Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Homepage

 


About the Hazards Caucus

The caucus provides Members with information and education on preparing for, mitigating against and responding to natural disasters and man-made hazards. The caucus provides Members with an opportunity to demonstrate their concern and commitment to reducing hazard losses. The caucus is led by the following co-chairs in the Senate, Senator Mary Landrieu (LA), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Senator Ben Nelson (NE) and by the following co-chairs in the House, Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA). A one page summary of the Caucus is available as a pdf document.

About the Hazards Caucus Alliance

The primary goal of the Hazards Caucus Alliance is to develop a wider understanding within Congress that reducing the risks and costs of natural disasters, as well as man-made hazards, is a public value.  That requires educating Members and staff about the costs of these disasters to their districts and states, and the benefits their constituents will realize through greater efforts to understand, prevent, and mitigate all hazards. The alliance supports the efforts of the caucus, originally established under the leadership of co-chairs Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Senator John Edwards (D-NC) in 2000. A successful caucus reflects a strong partnership between its congressional members and organizations outside Congress that share similar interests. This effort is an outgrowth of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) 2000 forums on public policy issues in natural disaster reduction, a cooperative endeavor of the National Science and Technology Council's Subcommittee on Natural Disaster Reduction, the Institute for Business and Home Safety, and other private sector organizations.

Why a Congressional Hazards Caucus?

Jurisdiction for hazards programs, both natural and man-made, is spread among many committees in Congress. Each committee only handles a piece of the overall efforts to prevent and mitigate hazards. A caucus can provide the "big picture" to interested lawmakers and their staff, and give them the opportunity to see how the issues that fall within individual committee jurisdictions fit within a larger national effort. Typical caucus events include Capitol Hill briefings, roundtable discussions, special forums, receptions, and events targeted to a subgroup of the caucus. Events can be structured so that they also provide a forum for raising the visibility of a hazards-related topic with the media and the public.

Shared Objectives

  • Focus greater attention in Congress on the natural and technological hazards facing the nation and improve understanding of the need to mitigate against the impacts of floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides and land subsidence, tornadoes, volcanoes, wind storms, drought, fire, and tsunamis.
  • Enhance the integration of science and engineering in land-use planning and building code development.
  • Strengthen public and private support for science and engineering research by demonstrating how advances in science and engineering research can be applied to save lives and money.
  • Support the implementation of new technologies, such as geographic information systems, to address societal challenges faced by state and local government and the private sector.
  • Identify additional areas of consensus and common interests related to hazards.

Alliance Participants

The Hazards Caucus Alliance is an information network of professional, scientific, and engineering societies, relief organizations, higher education associations, institutions of higher learning, trade associations, and private companies. The alliance has come together with a common desire to reduce the toll -- both human and financial -- of both natural and man-made hazards and to enhance the nation's ability to recover from those events. We plan to work together to help our nation become more resilient to all hazards.

For More Information

The alliance is currently seeking additional congressional members to join the caucus as well as organizations interested in joining the alliance. Please contact Maeve Boland at the American Geosciences Institute (703-379-2480, ext. 228; mboland@agiweb.org)



Images in header, from left to right: Flooded homes in Iowa, copyright © Lynn Betts NRCS; Tornado in Dimmit, Texas, 1995, courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake damage, courtesy C. Stover, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Hurricane Floyd, 1999, copyright © NASA, Visible Earth; Wildland Fire, courtesy USGS. These and other images are accessible through the American Geosciences Institute Earth Science World Image Bank.

Contributed by Linda Rowan, Wilson Bonner, and Corina Cerovski-Darriau, AGI Geoscience Policy Staff; and Brittany Huhmann, 2013 AGI/AIPG Summer Intern

Posted: June 11, 2000; Last updated October 23, 2013

Please send any comments or questions about this web site to Maeve Boland.