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Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Preparedness: Using “Map Tips” in DisasterAWARE

September 8, 2014

PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform, viewed through the Global Hazards Atlas system, displays various map tips of current hazards and disasters across the globe.

Monitoring hazard events and accessing reliable information from trusted resources is one of the most basic but important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) has developed a platform called DisasterAWARE to help everyone accomplish this easily, using proven science and innovative technology. The resulting tool is an advanced multi-hazard monitoring and decision support platform that is highly visual and intuitive.

Using a standard internet browser, public DisasterAWARE can be accessed through the Global Hazards Atlas at An interactive map will immediately display icons representing (PDC) Active Hazards, along with indicators representing severity of these events.

A great place to begin using Atlas is by exploring the Map Tips, which provide users direct access to more information about an active hazard. To activate a Map Tip, simply hover over a hazard icon on the map (multiple map tips are displayed above). 

DisasterAWARE Map Tips provide information about a disaster or hazard to provide situational awareness to users and to give them the ability to share information to others. 

A Map Tip can be set to remain on the viewer using the pin icon on the top right corner. The Map Tip will display the Hazard’s name, type, severity, time since the hazard was first reported, and time since the information was last updated. In addition, there are several small icons within the Map Tip that offer quick links to various functions. Starting from the top left corner, they are:

  • Link: Provides a URL that can be shared with others. The link will launch Atlas and focus on the selected hazard.
  • Recenter: Centers the map on the selected hazard.
  • Zoom To: Automatically zooms to the geographic location of the hazard. 
  • Identify: Displays attribute information for selected hazards in a pop-up table.
  • Area Brief: Generates a report for the selected hazard and area of interest. Area Brief quickly consolidates current and historical hazard information, as well as other valuable assessment data. 

There’s almost always something on the map. So give it a try and discover how the information can help improve your situational awareness—and don’t forget that Map Tips provide not only easy access to a variety of useful information, they also allow you to share the information with others. 

Next week we will provide more on how to use the Global Hazards Atlas by exploring the diverse data layers available to help understand the context and impacts of hazards.

For more information on FEMA's National Preparedness Month:
• Read about how PDC is promoting how to be prepared,
• Visit the National Preparedness Month website,
• Visit FEMA's National Preparedness Community page, and
• Look at what NOAA is doing to prepare.

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.