RMS and 100 Resilient Cities Announce Partnership to Quantify and Manage Natural Hazard Risks at 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

San Francisco to be the first city to use RMS models and technology

NEW YORK--()--RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk management firm, and 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) today announced a partnership that will allow cities in 100RC Network to access the RMS(one) exposure and risk management platform as well as RMS catastrophe models to help them make well-informed decisions about managing and mitigating natural hazard risk. RMS has joined a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action through the partnership with 100RC, pledging to address this global challenge.

“Natural catastrophes are a major driver of risk for many of the cities we are working with, and RMS’ models and technology will enable them to better understand that risk as the foundation for achieving resilience.”

100RC aims to help 100 cities around the world build resilience to shocks such as catastrophic events, as well as chronic stresses such as climate change. It is providing cities with funding to hire a chief resilience officer, assistance in establishing and implementing a resilience strategy and access to technology and expertise from a select platform of partners.

“We’re excited to welcome RMS as the newest partner to the 100 Resilient Cities program,” said Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities. “Natural catastrophes are a major driver of risk for many of the cities we are working with, and RMS’ models and technology will enable them to better understand that risk as the foundation for achieving resilience.”

San Francisco will be the first city in the 100 Resilient Cities program to take advantage of RMS models and technology.

“In San Francisco, we have already made a significant investment in modeling expected losses from future earthquake scenarios, which has informed multiple public policy decisions. These include innovative legislation passed in 2013 to mandate the retrofit of soft-story wood frame structures, which modeling identified as one of the greatest sources of potential loss of life as well as potential loss of housing units in a future event,” said Patrick Otellini, chief resilience officer for San Francisco. “RMS’s science and technology will enable us to use modeling more dynamically to improve our understanding of risk, to analyze the benefits of potential mitigation investments and to respond effectively to actual events.”

RMS technology can be used by cities in a variety of ways to increase their resilience, including:

  • Develop high quality data on exposures: Cities can use the RMS(one) platform to establish a system of record for all data on property, people and infrastructure exposed to natural hazards, enabling consistent assumptions and availability of data for all risk assessment projects as well as systematic improvement of the data over time.
  • Improve understanding of risk: By building and running catastrophe models to simulate expected damage and other impacts from plausible future events, cities can identify key drivers of risk, whether by geography, type of building, or other factors.
  • Prioritize mitigation investments: Cities can test hypothetical scenarios to quantify the impact of potential investments in changing building codes, implementing retrofit programs, or improving infrastructure.
  • Communicate risk: Armed with data and analysis, cities can more effectively share information on exposures and risks to motivate communities to prepare for natural hazards.
  • Measure progress: With consistent and easily updateable information on all exposures, cities can regularly refresh their risk assessments to reflect achievements in improving the building stock as well as growth in overall exposures to measure progress over time.
  • Analyse risk-financing schemes: Assessing the expected frequency of various levels of financial loss to public buildings and infrastructure enables cities to evaluate potential mechanisms to finance disaster response and rebuilding costs from future events.
  • Respond to disasters: By capturing all exposure information and modelling assumptions in the RMS(one) platform, cities can rapidly quantify expected damage after a catastrophe and prioritize allocation of resources.

“Enabling societal resilience is at the core of RMS’s business,” said Paul VanderMarck, chief products officer at RMS. “By providing our models and technology to cities in the 100 Resilient Cities program, we can help them better understand their catastrophe risk and increase their resilience. As a company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are pleased that San Francisco will be the first city to use our models and technology and we are looking forward to working with other cities around the world, including those who are at an earlier stage in their efforts to quantify their risk and take steps to prepare for future events.”

About RMS

RMS models and software help financial institutions and public agencies evaluate and manage catastrophe risks throughout the world, promoting resilient societies and a sustainable global economy.

Learn more at www.rms.com and follow us @RMS.

About 100RC

100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.

Learn more about 100RC at www.100resilientcities.org, RPA at www.rockpa.org, and the Rockefeller Foundation at http://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/about-us.


Cynthia Horiguchi, +1 510-320-9770
100 Resilient Cities
Maxwell Young, +1 646-612-7142