Virtual event

The virtual event has passed but please watch the post-event recording below
Building resilience: investing in mitigation to reduce risk

Exclusive Sponsor: Flood Economics
Profile: The Flood Economics site was designed and constructed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Resilience Action Partners and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Changes in land use and the effects of climate change have contributed to a rise in natural disasters, including floods. Disasters devastate the communities they impact, often requiring emergency intervention, temporary relocation of families and businesses, and costly repairs. How can mitigating climate change and flood risks contribute to more resilient communities? From a financial perspective, how can increased mitigation investment help communities avoid losses and disruption? How can it promote investment, entrepreneurship and innovation in areas where the frequency of natural disasters has previously discouraged businesses and households from saving and building assets?

Under the chairmanship of an Economist Group editor, this discussion will convene leading thinkers, policymakers and researchers to examine the business case for investing in flood and natural disaster mitigation actions to lessen the risks faced by communities.


Wednesday, September 20th
Start time: 1:00pm EST
End time: 2:00pm EST


Jospeh Cordes
Joseph Cordes
Associate director, Trachtenberg School and co-director, Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University
A national economic expert, Joseph has served as consultant to: Washington, DC Tax Revision Commission, the RAND Corporation, and numerous government agencies including the Congressional Budget Office, Internal Revenue Service Office of Research, the U.S. Treasury Department, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Research Council.
Bessie Schwarz
Bessie Schwarz
Co-founder and chief executive
Cloud to Street
Cloud to Street’s web platform leverages satellite imagery, machine learning, social science, and community intelligence to dynamically detect floods within seconds, using predictive analytics to determine disaster impact. In partnership with Google and Dartmouth Flood Observatory, Cloud to Street will release the largest database of flood maps.
Edgar Westerhof
Edgar Westerhof
Flood risk and resiliency lead
North America, Arcadis
Edgar is a water consultant with 18 years of experience in integrated urban water management. He has a deep understanding of urban and industrial flood proofing concepts, infrastructure planning and design, sustainable urban water management and development. Edgar is Rockefeller Foundation 100RC’s participation lead for the US.
BJ Murphy
BJ Murphy
Mayor, Kinston, North Carolina
Murphy was sworn in as Mayor of Kinston in December 2009 and elected to his second term in 2013. He’s led the community through two major hurricanes, Irene and Matthew and serves several boards including: NCWorks Commission, Lenoir County Committee of 100, Lenoir County Transportation Commission.
Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
Risk analysis branch chief and mitigation liason, FEMA Region II
Mr. Martin and his team develop Flood Insurance Studies, provides hazard mitigation planning, building sciences, dam safety, flood, and seismic risk reduction support for communities in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help build more resilient communities.
Hilary Steiner
Hilary Steiner (Moderator)
Global Director, Public Policy
Economist Intelligence Unit