Safeguarding nations with early warning and decision support technology

March 8, 2019

As human populations become more densely concentrated in areas exposed to natural hazards, and record-breaking losses continue to grow, decision makers need effective tools and quick access to reliable information. PDC’s advanced early warning and multi-hazard monitoring platform, DisasterAWARE, is playing a critical role in countries throughout the world in helping to satisfy these needs—averting catastrophic human suffering and long-term economic setbacks from natural disasters.  The web-based system, and several custom versions of the software, are currently in use throughout Southeast Asia, the United States, Latin America, and other parts of the globe. DisasterAWARE integrates the largest inventory of scientifically verified global and national data into a single interface. The system also integrates a suite of hazard impact analysis tools and modeling capabilities to support both strategic planning and operational decision making at the regional, national, and subnational level.

Initially envisioned as a technology to help protect the Hawaiian Islands following widespread damage left by Hurricane Iniki in 1992, PDC’s platform has advanced as one of the most sophisticated tools for hazard monitoring, hazard impact modeling, early warning, and risk mitigation around the globe. The data and technology offered by DisasterAWARE is helping U.S. FEMA, state, and local disaster management authorities – and their counterparts around the world, as well as United Nations and other humanitarian relief organizations.

Among the first early adopters of DisasterAWARE was the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre). ASEAN’s custom Disaster Monitoring and Response System (DMRS) was deployed in 2012 to help safeguard all of ASEAN’s 10 member states. The system provides the most advanced global early warning for multiple hazards, scientific observational data for monitoring, predictive modeling of hazard exposure and potential impacts, and hundreds of critical geospatial datasets needed to assess regional risk and vulnerability. PDC also assisted ASEAN with training and development and the Centre’s concept of operations necessary to operationalize DMRS.

Since that time, PDC has been a crucial partner of ASEAN, not only working together to help maintain the technology, but institutionalizing its use. PDC has assisted in the development of standard operating procedures and helped ensure the AHA Centre has the necessary in-house resources, training, and national capacity to support ongoing advancements, policies, and practices into the future.

“ASEAN has envisioned being the future global leader in disaster management by the year 2025, capitalizing on our own experience in responding to world class disasters. To achieve this, we are excited about our partnership with leading institutions and the best in the industry like PDC,” said Ms. Adelina Kamal, newly appointed Executive Director of AHA Centre and longtime partner of PDC.

Other key partners who are using DisasterAWARE or custom versions of the platform include Indonesia’s national disaster management organization Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB); the national governments of Vietnam, Nepal, Thailand, and Philippine’s Disaster Resilience Foundation, the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC); the United States government including the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Department of Defense and military organizations with the mission to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and numerous other countries, regional organizations, and nonprofits.

Most recently the Government of Myanmar has signed on to leverage the AHA Centre’s DMRS system to support its early warning and disaster monitoring needs. This model of cooperation through the AHA Centre may also serve other ASEAN member states in the near future.

Learn more about PDC’s recent decision support projects, customization capabilities, and institutionalization processes by visiting our early warning and decision support solutions page. You can also view our partner testimonials below or read more about our projects:

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