The SDR writes and distributes white papers to provide the Administration and Congress with information in response to current disaster situations and to summarize relevant resources and work within SDR agencies.
This report is a follow-on activity to the SDR’s National Preparedness Science and Technology Task Force report, Identifying Science and Technology Opportunities for National Preparedness, which was issued in 2016. This report addresses the urgent need for science and technology (S&T) capabilities to be better integrated into disaster response. For the emergency management community, the report describes the S&T capabilities that currently exist to aid in U.S. domestic disaster response and how these capabilities are coordinated, mobilized, funded, and integrated into disaster-management activities. The report underscores the need for researchers to collect ephemeral data during response. Communication, training, and coordination needs to enable effective and safe research in disaster-affected areas are also highlighted. For the S&T community, the report outlines important issues for scientists and engineers interested in operating within disaster-affected areas. These considerations include safety, ethics, familiarity with emergency management structures, recognizing affected-community sensitivities, and avoiding placing further burdens on impacted areas. The report notes that despite cultural differences between the emergency management and S&T communities, relationships and integrated approaches are key to fully capitalizing on the use of S&T resources for disaster response.
The SDR formed the National Preparedness Science and Technology (NPST) Task Force in late 2014 to support collaboration between the Federal S&T and national preparedness communities - a collaboration that represents a new approach to joint planning to ensure science and technology outcomes are relevant to the needs of emergency managers and decision makers. To assess S&T opportunities for enhanced preparedness, the NPST Task Force assembled six teams of subject matter experts from across the Federal government to focus on biological hazards, chemical hazards, radiological and nuclear hazards, geological hazards, meteorological hazards, and space hazards (including space weather and near-Earth objects). These interagency teams identified current S&T programs, gaps, and research opportunities to support national preparedness. The Task Force analyzed the products of the six teams and identified a set of cross-cutting S&T development areas for national preparedness capabilities that were common to all six hazard types studied: 1) Improve Public Communication of Warnings and Advisories; 2) Enhance Fundamental Understanding of Hazards; 3) Improve Event Characterization and Risk Assessment; 4) Enhance Observations, Modeling, and Data Management; 5) Develop Technology for Safer, Effective, and Timely Response and Recovery; and 6) Integrate Science into Preparedness Decisions. The analysis of the six teams identified S&T gaps and research opportunities and described near-, mid-, and long-term research opportunities to support these six cross-cutting S&T development areas for each class of hazards.
In 2005, the SDR identified a set of challenges that, when addressed, would reduce community vulnerability to disasters and thus create a more disaster-resilient Nation. These were set forth in the report, Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction, which formulated a ten-year strategy for disaster reduction through science and technology. The SDR subsequently developed a Heat Wave Implementation Plan released in 2008 that contained priority science and technology interagency strategic actions to improve the Nation's capacity to mitigate, respond to, and recover from extreme heat events. An ad hoc SDR task force was spun up in 2016 to assess agency progress on addressing the 17 short-, medium-, and long-term strategic actions contained in the SDR Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction Heat Wave Implementation Plan.
The SDR Wildland Fire Science and Technology Task Force released its Final Report in November 2015 that proposes mechanisms to improve coordination between fire-science producers and the community of users of fire science, including a recommendation to establish a standing Federal Fire Science Coordination Council to define national-level needs for Federal fire science in support of the fire-management community. The proposed Council will also will serve as a formal, institutionalized mechanism to systematically link fire researchers with fire managers. A White House Fact Sheet on the report that also highlights the event at which it was released can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/09/fact-sheet-administration-and-fire-chiefs-around-country-take-action.
The SDR Space Weather Operations, Research, and Mitigation Task Force released a National Space Weather Strategy and National Space Weather Action Plan in October 2015. These two documents were developed by an interagency group of experts, with input from stakeholders outside the Federal government, to clearly articulate how the Federal government will work to enhance national space-weather preparedness by: coordinating, integrating, and expanding existing policy efforts; engaging a broad range of sectors; and collaborating with international counterparts. The Strategy identifies goals and establishes the guiding principles that will guide these efforts in both the near and long term, while the Action Plan identifies specific activities, outcomes, and timelines that the Federal government will pursue accordingly. The Action Plan broadly aligns with investments proposed in the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2016 and will be reevaluated and updated within three years of the date of publication or as needed. An OSTP blog post about the documents is located at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/10/28/enhancing-national-preparedness-space-weather-events.
The SDR Windstorm Working Group released the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) Biennial Report to Congress for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 in August 2015. This report fulfills the NSTC’s congressionally mandated responsibility to provide biennial reports on the NWIRP. Overall, it finds that the Program has successfully facilitated improvements in windstorm forecast models, warning systems, evacuation planning, structural-design technology, and community preparedness. These improvements have reduced vulnerabilities to windstorms even as the quantity of people, buildings, and critical infrastructure in the built environment exposed to windstorms across the country has grown dramatically. In coordination with academia and the private sector, the NWIRP agencies look forward to identifying and prioritizing additional research and development needs and achieving even greater successes in reducing windstorm impacts.
This document provides a brief, two-page overview of the SDR's mandate, structure, membership, activities, and recently published reports.
This document sets out the mandate for the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction as determined by its parent body, the NSTC Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability.
The Grand Challenges for Disaster Reduction is a ten-year national strategy document for prioritizing federal investments in science and technology to reduce disaster risks and promote resilient communities. In a follow-on effort, the SDR published a series of 15 complementary, hazard-specific Implementation Plans that identify the actions that the federal agencies, in collaboration with individuals and organizations at all levels, must take in order to meet the Grand Challenges. Press Release: Science News Op-Ed: Challenges to Building a Disaster-Resilient Nation (2008)
In reviewing how best to enhance the Nation's use of earth observations, this report identifies critical users of hazards information, reviews the observations needed, identifies how those needs are met now, identifies gaps in the deployed systems, and makes suggestions on how to fill those gaps over the next 10 years.
This plan was prepared jointly by the U.S. Group on Earth Observations and Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction and is one of six near-term opportunities identified in the Strategic Plan for the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System. Near-term opportunities in this context are: identifying observing systems or integration of components that meet high priority societal needs, are making improvements to inadequate existing systems that can be completed within 5 yearsand have tangible, measurable results.
This report is the implementation plan for the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program that was establishedby the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act of 2004 to reduce the loss of life and property in the Nation from windstorms.
Following the Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26, 2004, the President moved to protect lives and property by launching an initiative to improve domestic tsunami warning capabilities. This plan, developed by a joint working group of the Subcommittee on Disaster Reduction and the U.S. Group on Earth Observations under the auspices of the National Science and Technology Council, places the President's initiative in the context of a broad national effort of tsunami riskreduction and United States participation in international efforts to reduce tsunami risk worldwide. Press release: NSTC Releases Framework for Action for Tsunami Risk Reduction (December 2005)
This report identifies the science and technology lessons learned from the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and emphasizes opportunities to leverage current efforts and understanding to reduce tsunami risk.
This report provides an overview of the hazard risks facing the Nation, identifies the common links between technological and natural hazard risk reduction, reviews the U.S. Government's efforts to increase the Nation's disaster resiliency through research and implementation of new tools and technologies, and identifies issues and opportunities for the future. Press release: NSTC Press Release on the SDR Report 'Reducing Disaster Vulnerability (2003)'
This report describes a partnership between public and private sector entities that was established to seek opportunities for government and private-sector organizations to work together to develop new strategies that will reduce vulnerabilities to natural hazards.
This report focuses on the needs for and the policy issues of implementing advanced technologies for delivering warnings to people at risk.
This document provides an interagency approach for the strategic coordination and advancement of programs, strat egies, and research to reduce the social, environmental, and economic costs of natural hazards.
This report presents a strategic framework that identifies the opportunities for domestic and international cooperation and describes Federal activities and expenditures to reduce the effects of natural disasters.