Development and relief agencies have long recognized the important role played by data and information in mitigating the impacts of disasters on vulnerable populations. Systematic collection and analysis of these data provides invaluable information to governments and agencies in charge of relief and recovery activities. It also aids the integration of health components into development and poverty alleviation programmes.
However, there is a lack of international consensus regarding best practices for collecting these data. Together with the complexity of collecting reliable information, there remains huge variability in definitions, methodologies, tools and sourcing.
CRED has along history of standardized data compilation, validation and analysis. It provides free and open access to its data through its website. One of CRED’s core data products is the EM-DAT the International Disaster Database.
EM-DAT provides an objective basis for vulnerability assessment and rational decision-making in disaster situations. For example, it helps policymakers identify disaster types that are most common in a given country and have had significant historical impacts on specific human populations.
In addition to providing information on the human impact of disasters, such as the number of people killed, injured or affected, EM-DAT provides disaster-related economic damage estimates and disaster-specific international aid contributions.