Testimony to the House of Representatives Committee on Rules’ Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process for the Hearing: Using Budget Principles to Prepare for Future Pandemics and Other Disasters Testimony Submitted January 16, 2022 By: Jeff Schlegelmilch, MPH, MBA Thank you for the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee today. In my role leading the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Climate School, as well as through other positions, I have dedicated my career to fostering the impact of disaster research in the fields of policy and practice. As everyone is well aware, the challenges we face from disasters are increasing in both severity and frequency. This is driven in part by human-caused climate change, as well as aging infrastructure, and a world that is growing smaller and more connected, virtually and physically. We are now entering an era in which disasters are the norm, and overlapping disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires during a pandemic are transpiring. As we struggle with this evolving reality, our disaster readiness
- Climate Change And Disasters
- Vulnerable Populations
- Systems Readiness
- Disaster Communications
This pandemic, so pervasive it seems dreamed up in Hollywood, can lead to a feeling of helplessness as we sit at home doing our best to practice social distancing. If you are feeling like you want to do something to help, you are not alone.
As the world grapples with the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are catching sight of an additional public health emergency: domestic violence and child abuse. Restricted movement and mounting stress cultivate conditions for
As Hurricane Michael moves further inland, bringing torrential rains and high winds with it, those who were most vulnerable before the storm are going to need the most assistance in its aftermath. This is a mantra that is relevant to hurricanes and other disasters. This is also well-described in research focusing on disproportional impact and recovery of vulnerable populations. But to really have that principle influence and improve disaster planning and response, we need a richer understanding of these vulnerabilities and better tools to incorporate them into the planning process.
The project begins with a robust needs assessment process that will ensure that the best available science is integrated into the application, and that it is developed in a way that appropriately presents the