MMC Spotlighted at GCC Quarterly Meeting

Philip Schneider, the Project Director of Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC), a Council of the Institute, presented an MMC overview at the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) meeting on Wednesday afternoon, October 26 at the Department of Homeland Security in Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

This meeting, held quarterly, was called by the Commercial Facilities Sector-Specific Agency (CF SSA) within the DHS Office of Infrastructure Protection to further build collaborative relationships with the owners and operators of sector assets and facilities in order to facilitate information-sharing and risk mitigation. Commercial Facilities encompass the following eight distinct subsectors: 1) Retail; 2) Sports Leagues; 3) Real Estate; 4) Entertainment & Media; 5) Gaming; 6) Outdoor Events; 7) Public Assembly; and 8) Lodging (hotels and motels).

The CF SSA uses these meetings as an educational platform whereby GCC partners can learn more about how the analysis of natural-hazards risk is applied to response and recovery efforts, the development of building codes and performance-based standards, and risk mitigation more broadly. It is intended that, cumulatively, the presentations will provide a more sophisticated understanding of how natural-hazards risk is analyzed. This will enable the stakeholders to be better equipped to address their needs – all of whom are, inevitably, impacted by natural-hazards risk calculations. Specifically, a stronger understanding of weather-related phenomena will allow GCC partners to more completely address this risk spectrum in the tools and products DHS produces.

Schneider spoke on MMC’s mission and current issues under consideration, who constitutes the membership of the MMC and the benefits of membership, the MMC Annual Meeting and how to join. He specifically discussed how the MMC could support using scientific risk analysis to advocate specific risk mitigation efforts related to a specific hazards. Schneider also provided a general overview of the DHS Science and Technology Division’s Integrated Rapid Visual Screening (IRVS) and Owners Performance Requirements (OPR) tools and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hazus in a facilitated discussion that addressed how these and other tools could be incorporated in natural-hazards risk analysis.

One of the primary mechanisms by which the CF SSA determines its near and long term projects, and garners the support and cooperation from much-needed governmental partners for these activities, is through these quarterly Government Coordinating Council meetings (GCC).

The National Institute of Building Sciences,authorized by public law 93-383 in 1974, is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests to identify and resolve building process and facility performance problems. The Institute serves as an authoritative source of advice for both the private and public sectors with respect to the use of building science and technology.

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