Natural Hazards Mitigation Institute

Neil Anderson (Director)
nanders@mst.edu

The State of Missouri is subject to natural hazards that cause widespread damage to residential, corporate and public structures, and transportation facilities and other infrastructure. Natural hazards include earthquakes, floods, tornados, high velocity straight winds, forest fires, ground collapse, expansive soil failure, and dam and levee failure. Such hazards result in significant economic costs and even loss of life.

Many of these natural hazard events have common attributes:

  • The onset of these disruptive natural forces occur within a short time frame, often with little immediate warning, threatening both lives and property.
  • The widespread impact of the event extends over an area and its contents, whether people, domestic dwellings, transportation or civil infrastructure.
  • The multiplicative influence of weaknesses in geology and soil stratigraphy can compound structural damage.
  • The impact of man's activities can contribute to the problem or can impede access to the area, slowing the needed mitigation and remediation of damage.

The complex and multifaceted nature of these natural hazards, which nevertheless have a common central theme, requires a coordinated and multi-disciplinary approach to develop a strategy to provide protection to people and vulnerable structures before an event, to minimize injury and damage during the event and to ease the requirements for remediation after it is over. This requires a deep understanding and awareness of the areas at risk, if mitigation, response and remediation procedures are to be effectively developed.

The Missouri S&T Natural Hazards Mitigation Institute (NHMI) is charged with mitigating and remediating the detrimental effects of natural hazards both within the State of Missouri and nationally, through research, public service and education. More specifically, the Missouri S&T NHMI is charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Conduct, lead, coordinate and otherwise facilitate interdisciplinary research in the broad area of natural hazards including likelihood of occurrence, cause, effects, mitigation and remediation.
  • Provide and disseminate public service information regarding probability of natural hazard occurrences, their potential outcomes, and precautionary measures which can minimize detrimental effects of natural hazards.
  • Prepare, sponsor, coordinate and otherwise facilitate the development and offering of educational courses (academic and training) in the broad area of natural hazards.