Tag Archives: disaster resilience

Life at the Beach: Exploring the Impacts of Climate Change and Human Activities

According to NOAA, coastal counties of the U.S. are home to over 127 million people, or almost 40 percent of the nation’s total population. Besides environmental stressors such as sea level rise and intensifying hurricanes, modifications from human activities, including building levees and canals and constructing buildings and roads, have left their own imprint on the natural landscape. Our titles explore impacts of climate change and human development on our coastlines, coastal ecosystems, and coastal communities. All are free to download.

Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast

Understanding the Long-Term Evolution of the Coupled Natural-Human Coastal System: The Future of the U.S. Gulf Coast

The U.S. Gulf Coast provides a valuable setting to study deeply connected natural and human interactions and feedbacks that have led to a complex, interconnected coastal system. The physical landscape in the region has changed significantly due to broad-scale, long-term processes such as coastal subsidence and river sediment deposition as well …[more]

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Framing the Challenge of Urban Flooding in the United States

Flooding is the natural hazard with the greatest economic and social impact in the United States, and these impacts are becoming more severe over time. Catastrophic flooding from recent hurricanes, including Superstorm Sandy in New York (2012) and Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017), caused billions of dollars in property damage, adversely …[more]

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges

Environmental Engineering for the 21st Century: Addressing Grand Challenges

Environmental engineers support the well-being of people and the planet in areas where the two intersect. Over the decades the field has improved countless lives through innovative systems for delivering water, treating waste, and preventing and remediating pollution in air, water, and soil. These achievements are a testament to the …[more]

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review - 2018

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Seventh Biennial Review – 2018

During the past century, the Everglades, one of the world’s treasured ecosystems, has been dramatically altered by drainage and water management infrastructure that was intended to improve flood management, urban water supply, and agricultural production. The remnants of the original Everglades now compete for water with urban and …[more]

Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change

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 understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased …[more]

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

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 systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private …[more]

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health: Workshop Summary

Understanding the Connections Between Coastal Waters and Ocean Ecosystem Services and Human Health discusses the connection of ecosystem services and human health. This report looks at the state of the science of the role of oceans in ensuring human health and identifies gaps and opportunities for future research. The report summarizes …[more]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

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 the planet will be warmer, sea level will rise, and patterns of rainfall will change. But the future …[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

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 communities from sea level rise and possible increases in strength of the largest hurricanes. Several …[more]

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future

Tide gauges show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and water from melting glaciers and ice sheets is flowing into the ocean. Sea-level rise …[more]

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation's Preparedness Efforts

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts

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 both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, NOAA has improved the ability …[more]

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Across the United States, impacts of climate change are already evident. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense, cold extremes have become less frequent, and patterns of rainfall are likely changing. The proportion of precipitation that falls as rain rather than snow has increased across the western United States and Arctic sea ice …[more]

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Valuing Ecosystem Services: Toward Better Environmental Decision-Making

Nutrient recycling, habitat for plants and animals, flood control, and water supply are among the many beneficial services provided by aquatic ecosystems. In making decisions about human activities, such as draining a wetland for a housing development, it is essential to consider both the value of the development and the value of the ecosystem …[more]

Dealing with Disasters: Resources to Support Mental Health

Almost everyone in a community struck by a disaster will feel some type of emotional effect. For most, the acute reactions will be transient, and functional recovery will occur without intervention. For some, however, the impacts of a disaster on behavioral health can be severe and long-lasting, and if not addressed, can impede the recovery of individuals, families, and communities, resulting in significant long-term health burdens. There is chronic underreporting of behavioral health problems, due to the stigma often associated with these conditions, the separation of mental health services from medical services, and the lag time between exposure and the onset of disorder.

Our publications examine the linkages among behavioral health, resilience, and healthy communities; activities that mitigate adverse behavioral health effects in survivors; the gaps in the current system for addressing disaster-related behavioral health needs; and the opportunities for strengthening the behavioral health sector and integrating it with other sectors by leveraging disaster-related resources and experiences. All are free to download.

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

When communities face complex public health emergencies, state local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies must make difficult decisions regarding how to effectively respond. The public health emergency preparedness and response …[more]

Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Proceedings of a Workshop

Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Proceedings of a Workshop

The social determinants of mental health involve the economic, social, and political conditions into which one is born that influence a person’s mental health – and, in particular, that affect the likelihood a person raised in deficient or …[more]

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

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]

Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change

Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change

Estimates indicate that as many as 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental health problem or will misuse alcohol or drugs in their lifetimes. These disorders are among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they …[more]

Measuring Trauma: Workshop Summary

Measuring Trauma: Workshop Summary

The Workshop on Integrating New Measures of Trauma into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Data Collection Programs, held in Washington, D.C. in December 2015, was organized as part of an effort to assist …[more]

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to …[more]

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary

Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary

Preparedness, Response and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families is the summary of a workshop convened in June, 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events to …[more]

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report

It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching …[more]

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems …[more]

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of …[more]

The Science Behind Preparing for Hurricane Season: Resources to Promote Resilience


We’re about to enter into the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1st through November 30th. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms, of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 major hurricanes – category 3, 4 or 5. In the face of the catastrophic damage that a major hurricane can cause, even prepared communities can be overwhelmed. Our reports provide guidelines and targeted resources for all stakeholders in disaster response, including state and local governments, emergency medical services and health care centers. As always, all are free to download.

Strengthening Post-Hurricane Supply Chain Resilience: Observations from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Resilient supply chains are crucial to maintaining the consistent delivery of goods and services to the American people. The modern economy has made supply chains more interconnected than ever, while also expanding both their range and fragility. In the third quarter of 2017, Hurricanes Harvey, …

[more]

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. Today, new technologies such as smart phones and …

[more]

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, geographic specificity, and lead time to allow …

[more]

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, …

[more]

Strengthening the Disaster Resilience of the Academic Biomedical Research Community: Protecting the Nation’s Investment

The academic biomedical research community is a hub of employment, economic productivity, and scientific progress. Academic research institutions are drivers of economic development in their local and state economies and, by extension, the national economy. Beyond the economic input that the …

[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 systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some …

[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 and its communities. Communities and the nation …

[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 communities from sea level rise and possible …

[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 programs to consider community- and regional-level …

[more]

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. …

[more]

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, …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[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]

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]

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 …

[more]

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, …

[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]

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]

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]

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]

Science to Improve Disaster Communication

Source: FEMA News

During an emergency, alerts and warnings can mean the difference between life and death. Our reports explore the critical role of communication and make recommendations to improve systems and procedures. 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. …

[more]

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, …

[more]

Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda

Science and technology are embedded in virtually every aspect of modern life. As a result, people face an increasing need to integrate information from science with their personal values and other considerations as they make important life …

[more]

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts

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 …

[more]

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings Using Social Media: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Following an earlier NRC workshop on public response to alerts and warnings delivered to mobile devices, a related workshop was held on February 28 and 29, 2012 to look at the role of social media in disaster response. This was one of the first …

[more]

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Geotargeted Alerts and Warnings: Report of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps is the summary of a February, 2013 workshop convened by the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board of the National Research Council to …

[more]

Engaging the Public in Critical Disaster Planning and Decision Making: Workshop Summary

Engaging the Public in Critical Disaster Planning and Decision Making is the summary of a workshop held in March 2013 to discuss the key principles of public engagement during the development of disaster plans, the response phase, and during the …

[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]

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 …

[more]

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 …

[more]

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]