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) supporting the National Advisory Committee on Windstorm Impact Reduction (NACWIR), which provides the Program with expert assessments and recommendations on trends and developments in engineering, natural, and social sciences and practices of windstorm impact mitigation, the priorities of the Program’s Strategic Plan; and on NWIRP effectiveness and coordination; 3) developing and updating NWIRP strategic plans; 4) submitting Progress reports to Congress on NWIRP activities; and 5) 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
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.