Visit from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA2019-09-17
The last two weeks the CCS, Centre for Climate and Safety at Karlstad University has been visited by two experts on natural disaster modelling from the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA.
Jesse Rozelle, the Acting Branch Chief for FEMA HQ’s Actuarial and Catastrophic Modeling Branch, and Casey Zuzak, a Senior Risk Analyst for Hazus and the Natural Hazards Risk Assessment Program (NHRAP) are in Karlstad in connection to a research project funded by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, MSB and conducted by CCS-researcher Dr. Tonje Grahn in close collaboration with FEMA.
The aim of the research project: Quantitative risk assessment – Feasibility, Objectivity and Transparency is to analyze the suitability and transferability of FEMA’s Hazus methodology and software, to Sweden. Hazus is a hazard loss estimation tool that combines probabilistic and deterministic models (altitude models, hydrological models, exposure and damage functions) to assess physical damage and economical losses from earthquakes, hurricanes, riverine/coastal flooding, and tsunamis.
- The assistance and expertise of Mr. Rozelle and Mr. Zuzak has been of greatest importance for my work, says Tonje Grahn. FEMA has come a long way in the development of methodology and tools in the field and has also been very open in sharing their knowledge. The goal is to develop similar models for the Swedish natural hazard context.
The visit in Karlstad, Sweden is a follow up on a visit in Denver CO, USA made by researcher Tonje Grahn during the fall 2018.
During the two weeks Mr. Rozelle and Mr. Zuzak have presented their and FEMA’s work with to the US National Flood Insurance Program, the agency's multi-risk model National Risk Index and Hazus at one whole-day seminar, hosted by MSB followed by a conference hosted by CCS. They also provided valuable insights in discussions at a project workshop for the research project Swedish Pluvial Modelling Analysis and Safety Handling, SPLASH.
- Comparing risk assessment methods with Dr. Grahn as well as the teams at CCS and MSB has been very insightful, says Jesse Rozelle with FEMA. At the FEMA Natural Hazards Risk Assessment Program we’re always looking for ways to enhance our risk modeling methods. Working with our colleagues in the disaster risk sciences at research organizations such as the team here at Karlstad University help to make this possible.
Read more about the project here!