State and Local Drought Emergency Management

Tue. 9:00-10:30 a.m., Centennial E

The 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction states, "In internationally reported droughts since 1900, more than 11 million people have died with over 2 billion affected, more than by any other single hazard. Facing a changing climate, the World Meteorological Organization's Secretary-General justifies his agency's new climate services framework as "an important tool in the struggle against drought and land degradation." But even scientifically defining drought is a sticky business. Is that a meteorological, agricultural, hydrological, or socioeconomic drought—how do we know? More to the point, with large portions of Colorado in a declared Drought Emergency for over a year, and Texas emergency managers considering whether some communities may soon have no real choice but to dry up and disappear, why do we care? Panelists in this session will discuss how drought might differ from other hazards in terms of scientific understanding, nature of the risk, and perception; how those differences impact scientists' ability to provide meaningful decision support to emergency managers; and what might be done to improve that support.

Panelist Chad McNutt, Moderator
National Integrated Drought Information System


Panelist Mike Bewley, Panelist
Texas Division of Emergency Management


PanelistTaryn Hutchins-Cabibi, Panelist
Colorado Water Conservation Board


PanelistNolan Doesken, Panelist
Colorado Climate Center


Panelist Zhenghong Tang, Panelist
University of Nebraska-Lincoln