INCREASING NATIONAL RESILIENCE
TO HAZARDS AND DISASTERS
THE PERSPECTIVE FROM THE GULF COAST OF LOUISIANA AND MISSISSIPPI
SUMMARY OF A WORKSHOP
Steve Olson, Rapporteur
Committee on Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters
Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report 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 report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under award number W912HQ-10-C-0071, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service under award number 09-DG-11221637’351, U.S. Department of Energy under award number DE-PI0000010, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration under award number DG-133R-08CQ0062, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency under award number HSHQDC-10-C-00087, Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey under award number G104P00079, National Aeronautics and Space Administration under award number NNXIOAN3IG, and Community and Regional Resilience Institute under award number 4000090613. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21527-5
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21527-7
Mobi ISBN-10: 0-309-21531-5
Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu.
Cover: Photographs from the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast region document the history and progress of efforts by individuals, groups, and government to increase disaster resilience. Estuaries, bayous, neighborhoods, and the city infrastructure demonstrate achievements and challenges regarding greater resilience in the Gulf Coast region. Photographs by Neeraj Gorkhaly, used with permission. Cover design by Eric Edkin.
Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
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COMMITTEE ON INCREASING NATIONAL RESILIENCE TO HAZARDS AND DISASTERS
Susan L. Cutter (Chair), Distinguished Professor and Director, Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, University of South Carolina
Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Ahearn (Retired), Senior Vice President, CH2M HILL Ltd
Bernard Amadei, Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
Patrick Crawford, Director of Disaster Services, Feeding America
Gerald E. Galloway, Jr., Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland
Michael F. Goodchild, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara
Howard C. Kunreuther, Professor of Decision Sciences and Business and Public Policy, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
Meredith Li-Vollmer, Risk Communication Specialist at Public Health, Seattle and King County
Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Susan Scrimshaw, President, The Sage Colleges
Ellis M. Stanley, Sr., Director of Western Emergency Management Services, Dewberry LLC
Gene Whitney, Energy Research Manager, Congressional Research Service
Mary Lou Zoback, Vice President, Earthquake Risk Applications, Risk Management Solutions, Inc.
Lauren Alexander-Augustine, Director, Disasters Roundtable
Elizabeth A. Eide, Study Director
Neeraj P. Gorkhaly, Research Associate
Eric Edkin, Senior Program Assistant
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND PUBLIC POLICY
George M. Whitesides (Chair), Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor, Harvard University
Linda M. Abriola (ex officio), Dean of Engineering, Tufts University
Claude R. Canizares, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost and Bruno Rossi Professor of Experimental Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Moses H. W. Chan, Evan Pugh Professor of Physics, Pennsylvania State University
Ralph J. Cicerone (ex officio), President, National Academy of Sciences
Paul Citron, Vice President (Retired), Technology Policy and Academic Relations, Medtronic, Inc.
Ruth A. David, President and Chief Executive Officer, ANSER (Analytic Services, Inc.)
Harvey V. Fineberg (ex officio), President, Institute of Medicine
Judith Kimble, Investigator, HHMI; Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin
C. Dan Mote, Jr. (ex officio), President and Glenn Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland
Percy A. Pierre, Vice President and Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University
E. Albert Reece, Vice President for Medical Affairs, Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, School of Medicine, University of Maryland
Susan C. Scrimshaw, President, The Sage Colleges
William J. Spencer, Chairman Emeritus, SEMATECH
Michael S. Turner, Rauner Distinguished Service Professor, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, The University of Chicago
Charles M. Vest (ex officio), President, National Academy of Engineering
Nancy S. Wexler, Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology, Columbia University
Kevin Finneran, Director
Tom Arrison, Program Officer
Neeraj P. Gorkhaly, Research Associate
Marion Ramsey, Administrative Associate
DISASTERS ROUNDTABLE MEMBERS
Jack R. Harrald (Chair), Research Professor, Virginia Tech, and Professor Emeritus/George Washington University
Frank Best (ex officio), Senior Vice President, PB Americas
Andrew J. Bruzewicz (ex officio), Acting Chief, Future Readiness Concepts and Initiatives, Directorate of Contingency Operations, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Arrietta Chakos, Consultant, Urban Resilience Policy
Reginald DesRoches, Professor and Associate Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Ronald Eguchi, President and Chief Executive Officer of ImageCat, Inc.
Gerald E. Galloway, Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland
H. Michael Goodman (ex officio), Natural Disasters Area Co-Lead, NASA Earth Science Division, Applied Sciences Program, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Paula Gori (ex officio), Associate Program Coordinator, Landslide Hazard Program, U.S. Geological Survey
Mary Ellen Hynes (ex officio), Director of Research for the Infrastructure and Geophysical Division, Science and Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security
David Kaufman, Director, Office of Policy and Program Analysis, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Juan Ortiz, Emergency Management Coordinator, City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County
Roger V. Pierce (ex officio), Acting Director, Office of Weather and Air Quality , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Claire Lee Reiss (ex officio), Interim Executive Director, Public Entity Risk Institute
Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Associate, Center for Biosecurity, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Ellis Stanley (liaison), Director of Western Emergency Management Services, Dewberry LLC
Ted Van Kirk (ex officio), Vice President, Dewberry LLC
Darlene Sparks Washington, Consultant, DSW Consulting
Dennis Wenger (ex officio), Program Director for Infrastructure Management and Hazard Response, National Science Foundation
Mary Lou Zoback, Vice President, Earthquake Risk Applications, Risk Management Solutions, Inc.
Preface and Acknowledgments
Our committee traveled to the Gulf Coast as part of our information-gathering efforts for the National Research Council study on increasing national resilience to hazards and disasters. The goal of the study is to help increase the nation’s resilience at federal, state, local, and community levels through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce the adverse impacts from hazards and disasters. The Gulf Coast workshop in January 2011 was the first of three regional workshops the committee planned for the study—the other two were held in Iowa in March 2011 and in Southern California in May 2011. The selection of three distinct geographic locations for the committee’s information-gathering meetings was intended to highlight approaches and challenges to increasing disaster resilience in regions that experience different kinds of hazards and disasters and have different demographic, economic, cultural, historical, and environmental foundations.
It was important to us that the committee’s first regional workshop was in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast because of the region’s experiences with disasters, and just as importantly, because of the understanding the communities there have of the meaning and practice of resilience. The workshop included the opportunity to spend an entire day in the field, starting in New Orleans and continuing along the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. The personal stories of individuals and the kinds of actions they were taking to try to build resilience in their communities gave the committee vivid insights about what is happening at the local level. The second day of the Gulf Coast meeting was an indoor workshop with panelists whose expertise covered the great range of topics and stakeholder groups important for the discussion of disaster resilience: Topics of discussion covered insurance, real estate, building codes, critical infrastructure, private-
sector issues, public health, the work of nongovernmental organizations, community and societal actions, and governance. The range of perspectives included those from individuals with training in social, behavioral, economic, and political sciences; public health; and the physical, technical, and engineering sciences. The discussions in the workshop on the second day of the meeting built directly upon the field experiences and conversations the committee had with people from the area on the previous day. The committee developed a set of guiding questions for each workshop panel group that were submitted to the panelists in advance of the meeting. The panelists were asked to consider the questions as a general framework for the panel sessions, but were not required to respond to each of the questions in their opening remarks or subsequent discussions. Emphasis was placed upon panelists sharing their experiences and expertise related to disaster resilience.
This workshop summary is a report of what occurred on both of those days and provides a rich foundation of information upon which the committee has planned its other workshops and has begun to develop its own consensus report for the study. The open and engaged ways in which the individuals in Louisiana and Mississippi shared their information with the committee were essential for the success of the meeting and some acknowledgments are in order.
From the perspective of the federal government, Senator Mary Landrieu has been a leading voice in Washington for the Gulf Coast recovery effort in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failures of the federal levee system. Although scheduling prevented her from attending our meeting in person, she took time to videotape her welcoming remarks to open our workshop. The city of New Orleans and Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office were also very supportive of our holding our workshop in the city.
Regarding the field day in New Orleans and Mississippi, Ronald Schumann III; Pam Jenkins; Doug Meffert; Tracy Nelson; Charles Allen III; Tap Bui; May Nguyen; community members of Village de L’Est and the owner of the café in which we held our discussion there; Tracie Sempier; Mayor Garcia and Fire Chief Smith of Waveland; and the Knight Nonprofit Center including Alice Graham, John Hosey, John Kelly, Rupert Lacy, Tom Lansford, Reilly Morse, Kimberly Nastasi, and Lori West all deserve our thanks for their time and the rich experiences and insights they shared. The workshop on the second day of the meeting was equally complete and we thank all of the speakers and panelists for their time and engagement: Craig Colten, Allison Plyer, Julie Rochman, Eric Nelson, Ommeed Sathe, Marcia St. Martin, Justin Augustine, Greg Grillo, Frank Wise, Earthea Nance, Bill Stallworth, Stephen Murphy, Charles Allen III, Natalie Jayroe, Steven Bingler, Mary Claire Landry, Pam Jenkins, Joseph Donchess, Knox Andress, Garcia Bodley, and Paul Byers.
Before and during the meeting, we received significant guidance and assistance from Laurie Johnson, Shirley Laska, Jonathan Thompson, Bill Howell, Bob Klemme, Commissioner Mike Chaney, and John Barry. Particular thanks
also go to our meeting facilitator, Ann Olsen. The study’s sponsoring agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Community and Regional Resilience Institute, were very supportive and helpful in providing introductions and recommendations to their numerous networks in the Gulf Coast area; their collaboration allowed the committee to engage in a short span of time with many people involved in increasing Gulf Coast disaster resilience. Finally, the National Research Council staff, Eric Edkin, Neeraj Gorkhaly, Lauren Alexander-Augustine, and Elizabeth Eide, worked to ensure the entire meeting would be successful.
The committee looks forward to continuing to build upon the experiences, lessons, opportunities, and challenges about which we learned in this Gulf Coast workshop. We hope that this workshop summary allows the reader to gain some sense of the constructive steps the people of the Gulf Coast are taking to increase their resilience to potential disasters in the future.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ 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 report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process.
We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Edward George, Harvard University; Jacqueline Merrill, Columbia University; Percy Pierre, Michigan State University; Judy Tanur, State University of New York; and Mary Lou Zoback, Risk Management Solutions.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the content of the report, nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen Fienberg, Carnegie Mellon University. Appointed by the National Academies, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the rapporteur and the institution.
Susan Cutter, Chair