FACT SHEET: Flood Mitigation and Other Projects with FEMA

"Wet Weather Overflow" by Dendroica cerulea from Flickr.com. Used under Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Overview

CCICADA is involved in several projects in partnership with FEMA Region II (which covers NJ, NY, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). CCICADA research and methods have application to the primary functions of FEMA in fulfillment of its mission, including examining risk and mitigating event impact and reviewing and analyzing the massive datasets that arise from disaster planning, response, recovery, and mitigation.

Flood Mitigation on the Raritan River (NJ)

Given the magnitude of the impact of flooding events on local and regional economies, personal property and government resources, FEMA is in need of planning tools to identify event risk and impact of related flood mitigation strategies. This is not an easy task. Flood risk prediction and mitigation strategy success likelihood are complex. And, prior work in this area has not taken full advantage of modern data analysis and modeling/simulation tools. Working in partnership with the DHS National Transportation Center of Excellence at the Bloustein School of Public Policy at Rutgers University, the Flood Mitigation project has three primary components: (1) Community Assessment: profiles of communities most affected by flooding on the Raritan; interviews with community leaders and other stakeholders; (2) Economic Modeling: costs/benefits of flood mitigation projects/strategies and (3) Risk Analysis: estimating event risk and the risk reduction possibilities of different mitigation strategies. The goal is development and application of new methods of analysis.

Climate Change

FEMA has invited CCICADA to discussions about climate change issues, in particular to meet with and consult with the NYC Climate Change Initiative. The goal is to assist in the risk assessment and planning process in the event of increasing extreme weather/climate events and potentially rising sea levels. Relevant CCICADA work on climate and health in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control involving mathematical modeling, simulation, and algorithmic tools of risk assessment, should be helpful in examining the impact on major infrastructure (power plants, roadways) and to plan for large scale evacuations and shelter resource requirements.

FEMA’s Data

CCICADA has met with FEMA management to discuss ways to aid in managing and analyzing massive/large pre- response, response, and recovery datasets; visualize data; and develop hand-held applications for first responders.

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