Disasters and failure events provide important opportunities for scientists and engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to learn how we can improve the safety of buildings, their occupants, and emergency responders. NIST has studied and investigated more than 50 earthquakes, hurricanes, building and construction failures, tornadoes, and fires since 1969. The goal for these post-event assessments is to recommend improvements to building codes, standards, and practices. The Disaster and Failure Studies Program provides leadership, coordination and management for all disaster studies at NIST.
To fully understand a damaging event, NIST must gather all possible evidence, including photos, videos, or other documentation that may be owned and held by the public that contain clues about the event, the buildings affected, or the emergency response. For this purpose, NIST established the NIST Disaster Data Portal to serve as an entry point for the general public and other stakeholders to upload files for investigations and studies of disaster and failure events. The Portal helps ensure that this valuable information is organized and maintained to enable study, analysis, and comparison with subsequent severe disaster and failure events.
Click on the button below to submit data including photos, video, and other documentation associated with a disaster or failure event. Submitters will be asked to complete a form for each submission that includes a description of the data, credits, and permissions.
When files are submitted, the accompanying information will support NIST in data curation and data management for a disaster or failure study.
NIST strives to limit the volume of personally identifiable information (PII) collected to the minimum necessary to accomplish the intended purpose. PII is information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual's identity, such as their name, place of birth, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, Social Security Number, biometric information, medical information, personal financial information, credit card or purchase card account numbers, passport numbers, potentially sensitive employment information. NIST asks that all submitters review their file(s) for any unnecessary PII prior to submission and, if possible, replace the file(s) with one that do not contain PII, or otherwise redact the PII.
At this time NIST is only accepting information/data (including photos, videos and other documentation) from authors, creators and/or copyright owners. If you want to submit information/data but did not yourself write or create the material (for example, you did not take a photograph yourself but got it from someone else) or are not the copyright owner, please contact the Disaster and Failure Studies Program at Disaster [at] nist.gov (Disaster[at]nist[dot]gov). Please submit a description of the information/data; do not submit information/data itself to this email address.