1. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Hurricane Katrina, August 25–31, 2005

    Flooding, Claiborne and Desire Streets, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 4, 2005

    Federal Emergency Management Agency Photo Library; photo Liz Roll

    After Katrina, levees were brought up to modern building code standards and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier to reduce the risk of storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015.

     

  2. From Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015:

    Select panels from the ‘Love Can Build Anything’ Hurricane Andrew Mural, 1992

    Mays Middle School students (Goulds, Florida) led by artists Dena Stewart and Stewart Stewart

    Collection of International Hurricane Research Center, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

    When Dena and Stewart Stewart were commissioned to create artwork for the reopening of Miami’s zoo after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992, they turned to 45 middle schoolers for assistance. With support from their teacher, Barbara Phillips, the students shared their feelings in writing, then were challenged to transform their words into paintings. The tangible result was a powerful, 48-foot-long, movable mural. The intangible: the students had begun the healing process. The mural became a centerpiece at rebuilding ceremonies across the area and a symbol of remembrance and recovery.

     

  3. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Hurricane Andrew, August 24, 1992

    Plywood driven through a palm tree, near Homestead, Florida, 1992

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Collection

    After Hurricane Andrew, the South Florida Building Code adopted major structural and building component upgrades. One of the most important is the requirement for missile-impact resisting glass, which can withstand high velocity collision with wind-borne debris.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015. 

     

  4. From Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015:

    Fallen finial fragments from the Washington National Cathedral

    Washington, D.C.

    Central Virginia Earthquake, August 23, 2011

    Collection of the Washington National Cathedral

    These limestone fragments are from a pinnacle of a flying buttress on the southeast end of the Washington National Cathedral. Damage to the structure—located some 80 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake—was concentrated in its highest parts, where stones were literally shaken apart. Together with other stone features, the pinnacles help balance the Cathedral’s weight and counter the force of wind. Restoring and reinforcing them is a high priority. The Cathedral sustained a staggering $26 million in damages. Repairs to the nave’s interior have begun, along with work on the flying buttresses that support the exterior apse. Subsequent repairs are dependent on additional funding and will likely take years to complete.

     

  5. These beautiful illustrations map the patterns of one of the world’s most powerful forces - the wind.

     

  6. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Big Burn, August 20–21, 1910

    Assessing the damage in Wallace, Idaho, 1910

    Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho

    The loss of three million acres in Idaho, Washington, and Montana prompted various land-management agencies to emphasize wildfire suppression as an overarching policy. The U.S. Forest Service increased its dedication to fighting every fire.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015.

     

  7. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Hurricane Camille, August 16–21, 1969

    Main Street facing West, Richmond, Virginia, August 23, 1969

    Richmond Times Dispatch

    Hurricane Camille made landfall in Mississippi and traveled north over the interior—an unprecedented path—before heading east and out to sea from Virginia. The devastation inspired the implementation of the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which correlates wind speed and potential property damage.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015.

     

  8. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Mann Gulch Fire, August 5, 1949

    Investigators survey the damage, Helena National Forest, Montana, 1949

    National Interagency Fire Center                                                             

    The fire overwhelmed 13 firefighters in the Helena National Forest. In response, the U.S. Forest Service initiated new fire science research and improved training to include increased safety protocols for firefighters, including smokejumpers.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015. 

     

  9. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Great Midwest Flood, April–October, 1993

    The Mississippi River engulfs Kaskaskia Island, Illinois, August 2, 1993

    United States Department of Defense; photo SSgt Paul Griffin

    More than a 1,000 levees failed in the worst flooding along the Mississippi River since 1927. In response, officials supported increasing the use of non-traditional mitigation strategies such as relocation, expanding managed flood corridors, and stricter land use regulations.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015.

     

  10. Mitigation Milestones

    Today in history:

    Yellowstone Fires, July–August, 1988

    Crown fire at Grant Village campground, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, July 23, 1988

    National Park Service; photo Jeff Henry

    As a result of research conducted after the “Summer of Fires,” a new plan outlined strict guidelines for managing natural fires, increased fire-monitor staffing, and allocated greater funding for fire management.

    To learn more about disaster mitigation, visit Designing for Disaster at the National Building Museum, on view through August 2, 2015.