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RAR Cedar Rapids June 2018 symposieum-webpage image

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Moving Forward: Pathways to Building Community Resilience

June 19, 2018
Cedar Rapids, IA

The ResilientAmerica Roundtable has been partnering with local stakeholders in Cedar Rapids, IA since 2014. The City of Cedar Rapids has come a long way since the 2008 flood in terms of building flood resilience. From June through August 2018, organizations in the city are hosting different events to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of their devastating 2008 flood. This symposium was one of those events.

This event explored new approaches to building community resilience and highlighted panel sessions focused on three topic areas:
  1. Working with At-risk Populations: Building Networks, Building Capacity: This panel focuses on proactive thinking, planning, and resilience building for at-risk populations. What innovative approaches are being used to help at-risk populations better prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters?
  2. Watershed Management Approaches: Working Together to Build Resilience: This session highlights innovative watershed management approaches that are taking place in the nation. What can we learn from other successful watershed management programs?
  3. Understanding and Communicating Flood Risk: Mapping, Mitigation, and the Role of Insurance: This session explores effective ways to convey flood risk to residents. What options exist to help people better prepare for and mitigate against floods?
This event brought together experts, practitioners, and other stakeholders from the public, private, nonprofit, and academic communities and the general public to learn about and share information relevant to building resilience to floods and other disasters in Cedar Rapids.

In addition, attendees learned about:

IMMERSED: A VR Experience About Flood & Resilience. The FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) virtual reality experience Immersed "puts users at the center of a flood crisis, allowing them to assess damage in a community and see the benefits of mitigation first-hand." Users can witness evacuations, explore flood damages, and experience mitigation decisions being made. Listen to The FEMA Podcast: Immersed in Mitigation to learn more.

The University of Iowa's Hydroinformatics Lab works on novel cyber systems for communicating flood risk, resilience, and vulnerability using virtual reality, augmented reality, intelligent systems, voice recognition, serious games, and holograms. The Lab will be on hand to demonstrate their live systems during the event!

The Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa provides accurate, scientific information to help individuals and communities in Iowa better understand their flood risk. Founded in 2009, the IFC is the nation’s first and only academic center devoted to the study of floods. Appropriations from the Iowa Legislature support the center’s goal of improved flood monitoring and prediction capabilities in Iowa. 

Panel:  Working with At-risk Populations: Building Networks, Building Capacity
Moderated by Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Scholar and Visiting Faculty, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security 
Cedar Rapids Symposium-Jun2018-Li-Vollmer-photoCedar Rapids Symposium-Jun2018-Barnes-photo
Meredith Li-VollmerJaniceBarnes

Panel:  Watershed Management Approaches: Working Together to Build Resilience
Moderated by Ms. Arrietta Chakos
, Policy Advisor, Urban Resilience Strategies
Cedar Rapids Symposium-Jun2018-watershed panel-photo
(left to right) Arrietta Chakos, Sharon Gaul, Emily Javens

Keynote: 10 Years Rising Above: Where Do We Go From Here?
Moderated by Ms. Amy L. Reasner, Attorney, Lynch Dallas, P.C.
  • Mr. Tyler OlsonAt-Large City Council Member and Chair of the Flood Control System Committee, City of Cedar Rapids
  • Mr. Scott Overland, District 2 Representative and Chair of the Finance and Administrative Services Committee, City of Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids Symposium-Jun2018-keynote-photo
(left to right) Amy Reasner, Scott Overland, Tyler Olson

Intelligent Systems and Holograms for Flood Communication

Panel:  Understanding and Communicating Flood Risk: Mapping, Mitigation, and the Role of Insurance

Moderated by Dr. Lauren Alexander Augustine, Director, ResilientAmerica Roundtable
Cedar Rapids Symposium-Jun2018-flood risk panel-photo
(left to right) John Dorman, Angela Gladwell, Dave Miller, Nathan Young

This symposium was one of many events held to commemorate the Cedar Rapids flood of 2008. Check out other local events:

RAR Cedar Rapids June 2018 symposieum-CR 10 yr anniversary logo