JRC Scientific and Policy Report: Recording Disaster Losses


In a study commissioned by Directorate General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre formulates technical recommendations for a European approach to standardize loss databases. Loss data are useful for the implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies in Europe (from local to national scales) and to help understand disaster loss trends at global level.

Taking stock of existing work, the study defines a conceptual framework for the utility of loss data which allows a cost-benefit analysis of implementation scenarios. The framework considered loss accounting, disaster forensics and risk modelling as key applications. Depending on the scale (detail of recording) and scope (geographic coverage), technical requirements will be more or less stringent, and costs of implementation will vary accordingly.

The technical requirements proposed in this study rely as much as possible on existing standards, best practices and approaches found in literature, international and national organisations and academic institutions. The requirements cover very detailed recording (at asset level) as well as coarse scale recording. Limitations and opportunities of existing EU legislation are considered as the EU context.