President Barack Obama declared May as National Building Safety Month, spurring the White House Conference on Resiliency, which convened on May 26, 2016. RCI Senior Director of Technical Services Wanda Edwards was in attendance representing RCI. The conference, an invitation-only event, was sponsored by the White House National Security Council, the National Economic Council, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the International Code Council, and others, and was focused on bringing awareness of the need for building codes that will make buildings more resilient and adaptable to climate change and natural disasters.
Various federal agencies shared how their organizations were incorporating resiliency into their facilities and operations, how they recovered from events, and how they were planning for the future. A number of distinguished speakers and panels discussed how their agencies/jurisdictions are incorporating resilient features into their communities and organizations.
The conference was attended by organizations representing over 1.7 million professionals in the design and construction industry. Experts released Preparing to Thrive: The Building Industry Statement on Resiliency, a position statement about the industry’s commitment to improve the nation’s buildings, infrastructure, and communities through research, education, advocacy, and emergency response and working to plan for a more resilient built environment. A number of federal agencies and private sector partners also announced their initiatives, which were compiled by the White House and are available on the White House webpage.1