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Disaster and Failure Events Data Repository

Data that are gathered during and after an event, including photos video and other documentation, may be lost or inaccessible relatively soon after. A comprehensive archival repository of disaster and failure events data does not currently exist.  NIST is creating a Disaster and Failure Events Data Repository which will host a national archival database of significant hazard events. The repository will help ensure that this valuable information is organized and maintained to enable study, analysis, and comparison with subsequent severe disaster events.

The data repository will be established in three phases:

Phase 1 (launched August 2011) includes data from NIST's six-year investigation of the collapses of three buildings at New York City's World Trade Center (WTC 1, 2 and 7) as a result of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Available are thousands of photos and videos collected during the investigation; computer simulations created to model aircraft impact damage, fire spread and structural design characteristics; and the complete set of the technical reports that document the body of the NIST work. 

Phase 2 will include a pilot repository of data collected from the 2010 Chile earthquake. This is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.

Phase 3 will include a larger collection of information on hazard events (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, community-scale fires in the wildland-urban interface, structural fires, storm surges, floods and tsunamis) and man-made hazards (accidental, criminal or terrorist). It will also include 1) the development of a cost estimate to maintain, update, operate and improve accessibility of the repository, 2) the selection of the operating platform, 3) finalization of the user requirements and 4) finalization of the minimum data and quality requirements.

This data repository effort also will support the development of standards and new technologies for more efficient collection of data on disaster and failure events.  


Materials provided to NIST are shown in the repository as received and serve as an historical archive.  Some of these materials may contain offensive language or images/videos that some may find graphic. NIST is providing these materials as a public service and to comply with regulations that require federal agencies to provide equal access to data available for public release.    

Materials available in the repository may be protected by copyrights owned by private individuals or organizations, and may be subject to restrictions on use. Where known by NIST, the copyright owner is identified with the image.

NIST researcher, Jeff Dragovich, documenting structural damage in the city of Concepcion from the 2010 Chile Earthquake.

NIST researcher, Jeff Dragovich, documenting structural damage in the city of Concepcion from the 2010 Chile Earthquake.

Currently Available in the Repository:

World Trade Center Investigation Materials