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MCEER Bulletin, Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2007

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Volume 21, Number 1, Spring 2007

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Defining and Measuring Disaster Resilience is Focus of 2006 MCEER Annual Meeting


Michel Bruneau and Kathleen Tierney gave a joint presentation on resilience metrics

MCEER carried its message of making disaster resilience measurable to the nation’s Capital with its 2006 Annual Meeting. The program, which took place June 29-30, in Arlington, Virginia, attracted nearly 120 participants from within and beyond the capital beltway.

The meeting kicked off with an all-day program on June 29 that defined the concept of resilience, and explored fundamental resilience metrics – robustness, redundancy, resourcefulness and rapidity – by which disaster resilience can be better measured and improved. The concept and foundational metrics for resilience were developed initially by MCEER researchers for earthquake hazards mitigation. These same metrics are now being applied by MCEER and its industry and government partners, to other hazards and extreme events.


Ryan Shannon shared his experiences as a Tulane University medical student during and immediately following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

Titled Enhancing Resilience against Multiple Hazards, the program drew participation from representatives of federal agencies, congressional staff, policy think tanks, and the practicing community of architects, engineers, owners, other corporate stakeholders, and emergency managers from around the United States.

They were joined by MCEER industry partners in business, industry and government, as well as center investigators and students.

Presentations illustrated how the use of resilience metrics guide MCEER’s applied research program. Three breakout sessions discussed these metrics in greater detail, drawing upon research developments and practitioners’ perspectives for applying resilience metrics to:


Jack Hayes discussed the NEHRP program at the banquet presentation

A luncheon presentation by Gilberto Mosqueda (University at Buffalo), Lucy Arendt (University of Wisconsin, Green Bay), and Ryan Shannon (Tulane University medical student) chronicled observations from MCEER’s Post-Hurricane Katrina Reconnaissance investigations.

A banquet presentation on the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) was delivered by NEHRP Director, John (Jack) R. Hayes Jr., of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Hayes provided background information on the program, discussing the roles and responsibilities of involved federal agencies, and changes to the NEHRP organizational and operational structure.

The second day included presentations by MCEER’s partners in business, industry and government, as they discussed challenging issues faced by practitioners.
15 Strategic Partnerships Network and Industry Advisory Board (IAB) members, including Degenkolb Engineers, Facility Risk Consultants, ISAT Seismic Bracing, Johnson Controls, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department, Terra Firm Earthquake Preparedness, and Weidlinger Associates, made presentations at the event. Armstrong World Industries, and East Bay Municipal Utilities District contributed to discussions. The majority of presentations focused attention on nonstructural component issues, an area of prime emphasis in updated building codes and within MCEER’s research program.

The meeting recap includes photos, presentations, student posters and more.