US: New portal featuring open data for disaster response and recovery

Acknowledging that technology can play a key role in enhancing preparedness and raising awareness for natural hazards, the United States White House Office of Science and Technology Police (OSTP) organised the Innovation for Disaster Response and Recovery Initiative Demo Day, featuring disaster-related datasets, tools, and updates.

On this occasion, the portal was launched in order to compile open data, tools and other disaster-related resources and make them easily accessible to the public.

The portal includes 114 datasets, from various US organizations, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The resources are divided into six categories, according to the type of disaster, namely: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, severe winter weather, tornadoes, wildfires.

The OSTP is currently working to include more datasets, unlocking resources that have been traditionally undisclosed to the public and that may be crucial in disaster response and recovery operations, like the locations of schools, hospitals and medical care facilities.

Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chief Technology Officer Brian Forde said: “Strengthening our Nation’s resilience to disasters is a shared responsibility, with all community members contributing their unique skills and perspectives”.