The costs of both manmade and natural disasters continue to rise on an annual basis in the United States and around the globe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local communities need access to new technologies and innovations that reduce risk, improve protective measures, and optimize mitigation investments and lower damage, disruption, and costs related to disaster recovery. Without proper funding, FEMA would not be able to support disaster recovery operations or enable state and local first responders and emergency managers to respond more effectively to disasters. Without critical investment and a comprehensive plan, the cost of disasters and losses will continue to rise, and assistance programs will remain overly complex and burdensome to communities and disaster survivors in desperate need of relief.
The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T’s) Next Generation Disaster Proofing research and development will pursue new technologies and standards to streamline FEMA disaster resilience investments in insurance, mitigation, and recovery operations. It also will develop and simplify assistance programs that enable the states, local communities, and the private sector to help disaster survivors recover more efficiently and effectively. Other examples of targeted research and development outcomes will be to develop new approaches to optimizing resilience investments to reduce disaster risk and losses, to measure community resilience and monitor program effectiveness. The goal is that new technologies will work to reduce damage to residential structures, public assets, and critical infrastructure over time.
The Next Generation Disaster Proofing program supports FEMA operations, pre- and post- disaster assistance programs, and approximately 20,000 communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and numerous state and local partners and critical infrastructure operators. These research and development investments allow FEMA to keep pace with the nation's evolving and increasing flood risk and reduce the loss of life and property.
Next Generation Disaster Proofing Completed Activities
- 2017 First Responders Electronic Jamming Exercise
- DHS S&T and Central US Earthquake Consortium Partnership
- Imaging system for immersive surveillance
- Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP)
- Responder Training and Exercise Program
- Smart City Interoperability Reference Architecture
- Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
Next Generation Disaster Proofing Planned Activities
- High frequency radio network
- Wireless emergency alert research
- Novel materials research for personnel protective equipment
- Novel materials research for structural innovations
- Disaster proofing testing and standards development
- Disaster proofing technology prize competition