Expert: How Biden-Harris administration could build resilience to natural disasters and climate change

Singed yellow duck toy amongst rubble
Dr. Nateghi’s policy memo is among the ideas that the Day One Project will present for consideration to the Biden-Harris administration.

Note to journalists: A photo of Roshanak “Roshi” Nateghi and visuals of her predictive modeling work are available in a Google Drive folder. Journalists visiting campus should follow visitor health guidelines.

WHAT: A Purdue University professor’s policy memo detailing how to help vulnerable communities build resilience to the effects of climate change in the age of big data is among 100 science and technology ideas that the Day One Project will present for consideration to the Biden-Harris administration.

The memo recommends the following road map to the administration:

  • Exploit the power of big data for devising cost-effective and equitable strategies that would enhance resilience to climate change from local to national levels.
  • Invest in interdisciplinary research to advance fundamental understanding of how the rising risk of concurrent natural disasters interacts with engineering infrastructure use and design, social norms and local and federal policies.
  • Build capacity for more proactive anticipation of how demand for critical services could change due to climate change.
  • Increase knowledge sharing across the planning and management of urban infrastructure.

EXPERT: Roshanak “Roshi” Nateghi, the author of the memo and a Purdue assistant professor of industrial engineering, looks to uncover gaps and assumptions in critical infrastructure research that have led to underestimating the effects of climate change. Her research focuses on studying the interdependence of urban infrastructure, such as between electricity and water utilities, and developing predictive models to estimate the impact climate change could have on the energy use of a community or region.

QUOTE: “The frequency and cost of billion-dollar climate disasters such as floods, fires, heat waves and hurricanes have sharply increased over the past 20 years. We also see that accelerated urbanization and climate change continue to exacerbate communities’ vulnerability to climate disasters, which may render our current disaster policies untenable in the near future.

“The Biden-Harris administration should focus on building data-driven capabilities to enhance disaster preparation and response efforts as well as inform effective and equitable resource allocation. Doing so would help mitigate the growing risks of compound climate disasters and climate change.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Read more about Nateghi’s research here.

Writer, Media contact: Kayla Wiles, 765-494-2432

Source: Roshanak “Roshi” Nateghi,