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Loss Data Workshop February 2014


13-14 February 2014, Venue: JRC, Ispra, Italy

For disaster risk reduction, forensics and scientific risk and impact modelling, impacts of disasters must be recorded at quite detailed level and using methodologies that allow aggregation over space and time. Moving from anecdotal evidence driven mainly by media coverage of disastrous events to a scientific method to consistently and accurately recording losses is essential, and partnerships between scientific organisations, academics, governments and private firms are necessary.

In a successful first workshop on recording loss data (15 November 2013 in Brussels) representatives of Member States (MS), the private sector, academia, international organisations and staff from Commission services agreed to work together on this issue. It was planned to hold a second, more technical workshop, looking at details of existing databases and technical issues like for example hazard technology classification and discussion on event identification numbers.

Purpose and objectives

The purpose of the second loss data workshop was to create an inventory of loss data recording systems in EU Member States, compare technical specifications, and explore opportunities for standardization. The specific objectives were: 

  • Have concise technical presentations on the data structures and methodologies to collect loss data 
  • Identify common approaches and areas that need further standardization 
  • Understand current limitations and identify the best opportunities for improvement 
  • Form an informal working group to develop an EU technical standard 

During the workshop, participants discussed issues of sharing loss data at EU level as well as at international level as a part of the post-2015 HFA2 process. Having in mind the tight deadlines of the HFA2 consultation process, the participants of the workshop agreed on common language and definitions regarding loss data that should be advocated during HFA2 consultations. To drive technical discussions, a challenge was put forward for the workshop: share summary data in prescribed formats at EU level. Participants were encouraged to prepare data and material to fulfill the challenge, and report on difficulties they encountered and solutions they opted for.

Overall, the workshop has successfully met the initial objectives and continued a process of an informal working group within the EU, but also with non-EU partners, developing guidelines and standards related to disaster loss data recording.


13 February 2014 - Overview of Loss Data Systems

  • 9:00 Arrival at JRC
  • 9:30 Welcome
  • 10:00 Introduction of workshop and participants
    • Elements of loss data: hazard, element at risk, loss
  • 11:00 Review of existing Loss Data Systems in the EU 
    • Presentations by participants on technical details of their system
  • Lunch
  • 13:30 Review of existing Loss Data Systems in the EU (continued)
  • 17:00 Adjourn

14 February 2014 - Common technical standards

  • 9:30 Process to an EU Standard for Loss Data
    • Minimum standards
    • Experimental data sharing
    • Informal technical working group
  • Lunch
  • 13:30 Setting the roadmap
  • 15:00 Conclusions
  • 16:00 Adjourn

Meeting documents

  Title Modified Date Size Description
  Outcomes 3/27/2014 675.85 KB Outcomes and minutes of the meeting
  Database Technical Sheets 1/13/2014 753.58 KB Collection of forms describing technical features of loss databases presented at the 1st meeting (zipped file)
  Concept note and draft agenda 1/14/2014 318.34 KB Concept note and draft agenda explaining the purpose and objectives of the meeting


 Participants are requested to share technical documentation and examples or full catalogues of loss data records, as well as summary statistics. 

The deadline for providing the material is 31 January 2014. 

The material can be provided by email or through other means. Please contact JRC for details. 



Technical documentation

Please provide an overview of the database structure and a description of the data fields if available (English if available, but other languages are accepted). 


Catalogue (full or extract)

Please provide an export of the loss data catalogue in one of the following formats:  

  • Tables: Excel
  • Relational databases: SQLServer, MySQL, PostGRES or Access
  • Spatial databases: SQLServer, ESRI Shapefile or geodatabase


Summary statistics 
With reference to the summary table proposed in the JRC report on page 51 (Table 9), participants are requested to compile the following data as an example:

  • Total loss for the whole country by hazard type from 2000 to 2014 (format: graph)
  • Average annual flood (or another hazard type) loss per NUTS2 level (province) by loss owner (format: a series of maps). Loss owner categories are: government, business, individual, insurer
  • Total loss for the whole country by sector and by year (format: table) 
  • List of top 10 municipalities by total loss in 2010 (format: table) 

 For each item, also an uncertainty assessment may be included (e.g. upper/lower bounds).

The time needed for preparing this information is estimated around 1-2h if a system is in place. Please don't spend more than 1/2 day on this exercise.

Participants are requested to take note of difficulties, approximations, assumptions or other issues they encountered for this task. In case the exact data cannot be produced, an approximation is welcome. Feel free to contact us for discussing options.