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The Disasters Roundtable (DR) seeks to facilitate and enhance communication and the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers concerned with urgent and important issues related to the understanding and mitigation of natural, technological, and other disasters. Roundtable workshops are held three times a year in Washington, D.C. Each meeting is focused on a specific topic or issue and is free and open to the public. The Disasters Roundtable Steering Committee identifies topics, creates agendas, and recruits expert speakers for Roundtable events. For information on upcoming workshops, please visit

The Disasters Roundtable Steering Committee is composed of eight appointed members and nine sponsoring ex-officio members. The appointed members are William H. Hooke, chair, American Meteorological Society; Ross B. Corotis, University of Colorado, Boulder; Susan K. Tubbesing, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute; Ellis M. Stanley, Sr., Emergency Preparedness Department of the City of Los Angeles; Richard T. Sylves, University of Delaware; John R. Harrald, George Washington University; David M. Simpson, University of Louisville; and Havidan Rodriguez, University of Delaware. The ex-officio members are Lloyd Cluff, Pacific Gas & Electric; Dennis E. Wenger, National Science Foundation; Timothy A. Cohn, U.S. Geological Survey; Stephen Ambrose, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Elizabeth Lemersal, Federal Emergency Management Agency; James W. Russell, Institute for Business and Home Safety; and Helen Wood, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Frank Best, PB Alltech, Inc.; and Gerard J. Hoetmer, Public Entity Risk Institute. The DR staff includes William Anderson, director; Patricia Jones Kershaw, senior program associate; and Byron Mason, senior program assistant.

This document presents the rapporteur’s summary of the workshop discussions and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Roundtable members or other participants.

For more information on the Roundtable visit our website: or contact us at the address below.

Disasters Roundtable

The National Academies

500 5th Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001

This summary has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published summary as sound as possible and to ensure that the summary meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this summary:

Walter Hays, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Ugo Morelli, Washington, DC

Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the authors and the institution.

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