About PDC


Reduce disaster risk.
Step into a safer world.

  • Volcano - Sabancaya, Peru

    24 minutes ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Karymsky, Russia

    31 minutes ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Krakatau, Indonesia

    34 minutes ago WARNING

  • Tornado - Bismarck, ND WFO Region, US

    36 minutes ago WARNING

  • Tornado - Goodland, KS WFO Region, US

    46 minutes ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Manam, Papua New Guinea

    1 hour ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Suwanosejima, Japan

    1 hour ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Reventador, Ecuador

    1 hour ago ADVISORY

  • Wildfire - W of Wyndham, Western Australia - Australia

    1 hour ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - E of Pine Creek, Northern Territory - Australia

    1 hour ago INFORMATION

  • Volcano - Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.0 - Ascension Island region

    2 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Wildfire - NE of Juchitan, Oaxaca - Mexico

    2 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Wildfire - NE of Petatlan, Guerrero - Mexico

    2 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Wildfire - E of Mesa, Arizona - United States

    2 hours ago WARNING

  • Wildfire - W of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico - United States

    2 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Semisopochnoi, United States

    3 hours ago WATCH

  • Earthquake - 5.0 - 137 km E of Lospalos, Timor Leste

    3 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Dukono, Indonesia

    3 hours ago WATCH

  • Earthquake - 5.2 - 143 km ENE of Hachinohe, Japan

    3 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Volcano - Sangay, Ecuador

    3 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.5 - south of New Zealand

    4 hours ago WATCH

  • Drought - Eastern Africa

    4 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern South Africa

    5 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.6 - 229 km SSE of Katsuura, Japan

    19 hours ago WATCH

  • Volcano - Nevados de Chillán, Chile

    8 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Flood - Grand Forks, ND--MN Region, United States

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Grand Forks AFB, ND Region, United States

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Fargo, ND--MN Region, United States

    9 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.2 - 65 km N of Claveria, Philippines

    9 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Earthquake - 5.3 - 224 km SSE of Katsuura, Japan

    18 hours ago ADVISORY

  • Flood - Valley City, ND Region, United States

    10 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Upper Midwestern, United States

    10 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - New South Wales, Australia

    10 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Queensland, Australia

    10 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Western Australia

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.5 - 223 km SSE of Katsuura, Japan

    11 hours ago WATCH

  • Storms - North Island, New Zealand

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Earthquake - 5.8 - 163 km S of Bengkulu, Indonesia

    11 hours ago WATCH

  • Storms - Vietnam

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Eastern Malaysia

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Peninsular Malaysia

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Thailand

    11 hours ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Mexico

    12 hours ago WARNING

  • Flood - Québec, Canada

    13 hours ago WARNING

  • Landslides - Northeastern India

    14 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Northeastern India

    14 hours ago WARNING

  • Landslide - Almaty Region, Kazakhstan

    14 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Storms - Serang Regency, Banten, Indonesia

    14 hours ago WARNING

  • Floods - Parigi Moutong, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia

    14 hours ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - Bengkalis Regency, Riau, Indonesia

    14 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Sri Lanka

    20 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Cambodia

    21 hours ago WARNING

  • Storms - Northern Brazil

    21 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Semeru, Indonesia

    21 hours ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Aira, Japan

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Lewotolo, Indonesia

    1 day ago WATCH

  • Storms - Southern Serbia

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Temperature - Lithuania

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Northern India

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Inland and Southern Guyana

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern Guyana

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Tasmania

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Central Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi Province, Indonesia

    1 day ago INFORMATION

  • Floods - American Samoa

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Cold - Southern Brazil

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Eastern India

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Southern India

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Extreme Heat - Pakistan

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Floods - Northern Vietnam

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Landslides - Northern Vietnam

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Ibu, Indonesia

    1 day ago WATCH

  • Storms - Brunei

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Storms - Northern Vietnam

    1 day ago WARNING

  • Flood - International Falls, MN Region, United States

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Fuego, Guatemala

    2 days ago WARNING

  • Volcano - Etna, Italy

    4 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - High Plains United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Northwestern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southwestern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southeastern United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - US Virgin Islands

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Marshall Islands

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Hawaii, United States

    5 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southwestern Africa

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southern Mozambique

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Southern Madagascar

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Drought - Central Asia

    6 days ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - North America

    1 month ago WARNING

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

    1 month ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Middle East

    1 month ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Africa

    1 month ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Europe

    1 month ago WARNING

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Asia Pacific

    1 month 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. From the senior level to the operational practitioner—we support disaster management decision makers with advanced science, technology, tools, and information to reduce disaster risk and create a safer, more disaster resilient world.

 

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 features a highly advanced all-hazards global exposure model that is unlike any hazard model available today. Developed by PDC to enable anticipatory action during large-scale hazard events, DisasterAWARE provides near real-time analytics about impacts to population, capital, and key infrastructure exposure for multiple hazards, as well as specific humanitarian needs down to a scale of 30 x 30 meters. The system also includes global early warning, hazard monitoring, and situational awareness for all types of natural and manmade hazards. DisasterAWARE is free to disaster management practitioners and the humanitarian assistance community at https://disasteraware.pdc.org.

 

Customized versions of DisasterAWARE have been deployed by PDC in locations around the world and are used operationally by national and regional disaster management agencies for all phases of disaster management.

 

PDC’s free mobile app, Disaster Alert, is used by the public as well as disaster managers on-the-go and offers customizable early warning alerts for any type of natural hazard in any location around the globe. The app has had more than 2 million downloads to date and is free for download on the Play Store and App Store. It can also be accessed online at https://disasteralert.pdc.org.

 

In addition to offering advanced decision support technology, PDC is pioneering the scientific application of artificial intelligence for disaster risk reduction through its AI for Humanity™ program. Learn more about these innovations at www.pdc.org/aiforhumanity.

 

The Center also provides specialized research on topics ranging from national fragility and disaster preparedness, to climate change, to women, peace and security. It partners with governments worldwide and others to deliver applications, provide disaster preparedness training, share best practices, and support exercises. For more, visit www.pdc.org.

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. Serving in information management and senior leadership roles since 1991, Ray first joined PDC in 2002 as the Chief Information Officer before his selection for Executive Director in 2007. During his tenure at PDC, Ray architected PDC’s flagship DisasterAWARE® risk intelligence platform and mobile applications, developed and oversaw strategies for PDC’s expansion into the global hazard and risk reduction markets, and increased the Center’s competitive project revenues, augmenting PDC’s base research and operating budgets. Ray has led the Center’s support of major international disaster relief operations. He has served as a chief technology advisor to regional and national disaster management offices around the world. Ray has written for numerous United Nations publications on analytical software design for risk reduction. He has been an invited keynote speaker, lecturer and participant at many international events focused on technologies for risk reduction and resilience. Ray is on the advisory board of the University of Hawaii Maui College Applied Business and Information Technology (ABIT) program. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from George Mason University followed by graduate studies in Artificial Intelligence at George Mason University.

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, MS, MBA

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, PhD

Director of Applied Science

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Dr. Erin Hughey is the Director of Global Operation for the Pacific Disaster Center. A recognized leader in global disaster management and disaster risk reduction, Dr. Hughey developed the only operationalized approach to the United Nations Sendi Framework for Action. Known as the National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment (NDPBA), this program has been implemented by more than 20 countries worldwide and aids national, regional and international disaster risk reduction initiatives. With a PhD in geography, Dr. Hughey has dedicated her life’s work to the innovation and the application of new science and technology for disaster management—empowering practitioners and senior leadership alike with the tools and information needed to support data-driven decision making.

Erin Hughey, PhD

Director of Global Operations

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Cassie Stelow brings with her more than 10 years of experience in the development and execution of enterprise-wide IT solutions and strategies. She oversees PDC’s data management solutions and was the key architect for transforming the organization’s data services into a single source. Cassie is responsible for the implementation of data governance, adherence to IT standards and the institutionalization of enterprise tools. She holds a Master of Science in Geospatial Information Science and Technology from North Carolina State University.

Cassie Stelow, MS

Acting 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. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Scott Okada, BBA, MBA

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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