This month marks the one-year anniversary of the public launch of Disasters.data.gov, an effort led by the Technology and Innovation for Disaster Preparedness (TIDP) Working Group of the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction. The TIDP Working Group was formed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to find the most effective ways technology and innovation can empower survivors, first responders, and local, state, tribal, and Federal government with critical information and resources to strengthen national preparedness and resilience. First previewed at the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day in August 2014, Disasters.data.gov is a public resource to foster collaboration and the continual improvement of disaster-related open data, free tools, and new ways to provide first responders, survivors, and government officials with the information needed during disasters.
Today, the curated content on the Disasters.data.gov portal includes 139 datasets and 23 tools and apps related to different types of disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, severe weather, and wildfires. Since the official launch of the portal one year ago, the TIDP Working Group has been busy with a variety of additional efforts to build on Disasters.data.gov and further help connect stakeholders from many different sectors with the resources, support, and knowledge they need for effective disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Key accomplishments and milestones achieved in the past year through these efforts include:
The anniversary of the launch of Disasters.data.gov is a time to reflect on and celebrate the considerable accomplishments that the TIDP Working Group has made over the past 12 months. Ensuring lasting and effective successes in advancing disaster preparedness and resilience will require the continued support and engagement of stakeholders from all sectors across the Nation. The TIDP Working Group and the broader disaster-preparedness community is constantly seeking new ways to collaborate and to leverage the creativity, social entrepreneurship, resourcefulness, and ingenuity of individuals and organizations to advance and strengthen national disaster preparedness.
These efforts, aligned with the White House Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative, will continue to elevate and support innovative ideas to harness technology to prepare ourselves, our neighbors, our communities, our schools, and our workplaces more effectively before, during, and after a disaster strikes.
Tamara Dickinson is Principal Assistant Director for Environment and Energy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Dave Applegate is Acting Deputy Director in the Office of the Director at the U.S. Geological Survey.