Grand Challenges For Disaster Reduction

Friday, September 19, 2008
Room 2325 Rayburn
12:00 to 1:00 PM

Natural and technological hazards are inevitable, but their consequences on communities and infrastructure are not. In a more disaster-resilient America, relevant hazards are recognized and understood, communities at risk know when a hazard event is imminent, property losses and lives at risk in future natural hazard events are minimized, and disaster-resilient communities experience minimum disruption to life and economy after a hazard event has passed. Those are the goals of meeting the Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction, a 10-year strategy produced by the National Science and Technology Council’s Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction. The Grand Challenges represent priority Federal science and technology investment needs to help the Nation reduce future loss of life and property as a result of disasters. This briefing will discuss recent natural hazard events, including Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, California wildfires, and China’s Sichuan earthquake, to illustrate the Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction. 

Copies of the recently released implementation plans identifying priority science and technology activities for 14 hazards will be distributed. Coordinated among myriad Federal agencies, the plans list actions that agencies, in collaboration with individuals and organizations at all levels, must take in order to meet the Grand Challenges for coastal inundation, drought, earthquakes, floods, heat waves, human and ecosystem health hazards, hurricanes, landslides, technological hazards, tornados, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires and winter storms.


David Applegate, Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake & Geologic Hazards, USGS, and Chair, Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction
Meeting the Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction

Ken Graham, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service New Orleans/Baton Rouge Office
National Weather Service Performance and Challenges Warning Systems

Richard Lasko, Assistant Director, Fire and Aviation Management, U.S. Forest Service
Wildland Fire


American Geological Institute
American Geophysical Union
American Society of Civil Engineers
Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists
Geological Society of America
International Code Council
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology
Multihazard Mitigation Council
National Fire Protection Association
National Institute of Building Sciences
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
URS Corporation
Seismological Society of America