Tag Archives: geographical sciences

Science and Disaster Response: Tools to Predict, Prevent, Prepare and Recover

Recent experiences with natural and human-caused disasters here and elsewhere in the world remind us that extreme weather events and disasters can exceed our control and the affected communities’ ability to recover on their own.

Some of these devastating effects on communities are the result of human decisions—for instance, land use and building codes, engineering of critical infrastructure, and many other social decisions and actions. Resilience to disasters is built at the community level. No community is immune to disasters, and no community is an island unto itself. The emerging role of critical infrastructure, just-in-time manufacturing, and the globalization of the economy means that all individuals and communities are interdependent. In the United States, the public sector represents just ten percent of the workforce. The other ninety percent resides in the private sector—ranging from small, individually owned businesses to national and global enterprises—and in a range of nongovernmental bodies and faith-based organizations. Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration develops a conceptual model for private–public collaboration and presents a series of guidelines intended for those who wish to create an environment supportive of community-level disaster resilience.

Predicting these catastrophes better is another way to mitigate the overwhelming devastation to communities. Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences looks at ways that the geographical sciences can best contribute to science and society in the next decade through research initiatives aimed at advancing understanding of major issues facing Earth in the early 21st century. Research on shifts in climate, soil erosion, habitat loss, and water degradation and understanding the human role in these changes is vital to foreseeing the magnitude and timing of future disaster events.

These books and others on the subject of disaster preparation and response, scientific research, and application of technologies can guide policy makers and inform the public.

Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused over 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…

Understanding the Changing Planet Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences

From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth’s surface. With Earth’s population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is 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…

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

This book presents a summary of the Workshop on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and Research Gaps, held April 13 and 14, 2010, in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the National Research Council’s Committee on…

Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report

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…

Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summary

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…

Disaster Risk Management in an Age of Climate Change Disaster Risk Management in an Age of Climate Change: A Summary of the April 3, 2008 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable


Recovering From Disaster Recovering From Disaster: A Summary of the October 17, 2007 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable

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…

Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises

Worldwide, millions of people are displaced annually because of natural or industrial disasters or social upheaval. Reliable data on the numbers, characteristics, and locations of these populations can bolster humanitarian relief efforts and recovery programs. …

Improving Disaster Management Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

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…

Eight New Books: Health Care, Mental Health Counseling, and more…

Another Monday brings us another roundup of the new books on the NAP website in the past week. As always, any books that have Free PDFs are labeled as such below.

As a side note, we set up a simple contact form here on Notes From NAP. If you have any suggestions or feedback, we’d love to hear it at notes.nap.edu/contact. Are these lists of the new publications on our site useful to you? Are there other features you’d like to see?  Fill out the form and let us know!

Featured Publication

Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement (prepublication)

It has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as opposed to increased unit prices of existing services. And an even more fundamental question is the degree to which the increased spending actually has purchased improved health.

Accounting for Health and Health Care addresses both these issues. The government agencies responsible for measuring unit prices for medical services have taken steps in recent years that have greatly improved the accuracy of those measures. Nonetheless, this book has several recommendations aimed at further improving the price indices.

All New Publications This Week

Conducting Biosocial Surveys: Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata (prepublication)

Waste Forms Technology and Performance: Interim Report (final)

Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICARE (final)

Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (final)

Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences (final)

NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique (final)

Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease (final)

Nine new books: emergency care, obesity prevention, engineering innovation, and more

Nine new publications—both pre-publications and final versions—hit the website last week, and as usual, we’re rounding them up here. Stay tuned to Notes From NAP. In the next few weeks, we’ll be writing about some of our most popular publications in addition to these weekly lists of what’s new.

Featured Publication

Regionalizing Emergency Care: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

During medical emergencies, hospital staff and emergency medical services (EMS) providers, can face barriers in delivering the fastest and best possible care. Overcrowded emergency rooms cannot care for patients as quickly as necessary, and some may divert ambulances and turn away new patients outright. In many states, ambulance staff lacks the means to determine which hospitals can provide the best care to a patient. Given this absence of knowledge, they bring patients to the closest hospital. In addition, because emergency service providers from different companies compete with each other for patients, and emergency care legislation varies from state to state, it is difficult to establish the necessary local, interstate, and national communication and collaboration to create a more efficient system.

In 2006, the IOM recommended that the federal government implement a regionalized emergency care system to improve cooperation and overcome these challenges. In a regionalized system, local hospitals and EMS providers would coordinate their efforts so that patients would be brought to hospitals based on the hospitals’ capacity and expertise to best meet patients’ needs. In September 2009, three years after making these recommendations, the IOM held a workshop sponsored by the federal Emergency Care Coordination Center to assess the nation’s progress toward regionalizing emergency care. The workshop brought together policymakers and stakeholders, including nurses, EMS personnel, hospital administrators, and others involved in emergency care. Participants identified successes and shortcomings in previous regionalization efforts; examined the many factors involved in successfully implementing regionalization; and discussed future challenges to regionalizing emergency care. This document summarizes the workshop.

See the rest of this week’s new publications