As the global community joins together to offer their best skills and resources to combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), a research and technology organization under the University of Hawaiʻi in Kīhei, Maui, has teamed up with organizations across sectors, state lines and international borders to share the most important information and analysis as soon as it breaks.
“Pacific Disaster Center is approaching the response to this global pandemic by partnering with the most reliable data providers to ensure accurate, timely, easy-to-understand and actionable information is at the fingertips of emergency managers, decision makers and the general public,” said PDC Executive Director Ray Shirkhodai. “We specialize at bringing together the best science and information through our many partnerships around the world, and we’re making this information completely accessible through our free and open DisasterAWARE platform as soon as it’s released.”
PDC has also analyzed a variety of crucial COVID-19 data through new online dashboards that give the public instant access to the most authoritative information, in near real-time.
“It is the combination of PDC’s data, analytical tools and technologies, and its scientific research on risk and vulnerability that is ensuring the best information gets into the hands of FEMA, civil and national defense authorities, the National Guard Bureaus, and all agencies and organizations in disaster management in the United States and around the world,” said UH President David Lassner.
Another example, PDC partnered early on with the National Emergency Managers Association (NEMA) to help automate mapping of NEMA’s unique COVID-19 State Actions Tracker, available now in all of PDC’s DisasterAWARE systems for emergency managers and the community. This comprehensive information now directly serves FEMA and other federal agencies for critical decision making in response to COVID-19. Information is depicted visually for at-a-glance analysis. This is one of PDC’s many COVID-19 related layers, and among thousands of other global data sets PDC has made available to the community to aid with various disaster response efforts at home and around the world.
“PDC’s vast data holdings put us in a unique position to help assess risks, vulnerabilities and aid planning for COVID-19 response—not only within our own island community, but across the nation and in countries around the world,” said Erin Hughey, PDC’s director of global operations.
She said PDC has also forged academic and scientific partnerships with nations and international groups, such as the United Nations, who have been working together with the center to reduce disaster risk and vulnerability. PDC has collaborated with some of these groups to combat Zika globally in the past.
Hughey said, “Through our many global partnership efforts and PDC’s National Disaster Preparedness Baseline Assessment program, we can provide detailed analysis of risk factors and vulnerabilities, at a subnational level, to help reduce the spread of this dangerous virus and more effectively plan for its potential impacts.”