NORFOLK, Va. — Author's note: The video above is on file from July 31, 2018.
Researchers at Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC) were recently awarded a $1 million Civic Innovation Challenge grant.
This money is for the development of a platform that will help communities plan for recovery efforts ahead of time for the aftermath of severe weather and help populations that are vulnerable to home displacement.
“Coastal resilience is a key area in which ODU can be a national and international leader through its cutting-edge research,” said ODU President Brian O. Hemphill. “This initiative, which is aimed at helping to ease the hardships of the people who can least afford it when a storm hits, is a prime example of how our efforts can make a difference in the lives of citizens.”
The grant was one of 17, approximately $15.9 million in total, that were awarded through the National Science Foundation. It's part of a partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The platform will be designed for Recover Hampton Roads, a nonprofit partnership between ODU and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. It will be designed to help gather donated materials and volunteers to aid in clean-up and recovery following severe weather events.
This funding for the platform comes in its second stage, which means the research team will use the $1 million to create the pilot version within the next year.
Stage one produced $50,000 worth of funds for the platform. It's the only VMASC-funded project in the Commonwealth.
“Teams funded in Stage 2 will play a vital role in developing novel resilience strategies and solutions to the escalating threat of natural disasters facing vulnerable communities across the country,” said David J. Alexander, senior science advisor for resilience and DHS Science and Technology Directorate. “As climate change accelerates the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, DHS is proud to support the efforts of this program to enhance the nation's resiliency.”