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Tools for Analyzing the EM-DAT Disaster Database

2014 February 15

The CRED EM-DAT database is a collection of information about disasters, which you can search and download. However, the form that its provided in can be inconvenient for immediate cross-country analysis. Here you can download it as a spreadsheet (along with the requisite agreement).

Given the unreliability of this data, sometimes the best analysis is the simplest. But I made three tools for some additional work. These are MATLAB functions, and the first step is to export a subset of the data as a csv, with the date columns formatted as numbers.

Simple plotting of EM-DAT totals (with running average): download zip

Plotting the probability of disasters of a given size: download zip

Attempt to find a power-law in disasters frequencies (changing in time): download zip

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