Recovering From Disaster

A Summary of the October 17, 2007 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable

By William A. Anderson



Washington, D.C.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Recovering From Disaster A Summary of the October 17, 2007 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable By William A. Anderson THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C.

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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this summary was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the summary were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This summary is funded in part by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Task order 56-DKNA-0- 95111); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (W-24245); the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior (under Assistance Award No. 00HQAAG0004); Pacific Gas and Electric; Public Entity Risk Institute; and PB Alltech, Inc. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policies, either expressed or implied, of NOAA or any of its subagencies, or , NASA, or USGS. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMS-0533530. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author and do not reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This summary is available on the internet from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, D.C. 20055, (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); internet . Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.

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FOREWORD 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 natural, technological, and other disasters. Roundtable workshops are held three times a year in Washington, D.C. Each workshop is an open forum focused on a specific topic or issue selected by the DR steering committee. For upcoming meetings, please visit The DR steering committee is composed of seven appointed members and sponsoring ex-officio members. The appointed members at the time of the workshop were William H. Hooke, chair, American Meteorological Society; Ronald T. Eguchi, ImageCat, Inc; John R. Harrald, The George Washington University; Juan M. Ortiz, Tarrant County Office of Emergency Management; Monica Schoch-Spana, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Deborah S. K. Thomas, University of Colorado at Denver; and Darlene Sparks Washington, American Red Cross. The ex-officio members were Stephen Ambrose, National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Frank Best, PB Alltech, Inc.; Lloyd Cluff, Pacific Gas & Electric; Timothy A. Cohn, U.S. Geological Survey; and Margaret Davidson and John Gaynor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The DR staff included William A. Anderson, director, Rachael Shiflett, senior program assistant, and Brianna R. Cash, program assistant. This document presents the rapporteur's summary of the forum 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 Phone: 202-334-2402 Fax: 202-334-3362 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 National Research Council’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: Brenda Phillips, Oklahoma State University and Richard Sylves, University of Delaware. Responsibility for the final content of this summary rests entirely with the author and the institution. iv