Research & Issues

Our primary objective is the building of resilient communities. We believe this goal can be advanced when people and organizations at risk from natural hazards understand the nature of the risk and what can be done to reduce the risk.

We therefore work to support:

  • Multi-disciplinary research into the cause and consequences of natural disasters, especially into the impacts of changes in the natural environment on urban centers. The increasing complexity of modern life and the systems needed to support it (Internet, cell phones, transportation, utilities) are creating new vulnerability to the people in urban centers. Systems analyses of the disaster cycle can help elucidate the most significant vulnerabilities.
  • Programs to develop understanding and capacity among decision-makers in the public and private sectors about natural hazards and how their decisions will affect future outcomes. Advice and consultation to help organizations better understand their specific risks and viable approaches to mitigation are needed, but even more important is empowering them to understand the tradeoffs inherent in their decisions.
  • Innovative activities to increase community resilience by engaging, educating, and empowering community members and civic leaders to reduce the unique risks they face. Communities recover from disasters because its members care enough to stay and do the hard work of recovery.  We need approaches to preparedness that strengthen the connections within the community.
  • Research and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our activities so we know what works. We can share the expertise with other practitioners, and we can train the next generation of practitioners for science implementation.