SPPA’s Joseph Trainor, an associate professor and Director of Doctoral Studies together with UD Professor Rachel Davidson of civil and environmental engineering have been awarded a new $1.99 million grant from NSF. These two UD Faculty are part of a larger research team under the same grant including Jamie Kruse, the THCAS Distinguished Professor Economics at East Carolina University, and Linda Nozick, professor and director of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University. They will all be working to uncover how communities do — or don’t — prepare for hurricanes. They will use this insight to develop a system of mathematical models to help policymakers prepare for and respond to natural disasters. By studying the perspectives of homeowners, insurers and government agencies, they hope to develop a tool that optimizes the needs of all stakeholders.
Over the past 2 storm seasons alone, the US has been hit by four category 4 hurricanes of 130mph-plus – Harvey, Irma, Maria and Michael, the most in 150 years of records – this has cost an estimated more than USD$300bn and claimed thousands of lives (Milman, 2018). Climate change is expected to increase the level of these extreme weather events (IPCC, 2018). Therefore hurricanes will keep coming — that’s not a question. The question is to how to mitigate the damage when these events inevitably take place. Instead of asking why hurricanes wreak havoc on communities, the research team is asking: Why aren’t we developing engineered systems, social systems and other interdisciplinary approaches that shield us from the damage inflicted by hurricanes?
To learn more: https://www.drc.udel.edu/news/college/Pages/disaster-research-hurricane