KIHEI, MAUI, HAWAI‘I – Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), a program managed by the University of Hawai‘i, has published Disaster Alert for Android-driven devices, a free-download application—formerly available only for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iTouch)—that gives users access to worldwide hazard and disaster event data. The information can be viewed on an interactive map, in quick-view lists or as a detailed presentation on a single event. Disaster Alert is available from Android Market.
Disaster Alert gives users access to PDC Active Hazards, a collection of current and real-time incidents compiled from authoritative sources on events around the globe. The events in the system have been designated “potentially hazardous to people, property, or assets” by the automated processes of PDC’s DisasterAWARE decision support system and by disaster management professionals who use the system.
“The overwhelming response to our iPhone and iPad version of Disaster Alert convinced us to make the app available on other mobile devices,” said PDC Executive Director Ray Shirkhodai, referring to the iOS version that has been downloaded over 65,000 times since its release in July 2010. “It was an important milestone for us—putting up-to-the-minute, reliable, global hazard information in the hands of the public anywhere in the world for safety purposes—but then we saw many teachers using it in the classrooms, officials using it for situational awareness, and friends using it to alert distant friends.”
The Disaster Alert application provides instant access to visualized data on 12 different hazard types: drought, earthquake, flood, high surf (Hawai‘i), high wind (Hawai‘i), man made, marine, storm, cyclone, tsunami, volcano and wildfire. Other hazards will be added to the system over time.
In addition to selecting the view—interactive map, hazards in a list, details of a specific hazard event—the application’s features include:
- the option to select a background map
- update of all active hazards every five minutes
- the ability to select/change time zones.
The sources of data used in the Disaster Alert are among the most trusted organizations in the world. For a detailed list, review PDC’s partners at pdc.org.
Having published iOS and Android OS editions of Disaster Alert, PDC is currently considering developing versions for other mobile platforms.
Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), a program managed by the University of Hawai‘i since 2006, was established by the U.S. government in 1996. PDC’s mission is to provide applied information research and analysis support for the development of more effective policies, institutions, programs and information products for the worldwide disaster management and humanitarian assistance community. The Center’s evolving approach to emergency management shifts the emphasis from being reactive—focusing on response and recovery operations—to being proactively focused on mitigation and preparedness. This strategy is built on the United Nations approach to loss reduction that acknowledges public awareness and community partnerships, better assessments of natural hazard risks, and preventative action priorities as critical components that minimize identified risks. The overall goal is to promote disaster management as an integral part of national-to-local economic and social development to foster disaster-resilient communities.
For more information, visit www.pdc.org.