LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (October 28, 2011) – Top researchers and engineers provided a preview of the most recent advancements and research shaping disaster preparedness during a panel discussion at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes® (FLASH) being held Oct. 26-28 at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
participating in the panel discussion, Campus
Report: Latest Academic and Research Advances, included Jay Baker,
PhD, Geography Department, Florida State University; Forrest Masters, PhD,
Civil and Coastal Engineering Department, University of Florida; Tim Reinhold,
PhD, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS); and Paul
Tertell, P.E., Project Officer, FEMA. Moderator was Patrick F. Maroney of
the Florida Catastrophic Storm Rick Management Center, Florida State University
College of Business.
spoke of his studies on how and why the public responds to hurricane threats.
“Our current research involves interviews with coastal residents during actual
hurricane threats and surveys to help understand how people arrive at their
beliefs regarding their vulnerability to hurricanes,” said Baker, who is
currently assisting Florida to update its behavioral assumptions for hurricane
evacuation plans statewide.
provided an advance look at research underway regarding the effects of wind and
wind-driven rain on homes. “The major challenge regarding this issue is to
better understand the lifecycles of the materials that go into a home and how
to better characterize how these elements age regarding exposure to heat, rain
and sun,” Masters said.
previewed the latest demonstrations influencing residential and commercial
structural design and construction for decades to come. “We’re recreating Mother
Nature in the lab,” Reinhold said, “conducting research on wind effects and
delved into the useful data left behind by the destructive tornadoes that
ripped across the United States this past year – research invaluable in
mitigating future damage. “The objectives of our Mitigation Assessment Teams
are to see the damage quickly, document it, conduct forensic engineering
analyses – all to determine the causes of building failure and successes,”
Tertell said. Ultimately, “we want to learn if we an be safer next time.
If the answer is yes, then how so?”
Safety: One Movement, Many Voices, the 2011 FLASH Annual
Meeting convened more than 100 of the nation’s leading experts in disaster
safety, property loss mitigation and weather outcomes.
In a variety
of presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations, meeting attendees are
hearing and seeing the latest in innovative disaster safety and mitigation
products, programs and impacts natural and man-made disasters have had on the
U.S. economy and population at large. Prominent speakers include academics,
builders, educators, emergency managers, engineers, researchers and scientists.