Natural Hazards: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Showing results 1 - 5 of 30

Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices (2013)

In recent years, extreme storms and hurricanes have caused increasingly disastrous flooding along U.S. rivers and coastlines, with much of the damage occurring when levees failed or were overtopped by water. This report examines how FEMA National Flood Insurance Program assesses, mitigates, and insures against flood risk behind levees, and how the program communicates that risk to the public. FEMA needs an updated approach to analyze and manag... More >>

Report in Brief

Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice (2012)

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety programs to consider community- and regional-level priorities in decision making can help reduce the risk of, and increase community resilience to, potential dam and levee failures. Collaboration betwee... More >>

Global Change and Extreme Hydrology: Testing Conventional Wisdom (2011)

As climate change warms the atmosphere, Earth's hydrology is shifting—with the potential to make floods and droughts more extreme. There is now a pressing need for decision-makers to better understand the ongoing changes in hydrologic extremes in order to make preparations for changing conditions. This report assesses changes in the frequency and severity of floods and droughts, abilities of communities to understand and forecast these changes... More >>

Report in Brief

National Earthquake Resilience: Research, Implementation, and Outreach (2011)

The United States will be subject to damaging earthquakes in the future, and some earthquakes will occur in highly populated and vulnerable areas with major effects on the nation as a whole. Efforts to reduce such effects are needed to limit the loss of life, damage to buildings, and economic cost of a major earthquake. This report presents a 20-year roadmap for earthquake hazard and risk reduction, assessing the activities, and their costs, tha... More >>

Monitoring Climate Change Impacts: Metrics at the Intersection of the Human and Earth Systems (2010)

This report from the National Research Council identifies seventy-one metrics that when taken together may give advance warning of climate-related changes and their impacts across a range of both local and global scales. Currently, many observing systems capture elements of how climate is changing, such as direct measurements of atmospheric and ocean temperature. However, these measurements do not provide information about the impacts o... More >>