Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Homepage


The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, American Geophysical Union, American Geosciences Institute, and the American Meteorological Society Invites You to a Public Briefing on

Saving Lives in the Path of Destructive Tornadoes

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Luncheon Briefing
2168 Rayburn House Office Building
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Afternoon Briefing
253 Russell Senate Office Building
3:00 - 4:30 PM

Invitation Flyer

In Cooperation with the Congressional Hazards Caucus - Co-Chairs: Senators Mary Landrieu, Lisa Murkowski, and Ben Nelson and Representative Zoe Lofgren


Veronica Johnson, Broadcast Meteorologist, NBC4 Washington
Presentation (3 Mb PDF)

David Stensrud, Chief, Forecast Research and Development Division, National Severe Storms Laboratory
Presentation (2.6 Mb PDF)

Keith Stammer, Director, Emergency Management Division, Joplin County, Missouri
Presentation (4.4 Mb PDF)

Julie DeMuth, Scientist, Societal Impacts Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Presentation (900 Kb PDF)

AGU Video of presentations and interviews

Overview: On the late afternoon of May 22, 2011, a Level 5 tornado struck the town of Joplin, Missouri, wreaking unimaginable havoc and leading to 161 deaths, 990 injuries, the destruction of thousands of homes, and severe damage to businesses, a major medical center, and schools.  It was only the second to last major tornado outbreak in a record 2011 season that in all caused $25 billion in insured losses and 552 fatalities.  The 2012 tornado season is once again off to an early and explosive start, as deadly tornadoes ripped through Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, and many other states on March 2, resulting in more deaths and the leveling of towns.  What can we make of the recent spate of tornadoes in the American South and Heartland?  Are we getting the information needed to make life-saving decisions? And why are the residents of rural communities like Joplin so vulnerable to these storms?  The latest research in atmospheric sciences and related social sciences is leading to developments that can inform policies and save more lives.  Join us for a briefing featuring information on NOAA's Warn on Forecast Program, a first-hand account of what worked in Joplin and how preparation could be improved, and discussion about how we receive, interpret and respond to imminent severe weather.

The Hazards Caucus Alliance, an informal network of organizations concerned about reducing the risk of hazards –, invites your participation in this briefing and in future events.  For more information, please contact Maeve Boland 703-379-2480 ext. 228;

Contributed by Wilson Bonner, AGI Geoscience Policy Staff.

Posted March 22, 2012

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