Data and statistics are important in understanding the impacts and costs of disasters.
Disaster loss and damage datasets Disaster loss databases allow us to explore patterns and trends of disaster risk based on past events Understanding these patterns and trends can help us to anticipate future losses from extensive events (frequent events) as well as understand whether disaster risk management is effectively reducing this kind of risk. Disaster loss databases vary in their approach, including the threshold for what qualifies as a disaster, as well as in the methods used to collect the data. Disaster loss and damage datasets do not provide a full picture especially for less frequent and larger events which have not happened yet.
Hazard catalogues In a hazard dataset (or catalogue) the most fundamental data define historical events, in particular their date, geographical location and extent, magnitude and maximum intensity. To enhance understanding of hazards, modelling methods are used in which to account for limited historical data, a synthetic event set (stochastic event set) is created. Such event set comprises a suite of computationally generated, synthetic hazard events with statistical characteristics consistent with the historical record as well as any other scientific information on the physical and environmental characteristics of the hazard in that region. Besides catalogue of hazard events, catalogue of other data that is required for modelling hazards are developed by experts. Most catalogues and event sets are developed region by region, although there are a number of global datasets of hazards being developed.
Source: GFDRR (2014a)
Socio-economic indicators Socio-economic indicators help us to assess and monitor socio-economic vulnerability and resilience to disasters. Both poverty and inequality are key drivers and consequences of disaster risk, so indicators of these can allow us to assess and track changes in vulnerability over time. However, the resolution of these national indices can hide great disparity at the local level, emphasising why vulnerability and risk assessment needs to occur at all levels.