Media contact: Elizabeth Ban, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-734-1082.
NOAA Sea Grant this month announced $1.8 million in grant awards to Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to enhance the American public’s ability to effectively plan, prepare and respond to natural disasters when they strike—particularly for major storms like Sandy, which resulted in 140 fatalities last year.
Despite warnings, support and information delivered to the public by emergency managers, community leaders and the media, many of the deaths caused by Sandy were the result of human choices and actions. Better understanding how people respond to warnings, which factors influence the choices they make, and how messages can be delivered more effectively in the future, is critical information these projects aim to uncover.
Destruction caused by Sandy in Mantoloking, N.J. (Credit: NOAA)
Funding for these projects falls under NOAA Sea Grant’s Coastal Storms Awareness Program
—an-integrated research and outreach program dedicated to cutting edge risk communication science and targeted outreach. The results of these research projects will be used to help emergency and disaster response managers better prepare coastal communities to respond to coastal storm threats. Results will be shared with state and local officials, community organizations, and the media as well, to provide people with a clearer understanding of the risks and consequences of their choices.
This type of research is a critical recommendation of the 2013 NOAA Sandy Service Assessment, a comprehensive review NOAA undertakes after a major storm event to improve our products, services and workflows.
“This work should lead to an improved response from coastal residents in the face of impending storms. A better understanding of the true implications of extreme weather threats like Sandy is a step forward in building a Weather-Ready Nation," said Peyton Robertson, chair of NOAA’s Sandy assessment team and director of NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office.
Connecticut Sea Grant, New Jersey Sea Grant and New York Sea Grant recently announced a call for a national research competition sponsored by the three programs. To learn more about this funding opportunity, visit the Sea Grant Request for Proposals webpage.