September 11, 2011

Hazards Researchers “Stormed” Capitol Hill

NSF Expo showcased basic science and engineering research to facilitate local, state, federal and private-sector capability to predict, prepare for, mitigate and respond to disasters

In light of National Preparedness month and the recent East Coast hurricane and earthquake, the National Science Foundation (NSF) hosted an expo on Capitol Hill on Sept. 7  featuring interactive demonstrations and research findings that showcase science and engineering discovery, technologies and tools that have practical application to hazards.

More than 30 research exhibitor teams demonstrated how their NSF-supported work impacts and enables policymakers and disaster responders to better predict, prepare for, mitigate and respond to significant hazards that affect life, property, societal infrastructure and natural assets.

The exhibits displayed research relating to tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, oil spills and hurricanes, as well as the human response to these events. Walk-through exhibits included: an earthquake simulator, tornado pods, search-and-rescue robots, a flood flume, 3-D IMAX clips from Tornado Alley, unmanned aerial vehicles for rescue, and more.

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida emphasized the importance of NSF's research to assist first responders and storm predictors. He also said how thankful he was for NSF's commitment to innovations that assist before, during and after hazards and disasters.

"Fundamental research on natural and man-made disasters is required to tease out paths to prediction, preparation, mitigation and efficient and effective post-disaster response," said NSF Director Subra Suresh. "The National Science Foundation's investment provides a continuous pay off in local, state, and national policy toward these efforts.

The event was made possible by the American Geophysical Union and the Congressional Hazards Caucus.


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