The New Normal for Natural DisastersThe effects of the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are discussed with respect to their impact on regional and international economics, national practices for security and recovery, and worldwide energy policy. The severity and far ranging consequences of these extreme events have established in effect a new normal for natural disasters.
The lecture explains why these events require a fundamental re-thinking of the way we evaluate the risks of extreme events, as well as define and protect critical infrastructure. Examples of critical infrastructure at risk are discussed with respect to earthquake effects on the water supply of Southern California and hurricane effects on New York City. Selective lessons learned from recent earthquakes are described with respect to mitigation measures. To address the need for protection against rare, high consequence events with limited financial resources, a strategy for improving infrastructure resilience is proposed.
Image courtesy of: pennstatenews from Flickr Creative Commons
Tom O’Rourke is the Thomas R. Briggs Professor of Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science.
For more information please contact [email protected] sms.cam.ac.uk
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New Normal is a podcast about Harvard students in the coronavirus pandemic. Hosted and produced by Kai McNamee, this 8-part series will cover topics ranging from virtual move-in to remote activism, and will feature students experiencing Harvard from all over the world. Presented...