Pacific Disaster Center aids Southeast Asia disaster response
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has completed the installation of and training on their state-of-the-art Disaster Monitoring and Response System at the Humanitarian Assistance Coordinating Center in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The system is based on a platform developed by the Pacific Disaster Center called DisasterAWARE that provides advanced disaster monitoring, warning and impact assessment. It will aid in reducing the region’s vulnerability to disaster and to support preparedness and response efforts across national borders.
According to Pacific Disaster Center Executive Director Ray Shirkhodai, “DMRS is more than just computer software. With its multi-hazard information sharing and integrated impact modeling capabilities, it is a critical tool enabling decision makers to most effectively prepare for and respond to major disasters.”
The deployment of DMRS is a capacity-enhancement project funded by USAID, and is the latest outcome of years of collaboration between the Pacific Disaster Center and the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management in disaster risk reduction. The year-long project included development of operational procedures for use of DMRS to coordinate responses to major events within the ASEAN region as well as the delivery of training.
Other custom versions of DisasterAWARE are in use by U.S. federal and state agencies, and internationally by the governments of Thailand and Vietnam. Strong interest has also been expressed by Indonesia, the Philippines and others.
The Pacific Disaster Center was established by the U.S. government in 1996 and has been managed by the University of Hawaiʻi since 2006. Its mission is to provide applied information research and analysis support for the development of more effective policies, institutions, programs and information products for the worldwide disaster management and humanitarian assistance community.