The overall objective of this project is to generate actionable information that improves installations’ capability to create master plans, as well as emergency and continuity of operations plans, which greatly reduce risks and improve resilience related to severe weather. The Department of Defense (DoD) currently has limited understanding of these issues, such as changes in failure modes and frequencies during severe weather outbreaks (including due to compounding stressors) and the implications of these failures for mission execution. The project team will use a structured forensic analysis process with installations that have been affected by severe weather to identify lessons learned for future planning.

Technology Description

While top-down predictive studies of risks from natural hazards exist, limited empirical, bottom-up analyses across multiple installations have been conducted that will yield a high level of granularity to inform specific planning decisions. Drawing on a series of site visits with installations affected by severe weather, the project team will generate actionable information by systematically assessing severe weather risks across elements of installation master plans, with specificity to different types of infrastructure so it can readily and practically inform decision-making. The analysis will build on and significantly extend existing DoD assessments related to severe weather risks to:

  • Identify specific causal chains through which infrastructure services on military installations tend to fail or be significantly disrupted during and in the wake of severe weather events, including common mode failures. The analysis will cover most major types of installations’ physical and natural infrastructures.
  • Describe pathways through which failures or disruptions tend to impact installations’ missions.
  • Identify factors predisposing an installation to weather-related disruptions as well as indicators of resilience.
  • Present a methodology to determine cost-effective measures to mitigate these types of failures or disruptions.
  • Describe pathways through which these mitigation measures can be successfully planned, implemented, and maintained in coordination with stakeholders to ensure feasibility.

To ensure the analysis is actionable, the project team will vet it with the intended types of stakeholders at the partner installations with which this project will be working. The project team will utilize world-class science and communications to accelerate uptake of the information across DoD.


Extreme weather events have cost DoD billions of dollars and resulted in injuries, loss of facilities, and loss of functionality. The analysis will allow installations to better mitigate risks and incorporate resilience into planning processes, significantly mitigating severe weather risks now and in the future as the risks from severe weather grow, allowing installations to reduce damage and recovery costs, reduce downtime, and maximize the ability to execute their missions. Given that the costs of extreme weather to all U.S. installations is typically many hundred millions and sometimes billions of dollars per year, it is expected that once the information produced through this analysis is used in master planning and subsequently implemented – ideally at hundreds to thousands of U.S. installations – it will potentially save the military tens of millions of dollars per year in addition to increasing the ability of installations to continue to execute their missions during and following severe weather events.