DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR WORKSHOP PANELISTS
- What steps can government leaders take to move America beyond sequentially named disaster responses with slow, inequitable outcomes to a forward-leaning state and federal approach to compound disasters that prioritizes and funds recovery designed to increase the capacity of local governments and communities to be resilient?
- Poor land use decision making putting residents in harm’s way, systemic racism, and economic bifurcation can burden communities with trauma on trauma. Trust suffers as people who try to do everything right remain vulnerable to danger and life-altering shocks. Can trust be earned through a comprehensive approach to compound disasters?
Panel 1: Toward a Better Understanding of Cascading and Compounding Disasters: Characterizing Drivers, Systems, and Relationships
- What are some mechanisms, methods or approaches to identify how disastrous events further exacerbate difficult conditions (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic that minimized the number of rescue workers available after floods)?
- How can identifying these cascading disasters make federal agency, private industry, and community support more effective (e.g., Investing in providing vaccines to emergency workers first, then deploying them to support flood activities)?
- How can a systems approach support more effective support to communities after disasters (i.e., Focusing on how a system can support a community not only after a disaster but making it more prepared for common disastrous events with the capacity to handle additional challenging conditions)?
Panel 2: Governance Across Events: Decision Making and Policies
- Cascading events require significantly more coordination across a wide range of public and private organizations and federal, state, and local agencies. Are there significant differences in risk perceptions or time horizons for risk management?
- Are there additional communication and coordination mechanisms between state, federal and local government agencies that would improve the timeliness and effectiveness of response and recovery?
- Are there significant gaps between the roles of federal, state, and local governments relative to their capacity and capabilities?
- What changes would have the largest impact on improving coordination among the complex mix of public and private actors? This could include changes to roles and responsibilities, insurance mechanisms and coverage, streamlined funding processes, and improved bases for decision making before and after disruptive events.
- What incentives could be used to encourage better coordination?
Panel 3: Mitigating Impacts: Developing Solutions and Avoiding Unintended Consequences
Strategies and investments to improve services and functions, including access and equity, to achieve resilient infrastructure for compounding and cascading extreme events.
- How can we best intercede on both short and long timescales to prevent hazards from cascading further?
- What strategies can best help reduce losses from a broad range of hazards likely to be compounding or cascading, so as to avoid duplication of effort?
- What are the major issues associated with sequencing recovery from cascading hazards?
Challenges and opportunities within these strategies and investments that may benefit from further investigation and research to facilitate better outcomes.
- How do we assess and address cumulative socioeconomic burdens and lack of human adaptive capacity in the face of compounding and cascading disasters?
- How can we improve our ability to evaluate equity and social justice of mitigation and resilience strategies for compound and cascading hazards?
- How can we encourage cooperation among communities to avoid disasters in one community from spilling over into another?
- What data are missing, what methods need to be developed, and what other applied research topics need investigation to better prepare for and respond to compounding and cascading disasters?
Panel 4: Strategies to Effectively Apply Solutions
- Climate change has the ability to both accelerate and amplify the breakdown of a number of systems—community systems, infrastructure systems, financial systems, and of course physical/environmental systems. However, solutions to address “resilience” are often thought about in the context of those specific topics—e.g., “community resilience,” “financial resilience,” “resilience in the face of a changing climate.”
- Given your experience, how would you best think about strategies to apply solutions that are more cross-cutting (vs. specific to one type of “system”) to increase the potential impact of those solutions?
- What would be, in your view, the most inclusive, representative, collection of stakeholders to address the widest possible range of systemic issues brought about by climate change? Said a different way: how can you bring together the most comprehensive set of stakeholders to build in resilience at the community level? Have you seen examples of this, and if so what worked and what didn’t?
- What has been the most common oversight in your mind in addressing community resilience?