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National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program Coordination

Summary

This is an annually renewed project that supports NIST's Lead Agency coordination of National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) research and implementation activities. NIST is designated by the U.S. Congress as the statutory Lead Agency for NWIRP. Program agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Description

Objective - To support NIST's statutory Lead Agency role of coordinating National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) research and implementation activities.

What is the new technical idea?  This project supports coordination, management, and leadership of the  National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP), whose purpose is to achieve major measurable reductions in the losses of life and property from windstorms  The U.S. Congress requires four agencies to perform coordinated windstorm-related research and implementation activities under the umbrella of NWIRP: the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), NIST, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),  the National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as other agencies as necessary to assist in carrying out the Program. Other participating agencies include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).  The 2015 reauthorization of NWIRP (Public Law, PL 114-52) directed NIST to perform as Program Lead Agency. 

To fulfill this statutory responsibility, NIST established the NWIRP Office. Specific statutory NWIRP responsibilities include: 1) supporting the NWIRP Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC), the NWIRP senior leadership body; 2) developing and updating NWIRP strategic plans; 3) submitting Progress reports to Congress on NWIRP activities; and 4) coordinating all Federal post-windstorm investigations, to the extent practicable.  NWIRP Office responsibilities additionally include developing and maintaining an NWIRP web site as an outreach vehicle for the Program.

What is the research plan?   NWIRP was established 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.

As the lead agency for NWIRP, NIST will:

  • work with the NWIRP agencies to implement the NWIRP Strategic Plan
  • include necessary components to promote implementation of windstorm risk reduction measures by Federal, State, and local governments, national standards and model building code organizations, architects and engineers, and others with roles in planning and constructing buildings and lifelines
  • support development of performance-based engineering tools, & work with appropriate groups to promote commercial application of such tools, including wind-related model building codes, voluntary standards, and construction best practices
  • request assistance of Federal agencies other than the Program agencies, as necessary to assist in carrying out the Act
  • coordinate all Federal post-windstorm investigations, to the extent practicable
  • issue recommendations to assist informing development of model codes and inform Congress on use, when warranted by research or investigative findings 

A scoping exercise for baseline studies will be conducted to quantify causes and trends in windstorm fatalities and property losses.  These studies will aid in identification and prioritization of NWIRP R&D, tech transfer, and outreach activities, as well as establishment of methods and data for tracking changes in future losses of life and property.

An NWIRP website (nwirp.gov) will be developed to support NWIRP branding and outreach efforts. This website will provide both scientific and practical content leading to improved public awareness of NWIRP, while strengthening linkages amongst the various Federal NWIRP stakeholders across the Federal Government, Academia, NGO’s, and the Private Sector.

Created November 3, 2011, Updated October 11, 2019