Past Event

Roundtable Workshop 23: Making the World Safer from Disasters: The U.S. Role

October 2, 2008


Countries throughout the world are vulnerable to many types of hazards: natural, technological, and human-induced. This is particularly true of developing nations in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With its relevant scientific and technological infrastructure and extensive experience coping with its own set of wide-ranging hazards, the U.S. has been extensively involved in collaborative efforts, including those that are bilateral and multilateral in nature, to reduce global disaster losses. This is reflected in disaster mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery actions carried out by U.S. government, private sector, and civil society agencies and organizations. This workshop will consider the role of the U.S. in global disaster reduction. The focus will be on extant efforts and new challenges, such as the pattern of spiraling disaster losses seen in many countries, which relevant U.S. institutions and organizations face in attempting to play a leading role in reducing disaster vulnerability world wide.

Welcome and Opening Remarks

William H. Hooke, American Meteorological Society and Chair, Disasters Roundtable Committee

Session I: Opportunities and Constraints for Participating in Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing Countries.
The speaker in this lead off session will offer his perspective gleaned from many years of experience working in Latin America and other vulnerable regions of the world.

Stephen Bender, Independent Consultant; Organization of American States (retired)

Session II: Capacity Building for Disaster Resilience
The award winning speaker in this session will discuss his perspective onusing scientific and technical knowledge to increase the capacity of at-risk communities in developing countries to cope with natural hazards, and experiences of his nonprofit organization in carrying out this role.

Brian Tucker, President, GeoHazards International

Session III: Panel on Research Collaboration
Participants in this session will discuss their international research efforts and their potential benefits to cooperating partners.

Collaborative Natural Hazards Research: Taiwan and Brazil
Carla Prater, Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center, Texas A&M University

Collaborative Research on Terrorism
Gary Ackerman, Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism(START), University of Maryland

Session IV: Panel on Cooperative Monitoring of Environmental Hazards
Participants in this session will discuss the indicated international cooperative programs undertaken by their organizations to provide at-risk countries information to prepare for and reduce disaster losses.

Seismic Monitoring
Bob Woodward, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)

Tsunami Warning System
David McKinnie, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Carrie Stokes, USAID

Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET)
Gary Eilerts, Agency for International Development

Session V: Panel on International Disaster Assistance
Participants in this session will discuss U.S. foreign disaster assistance, a mainstay of this country's international disaster policy.

A Brief History of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
Richard Olson, Florida International University

The Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Today
Peter Morris, Director, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance

Provision of Assistance by the Military
Al Johnson, Department of Defense

Closing Remarks
William H. Hooke, American Meteorological Society and Chair, Disasters Roundtable Committee

About this Event

Organizing Body:

Disasters Roundtable

Primary Board:

Disasters Roundtable


John Brown,