Category Archives: General Topics

This is the default category.

Providing Solutions for Critical Issues Facing Families Today

The prosperity of the United States relies on families that support one another throughout all stages of life. However, systematic issues and complex interpersonal relationships hinder many families’ ability to thrive. While scientific evidence demonstrates the importance of a supportive family environment on individual health outcomes and well-being, this knowledge is often not appropriately applied to policy or practice.

Building supportive families begins with eliminating systematic inequities in adolescence and promoting positive childhood experiences and relationships. Children are highly sensitive to their surroundings and interactions, and their healthy development relies on open communication and stability at home. Working adults also rely on their families to support them as they fulfill their responsibilities and navigate obstacles both inside and outside of the home. This is especially apparent in military families, who face additional complex challenges due to military life. However, the current system for fostering positive family relationships in difficult situations is limited and fails to provide all families with adequate support and tools for success.

As we age, family support becomes even more critical. In 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the value of family caregiver services to older adults was $234 billion, and that number is increasing as more adults reach older ages. As the role of family caregivers grows increasingly complex and demanding, it is imperative that caregivers receive the support they need to manage the needs of their aging family members. The United States health care system must advance from person-centered care to person and family-centered care in order to provide comprehensive support.

The United States government has a responsibility to ensure that its family programs reach those who need it the most. The education, health care, child welfare, and justice systems, and systems within the Department of Defense, must recognize the growing diversity of families and create adaptable programs that are equipped to support all families in need. Furthermore, these systems must leverage scientific evidence that reveals the multitude of factors that influence outcomes throughout all stages of life and apply that knowledge to programs and policy.


Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8

Decades of research have demonstrated that the parent-child dyad and the environment of the family—which includes all primary caregivers—are at the foundation of children’s well- being and healthy development. From birth, children are …


The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth

Adolescence—beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s—is a critical period of development during which key areas of the brain mature and develop. These changes in brain structure, function, and connectivity mark …


Strengthening the Military Family Readiness System for a Changing American Society

The U.S. military has been continuously engaged in foreign conflicts for over two decades. The strains that these deployments, the associated increases in operational tempo, and the general challenges of military life affect not only service …


Families Caring for an Aging America

Family caregiving affects millions of Americans every day, in all walks of life. At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are caregivers of an older adult with a health or functional limitation. The nation’s family caregivers …


Exploring Climate Change and Its Impacts

This June and July were the hottest months ever recorded. European countries faced record-breaking, life-threatening temperatures during a heatwave in June that was directly followed by an even hotter heatwave in July. Alaska and Siberia both experienced unparalleled heatwaves this summer. As the heatwaves travelled from Europe to Greenland, unprecedented amounts of Arctic ice melted. This year’s fluctuations echo the 2003 heatwave that killed thousands of Europeans but led to improvements in preparation, response, and recovery practices. These extreme weather events still have significant costs for individuals, society, and the environment and should be addressed on a national and global scale.

While the impact of humans on the intensity, frequency, and duration of heatwaves is well understood in the science community, more public awareness, data-gathering, and research are needed to apply this knowledge to policy and practice. It is critical to evaluate the consequences of human-induced climate change and subsequent extreme weather events to protect public health, infrastructure, and the environment.

Hippocrates identified the effect of climate on the spread and severity of epidemic diseases in the fifth century B.C.E., and this concept remains in public health conversations even today. Extreme weather events amplify the spread of disease. Our report Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events explores the relationship between global climate change and infectious diseases, highlighting common public health concerns specific to both high-income and low-income countries in a changing climate.

Global climate change and extreme weather events also impact human infrastructure, especially in cities and transportation systems. Numerous transportation systems across Europe were disrupted due to the heatwaves, among them a rail line in the United Kingdom whose passengers were stranded in unair-conditioned train cars. Our report Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change stresses that before, during, and after extreme weather events, it is critical to predict and manage risk, minimize disruption, and implement recovery procedures. This begins in the design and construction phase of city and transportation infrastructure.

The Arctic region is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Before the summer heatwaves travelled from European countries to Greenland, sea ice spread in the Arctic and Antarctic was already at record lows. The new wave of hot air then melted 1 billion tons of Greenland’s ice in one day. Our 2013 report, Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change, classified late-summer sea ice disappearance as a high risk within this century. Animals that are native to this melting environment face significant challenges as the thinning habitat alters their eating, migration and overall life cycles. The existence of Earth’s Arctic ice cover relies on enhanced cooperation across industries, better management and communication of research, and greater investment in research, community awareness, and young researchers.

Extreme heatwaves caused by manmade emissions are increasing in intensity and frequency, devastating both human and natural systems globally. Scientists have discussed the effect of high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere since before the turn of the 20th century, but this knowledge is not sufficiently applied to policy. Our publications explore the possible impacts of climate change and provide guidance on navigating these challenges.


Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well …


Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that …


Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an economic metric intended to provide a comprehensive estimate of the net damages – that is, the monetized value of the net impacts, both negative and positive – from the global climate change that results …


Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Long before the “germ theory” of disease was described, late in the nineteenth century, humans knew that climatic conditions influence the appearance and spread of epidemic diseases. Ancient notions about the effects of weather and climate on …


Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report provides …


Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change

Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events summarizes a symposium held June 16–17, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The fourth annual symposium promotes common understanding, efficiencies, and trans-Atlantic …


Linkages Between Arctic Warming and Mid-Latitude Weather Patterns: Summary of a Workshop

The Arctic has been undergoing significant changes in recent years. Average temperatures are rising twice as fast as they are elsewhere in the world. The extent and thickness of sea ice is rapidly declining. Such changes may have an impact on …


The Arctic in the Anthropocene: Emerging Research Questions

Once ice-bound, difficult to access, and largely ignored by the rest of the world, the Arctic is now front and center in the midst of many important questions facing the world today. Our daily weather, what we eat, and coastal flooding are all …


Addressing the Global Challenge of Ebola and Infectious Disease Outbreaks

On Wednesday, July 17th, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Committee released a statement declaring the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) an international emergency. The statement announced that, on average, 80 new cases are reported each week along the northeastern border of the DRC. Because thousands cross this border to Rwanda daily, the national and regional risk is very high. Furthermore, the US Department of State now considers the North Kivu and Ituri Provinces in the DRC a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” zone due to the threats to safety caused by local conflicts and the Ebola outbreak. Preexisting unstable political conditions, poor security and limited infection control practices add to the complexity of the situation. Two community health workers were murdered last week, contributing to the unrest. Now the disease has reached Goma, a city with nearly two million people and an international airport, leading WHO to take action.

According to WHO, the virus continues to spread geographically, despite improvements in outbreak surveillance and decreases in virus transmissions. Additional resources, local community involvement, increased security measures, and efforts across multiple sectors are still necessary to control this outbreak. Our reports explore recent Ebola outbreaks, infectious disease control and prevention, and global health policy, and provide guidance for decision-making. All reports are free to read or download.


Integrating Clinical Research into Epidemic Response: The Ebola Experience

The 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in western Africa was the longest and most deadly Ebola epidemic in history, resulting in 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The Ebola virus has been known since 1976, when two …


Global Health and the Future Role of the United States

While much progress has been made on achieving the Millenium Development Goals over the last decade, the number and complexity of global health challenges has persisted. Growing forces for globalization have increased the interconnectedness of …


The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises

Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak many public- and private-sector leaders have seen a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the …


50th Anniversary of the Historic Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon

“A grand attempt to reach beyond the world of mundane life and transcend the ordinary limits of human existence through accomplishment of the miraculous – a story of engineers who tried to reach the heavens.”
The Spaceflight Revolution, William Bainbridge

Fifty years ago, six hundred million people watched in awe as Commander Neil Armstrong took mankind’s first steps on lunar soil. For eight days, Apollo 11 carried Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin through space, as they made celestial observations that served as the foundation of previously inconceivable human exploration beyond planet Earth. For 21 ½ hours, Armstrong and Aldrin explored the Moon’s surface, gathering 47.5 pounds of Moon rocks to bring home, communicating back to Earth through thousands of miles of cosmic dust, and chronicling their experiences to share with the world. This milestone in human history marked an age of significant technological achievement, space exploration, and discovery, and inspired the world with possibilities of the future. This week, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon.

Since Armstrong’s famous words, “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” travelled thousands of miles from the lunar surface to Earth, there have been many new discoveries and conclusions regarding space, technology, and humanity. Astronaut-driven lunar rovers and other specialized equipment such as the Modularized Equipment Transporter (MET) enable astronauts to conduct longer, more in-depth geological surveys of different locations on the Moon’s surface. Project Apollo, spanning from 1961–1975, not only accelerated scientific discovery, but also further developed society’s understanding of our own place within the cosmos. 50 years later, we ask ourselves: where do we go from here?

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). This new directive instructed the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead a program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations.

In response to and in support of the vision expressed in SPD-1, the National Academies released a report that reviewed decadal and other community-guided lunar science priorities as context for NASA’s current lunar plans and evaluated the actions being taken by NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) to support lunar science. At the request of NASA PSD, the National Academies released a second report that explores plans for commercial partnerships, lunar infrastructure development, and related aspects of NASA’s lunar science and exploration initiative. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most important days in human history, and to learn more about innovations in space technology, read online or download our reports.


Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Planetary Science Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …


Report Series: Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science: Review of the Commercial Aspects of NASA SMD’s Lunar Science and Exploration Initiative

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-1 (SPD-1). The new directive replaced original text in the National Space Policy of the United States of America and instructed the Administrator of the National …


Exploring and Ensuring Election Security

Last week, Dr. Neal Kelly, authoring committee member for our report Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy, spoke to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology regarding voting technology vulnerabilities. Dr. Kelly is the registrar of voters for Orange County, CA and discussed the key findings of our consensus study report.

During his speech, Dr. Kelly presented observations from his position as registrar of voters for Orange County and the takeaways from our report. He identified the best voting practices used in Orange Country, discussed barriers in election security enhancement, and described the role of congress in guiding states and counties towards secure election processes. As one of the largest voting jurisdictions in the United States, Dr. Kelly notes that Orange County has been an ideal location to implement and evaluate pilot programs. He has been able to identify areas for improvement and apply actions towards correcting the holes in election security systems. He plays a critical role in promoting sound election security procedures.

Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy assesses the security of the U.S. election system. This report elaborates on the Russian government’s role in the 2016 election, discusses how specific heightened security measures can prevent similar threats, and offers insight to further develop secure election procedures for the future. To learn more, read the report online or download the PDF for free.

Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy

During the 2016 presidential election, America’s election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, …


Innovations in Interventions to Save Coral Reefs

Did you know that corals are animals, not plants? Coral reefs are beautiful, diverse, and essential to ocean and land life. However, these species are dependent on the stability of an increasingly unstable environment. Ocean life is vulnerable to destructive rises in ocean temperature, acidity, and sea level. This vibrant species now faces bleaching events, hindered growth, and a decreasing rate of calcification, in addition to persistent stressors that have threatened coral reefs for decades, such as overfishing and pollution. Climate change compounds these preexisting challenges. It is more important now than ever to reevaluate actions to protect our extraordinary and unique coral reefs before it is too late.

The National Academies recently released two reports that, in conjunction, describe, review, and contextualize different approaches to coral protection. A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019) explores and assesses 23 different interventions, ranging from genetic, ecological, and environmental approaches. Our latest report, A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs (2019), builds upon our previous examination of coral reef interventions. It elaborates on the specific uses of different interventions, responding to questions regarding how, when, and where to use particular interventions for local reefs. These reports offer critical resources for coral managers and communities as they evaluate their specific needs and adapt a localized plan for the future. Both are free to download.

A Research Review of Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reef declines have been recorded for all major tropical ocean basins since the 1980s, averaging approximately 30-50% reductions in reef cover globally. These losses are a result of numerous problems, including habitat destruction, …


A Decision Framework for Interventions to Increase the Persistence and Resilience of Coral Reefs

Coral reefs are critical to ocean and human life because they provide food, living area, storm protection, tourism income, and more. However, human-induced stressors, such as overfishing, sediment, pollution, and habitat destruction have …


Data Breach and Ransomware Attacks: Enhancing Resiliency and Safety

This week, a third-party medical billing collections company, American Medical Collection Agency, announced that they had experienced a data breach, exposing the personal and financial information of nearly 20 million LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics customers. At the same time, the City of Baltimore and the Philadelphia city court online system are struggling to respond and recover from ransomware attacks.

Breaches and attacks can be devastating to an individual or an organization. Anyone with important data stored on their computer or network is at risk, including government or law enforcement agencies and healthcare systems or other critical infrastructure entities. Beyond financial loss, the impacts of these actions can threaten personal reputations, national security, and even the safety of children.

Our publications discuss urgent issues related to the resilience of the nation’s computing and communications systems, including the Internet, commercial systems, and other critical infrastructures. All are free to read online or download.

Data Breach Aftermath and Recovery for Individuals and Institutions: Proceedings of a Workshop

In January 2016, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted the Workshop on Data Breach Aftermath and Recovery for Individuals and Institutions. Participants examined existing technical and policy remediations, and they discussed possible new mechanisms for better …


Beyond Spectre: Confronting New Technical and Policy Challenges: Proceedings of a Workshop

In 2017, researchers discovered a vulnerability in microprocessors used in computers and devices all over the world. The vulnerability, named Spectre, combines side effects from caching and speculative execution, which are techniques that have been used for many years to increase the speed at …


Recoverability as a First-Class Security Objective: Proceedings of a Workshop

The Forum on Cyber Resilience of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted the Workshop on Recoverability as a First-Class Security Objective on February 8, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The workshop featured presentations from several experts in industry, research, and …


Enhancing the Resilience of the Nation’s Electricity System

Americans’ safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience depend on the reliable supply of electric power. The electric power system is a complex “cyber-physical” system composed of a network of millions of components spread out across the continent. These components are owned, operated, …


Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy

During the 2016 presidential election, America’s election infrastructure was targeted by actors sponsored by the Russian government. Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy examines the challenges arising out of the 2016 federal election, assesses current technology and standards for …


Software Update as a Mechanism for Resilience and Security: Proceedings of a Workshop

Software update is an important mechanism by which security changes and improvements are made in software, and this seemingly simple concept encompasses a wide variety of practices, mechanisms, policies, and technologies. To explore the landscape further, the Forum on Cyber Resilience hosted a …


Foundational Cybersecurity Research: Improving Science, Engineering, and Institutions

Attaining meaningful cybersecurity presents a broad societal challenge. Its complexity and the range of systems and sectors in which it is needed mean that successful approaches are necessarily multifaceted. Moreover, cybersecurity is a dynamic process involving human attackers who continue to …


At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues

We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, inventory and sales, and research and development. …


Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce?: Criteria for Decision-Making

Professionalizing the Nation’s Cybersecurity Workforce? Criteria for Decision-Making considers approaches to increasing the professionalization of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. This report examines workforce requirements for cybersecurity and the segments and job functions in …


Sequencing the Human Genome – Applications, Ethics, and Implications

In honor of National DNA Day, explore new technologies and treatments that have resulted from the sequencing of the human genome and their ethical, medical, and societal implications. As always, our publications are free to read online or download.

Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance

Genome editing is a powerful new tool for making precise alterations to an organism’s genetic material. Recent scientific advances have made genome editing more efficient, precise, and flexible than ever before. These advances have spurred an …


Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing: Continuing the Global Discussion: Proceedings of a Workshop–in Brief

On November 27-29, 2018, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the Royal Society of the United Kingdom, and the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong convened the Second International Summit on Human Genome …


International Summit on Human Gene Editing: A Global Discussion

New biochemical tools have made it possible to change the DNA sequences of living organisms with unprecedented ease and precision. These new tools have generated great excitement in the scientific and medical communities because of their …


The Promise of Genome Editing Tools to Advance Environmental Health Research: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

Advances in genome editing – the process for making precise additions, deletions, and alterations of DNA and RNA – have opened the door for studying biological mechanisms of health and disease. On January 10-11, 2018, the National Academies of …


Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology

Scientific advances over the past several decades have accelerated the ability to engineer existing organisms and to potentially create novel ones not found in nature. Synthetic biology, which collectively refers to concepts, approaches, and …


Mitochondrial Replacement Techniques: Ethical, Social, and Policy Considerations

Mitochondrial replacement techniques (MRTs) are designed to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases from mother to child. While MRTs, if effective, could satisfy a desire of women seeking to have a genetically related child …


The Economics of Genomic Medicine: Workshop Summary

The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of links between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to tremendous excitement over the potential of genomics to direct patient treatment toward more effective or less harmful …


Genome-Based Diagnostics: Demonstrating Clinical Utility in Oncology: Workshop Summary

Genome-Based Diagnostics: Demonstrating Clinical Utility in Oncology is the summary of a workshop convened in May 2012 by the Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health and the Center for Medical Technology Policy of the …


Genome-Based Therapeutics: Targeted Drug Discovery and Development: Workshop Summary

The number of new drug approvals has remained reasonably steady for the past 50 years at around 20 to 30 per year, while at the same time the total spending on health-related research and development has tripled since 1990. There are many …


Genome-Based Diagnostics: Clarifying Pathways to Clinical Use: Workshop Summary

The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of associations between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to an explosion of genomic-based diagnostic tests. These tests have the potential to direct therapeutic …


Integrating Large-Scale Genomic Information into Clinical Practice: Workshop Summary

The initial sequencing of the human genome, carried out by an international group of experts, took 13 years and $2.7 billion to complete. In the decade since that achievement, sequencing technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that today a …


Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Summary of a Workshop

Today, scores of companies, primarily in the United States and Europe, are offering whole genome scanning services directly to the public. The proliferation of these companies and the services they offer demonstrate a public appetite for this …


Evolution of Translational Omics: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward

Technologies collectively called omics enable simultaneous measurement of an enormous number of biomolecules; for example, genomics investigates thousands of DNA sequences, and proteomics examines large numbers of proteins. Scientists are using …


Mapping and Sequencing the Human Genome

There is growing enthusiasm in the scientific community about the prospect of mapping and sequencing the human genome, a monumental project that will have far-reaching consequences for medicine, biology, technology, and other fields. But how will …


Capturing the Unobservable: The Future of Space Exploration

Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

After years of analyzing data, a planet-sized network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope used radio waves to assemble the first image of a black hole. This remarkable accomplishment sets a new precedent for the future of space exploration. Our reports support these endeavors by providing recommended research priorities and strategies.

A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences Research at NASA

The 2011 National Research Council decadal survey on biological and physical sciences in space, Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era, was written during a critical period in the …


Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced …


NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA’s Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space

NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has begun to rebuild the advanced space technology program in the agency with plans laid out in 14 draft technology roadmaps. It has been years since NASA has had a vigorous, broad-based program in …


NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities Revisited

Historically, the United States has been a world leader in aerospace endeavors in both the government and commercial sectors. A key factor in aerospace leadership is continuous development of advanced technology, which is critical to U.S. …


Space Studies Board Annual Report 2017

The original charter of the Space Science Board was established in June 1958, three months before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) opened its doors. The Space Science Board and its successor, the Space Studies Board (SSB), …


The Space Science Decadal Surveys: Lessons Learned and Best Practices

The National Research Council has conducted 11 decadal surveys in the Earth and space sciences since 1964 and released the latest four surveys in the past 8 years. The decadal surveys are notable in their ability to sample thoroughly the …


Resources to Improve Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. provided $91 billion in total disaster relief for weather events in 2018 – the 4th highest total cost behind the years 2017, 2005 and 2012. This includes one drought event, eight severe storm events, two tropical cyclone events, one wildfire event, and two winter storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 247 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Our publications provide guidelines and resources for all stakeholders involved in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. All are free to download.

Emergency Alert and Warning Systems: Current Knowledge and Future Research Directions

Following a series of natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, that revealed shortcomings in the nation’s ability to effectively alert populations at risk, Congress passed the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act in 2006. …


Integrating Social and Behavioral Sciences Within the Weather Enterprise

Our ability to observe and forecast severe weather events has improved markedly over the past few decades. Forecasts of snow and ice storms, hurricanes and storm surge, extreme heat, and other severe weather events are made with greater accuracy, …


Preparing for the Future of Disaster Health Volunteerism: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief

On April 26, 2017, the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies convened a workshop during a 4-hour session of the 2017 Preparedness Summit. Participants discussed potential characteristics of society in the …


Regional Disaster Response Coordination to Support Health Outcomes: Summary of a Workshop Series

When disaster strikes, it rarely impacts just one jurisdiction. Many catastrophic disaster plans include support from neighboring jurisdictions that likely will not be available in a regional disaster. Bringing multiple stakeholders together from …


Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …


Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …


Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response: Volume 1: Introduction and CSC Framework

Catastrophic disasters occurring in 2011 in the United States and worldwide–from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the earthquake in New Zealand–have demonstrated that even prepared communities can be …


Crisis Standards of Care: A Toolkit for Indicators and Triggers

Disasters and public health emergencies can stress health care systems to the breaking point and disrupt delivery of vital medical services. During such crises, hospitals and long-term care facilities may be without power; trained staff, …


Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …


Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety …


Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from …


Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half …