As is clear from the long history of research on natural and technological hazards, the occurrence of sudden onset, high consequence disasters presents opportunities to improve understanding of how individuals, organizations and communities can better plan for, respond to, and recover from disaster. The National Science Foundation's RAPID funding mechanism provides a means for researchers to collect perishable data on short-lived phenomena (including disasters) in the field. Most recently, RAPID funding for Hurricane Sandy research is covering topics such as coastal and structural damage assessment, population evacuation, infrastructure restoration, debris removal, and housing recovery. Prior results of RAPID research (e.g., on the responses to 9/11 and to Hurricane Katrina) have shown that a coordinated synthesis across diverse disciplinary views all centered on a single event can yield in-depth observations, cross-cutting insights, and recommendations for the practice of emergency management.
To support transfer of results to practice in the context of DHS' mission and to provide a platform for multidisciplinary dialogue CCICADA will convene a workshop including researchers who have been funded through Sandy-focused NSF RAPID grants. We expect that attendees will include NSF grantees along with individuals from appropriate state and Federal governmental organizations (e.g., DHS, NSF, FEMA, Coast Guard) as well as representatives of other DHS University Centers of Excellence. The specific goal of this workshop is to identify opportunities to support the research, whether through synergies with other investigators or through interactions with these governmental organizations. In the longer term, the workshop is expected to lay the groundwork for a publication with contributions from Sandy-related research in the broad areas of disaster impact assessment, response and recovery. To support this longer-term goal, we anticipate holding a second workshop in late summer 2014.
The workshop is expected to advance discovery while accelerating transferral of research results to practice. It will seek to address disaster planning, response and recovery, and will provide a platform for dialogue between individuals across DHS, NSF and academia. Finally, given the likely long-term consequences of Hurricane Sandy, the results of this work are expected to be of broad interest to government, industry, academia and the public at large.
The workshop is being organized by Professor David Mendonca, PI of one of the RAPID awards, and Professor Fred Roberts, Director of CCICADA. It will be held at the CCICADA Center at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. For further information, contact either of the organizers: David Mendonca mendod at rpi.edu, Fred Roberts froberts at dimacs.rutgers.edu.