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NIST launches effort to improve disaster resilience of communities

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host the first of six workshops devoted to developing a comprehensive, community-based disaster resilience framework, a national initiative carried out under the President's Climate Action Plan. The workshop will be held at the NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, Md., on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Focusing on buildings and critical infrastructure, the planned framework will aid communities in efforts to protect people and property and to recover more rapidly from natural and man-made disasters. Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and other recent disasters, have highlighted the interconnected nature of buildings and infrastructure systems and their vulnerabilities.

The six workshops will focus on the roles that buildings and infrastructure systems play in ensuring community resilience. NIST will use workshop inputs as it drafts the disaster resilience framework. To be released for public comment in April 2015, the framework will establish overall performance goals; assess existing standards, codes, and practices; and identify gaps that must be addressed to bolster community resilience.

NIST seeks input from a broad array of stakeholders, including planners, designers, facility owners and users, government officials, utility owners, regulators, standards and model code developers, insurers, trade and professional associations, disaster response and recovery groups, and researchers.

All workshops will focus on resilience needs, which, in part, will reflect hazard risks common to geographic regions.

The NIST-hosted event will begin at 8 a.m. and is open to all interested parties. The registration fee for the inaugural workshop is $55. Space is limited. To learn more and to register, go to: www.nist.gov/el/building_materials/resilience/disreswksp.cfm.

Registration closes on March 31, 2014.

More information on the disaster resilience framework can be found at www.nist.gov/el/building_materials/resilience/framework.cfm

•Date: 13th March 2014 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: Emergency planning

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