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Key Principles emerging from Hurricane Science for Safety Leadership Forum, December 2008

To ensure that we memorialize and continue the discussion of ideas from the Forum, the following Calls to Action have been developed:

  • Fund Scientific Research - We call for increased public and private sector funding for applied research specifically focused on identifying effective methods of improving the resiliency and durability of both existing and new homes and workplaces.
  • Eliminate Incentives for Bad Behavior - We call upon policymakers to reduce and where possible eliminate incentives that increase risk, especially the risk to human life and safety, and also risks to property and to the environment. Instead the focus should be on efforts promoting personal investments in a family's physical and financial security.
  • Reevaluate Land Use Planning - We call upon local, state, and national policymakers to make structural/community resiliency in the face of inevitable natural catastrophes a primary factor in land use planning and building code enactment and enforcement.
  • Prioritize Environmental Restoration - We call upon policymakers to recognize the vital role - and strongly support the preservation and restoration of - natural environmental features (such as floodplains, wetlands, and coastal barriers) that greatly mitigate on-shore built environment/structural damage from hurricanes.
  • Educate and Motivate Stakeholders - We strongly support education and training programs that effectively motivate individuals and communities to take actions that mitigate losses. Such programs should emphasize the significant life safety, community, financial, and environmental benefits of hardening homes and workplaces against the types of high wind and water forces typical of hurricanes. To achieve this, we call upon the disaster safety movement to communicate its expertise and calls to action through understandable, accessible and empowering means.