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A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation

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As we head into the end of the 2019 hurricane season, officials around the country and around the world are still surveying the damage caused by numerous storms. Hurricane Dorian was the worst natural disaster in the history of the Bahamas, resulting in dozens of fatalities and billions of dollars in destruction even before reaching the Southeastern United States. Lesser storms still bring risks that put lives in danger: Hurricane Humberto caused a widespread blackout in Bermuda, and Southeastern Texas experienced widespread flooding from Tropical Storm Imelda. And in the Pacific just last week, Typhoon Hagibis became the most devastating typhoon to hit central Japan in more than six decades. We commend the first responders and everyone working to help recover from these storms.

NSF is doing its part to help people prepare for natural disasters and to support the heroic efforts of emergency responders. From studies on how to improve disaster warning and evacuation plans, to new ways to coordinate disaster responses more efficiently across emergency response organizations, to increasing our understanding of how to mitigate future disasters, NSF is funding research making real contributions to saving lives during emergencies. One example is our PREEVENTS program – Prediction of and Resilience Against Extreme Events – which is working to increase our knowledge of the whole range of environmental catastrophes – including droughts, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, and other extreme events – so that communities have the best information for any crisis. With support from a wide range of NSF research programs and directorates, PREEVENTS is enabling the development of powerful new tools to help people prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

I hope you’ll check out more of the great NSF initiatives that we’ve been highlighting in our “Disaster Preparedness and Response” #BroughtToYouBy NSF campaign, which began in September. Through the end of October, we’ll be bringing you stories of NSF-funded research that is making a difference in how communities prepare for the worst and save lives when disaster strikes.

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Dr. France A. Córdova
Director, National Science Foundation
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What's Next

November 19-20 – The National Science Board will meet at NSF headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

November 21 – Dr. France Córdova will give a keynote address on the ethics of science funding at the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary.

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