In 1988, the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) launched the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT). EM-DAT was created with the initial support of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Belgian Government.
The main objective of the database is to serve the purposes of humanitarian action at national and international levels. The initiative aims to rationalize decision making for disaster preparedness, as well as provide an objective base for vulnerability assessment and priority setting.
EM-DAT contains essential core data on the occurrence and effects of over 22,000 mass disasters in the world from 1900 to the present day. The database is compiled from various sources, including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, insurance companies, research institutes and press agencies.
The data is available upon registering to the website. All the online generated profiles, summary tables, trends and maps are directly downloadable. However, access to the raw data is only possible through a data request procedure. Each request is reviewed individually by the EM-DAT team and access to the data is only granted on a case-by-case basis.