Johns Hopkins SAIS expert available to discuss government preparedness and response to natural disasters

As natural disasters like the most recent California wildfires continue to have destructive and costly ramifications for communities across the U.S. and world, Celeste Connors is available to offer insight on ways governments can reduce risks and better respond to tragedies associated with weather and the environment.
“Communities are increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic natural disasters and climate-related severe weather events,” said Connors, Associate Practitioner in Residence in the Energy, Resources and Environment Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. “It is estimated that the recent deadly California wildfires will cost a staggering $1 billion in insured economic losses. The true cost is likely far higher, as this number doesn’t account for uninsured losses or indirect impacts on tax revenue, tourism, public health and the environment.” 
Connors added that government budgets are increasingly tapped to address emergency fire events, which leaves fewer resources to invest into sustainable wildfire management strategies that take into account climate change and development.
“Governments should seek to reduce costs by leveraging public resources and engage the private sector in transferring risk to private insurance markets,” she advised.
Connors spearheaded “Fueling Resilience: Climate and Wildfire Risk in the United States,” a 2015 study by students at Johns Hopkins SAIS – in collaboration with global reinsurance company Swiss Re – that examined public financing for wildfires and the role that risk-transfer tools can play in enhancing the resilience of state budgets.
She is available to further discuss:

  • How are climate change, drought, and other environmental factors impacting wildfire seasons?
  • What types of mitigation planning can governments institute to reduce wildfire risks?
  • How are natural disasters and climate-related events impacting federal, state, and local budgets and spending?
  • How can governments reduce financial risks and manage volatile wildfire costs?
  • What type of insurance policies and catastrophe models can help to manage escalating wildfire costs?
  • What regional approaches can governments use to manage climate-related risks and reduce administrative costs?
  • What are the key steps in a sustainable wildfire management strategy?

Media Contacts
Celeste Connors
Associate Practitioner in Residence
Energy, Resources and Environment Program
808.800.7500 mobile
Stacy A. Anderson
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins SAIS
202.663.5620 office
202.853.7983 mobile
About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today's critical issues. For nearly 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
For more information, visit or @SAISHopkins

Thursday, October 26, 2017