“Access to information is critical to successful disaster risk management. You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” — Margareta Wahlström, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction
The need for systematic data for disaster mitigation and prevention is an increasing concern of both development and response agencies. In the past, data needs were addressed on an ad hoc basis, which included collecting the information at the time of the emergency. However, there is a growing importance and understanding that data collection, analysis, and management can help both short and long-term development goals and help to identify and address disaster risks.
UNISDR is supporting countries to develop disaster loss databases.
The evolution of technology has allowed public and private sector organizations to capture, store, and analyze data in a structured way. UNISDR believes that capturing the composition, spatial distribution, and impacts of disasters is the first step in addressing disaster risks and finding solutions to build resilient communities. UNISDR has translated this belief into training and supporting governments to develop disaster loss databases, as well as to work with a variety of partners to share data. The result and analysis of this data is highlighted in the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction which is released every two years.
While collecting disaster data is a complex task and challenges remain in standardized methodologies and definitions, the following lists data sources used by UNISDR.
GAR Risk Data Viewer
The global risk analysis presented in the Global Assessment Reports is based on a joint effort by leading scientific institutions, governments, UN agencies and development banks, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. This interactive Risk Viewer provides the global risk data from the Global Assessment Reports, presented in an easily accessible manner.
DesInventar is a tool for generating National Disaster Inventories and constructing databases that capture information on damage, loss and general effects of disasters. With increased understanding of disaster trends and their impacts, better prevention, mitigation and preparedness measures can be planned to reduce the impact of disasters on the communities.
EM-DAT: The International Disaster Database
EM-DAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 18,000 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to present. The database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organisations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies.
PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform
The PREVIEW Global Risk Data Platform is a multiple agencies effort to share spatial data information on global risk from natural hazards. Users can visualise, download or extract data on past hazardous events, human & economical hazard exposure and risk from natural hazards. It covers tropical cyclones and related storm surges, drought, earthquakes, biomass fires, floods, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.