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A 20-year Journey of Hope


January 11, 2016


Maj. Gen. Edward V. Richardson (left) previously The Adjutant General of Hawaii and Executive Director of Hawaii State Civil Defense, speaks with Senator Daniel K. Inouye. The two cooperated closely for nearly three years, along with numerous others dedicated to the idea of a establishing the initial operating capacity of Pacific Disaster Center.

It’s been a long road, and we’ve come a long way.  But we’ve not done it alone.

Thanks to the visionaries who saw the possibilities for a safer world, to the brave who pushed the limits of science and technology, and to the dedicated who never wavered from the commitment to make progress and save lives, one step at a time and one day at a time, Pacific Disaster Center will be 20 years old this year.

The vision has to be credited to the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye (1924-2012), who after Hurricane Iniki devastated his home state of Hawaii, took steps to ensure that science and technology will be used more effectively to help better protect every citizen, in Hawaii, in the Pacific, and around the world.  His vision for a center that will use technology to help reduce risks in the “Asia Pacific region and beyond” is a legacy that will be with us forever.


Taken in 2015 at PDC headquarters in Hawaii, a number of the original staff still remain with the Center.

On the occasion of its twentieth year, PDC must also pause to thank all those before us, those still with us, and everyone in between who has helped to realize the noble vision, dedicating their effort, intellect, time, and heart to the betterment of humanity, relentlessly working to improve the information, the tools, and the methods that help those who rush to the aid of citizens in need around the world and around the clock.  PDC is honored and humbled to recognize our partners, at home and abroad.

Today, PDC’s applications and information reach nearly two million citizens worldwide.  Our maps and analyses help coordinate relief efforts from Nepal to Haiti to Japan to the Indian Ocean, and everywhere in between. Our state-of-the-art DisasterAWARE platform and risk assessments are used for risk reduction by U.S. and UN agencies, by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and foreign governments, and by a wide range of intergovernmental and nongovernmental humanitarian organizations (I/NGOs) around the globe.


For more than a decade, PDC’s DisasterAWARE has supported disaster managers and senior officials around the world. Click here to see the full fact sheet on DisasterAWARE.

We could not have done this without our partners. From data providers to implementation partners, from those sharing their needs and thoughts to those providing resources, we owe a great deal of gratitude. Thank you all for helping PDC reach its successful 20th anniversary.

Throughout 2016, we will be looking back at some of the important people and critical moments that have helped shape our Center, our tools and products, our partnerships, and the disaster management community. As we kick off the year, we again would like to take a moment to say “Thank you!” to those that have been a part of our history, those who have supported us along the way, and those who have joined us for the journey.

We have much more left to do. With your continued encouragement, we’ll get there together.

Thank you for helping us realize the vision of fostering disaster-resilient communities, through sicience, information, technology, and exchange. 

More from Pacific Disaster Center

To keep yourself up-to-the-minute about hazards and disasters:

For the latest Weather and Disaster News, use the PDC Weather Wall.

While you are thinking of hazards, think of preparedness. PDC provides disaster preparedness information, including printable instructions for assembling a Disaster Supply Kit and rehearsing a Family Disaster Plan.

For more information on DisasterAWARE products:

About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.