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Focusing on Floods and the R&D Partnerships that Keep Communities Safe and Resilient

Focusing on Floods and the R&D Partnerships that Keep Communities Safe and Resilient

Every year, agencies across the United States hold an annual campaign for National Flood Safety Awareness Week, and this subject is a high priority here at the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) as well. We have a flood-related research and development (R&D) portfolio that emphasizes safety and security, but do you also know what S&T has been doing related to flood resilience?

Our R&D with respect to floods aims not only to keep people and property safe, but also to protect critical infrastructure and ensure uninterrupted delivery of vital services and utilities. As we’ve seen recently with wildfires in California and severe winter weather in Texas, disrupted utilities can result in life-threatening situations—and floods are just another example of this type of natural threat to our critical infrastructure. Climate change is leading to more frequent extreme weather events, and S&T has pivoted accordingly to increase our focus on mitigating flood risk. Our related work also includes projects to enhance community and climate resilience to optimize risk reduction and functional recovery.

S&T is joining forces with federal, state, local, and international partners to leverage expertise and share best practices among flood response stakeholders. Ongoing efforts to mitigate flood losses and improve flood resiliency include:

The complex and unpredictable nature of severe weather is a challenge to developing a plan to protect communities from flooding. We’re committed to helping localities plan for flood events and making tools and data easily accessible to flood-prone areas, particularly as flood events increase in severity with the changing climate. Through S&T’s work and our partnerships, we hope to reduce flood-related fatalities and property losses by improving the way communities plan for floods and making them more resilient.

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