Assessing Federal Research and Development for Hazard Loss Reduction, Issue 1734
Losses resulting from natural hazards--floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfire--cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year. Moreover, the costs are escalating, in large part because of the growing population in coastal and other high-risk areas. Further, the increasing complexity of the nation's infrastructure, particularly in urban areas, means that potential losses during a natural hazard are only likely to increase. As part of its strategy to address the hazard loss problem, the federal government funds research and development (R&D) to improve understanding of, preparation for, and response to hazards. A comprehensive RAND analysis of current federal funding for research on hazard losses found that programs solely dedicated to hazard loss reduction receive the least funding, while work on weather hazards and broadly related research on climatology, atmospheric science, and oceanography receive the most. Much of this R&D spending supports short-term prediction capabilities, even though such measures have limited loss reduction potential. While prediction can generally move individuals out of harm's way, long-term loss reduction strategies could improve the resilience of communities and infrastructure, resulting in less property damage and reduced rebuilding costs. The study concludes that a comprehensive national loss database and greater use of loss modeling would assist in identifying
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INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
The Federal Response to the Problem
The Role of Federal RD in Hazard Loss Reduction
Structure of Report
QUANTIFYING RD FOR HAZARD LOSS REDUCTION
Isolating Hazard Loss RD
Hurricanes Floods Tornadoes Storms and Drought
THE POLICY CHALLENGE FOR HAZARD LOSS RD
The Human Factor
The Implementation Gap
The Current RD Payoff
Key Steps for Policymakers
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
What Is Being Asked of RD?
What Is Being Asked of Hazard Loss RD?
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aleatory allocation analysis applied research areas assess Atmospheric Research basic and applied basic research billion Chapter climate change contribute to hazard coordinated criteria damage disaster DOC/NOAA Earth Sciences Earthquake Hazards economic environment estimates federal budget federal government federal R&D FEMA floods focused framework goals hazard loss R&D hazard loss reduction hazard R&D HAZUS Hurricane Andrew identify R&D implementation improve infrastructure John Heinz III loss data loss modeling loss reduction efforts loss reduction programs loss reduction R&D loss reduction strategies Meteorology NASA National National Weather Service natural hazards NEHRP NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric oceanographic OFCM payoff Pielke policymakers prediction problem quantify R&D activities R&D budget R&D efforts R&D expenditures R&D funding R&D programs R&D strategies RaDiUS reduce hazard losses research programs role Science and Technology seismic societal specific structures studies Table tion U.S. Congress use-inspired USGS vulnerability weather forecasting weather-related hazards wildfires