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The Pacific Disaster Center (PDC): A Bit of Background

After Hurricane Iniki devastated the island of Kauai in 1992, the U.S. Congress established the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC). Headquartered on the island of Maui, and in operation since 1995, the PDC has assisted in disaster preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts of emergency managers and decision makers throughout the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions—and, more recently, around the world. The PDC is an applied science, information, and technology center, working to reduce disaster risks and impact to peoples’ lives and property; and to local, national, and regional economies.

The PDC works to improve early-warning systems and to develop better risk-mitigation practices, which can be applied at all levels from international regions down to individual communities.

The PDC’s evolving approach to emergency management shifts the emphasis from being reactive—focusing on response and recovery operations—to being proactive, with the focus on mitigation and preparedness. The center provides detailed assessments of hazards and risks, and helps to prioritize preventive actions, understanding that these are critical components that reduce losses when disaster strikes.

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