DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ – FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?
DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is the new commercial, subscription-based version of the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) EMOPS DisasterAWARE™ (All-Hazard Warning, Analysis, and Risk Evaluation) application. This new version of the PDC EMOPS is designed for global, enterprise businesses. Developed by PDC and powered by DisasterAWARE™, DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is an integrated, cloud-based platform that provides automated, high quality, near-real-time hazard monitoring, situational awareness, decision support, and information exchange capabilities to executive decision makers that must respond to emergency situatoins. The highly available and secure platform also supports a Global Hazards Atlas and a mobile app, Disaster Alert. Please refer to the DisasterAWARE™ Overview for more details on DisasterAWARE™.

What are the main features and benefits of DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?

  • Near-real-time multi-hazard tracking:
    The DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ platform continually monitors reliable scientific data sources to offer near real-time awareness of natural and man-made hazards worldwide. In-depth details on events deemed potentially hazardous to people, property, or assets are continuously updated and available to decision makers. Great information means better decisions.
  • Predictive impact modeling:
    The ability to anticipate upcoming events gives your business more opportunity to prepare and ensure continuity of your operations and supply chain, as well as the safety of your employees. Our team of scientists have developed data modeling algorithms that continuously refine how major hazards may evolve in the hours and days following first impact. For example, our algorithm can predict what path a hurricane will likely take or the direction a wildfire will spread based on winds and other conditions. A crystal ball is better than insurance.
  • Map your data with the most comprehensive context available:
    With an unparalleled depth of context based on 2,000+ interactive data layers available, the DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ platform offers one of the largest disaster data inventories in the world. But your business is unique, and the DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ platform allows you to bring in your own data on the map, in order to better estimate affected areas and the potential impacts of hazards that may threaten your offices, suppliers, or distributors’ ships, aircraft or trucks. This is the most accurate and extensive data available, and is the same official data used by first responders in many countries, including members of the U.S. Department of Defense and the White House. In a disaster recovery situation, the better the data, the better the outcome.
  • Superior user experience on any device:
    DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ offers a deep set of data and features to users through an intuitive, Apple-class experience. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ allows users to be very effective, very quickly, on any device. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is a universal application that has been designed to make the most of the screen sizes ranging from high definition monitors to smartphones. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is also usable offline, which can be critical in catastrophic situations. An intuitive application is essential when you are responding to a disaster.
  • Advanced collaboration tools:
    Business continuity is a cross-functional concern, and effective communication within your company is critical. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ allows users and teams to report, annotate and share information within the application in a very intuitive way. Real-time notifications extend this collaboration to people who may not be in front of a screen. In an emergency, two (or more) heads are definitely better than one.

If I have a business continuity plan (BCP) and insurance, do I still need DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?
YES! A business continuity plan (BCP) outlines the steps to take to react to a disaster AFTER impact occurs, assuring continuity of operations. Likewise, insurance provides a mechanism for risk transfer. While critically important, these are not sufficient for risk reduction BEFORE a disaster occurs.

DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ helps you track potential risks hazards globally, understand the impact with modeling (when applicable), and organize or mobilize forces before an event. As a result, oftentimes you can use DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ to avoid a disaster by relocating employees or assets before that disaster occurs. In case of an impact, you can also use the platform to coordinate recovery, and quickly and seamlessly share information laterally, or up the chain. Therefore, you can use the platform to not only to execute your business continuity plans, but also to understand multi-hazard exposure risks across the globe, and improve your planning process. This can be used for business planning (including supply chain risk reduction), and improving your existing BCP. All these functions are supported in one place and through one application: DisasterAWARE Enterprise™.

Additionally, you do not need highly skilled disaster managers, analysts or scientists to continuously maintain the system and improve assessments over time: anyone can use DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ immediately, and most can become experts within a few hours with training.
How does business continuity improve competitive differentiation?

Business continuity is the planning process to enable a business to react quickly and continue operating with minimum disruption when key or critical business assets or elements are impacted. This is traditionally implemented with a business continuity plan (BCP), but BCPs are often complex to put in place and are always enacted after an event occurs.

DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ provides a simple way to bring the power of crucial information to executive decision makers, reducing the complexity of massive hazard-related data points. It helps businesses take action before a catastrophic event happens, which helps minimize losses.

Using DisasterAWARE Enterprise™, an organization can conduct a comprehensive business continuity analysis to assess and prioritize an organization’s critical processes, dependencies, employees’ roles and technology, which can uncover new opportunities for cost savings or revenue growth.

Is DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ proven?
DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ has been used and refined for many years by and for world leaders in disaster risk reduction. When minutes can mean thousands of lives saved, DisasterAWARE Enterprise™’s inituitive user experience helps decision makers in many government agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security; FEMA; the White House; the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN); United Nations agencies; and national disaster management organizations in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia; as well as several other governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), disaster management professionals, and humanitarian relief agencies worldwide. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ quickly visualizes vast amounts of data and delivers real-time alerts before major disasters and catastrophic events occur. Over the last 10 years, DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ has helped better prepare for and respond to major disasters, including the recent 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, the Japan tsunami and earthquake, the Zika epidemic, and Hurricane Matthew.
Is DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ secure?

DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ provides hazard data from governments and other sources which are shared by many users, but your own company-specific data is kept private and only available to users of the same organization. For example:

  • References to the locations of your people and physical assets
  • Your user identities, email addresses, phone numbers, and passwords
  • Any custom data you upload in the system

All access to the DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ platform takes place through a secure connection.

Do you provide consulting services?
Yes, we offer a full range of consulting and implementation services, including helping defining your business continuity and resilience strategy; gap analysis; training and onboarding of employees on the platform; providing client data migration and integration into DisasterAWARE Enterprise™; and deployment support, in order to ensure a smooth operation rollout.
How does DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ notify people in case of important events?

Notifications are typically provided via a variety of methods, including email, SMS (text messaging), in-application notices, or mobile application notifications on iOS and Android. In addition, for information exchange with other systems, DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ supports FEMA’s Common Alerting Protocol, which is rapidly becoming a global standard in disaster alerting.

Can I monitor the location of assets in my supply chain?
Yes, if you have the locations of these assets, you can easily import them into the application to visualize them using standard geographical data formats.

Can I feed alerts directly into my current analytics/BI framework toolset?
Yes. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™’s data is available as part of a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) subscription, which allows you to integrate it into your infrastructure. In addition, for information exchange with other systems, DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ supports FEMA’s Common Alerting Protocol, which is rapidly becoming a global standard in disaster alerting.

How does DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ apply to corporate level concerns compared to local branches?
DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is typically used by personnel in an enterprise’s Security Operations Center (SOC) or Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and it is also very useful to regional and local operations managers for tracking and responding to local threats. Empowering local teams with reliable, real-time information makes a critical difference in their ability to respond to crises. DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is the one tool that allows local managers to seamlessly share information laterally, or up the chain.

What are some typical DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ use cases?

  • To help improve understanding of risks and enact risk reduction and better planning BEFORE a hazard strikes
  • To support the creation of or enhancements to your business continuity plan
  • To track hazards that may affect or threaten a business, including its employees, assets and supply chain, and serve as a global source of data for a Security Operations Center (SOC)
  • To provide continuity of operations and enhanced business resilience, and to protect human capital, assets and the supply chain
  • To plan international expansions taking into account as many natural, economical factors as possible
  • To distribute hazard data to an increasingly mobile workforce so they can be as informed as those in the organization’s Security Operations Center (SOC)
  • To provide traveling staff with awareness of hazards that may affect them
  • To redirect moving assets (ships, aircraft or trucks) away from upcoming hazards
  • To anticipate and address potential supply chain impacts of natural disasters, especially when lines of communication have been cut
  • To make decisions as quickly as possible based on immediate notifications without having to wait for information from government agencies

What are the skills and resources required to use DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?
Most of DisasterAWARE Enterprise™’s critical functions do not require any special skill to use. These include receiving and understanding hazards and their impacts, navigating the map, and understanding the proximity of danger to assets and resources.

However, understanding the full scope of DisasterAWARE Enterprise™’s capabilities and using the full potential of the technology for business continuity planning or as a part of a Security Operations Center (SOC) or Emergency Operations Center (EOC) procedure, typically requires a higher level of skillsets. In such cases, the skills required to use DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ parallel the existing skillsets of the professionals working in those fields.

If you don’t have such skillsets in your organization, we offer services to help businesses define and establish a business continuity strategy. A key benefit offered by DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is the ability to bring geo-coded information about your people, assets, and supply chain into the system, which is a critical aspect of business continuity management.

What are your product roadmap plans for DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?

  • Geo-sensitive alerts: only get notified when one of your assets is threatened
  • Ability to track moving assets (for example, ships, aircraft, trucks, people)
  • Personalized threat communication to mobile users (threats that impact the location where they are now or where they are traveling to later)

Support
You can review our support policy here.

Do you have a “try and buy” offer or a “Freemium” version of DisasterAWARE Enterprise™?
Yes, for all new customers considering DisasterAWARE Enterprise™, there is a 30-day free access option available to assess the product’s value to your business.

We also offer a 5-day support package, either on-site ($10,000) or remote ($5,000), to assist with setup and provide demonstration, basic training and advice in order to maximize DisasterAWARE Enterprise™’s value to your business.

What are the contractual terms and conditions?
A subscription is pre-paid for a fixed term. It is non-cancellable during the term and will auto-renew at the end of the term unless you provide a 30-day notice of cancellation.

What is the DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ licensing model?
DisasterAWARE Enterprise™ is provided as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) subscriptions.