Refresher Commands

  • Loading - select Damage Path from Tools menu
  • Right-Click on CAVE Editor with Damage Path Loaded
    • Add Polygon - adds a polygon to the display
  • Right-Click on Polygon
    • Add Vertex - adds vertex (can also just middle click on polygon line)
    • Delete Polygon - deletes DPT polygon (warning: if not saved as a file you can't get it back)
    • Set Properties - select Hazard Type and specify Name, Event Time, and Comments
  • Right-Click on Damage Path
    • New Tornado Path From Baseline - select baseline to use to create default tornado polygon that assigns width according to uncertainty from radar range
      • requires Damage Path (Editable) - middle click on Damage Path text legend to make Editable
    • Export to LDAD - sends all damage paths in display to LDAD to be pushed to the DAT server for FEMA (comments must be < 500 characters)
    • Export to File - saves geojson file for local distribution (email/website) for local EMs, etc.
    • Import from File - loads a saved file
    • Change Color - changes color of display in CAVE (not included in distributed product)

Usage Tips

  • For tornado paths
    • trace vortex in radar data using vertices in a baseline
    • set your home (from Tools menu) to be your radar location
    • make Damage Path legend text editable
    • select baseline from right click and selecting New Tornado Path from Baseline
    • remember tracks should be wider at longer ranges due to uncertainty in position increasing with range from the radar
      • the "New Tornado Path From Baseline" menu option does does this for you
  • Comments for tracks exported to the DAT server must be less than 500 characters due to DAT server limitation
  • Coordinate with local management to assess when to use, staffing, and coordinating with stakeholders before creating damage path products


  • Effective products require preparation, staffing, and coordinating with stakeholders
  • DAT server will truncate comments to 500 characters, so keep it short

Configuration/Supplemental Information (AWIPS Focal Point)

  • The Damage Path Tool option to "Export to LDAD" will not work by default with a 16.2.2 installation. Your AWIPS Focal Point will need to check out the DamagePathToDat program from the SCP (very easy install).


  • Justin Gibbs at Justin.Gibbs@noaa.gov