Introduction to the President's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy and Lessons Learned

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Thursday, 6 February 2014: 8:30 AM
Georgia Ballroom 2 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Kevin Werner, NOAA, Salt Lake City, UT

Following Hurricane Sandy's impact on the mid-Atlantic region, President Obama established a Task Force to “…ensure that the Federal Government continues to provide appropriate resources to support affected State, local, and tribal communities to improve the region's resilience, health, and prosperity by building for the future.” The author was detailed from NOAA to the Task Force between January and June 2013. As the Task Force and others began to take stock of the region's needs and develop plans to address them, many diverse approaches including expertise from numerous fields including many different types infrastructure management and construction, housing, public health, and more were required. Decision making in this environment was equally complex with many interests and variables to consider. Although often relevant, science and technical expertise is not always at the forefront of this process.

This talk describes our experience with the Sandy Task Force focusing on organizing scientific expertise to support the work of the Task Force. This includes a description of the federal response to recovery from Sandy, the role of the Task Force, and lessons learned from developing a science support function within the Task Force.