GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 97-1
Presentation Time: 8:15 AM


DONER, Lisa A., Environmental Science and Policy Program, Plymouth State University, MS 48, 17 High St, Plymouth, NH 03264 and STAPLETON, Patricia, Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609

As CO2-enhanced rates of climate change increase, the frequency of extreme and historically rare weather events has also increased, such that national-level catastrophic events seem to occur every year. Community resilience, presumed to be an attainable outcome of preparedness and adaptation, must incorporate and adjust to uncertain levels of risk from weather extremes interacting with complex, rapidly changing Earth processes. Preparation for extreme events, including risk assessment, management, mitigation, and resilience, requires broader and deeper community knowledge of complex, interacting natural hazards and their social, political, and economic contexts. Intended as a tool to enhance community resilience to severe weather ranging from blizzards to hurricanes, we developed a three-unit, three-week-long module on various natural hazards associated with weather and climate extremes, risk assessment for those hazards, and community-based risk mitigation strategies. A major component of this effort is to convey complexity and varying scales and sources of risk associated with major storm events. At the same time, it creates familiarity with vocabulary, data, data visualization and communication of storm risk across multiple stakeholder groups, like transportation specialists, community planners, emergency responders, business owners and residents. The module is adaptive to many different regions and event-types, with multiple activities that involve use of local events. This micro demo illustrates some of the components of the module, especially with regard to situational complexity, and encourages group discussion around communicating risks to the public.