Register for remote participation in the 2013 NHMA International Mitigation Practitioners Symposium

Please note you must register for each session separately.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. (Click on the title to register.)

Plenary 1: Identifying and Overcoming Impediments to Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation

Jul 16, 2013 4:45 PM MDT

Moderator: Edward A. Thomas, NHMA


• Debra Ballen, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety

• Bob Gough, Intertribal Council on Utility Policy

• Glenn Pomeroy, California Earthquake Authority

• David Ropeik, Harvard University

Session Description: This session will continue—and expand—the conversation started as part of the closing panel at the 38th Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. The panel will consider the central question of: Why our society has not been more successful in implementing safer, more sustainable development and redevelopment in the aftermath of disaster? This session is designed to help participants: (1) understand why, despite the work of dedicated individuals and organizations and the investment of billions of dollars spent on hazards mitigation, nevertheless foreseeable hazard events continue to result in horrible disasters and suffering; and (2) present suggested paths towards building a safer, more just, and more sustainable society with less misery and suffering.

Plenary 2: Mitigation Options Affected by the Supreme Court in 2013: Koontz and Other Game Changers

Jul 16, 2013 7:00 PM MDT

Moderator: Barry Hokanson, Urban Planning Consultant


• Lisa Grow Sun, Brigham Young University Law School

• Edward A. Thomas, NHMA

Session Description: This session will explore the legal landscape for community development and hazard mitigation/climate adaptation. Specifically, there has been tremendous press coverage of many U.S. Supreme Court decisions this term. One of those cases, Koontz vs. St. John’s Water Management District, reportedly will have a “devastating” effect on good planning. While the Koontz case directly involves development and mitigation, other cases this term also deal with “takings” issues, and related matters of law. Indeed, federal and interstate conflicts, and the “takings” were also highlighted in another case from this term of the U.S. Supreme Court: Arkansas Game and Fish ruling. Expert panelists will consider what’s happening in the current legal and policy environment and will address what the future may hold. What about your climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, or floodplain ordinances? Is it time to worry? Time to learn a new way to negotiate?

Plenary 3: Mitigation and Adaptation in the Aftermath of “Superstorms” like Sandy & The 2013 Midwest Tornadoes

Jul 17, 2013 8:30 AM MDT

Organizer: Lincoln Walther, CSA Ocean Sciences, Inc.

Moderator: Deborah Mills, Dewberry


• Margaret Davidson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

• David Miller, Federal Emergency Management Agency

• Megan O’Grady, Independent Scholar

• James Schwab, American Planning Association

• Matt Sitkowski, The Weather Channel

Session Description: This session will focus on long-term recovery at the local level in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, with a particular emphasis on the implications of this recovery process at the state and national level. The session will address questions concerning leadership and decision-making in the recovery and what has, and has not, been done to “build back better” in terms of reducing the potential for future losses and adapting to climate change. The opening of this session will involve a presentation on catastrophic disasters past, present, and future. With the stage set, the discussion will shift and focus on long-term recovery at the local level with particular emphasis on the implications of how long-term recovery is affected by states and the federal government. Questions concerning leadership, decision making, and communication in recovery, obstacles that inhibit resiliency in the rebuilding process, and what has, and has not been done to promote building back stronger in order to achieve reduction in future losses and adapting to climate change.

Concurrent Session: Resilient Neighbors Network: Grassroots Collaboration on Reducing Disaster Losses through Mitigation

Jul 17, 2013 10:30 AM MDT

Organizer and Moderator: Tim Lovell, Tulsa Partners, Inc.


• Alessandra Jerolleman, Executive Director, NHMA

• Ed Thomas, President, NHMA

• Lincoln Walther, RNN Advisory Team, NHMA

RNN Representatives:

Augusta GA: Terri Turner

Central Shenandoah Valley VA: Rebecca Joyce

Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC: Tim Trautman

Grays Harbor CO WA: Charles Wallace

Hillsborough CO FL: Nancy Witty

Jefferson CO WV: Barbara Miller / Terri Mehling

Pasadena, TX: Daya Dayananda

Rockford, IL: Brad Holcomb

Tulsa, OK: Graham Brannin

NHMA Representative: Ann Patton

Session Description: This session will describe the development and current activities of the Resilient Neighbors Network (RNN), which consists of a network of communities and advisors that support mitigation and adaptation work. The RNN connects closely with work done through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on incentivizing mitigation at the local level. Speakers will provide an overview of the ten pilot communities; explain the role that expert advisors play in the communities and as part of the RNN process; and describe how webinars are utilized to educate all communities on grassroots models and activities. Those involved in the RNN in the audience will be asked to share their experiences with other participants. The session will conclude with a discussion of next steps in the RNN project. Participants will be asked for their advice on how RNN can serve our local communities in developing strategies to reduce disaster losses.

Concurrent Session: The Overlap Between Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation

Jul 17, 2013 10:30 AM MDT

 Moderator: Kelly Klima, Carnegie Mellon University


• Michael Cohen, Renaissance Reinsurance

• Karen Campbell, World Economic Forum Risk Response Network and Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process Center

• Abby Hall, Environmental Protection Agency

• Lynne Carter, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP), Louisiana State University

Session Description: This session will discuss the merits of fostering connections between hazard mitigation and adaptation communities of practice. Presenters will describe hazard mitigation, its overlap with adaptation, the development of new climate information for use by hazard mitigation professionals, the economic benefits of combining adaptation and hazard mitigation, and insurance.

Keynote Address: Planning for a Stronger, More Resilient Queensland, Australia

Jul 17, 2013 1:00 PM MDT

Keynote Speaker: Brendan Nelson

Presentation Overview: During summer 2010-2011, the State of Queensland experienced unprecedented weather events that not only affected more than 130,000 homes, but also resulted in approximately 480,000 residences and businesses losing power across this period. The series of natural disasters (flooding and tropical cyclones) resulted in the entire State (all 73 Local Government Areas) being disaster declared for the first time in Queensland’s history. Queensland has an area greater than 1.8m km2 (715,000 mi2) and is almost 10% bigger that the State of Alaska. Further flooding and natural disasters caused further damage during the summer of 2011 / 2012, with 65 Local Government Areas (approx 90%) again being disaster declared. In the mid of Australia’s largest ever reconstruction program, further flooding and tropical cyclones caused more damage in January 2013 with 54 Local Government Areas again being disaster activated for the 3rd time in as many years, with many communities recording the highest ever recorded flood level (less than 0.5 percent or 1 in 200 year event).

The presentation will provide an overview of the disaster timeline, scale and context of the flooding and cyclone events and the reconstruction program. The presentation will also focus on a number of key resilience and mitigation projects that have been delivered in response to the natural disasters, and how planning is playing a crucial role in making Queensland stronger and more resilient.