The Canadian Disaster Database
The Canadian Disaster Database (CDD) contains detailed disaster information on more than 1,000 natural, technological and conflict events (excluding war) that have happened since 1900 at home or abroad and that have directly affected Canadians.
The CDD tracks significant disaster events that conform to the Emergency Management Framework for Canada definition of a disaster and meet one or more of the following criteria:
- 10 or more people killed
- 100 or more people affected/injured/infected/evacuated or homeless
- an appeal for national/international assistance
- historical significance
- significant damage/interruption of normal processes such that the community affected cannot recover on its own
The CDD describes:
- where and when a disaster occurred;
- the number of injuries, evacuations, and fatalities; and
- an estimate of the costs
Searching the CDD
You can choose to display search results in the CDD in either a standard or geospatial view. The standard view displays the results in a table, while the geospatial view displays them on a map and allows you to search using a spatially-defined area.
You can export geospatial disaster data from the CDD through KML or GeoRSS feeds. You can also download data in a report format.
- Public Safety Canada
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
- United States Geological Survey
- United States Census Bureau
Information about data in the CDD
The CDD is reviewed and updated periodically to add disasters that have occurred since the last update and to reflect new information that has become available about past disasters.
It is important to note that:
- There is currently no standardized guideline for collecting cost and loss data. Financial data can take years to finalize, and estimates are sometimes provided in the interest of keeping the database current. As such, information for recent events should be considered preliminary, possibly incomplete, and subject to change.
- The CDD may not be suitable for comparative analysis because of differences in jurisdictional responsibilities, the type of data that is available, and how it is collected and used over time.
CDD data sources
The purpose of the CDD is to share information on disasters, supported by a variety of sources. Data sources include federal institutions, provincial/territorial governments, non-governmental organizations, and publically available data sources.
The CDD aggregates and displays data, but should not be considered a primary data source in itself.
Normalization of costs
The CDD displays cost data in the dollar amount of the year that the event took place or the year the specific payment was made. Normalization is used to compare cost data from different time periods. This can help to determine whether costs have increased or decreased over time, or whether preventative/mitigating measures have helped to lower the cost of disasters.
The CDD’s “Consumer Price Index Normalization” conversion tool can be used to normalize CDD cost data. The tool works by converting the "raw" cost data from the entered year a disaster occurred to the equivalent dollar amount for a chosen year.
The CDD uses the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to normalize cost data because it is widely used and accepted. However, it is important to note that:
- you must use the 1914 CPI for events that occurred before 1914
- you cannot apply the CPI to the current year. If you want to use “up to date” costs for your comparison, you must enter last year in the conversion tool.
Canada endeavours to provide the best information possible; however, the information contained in the Canadian Disaster Database (CDD) is based on information that is sourced from outside parties and may not be accurate. Canada makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees, express or implied, that the data contained in the CDD may be relied upon for any use whatsoever. Canada accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccuracies, errors or omissions in the data and any loss, damage or costs incurred as a result of using or relying on the data in any way. The CDD may contain material that is subject to licensing requirements or copyright restrictions and may not be reproduced, published, distributed or transferred in whole or in part without the consent of the author.
Contacting the Canadian Disaster Database Secretariat
If you have technical questions about accessing or using the data in the CDD, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For other questions, please use Public Safety Canada’s general inquiries form.
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