Government opens emergency events databases

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

Panic_buttonIt seems this is the age of government transparency in the United States as lately more and more government authorities are opening their emergency events databases to the public. The last one to do so is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which published information that was stored by throughout the years about disasters across the U.S., whether by human actions or by forces of nature.

In this transparency project, any citizen who wants to find information can do so in the database while filtering the data by geographic region and the type of disaster – a fire, a storm, snow, typhoon and terror attacks. The database also contains a lot of information about each disaster, such as the economical ramifications it brought. The reason for turning this information public is the wish to encourage the population to better prepare for the next event. It should be pointed that the information is already accessible to the public but the innovation is that now it is much clearer to understand visually, whereas before it was in the form of intimidating excel files.

As in the United States, Israel has many authorities that gather information which can benefit the public and allow him priceless knowledge, and knowledge is power. When it comes to disasters, this is of the greatest importance since understanding the factors which caused past disasters can help citizens to avoid the ones to come. Even if some disasters should happen again, analyzing the way that past ones were dealt with can give the public knowledge as to how it must react should disaster strike near.