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National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program Office


The National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) was established by Congress “…to achieve major measurable reductions in the losses of life and property from windstorms through a coordinated Federal effort, in cooperation with other levels of government, academia, and the private sector, aimed at improving the understanding of windstorms and their impacts and developing and encouraging the implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce those impacts.”

With the enactment of PL 114-52 (the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2015) on September 30, 2015, NIST has been designated as the Lead Agency for NWIRP. Other designated Program agencies are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has also participated in NWIRP from its inception with PL 108-360 in 2004. Summaries of past NWIRP activities are available in the Program’s biennial reports to Congress (available at top right).

As the lead agency, NIST has the primary responsibility for planning and coordinating the Program. This responsibility includes

  • Ensuring that the Program includes the necessary components to promote the implementation of windstorm risk reduction measures;
  • Supporting the development of performance-based engineering tools, and working with appropriate groups to promote the commercial application of such tools;
  • Requesting the assistance of Federal agencies other than the Program agencies, as necessary;
  • Coordinating all Federal post-windstorm investigations to the extent practicable; and
  • When warranted by research or investigative findings, issuing recommendations to assist in informing the development of model codes, and providing information to Congress on the use of such recommendations.

Statutory responsibilities for each of the Program agencies are summarized as below:

NSF – support research in (1) engineering and the atmospheric sciences to improve the understanding of the behavior of windstorms and their impact on buildings, structures, and lifelines; and (2) economic and social factors influencing windstorm risk reduction measures.

NOAA - support atmospheric sciences research to improve the understanding of the behavior of windstorms and their impact on buildings, structures, and lifelines.

NIST – carry out research and development to improve model building codes, voluntary standards, and best practices for the design, construction, and retrofit of buildings, structures, and lifelines.

FEMA – (1) support the development of risk assessment tools and effective mitigation techniques; windstorm-related data collection and analysis; public outreach and information dissemination; and promotion of the adoption of windstorm preparedness and mitigation measures, including for households, businesses, and communities; and (2) work closely with national standards and model building code organizations, in conjunction with NIST, to promote the implementation of research results and better building practices within the building design and construction industry, including architects, engineers, contractors, builders, and inspectors.


Wind Engineering and Coastal Inundation Project—The project develops the 21st century procedures needed for achieving designs that are safe, sustainable, and economical under extreme winds and coastal inundation, consistent with priorities …

National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program —NIST is designated by Congress as one of four agencies comprising the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program[1] or NWIRP (other agencies are FEMA, NOAA, and NSF), with OSTP as the lead agency. …

Staff Directory
Dr. Marc Levitan, (Acting) Director
National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP)