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.

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