About PDC


Reduce disaster risk.
Step into a safer world.

  • Winter Storm - Southern, United States

    43 minutes ago WARNING

  • Wildfire - N of Nkawkaw, Eastern - Ghana

    56 minutes ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - SW of Tarbes, Midi-Pyrnes - France

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Sabancaya, Peru

    1 hour ago ADVISORY

  • Extreme Cold - Greece

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.1 - 5 km E of Anse-à-Veau, Haiti

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - 4 km S of Anse-à-Veau, Haiti

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Oil Spill - Peru

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - Monterey County (Colorado Fire), California, United States

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Suwanosejima, Japan

    3 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Landslides - Cusco Region, Peru

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Madagascar

    6 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Southeastern Africa

    6 hours ago WARNING

  • Landslide - Lemba District, Sao Tome and Principe

    3 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Winter Storm - Northwestern Syria

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Sangay, Ecuador

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Huanuco, Peru

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Extreme Cold - Serbia

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Eastern Malaysia

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Philippines

    3 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Huanuco, Peru

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Western Peru

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Paraguay

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Northwestern Brazil

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern Brazil

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Bolivia

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Tarija, Bolivia

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 6.0 - South Sandwich Islands region

    23 hours ago WATCH

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - 142 km ESE of Rio Claro, Trinidad and Tobago

    23 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.2 - 219 km NE of Gisborne, New Zealand

    5 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - New South Wales, Australia

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Winter Storm - Northwest Territories, Canada

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Queensland, Australia

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Western Uganda

    6 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - South Sandwich Islands region

    8 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.0 - Chagos Archipelago region

    8 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    10 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Storms - Sragen Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

    16 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - Kutai Kertanegara Regency, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

    17 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Reventador, Ecuador

    20 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - 5 km E of Hihifo, Tonga

    21 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Semeru, Indonesia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Nevados de Chillán, Chile

    1 day ago ADVISORY

  • Extreme Cold - Southern Canada

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Mexico

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Winter Storms - Northern Pakistan

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Landslides - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Fuego, Guatemala

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Bang Rachan and Singburi District, Singburi, Thailand

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - Brebes Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - Sukoharjo Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Jember Regency, East Java, Indonesia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Cirebon Regency, West Java, Indonesia

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir Regency, South Sumatra, Indonesia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Kaur Regency, Bengkulu, Indonesia

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Flood - Durant, MS Region, United States

    3 days ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Sheveluch, Russia

    3 days ago ADVISORY

  • Drought - US Virgin Islands

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Pacific Islands

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Northeastern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Midwestern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - High Plains United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southwestern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Northwestern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Eastern Africa

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southwestern Africa

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Madagascar

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Europe

    3 weeks ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Asia Pacific

    1 year ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Latin America/Caribbean

    3 weeks ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Africa

    1 year ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Middle East

    3 weeks ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - North America

    3 weeks ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Hawaii

    1 month ago WARNING

Working together to create a Safer World

For more than 20 years, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) has supported the most demanding government customers and nonprofits worldwide, sharing in the mission to save lives and reduce disaster risk. As an applied research center managed by the University of Hawaii, we are continuously developing new technologies and best practices to help our many global partners effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. We work side by side with government agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and humanitarian relief organizations to conduct baseline risk and national disaster preparedness assessments, create mitigation strategies, support training and exercises, and to implement our powerful DisasterAWARE® technology. DisasterAWARE provides global risk intelligence, early warning, and largest collection of global, scientifically verified geospatial data and modeling tools for assessing risk and hazard impacts. 

Our organization and approach

PDC is an applied research center managed by the University of Hawaii that provides the most reliable information, ground-breaking research, applied scientific practices, and its powerful disaster risk intelligence platform, DisasterAWARE to empower disaster management decision makers and the public. We support disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery worldwide—using strategies that are consistent with the United Nations’ approach to disaster risk reduction.

Mission: Reduce disaster risk. Vision: Safer world.

A brief history of PDC

Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Iniki to the Hawaiian Islands in 1992, Pacific Disaster Center was conceived as a center to improve systems of communication and technology for disaster prevention at home and beyond. PDC now serves a global audience, helping to increase disaster management capacity and embolden more effective decisions, policies, and actions for a safer world.

Our Team

Executive Management

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Ray Shirkhodai is responsible for PDC’s strategic development, market and partnership expansion, and all aspects of the enterprise operation. In information management and senior leadership roles since 1991, Shirkhodai first joined PDC in 2002 as the Chief Information Officer (CIO), before his selection for executive director in 2007. During his tenure at PDC, Shirkhodai architected PDC’s flagship DisasterAWARE® risk intelligence platform and mobile apps, developed and oversaw strategies for PDC’s expansion into the global hazard and risk reduction markets, and increased the Center’s competitive project revenues by more than 9-folds, augmenting PDC’s base research and operating budgets. Shirkhodai has led the Center’s support of major international disaster relief operations, at home and abroad. He has served as a chief technology advisor to many regional and national Disaster Management Offices around the world. He has written for numerous United Nations (UN) publications on analytical software design for risk reduction. He has been an invited keynote speaker, lecturer, and participant at many international industry events focused on technologies for risk reduction and resilience. Shirkhodai is on the advisory board of the UH Maui College Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) in 1990, followed by graduate studies in Artificial Intelligence (1993) at GMU.

Ray Shirkhodai

Executive Director

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Chris Chiesa has more than 30 years of experience developing and leading enterprise applications of geospatial information technologies and has been actively involved in disaster management activities for the past two decades. He directs international deployments of PDC’s disaster management decision support DisasterAWARE® platform. Chris has extensive programmatic and institutional experience in the Asia Pacific region. His work has also taken him to Europe, Central and South America, and Africa. In 2005, Chris received Esri’s prestigious Special Achievements in GIS Award in recognition of the Center’s support to the Indian Ocean tsunami response. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan (BSME, MSNR) and the University of Arizona (MBA).

Chris Chiesa

Deputy Executive Director

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Dr. Joseph Green is an expert in the practical application of risk information for humanitarian assistance and resilience-building initiatives worldwide. His analytical work spans more than two decades, with specialized focus on the examination of the intersection between social vulnerability, health outcomes, and disaster resilience. Joseph earned his PhD in epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to earning his PhD, Joseph earned a Master’s degree in medical geography from the University of South Florida and worked as a research fellow at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Joseph Green

Director of Applied Science

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For over 20 years, Dr. Erin Hughey has dedicated her academic and professional life’s work to advancing evidence-based practices in the field of disaster management. Leading PDC global efforts, she has developed the foundation for the largest operationalized national and subnational risk and disaster preparedness assessment. The breadth of her career spans hand-on response operations at local, state, federal, and international levels, to the development of regional and global policy focused on disaster risk reduction. Erin received her PhD from the University of South Florida and currently serves on the Board of Directors at Georgetown University in the Disaster and Emergency Management program.

Erin Hughey

Director of Global Operations

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Keone Kali is a transformational leader and Chief Information Officer (CIO), and possesses over 27 years of experience in information technology, business development, and senior management in both the public and private sector. Mr. Kali has served as the Director of Information Technology for the Maui Medical Group and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the State of Hawaii. Mr. Kali served in a key role as the Region IX Lead for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).  In that role, he routinely interfaced with U.S. States and Territories in Western CONUS and OCONUS and liaised with State CIO’s across the nation. Mr. Kali possesses an MBA in IT Management from WGU, and a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA.

Keone Kali

Director of Information Technology

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Scott Okada is responsible for PDC’s fiscal planning and management in all areas of budgeting, financial analysis, procurement, and business information technology applications. He has experience and training as a financial forecaster, auditor, tax-compliance officer, and report compiler for national and governmental organizations. His experience also includes high-level oversight of human resources management and loss prevention, as well as cash management and cost control functions.

Scott Okada

Director of Finance & Administration

Other Staff

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Bear (Bernd) McConnell

Senior Advisor

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Steve Recca has held several security policy positions with the State Department, Department of Defense, and in academia. He was Director of the University of Colorado Springs Center for Homeland Security where he managed research programs in civil security, defense-related topics, as well as institutional and government agency collaborative relationships. He is on the Editorial Review Board of four peer-reviewed journals and is a frequent guest lecturer on civil security topics for academic institutions across the United States. Steve holds a Master’s in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Steve Recca

Humanitarian Assistance Programs Senior Advisor

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