State to share in NOAA storm safety research grant

NOAA Sea Grant announced the award of $1.8 million in grants to Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey to enhance the nation’s ability to respond to disasters by closely examining how people responded to the warnings associated with storms such as Sandy, what influenced the choices they made and how they can be reached more effectively in the future.

Connecticut Sea Grant, based at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus in Groton, will work with New Jersey and New York Sea Grant programs to coordinate a national research competition paired with outreach to emergency managers, weather forecasters and the public.

Superstorm Sandy caused 140 deaths, including three in Connecticut, and more than $62 billion in economic losses, despite the warning, support and information from emergency managers, community leaders and the media. Sandy was the second most costly storm event in U.S. history.

Damages from Storm Sandy are estimated to be at least $360 million in Connecticut. Thus far the state has received $72 million in funds to help homeowners and businesses recover. About 625,000 Connecticut homes and businesses were affected by the storm, and record storm surges were reported for the western Connecticut shoreline.

The project provides funding to carry out an integrated research and outreach Coastal Storms Awareness Program. It will involve linking advanced risk communication science with targeted outreach to those who convey critical hazard information, enhance the effectiveness of risk messages, and help people make choices with a clear knowledge of the risks and consequences.

Details of the program can be found at: http://seagrant.uconn.edu/funding/grants/postSandy.php Letters of Intent to apply for funds are due Oct. 28. The Call for Proposals is may be accessed at: http://www.nyseagrant.org/csap.

For information, contact Syma Ebbin, Connecticut Sea Grant research coordinator, at: syma.ebbin@uconn.edu, or at: (860) 405-9278.

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