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2011 Missouri Tornado (May 22, 2011)
The Draft Final Report of the NIST Technical Investigation of the May 22, 2011, Tornado in Joplin, Missouri was released for a public comment period, November 21, 2013. The key conclusion of a two-year technical investigation is that nationally accepted standards for building design and construction, public shelters and emergency communications can significantly reduce deaths and the steep economic costs of property damage caused by tornadoes.  Based on findings from the investigation, NIST developed 16 recommendations for improving how buildings and shelters are designed, constructed and maintained in tornado-prone regions; and for improving the emergency communications that warn of imminent threat from tornadoes. The NIST report also includes a number of recommendations for future research and development of technologies and strategies to advance tornado wind measurements, strengthen emergency communications, increase warning time, derive more accurate tornado hazard maps, and significantly improve public response during tornado events.   [see more on the Joplin Tornado study]


2011 Texas Wildland Fires (February 2011)
Collaborative Effort, NIST and the Texas Fire Service (TFS)  Recent wildland fires outside of Amarillo, Texas that destroyed 70 homes, burned more than 25,000 acres of land, and caused nearly $6 million in property damage, will soon be the most thoroughly investigated and scientifically evaluated events of their kind, thanks to a collaborative effort between NIST and the Texas Forest Service (TFS).  During a three-week reconnaissance, a NIST-developed data collection methodology was used to acquire approximately 163 gigabytes of data and more than 11,000 photographs to document two of the blazes, now known as the Willow Creek and Tanglewood Complex fires.  This massive amount of accumulated information will now become the foundation for a NIST-TFS study assessing the impact of the two wildfires on structures in the region.  >>More


2011 New Zealand Earthquake (February 2011)
NIST Researcher Joins ACSE Reconnaissance Team  A NIST researcher joined the initial reconnaissance team from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) that went to Christchurch, New Zealand in April of 2011, to explore the causes of damage to infrastructure as a result of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake on February 22.


2010 Chile Earthquake (February 2010)
NIST Engineer Serving on Chilean Quake Research Team  In March of 2010, a NIST research structural engineer was deployed to Chile as a member of a large multidisciplinary team of experts documenting the effects of the Feb. 27, 2010, earthquake in that country. The Chilean quake measured 8.8 on the Richter scale, equivalent to a force of 16 million kilotons of TNT, making it one of the most powerful earthquakes of the last 100 years.