Disaster Visualization

Frequency and location of FEMA designated disasters
Ice Storm

Select Year


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What is FEMA and what does this data represent?

FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) is an agency of the United States Homeland Security. FEMA responds to disasters when local and state authorities become overwhelmed. The data represented on this site indicates the counties that received federal aid after suffering from a natural disaster.

Where and how was the data retrieved?

The initial data set was retrieved from DATA.gov. However, the raw data pulled from the FEMA Disaster section was not the final dataset used for this site. Additional datasets and filtering were necessary before finalizing the data currently being displayed on this site.

What is being conveyed on this site?

There are three charts available: Year, Month and Map. All three charts contain data that is crossfiltered depending on the range of years selected from the year barchart. The year barchart by default displays all the years natural disasters have occurred in the United States. The selected years are displayed in red while the deselected years are displayed in gray. The month barchart displays the frequency disasters have occurred on a month scale depending on the user selected years. The map displays all U.S. counties colored based on the frequency of natural disasters occuring within the selected years. The frequency color scale is displayed on the right of the map starting from 0 disaster(gray) to 25+ disasters(dark maroon).

What user interactions are available?

The first step is to select/deselect any combination of disaster types from the set of disaster type icon via click. Hover over any disaster type icon to view a description of what the disaster type encompasses. The user has the ability to select a desired time frame on the year barchart by clicking and highlighting. The timeframe selected will be displayed on the top left side of the map. The play and stop options, intended for the map chart, are available for the years selected. A zoom & pan functionality is also available for the user to zoom into the desired county for a closer look. Overlay the mouse ontop of the map. Zoom in and out with the mouse's scroll wheel. To pan the map, click, hold and drag the map in any direction. To reset the map to the original zoom scale and position, click the 'Reset Map Position' button.

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