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The PDC’s Atlas is a great resource for providing a geospatial context for assessing the risk exposure of human, natural, and societal resources to natural hazards. Using this information, it’s possible to produce up-to-date information on tropical storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes that is dynamically integrated with comprehensive historical records on natural hazards and disaster events throughout the region. With the results, you can characterize hazards from both a real-time and probabilistic perspective. Resource data, including people and infrastructure, provides the basis for understanding exposure to and vulnerability from these hazards. This data in turn can be used to gauge the vulnerability of anything from a new beachfront hotel complex, to a potential factory location, even to things like the potential vulnerability of undersea telephone cables to seismic and other events.

In addition, the PDC Atlas data can be used both within the Atlas and within external analysis tools to develop measures of risk and vulnerability to support decision-making processes by disaster managers and policy makers. For example, resource allocation associated with mitigation planning or humanitarian assistance efforts can be prioritized using these techniques. (Stated another way, it’s possible to use data like this to present a compelling case to get management on board and get your plan funded.)

In the final analysis, the goal of the PDC is not simply to record disasters, but rather to present accurate data that can be manipulated by a wide variety of organizations to gauge probabilities and ultimately reduce the loss of lives from these terrible events. The Atlas is one of many resources that can guide the development of policies leading to more disaster-resistant business, governments, and communities. Take a good look at this valuable resource, and best of luck in your planning pursuits!

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