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  1. Science and Technology
  2. News & Events
  3. S&T Impact Series
  4. S&T Impact: Disaster Resilience

S&T Impact: Disaster Resilience

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) helps improve community resilience to natural disasters through technology and tools that support planning, decision making and mitigation efforts. We develop solutions in close collaboration with public safety, industry and all levels of government to ensure cost effectiveness, usability and efficiency. Watch our video on disaster resilience and read below to learn more about the technologies and capabilities we deliver!


Emergency responders working at an aid site. S&T builds coalitions to tackle multi-discipline and multi-jurisdiction challenges

Emergency responders in high flood water rescuing people. S&T streamlines mutual aid efforts to send resources where they are needed the most

  • The Mutual Aid Resource Planner (MARP) is a prototype application helping jurisdictions develop more accurate resource plans by incorporating custom data on geospatial hazards, risk assessments and potential mutual aid partners.
  • The National Mutual Aid Technology Exercise (NMATE) tested existing mutual aid systems to improve users’ ability to exchange information between systems in real time and develop technical guidance for future use.

A man installing flood censors. S&T researches new resilience techniques and solutions

  • The Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence conducts targeted research and education to address key challenges facing coastal communities in the United States, including storm surge modeling, pre-disaster planning, communicating risk and more.
  • The Flood Apex Program helps identify and develop technology that can reduce flood-related fatalities and property loss, increase community resilience and improve flood preparation, response and recovery.

Decision Making

Water coming down a dam S&T improves automated alert and warning capabilities

Screenshot of the DSS-Wise Life tool showing the effects of a dam break. S&T’s simulation tools help federal, state and local decision makers


Tunnel Plug inflatable device. S&T strengthens protections for the nation’s critical infrastructure

  • The Tunnel Plug is an inflatable device that seals off subway tunnels to prevent water from flowing into the system, minimizing damage to critical transportation systems.
  • The Linking the Oil and Gas Industry to Improve Cybersecurity (LOGIIC) project facilitates cooperative research, development, testing and evaluation procedures to improve cybersecurity in petroleum industry digital control systems.

Screenshot of the Automated National Structures Inventory program. S&T supports improvements to flood insurance coverage

  • The Homeowner Flood Insurance Roundtable is helping reduce future uninsured flood losses by identifying decision support and research and development needs.
  • The Automated National Structures Inventory project is building a comprehensive list of private and commercial property at risk for flood damage, which will help promote proper insurance and more effective flood protection efforts.

Wireless Emergency Alert system that warns of impending danger. S&T helps get information to the right people at the right time

  • The Smart Cities IoT innovation project will help first responders improve their situational awareness through advances in autonomous drone navigation, intelligent building sensors and body-worn interoperability platforms.
  • The Wireless Emergency Alerts Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation program informed changes to the Federal Communications Commission’s alerting system, including increased character length and adding URLs, pictures, videos and geo-targeting capabilities.

Blue line

S&T is the primary research and development arm for DHS’s operational components and the nation’s first responders. S&T helps improve the safety and effectiveness of homeland security professionals by developing innovative solutions with public and private sector partners. Our approach involves:
1. Identifying Needs by discussing operational challenges with DHS Components and first responders; 2. Developing Prototypes or leveraging existing technologies to quickly find solutions; 3. Testing and Evaluating potential solutions to ensure they meet end-user needs; 4. Deploying Solutions to the field within a short timeframe.

S&T relies on partnerships with industry, academia and technology developers to continue providing next-generation solutions that improve responder safety and effectiveness. If you’re interested in helping strengthen the nation’s homeland security, visit our Work with S&T page to discover the many ways to work with S&T. Then, check out the rest of our website and follow S&T on Facebook, InstagramX, YouTube and LinkedIn for the latest updates on our work. Download a printable version of this page now.

Last Updated: 06/12/2024
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