TAMEST Takes on Critical Issue of Natural Hazards in Upcoming Summit

2019 NEW MEMBERS

Registration is now open for part one of the TAMEST Natural Hazards Summit on June 2, 2020. The first installment of the two-part summit presented by Texas Tech University and the University of Houston will take place at the International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University and focus on the impacts tornadoes, wind and drought have on the state of Texas and beyond. Part two: Hurricane, Flood and Wildfire Impacts will take place on October 20, 2020, at the Hilton University of Houston.

Summit Co-Chair Hanadi Rifai, Ph.D., P.E., John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston, said her commitment to the summit stems from her personal and professional experience living in Houston. 

“I have experienced Alicia, Allison, Rita, Ike, Tax Day, Memorial Day and Harvey and all the severe storms and drought cycles in between,” Rifai said. “These events are costly in terms of human lives and quality of life and health, and we need to come up with a better paradigm for how we address them.”

Whether it is the 132 tornadoes on average that touch Texas soil each year, the $8 billion dollars in agricultural losses associated with the 2011 drought or the fact that 50 percent of flood-related deaths happen during flash floods, Texas faces its fair share of natural hazards. Rifai said the TAMEST Natural Hazards Summit is a great opportunity to bring together the best minds to tackle this challenge from a holistic standpoint and help Texans become more resilient in the future. 

“[We must] engage with each other and dialogue and hear from leaders in the field about the latest thoughts and directions,” she said. “It is also a chance to be part of the journey towards resilience and presents an opportunity to bring your thoughts and ideas to the conversation.”

Summit Co-Chair Kishor C. Mehta, Ph.D., P.E. (NAE), TAMEST Member and Director of Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute, agrees. He says the summit will include national and state experts with authority in forecasting storms, issuance of warnings, emergency response and the resilience of constructed facilities to name a few.

“The summit is designed to publicize the impacts of natural hazards and to seek solutions and policy changes to reduce suffering of people,” Mehta said. “People will understand that significant technological advancements in the past few decades have been made.”

Click here to register for Part I: Wind, Tornado and Drought Impacts in Lubbock, Texas on June 2, 2020. Tickets cost $75 for general attendees and $25 for current students. Registration for Part II opens this summer.

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