Tag Archives: disaster resilience

Flood Resilience and Recovery

After a flood, the devastation that remains necessitates coordination between multiple industries to rebuild infrastructure, arrange health and social services, and support community recovery. Research on floods and their consequences allows us to offer guidance for preparation and execution of the recovery process. These free reports examine the implications of flooding and recommend actions for future recovery.

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 …

[more]

A Community-Based Flood Insurance Option

River and coastal floods are among the nation’s most costly natural disasters. One component in the nation’s approach to managing flood risk is availability of flood insurance policies, which are offered on an individual basis primarily through …

[more]

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplain

Floods take a heavy toll on society, costing lives, damaging buildings and property, disrupting livelihoods, and sometimes necessitating federal disaster relief, which has risen to record levels in recent years. The National Flood Insurance …

[more]

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 1

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with the risks borne by the U.S. federal …

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Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 2

When Congress authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968, it intended for the program to encourage community initiatives in flood risk management, charge insurance premiums consistent with actuarial pricing principles, and …

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Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps portray the height and extent to which flooding is expected to occur, and they form the basis for setting flood insurance premiums and regulating development in the floodplain. …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Flooding and Resilience in Charleston, South Carolina

Image Credit: Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Image Credit: Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Catastrophic flooding in South Carolina during the past several days has claimed multiple lives and prompted President Obama to declare a major disaster in the State of South Carolina and order federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts. The Charleston, SC, metropolitan region is one of four American communities working closely with the Resilient America Roundtable to build resilience to such disasters.

“For the Charleston region, any loss of life is too much,” said Resilient America Roundtable Director Lauren Alexander Augustine. “The extent of the flood’s impact isn’t yet clear, and we hope that when the floodwaters recede, damage will not be as bad as feared. We also hope to channel energy around this flood into efforts that increase flood resilience in Charleston and other flood-prone communities.”

Meetings, workshops, and discussions with community groups in Charleston have identified some key priorities for building resilience in the area, including:
— measuring both flood risk and resilience to flooding;
— linking flood resilience, infrastructure, and economic growth in the community;
— improving communication about risk, perhaps through public art;
— rethinking the role of flood insurance in building resilience; and
— learning from other communities about ways to improve flood resilience.

The Resilient America Roundtable’s work builds upon the recommendations in a 2012 National Research Council report, Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative, which identifies strategic steps the United States can take to reduce impacts on the nation’s communities from natural and human-induced disasters.

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 …

[more]

Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary

With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council’s 2012 report …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Lessons from Katrina for Community Disaster Recovery

Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in southeast Louisiana. Katrina had a disaster area of 90,000 square miles, creating community-wide and regional response issues. In the devastation that followed, there was an acute 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 systems, and other critical recovery needs. A new report from the Institute of Medicine aims to increase the nation’s resilience at federal, state, local, and community levels through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

According to Reed Tuckson, Chair of the authoring committee of Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters:

“As the nation focuses on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we should appreciate the important lessons learned from this tragedy that other communities can use to enhance the resiliency of their health infrastructures and lead to better health for all community members. The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Post-Disaster Recovery of a Community’s Public Health, Medical and Social Services utilized the Katrina experience as an important component in formulating its recommendations on the importance and processes of preparing for disasters, and how to thoughtfully use the resources associated with disaster recovery to advance the long-term health of communities and their residents. It is our hope that, as we remember the Katrina experience, the community leaders will take the opportunity to review the 12 recommendations in our report, Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters, and apply them as appropriate to their circumstances.”

This book and all our reports on disaster resilience are free to download.

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary

With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council’s 2012 report …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters: Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary

Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged …

[more]

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 …

[more]

Preparing for the Worst: Science to Improve Disaster Resiliency

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reports that the United States set a record in 2011 with 12 separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters. Our nation is particularly vulnerable due to its large populations living and working in high-risk areas: seismic zones, coastal and river flood plains, and dense urban population centers. Catastrophic events can and will happen. Are we resilient enough to ensure that our nation and society can recover and thrive after these events?

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine produced a number of reports on the subject of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. These books further additional discussion on hazard science policy and provide insight on the nation’s future research and applications needs. All are available to read online at no charge.

Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration

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Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration
142 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.27

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 natural and… [more]

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters

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Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop
150 pages | Paperback | Price: $32.40

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 of the U.S…. [more]

National Earthquake Resilience

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National Earthquake Resilience: Research, Implementation, and Outreach
244 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00

The United States will certainly be subject to damaging earthquakes in the future. Some of these earthquakes will occur in highly populated and vulnerable areas. Coping with moderate earthquakes is not a reliable indicator of preparedness for a major… [more]

Crisis Standards of Care

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Crisis Standards of Care: Summary of a Workshop Series
174 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.22

During a wide-reaching catastrophic public health emergency or disaster, existing surge capacity plans may not be sufficient to enable healthcare providers to continue to adhere to normal treatment procedures and follow usual standards of care. This is a… [more]

Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations

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Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations: A Letter Report
160 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50

The influenza pandemic caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus underscores the immediate and critical need to prepare for a public health emergency in which thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly seek and require medical care in… [more]

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness

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Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts
296 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60

Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on… [more]

How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results

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How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results: Making Ends Meet: A Summary of the June 3, 2010, Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable
10 pages | Not for Sale

During and after a disaster, text messages, tweets, Smartphone apps, and social networks, along with 24-hour cable news and other media, deliver relevant information to emergency responders, decision makers, and the general public. Participants in the… [more]

Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience

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Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report
83 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal… [more]

Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience

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Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summary
82 pages | Paperback | Price: $23.40

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day… [more]

Recovering from Disaster

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Recovering from Disaster: A Summary of the October 17, 2007, Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable
15 pages | Not for Sale

Disaster recovery is a complex and challenging process that involves all sectors of a community as well as outside interests. In many cases, it is not even clear if and when recovery has been achieved because of varying stakeholder goals for the community, for… [more]

Improving Disaster Management

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Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
192 pages | Paperback | Price: $38.92

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human-made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and… [more]

Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters

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Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters: Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary
100 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged in a way that… [more]