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Expanded NIST disaster and failure data repository aims to improve resilience

NIST has announced that data from the February 27th 2010 Chile earthquake has now been added to the NIST Disaster and Failure Studies Data Repository, providing a great deal of useful information for regional and global resilience planning.

The repository was established in 2011 to provide a place where data collected during and after a major disaster or structural failure, as well as data generated from related research, could be organized and maintained to facilitate study, analysis and comparison with future events. Eventually, NIST hopes that the repository will serve as a national archival database where other organizations can store the research, findings and outcomes of their disaster and failure studies.

Initially, the NIST Disaster and Failure Studies Data Repository was established to house data from the agency’s six-year investigation of the collapses of three buildings at New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC 1, 2 and 7) as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. With the addition of the 2010 Chile earthquake dataset, NIST is broadening the scope of the repository to begin making it a larger collection of information on hazard events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, community-scale fires in the wildland urban interface, storm surges and man-made disasters (accidental, criminal or terrorist).

Next to be added to the repository will be data from the NIST investigation of the impacts of the May 22nd 2011 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, and the NIST report that documents impacts of the May 20, 2013, tornado in the Newcastle-Moore area of Oklahoma.

By making the data available online, NIST hopes to support the development of standards, codes, practices and new technologies that improve community resilience against the threat of disasters. As the repository grows, it will include data on significant hazard events; how buildings and other structures performed during those events; associated emergency response and evacuation procedures; and the technical, social and economic factors that affect pre-disaster mitigation activities and post-disaster response efforts.

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