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.
An aircraft's capacity and speed largely determine the rate at which water or retardant can be applied to a fire. Very large air tankers (VLATs) certainly have the capacity to apply large amounts of fluids to a fire, but because of the distances travelled they may not be able to get a second load very quickly.
The path to climate change preparedness should start at the intersection of resilience and robustness — that is, building resilient communities with the individuals and organizations within those communities making robust decisions, ones designed to work well over a wide range of ever-changing conditions.
Given the broad range of threats facing the United States, including those related to extreme weather, it is imperative that monies invested in enhancing health security be well spent, writes Shoshana Shelton.
Recent global disasters vividly illustrate that recovery entails more than simply restoring physical infrastructure such as roads and buildings; it is also a long process of restoring the social infrastructure—the daily routines and networks that support the physical and mental health and well-being of the population, write Anita Chandra and Joie Acosta.
We can expect to see continued jockeying for scarce resources among vulnerable populations around the globe, attempts by majority communities to disenfranchise powerless minority groups, and episodes of extreme weather to blow away any notion that disasters—whether natural, man-made, or both—can't happen here, writes Jonah Blank.
Super Storm Sandy has created a rare moment when New York City and surrounding areas are singularly focused on the infrastructure needed in a changing environment. It is a moment to look south at Louisiana.
Just as public agencies across the country conducted terrorism risk assessments in the wake of 9/11, a comprehensive infrastructure assessment may be in order to understand natural hazard risks and the potential exacerbating effects of climate change, write Gary Cecchine, David Groves, and Jordan Fischbach.
If Hurricane Sandy causes extensive disruptions in public schools—particularly in hard-hit New York City—our research shows that choices made by parents and policymakers could significantly limit the negative short-term effects of changing schools under such difficult circumstances, writes John Pane.
Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, it's clear that New Orleans and other cities along the Gulf Coast are applying what they learned then in preparation for Hurricane Isaac, write Gary Cecchine and Jordan R. Fischbach.
RAND President and CEO Michael Rich writes about how RAND computer models and empirical analyses are helping protect and restore the Louisiana coast.
Fortunately for the nation's capitol, Hurricane Irene and the East Coast earthquake proved to be relatively minor events, as far as disasters go. But before everyone breathes a sigh of relief, it would be wise to reflect on how people responded to what were essentially dress rehearsals for much bigger events, write Lynn E. Davis and Arthur L. Kellermann.
Previous efforts by the international community to stabilize Haiti have met with little or only short-term success. This time, following the earthquake, the U.S. response could actually leverage the response and recovery opportunities into a broader international plan, write Agnes Gereben Schaefer and Anita Chandra.
Tornado deaths and injuries are the predictable result of poorly conceived construction patterns that threaten to reverse the benefits that have resulted from advanced storm warning and forecasting capabilities, writes Charles Meade.
Katrina Proved We Must Do Better Job of Protecting Our Protectors, in the Clarion-Ledger
Published commentary by RAND staff: When Students Disappear..., in Education Week.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Forum: Are We Prepared? Not Quite, in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Mississippi Comeback, in the Los Angeles Times.
"Published commentary by RAND staff: Health Costs of Katrina in United Press International.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Healing Storm Victims' Mental Health in Newsday.
Published commentary by RAND staff: Get Proactive with Disasters in the Philadelphia Inquirer.