Natural Disasters

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Losses resulting from natural hazards—including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires—cost billions of dollars each year. RAND research has shown how long-term loss-reduction strategies and disaster preparedness could improve the resilience of communities and infrastructure in the face of natural disasters, resulting in less property damage and reduced rebuilding costs.

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    Multimedia

    Building Resilient Communities: An Online Training

    Aug 13, 2013

    This easy-to-use, self-guided online training shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience, helping them recover and learn from disaster—both natural and man-made.

Explore Natural Hazards

  • Research Brief

    How RAND Supported the Development of Louisiana's Comprehensive Master Plan

    To plan the rebuilding of the Louisiana coastline, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority used a new analytic approach, developed in part by RAND, that incorporates results from state-of-the-art predictive models within a decision tool to formulate and compare alternatives and visualize outcomes and trade-offs for policymakers and stakeholders.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • News Release

    Tools Can Help Policymakers Increase Coastal Resilience to Rising Seas and Storm Surge

    Two key analytic tools can be used to evaluate how coastal protection and restoration decisions made now will play out over time, even given an uncertain future.

    Feb 21, 2014

  • Report

    Tools Can Help Policymakers Increase Coastal Resilience to Rising Seas and Storm Surge

    Two key analytic tools can be used to evaluate how coastal protection and restoration decisions made now will play out over time, even given an uncertain future. For example, a community weighing whether to implement a marsh-building project can see how the project fares against different rates of rising sea levels over time.

    Feb 19, 2014

  • Blog

    Investing in Firefighting

    While the U.S. Forest Service has not completely agreed with RAND's proposal to transition to a fleet dominated by water-dropping scooper aircraft for fighting fires, they have leased one CL-415 scooper aircraft. It might be more cost-effective for the USFS to simply purchase it outright.

    Dec 30, 2013

  • Blog

    One Year Later: Hurricane Sandy's Lessons in Resilience and Recovery

    The recovery from Sandy shows once again that how well communities bounce back from disasters depends not just on how they react after a crisis, but on how resilient they have made themselves beforehand. Building community resilience should be part and parcel of disaster preparedness.

    Nov 15, 2013

  • Blog

    Responding in Typhoon Haiyan's Wake

    Prior responses to other recent disasters offer important lessons. Improved preparedness and efficient coordination mechanisms can help ensure that, when time is of the essence, the United States provides the most effective response.

    Nov 12, 2013

  • Blog

    A Year After Sandy, a New Threat to New York City

    As residents continue to recover from Superstorm Sandy, they are about to confront dramatic changes in the flood insurance landscape. Changes to federal floodplain maps will mean thousands of New Yorkers will suddenly be living in areas designated as high-risk flood, which will send their insurance rates soaring.

    Nov 5, 2013

  • Report

    The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake

    Luck, serendipity, and longtime relationships fostered success in Haiti relief efforts, though actual performance is impossible to measure because metrics and plans were not in place before the earthquake hit. U.S. Department of Defense policy on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief needs to be updated.

    Oct 29, 2013

  • News Release

    Rising Cost of Flood Insurance Will Create Serious Challenges for New York City

    Some New York City residents may soon face sharp increases in their flood insurance premiums as a result of major changes occurring in the National Flood Insurance Program and the redrawing of flood maps that expand the areas at risk. Property owners in areas now deemed at highest risk may face increases of $5,000 to $10,000 annually.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • Research Brief

    The Rising Cost of Flood Insurance in New York City

    Even as many in New York City struggle to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy, changes in the flood insurance market are increasing premiums for those living near the coast.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • Report

    Rising Cost of Flood Insurance Will Create Serious Challenges for New York City

    Some New York City residents may soon face sharp increases in their flood insurance premiums as a result of major changes occurring in the National Flood Insurance Program and the redrawing of flood maps that expand the areas at risk. Property owners in areas now deemed at highest risk may face increases of $5,000 to $10,000 annually.

    Oct 25, 2013

  • Blog

    Weather Forecasts, and Our Trust in Them, Need to Improve

    When scientists predict extreme weather that never materializes, lay people tend to wonder what went wrong. This is a natural tendency that is not tied to a failure of the science, but rather to differences in the way scientists and lay people view predictions about extreme events.

    Oct 8, 2013

  • Blog

    Removing Road Blocks to Climate Change Adaptation Planning

    Despite increasing interest and investments in climate adaptation science, the implementation of adaptation plans through institutional policies or other actions designed to reduce health vulnerabilities has been slow. Institutionalized assumptions are an important roadblock.

    Oct 3, 2013

  • Report

    Improving Flood Risk Estimates and Mitigation Policies in Coastal Louisiana under Deep Uncertainty

    This dissertation consists of three essays that summarize the author's contributions to the study of flood risk in coastal Louisiana during and following its 2012 Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, an action-oriented plan consisting of over one hundred projects designed to minimize future land loss and flood risk while simultaneously considering negative impacts on fisheries and other ecosystem services.

    Sep 9, 2013

  • Blog

    The Desirability of 'Free' C-27s for the U.S. Forest Service

    Although we believe that a scooper-centric firefighting aircraft portfolio for initial attack would still be preferred, Air Force-provided 1,850-gallon C-27Js could be a cost-effective component of the retardant-bearing portion of the Forest Service's airborne firefighting arsenal, write Edward G. Keating and Daniel M. Norton.

    Sep 6, 2013

  • Blog

    Translating Policy Into Action to Build Community Resilience

    The philosophy and motivation surrounding community resilience has strongly resonated with community leaders but there remains a divide between how experts articulate resilience policy and how that policy translates to on-the-ground implementation. Building Community Resilience: An Online Training addresses that tension.

    Sep 4, 2013

  • Project

    Ensuring Robust Flood Risk Management in Vietnam

    Ensuring Robust Flood Risk Management in Vietnam

    Aug 16, 2013

  • Tool

    Building Resilient Communities: An Online Training

    This easy-to-use, self-guided online training shows organizations and communities how to strengthen their resilience, helping them recover and learn from disaster—both natural and man-made.

    Aug 13, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment Model Helps Estimate Surge-Based Flood Risk

    The Coastal Louisiana Risk Assessment model (CLARA) facilitates comparisons of current and future flood risk under a variety of protection system configurations in a wide range of environmental, operational, and economic uncertainties.

    Aug 1, 2013

  • Report

    Lessons from Department of Defense Disaster Relief Efforts in the Asia-Pacific Region

    The Asia-Pacific region bears the brunt of the majority of the world's natural disasters and is home to key U.S. allies. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of such operations, this report analyzes recent HA/DR operations in Burma, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Japan, and identifies lessons that can be applied in the future.

    Jul 31, 2013