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ISET-International Awarded for Innovation in Disaster Preparedness

On behalf of ISET-International, Kathleen Hawley, Project Manager of the Sheltering From A Gathering Storm team, was honored to receive the FedEx Award for Innovations in Disaster Preparedness on October 15, 2014 in Washington DC.

The award recognizes innovative interventions that reduces communities’ vulnerability to hazards or natural disasters and increases their capacity to prevent or cope with such adverse events. The award was presented by InterAction and FedEx.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The overall goal of the Sheltering From a Gathering Storm research project was to identify key solutions in building resilience in shelter and their long-term economic returns in response to climate hazards. The end goal was to generate quantitative results and qualitative guidance to ensure adoption of climate resilient designs into current institutional frameworks. Shelter accounts for the highest monetary losses in climate related disasters (Comerio, 1997) and is often the single largest asset owned by individuals and families. Resilient shelters are central to the adaptive capacity of most households.

Using cost-benefit analysis, this applied research project discovered that resilient housing designs can cost-effectively reduce losses by vulnerable communities due to floods, storms, and high peak daily temperatures. Furthermore, available technologies to withstand floods and typhoons for poor homeowners must be paired with affordable finance and training of local masons (often the ones directly building and designing homes), which is a key entry point for city and national policy makers to incentivize adoption of resilient innovations (Moench et. al, 2014).