Past Event

Roundtable Workshop 13: Lessons Learned Between Hurricanes: From Hugo to Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jean

March 8, 2005

Location: Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001

Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne collectively took a heavy toll in Florida and other locales and are blamed for dozens of deaths and billions of dollars in property and business losses. They demonstrated all of the major hazards hurricanes pose for society, including damaging winds, storm surges, floods and tornadoes. In response to such risks, society employs a combination of adjustments involving science and technology, regulations, various institutional and organizational arrangements -including partnerships and intergovernmental linkages - and processes. The nature of these adjustments, which involve both the public and private sectors, can and do change over time, reflecting past experience and anticipated future needs.

The unprecedented and devastating series of 2004 hurricanes mentioned above represent only the most recent in a long history of such memorable events. Hurricane Hugo pounded the Southeastern U.S. in September 1989, and at the time was the second most costly hurricane to ever strike the country. And more recently, in September 2003, Hurricane Isabel caused death and destruction along the Atlantic Coast, including in such states as Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. In between Hugo, Isabel and the 2004 hurricanes were such devastating events as Hurricanes Andrew (1992), Fran (1996), and Floyd (1999), which left widespread deaths and many billions of dollars in property damage in the communities they impacted. This historical span between Hugo and the 2004 hurricanes, which also included impacts from other disaster agents such as the 2001 terrorist attacks, provided opportunities for stakeholders and the general public to learn lessons for coping with hurricanes and other disasters.

This Disasters Roundtable workshop will consider the extent to which strategies for countering the challenges of hurricanes ? particularly as reflected in recent efforts to cope with Isabel, Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne - have changed since Hugo. Such strategies involve mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions. The workshop will address such questions as: Did the experience with the prior series of hurricanes lead to the development of new scientific understanding and technologies and the application of such knowledge and technologies during the 2004 hurricanes? Did new institutional arrangements and procedures emerge in the private as well as public sectors as a result of earlier events that were useful in coping with the more recent events? Are we better off today, as measured by the response to events of the past few years, than we were back during the time of Hugo and other earlier events? And, did we learn valuable lessons from Isabel, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne that will enable the nation to better cope with future hurricanes - if we have the requisite resources and political will to implement them ? related to such issues as storm forecasting and monitoring, land use planning, building codes, insurance, warning, emergency response and evacuation?

Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event

Lessons Learned Between Hurricanes: From Hugo to Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne - Summary of the March 8, 2005 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable (2005)

This report summarizes the March 8, 2005 workshop of the Disasters Roundtable, "Lessons Learned between Hurricanes: From Hugo to Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne," which explored the extent that strategies for countering the challenges presented by hurricanes have changed since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Workshop participants examined the effectiveness of technological advances and efforts to apply knowledge gained from past hurricane events t... More >>