“Should I stay or should I go?”: Communicating Risk when the Storm Comes
Coastal Processes & Hazards - News

A new video by Sea Grant summarizes research from 10 NOAA-funded social science projects.

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UPDATE: Images and video clips from the screening are featured below this pre-event news release

Long Beach, NY, June 27, 2016 - “Should I stay or should I go?” Many residents were faced with that same question when Sandy hit Long Beach in 2012.

A screening of the Coastal Storm Awareness documentary video produced by Sea Grant will take place at the Long Beach Library, 111 W Park Ave, Long Beach, NY, on Thursday, July 14, at 2pm and 7:30 pm.

The video weaves together research from nearly a dozen social science projects looking at why people did not evacuate during Superstorm Sandy and how those preparing for such disasters can get residents to better heed storm warnings.


The 4-1/2 minute trailer for NOAA Sea Grant's Coastal Storm Awareness Program's 23-minute documentary, view-able on YouTube and will be the focus of a panel discussion in Long Beach, NY on Thursday, July 14th.


Following a 2pm screening of the 22-minute video on July 14th, researchers from Hofstra University—Dr. Christa Farmer, Dr. Mary Anne Trasciatti, and Dr. Elisabeth Ploran—will be there to answer questions.

These participating Hofstra professors—Farmer, a associate professor of geology and director of the Center for Climate Study; Trasciatti, a associate professor of rhetoric; and Ploran, a assistant professor of psychology—were one of 10 investigation groups that were funded under the $1.8M National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded Coastal Storm Awareness Program (CSAP), which has been administered by Sea Grant in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This suite of studies, which were conducted over an 18-month period, focus on the reaction to Superstorm Sandy evacuation orders and how to improve the public’s response to warnings about storm hazards.

Farmer and her associates studied the cultural and language barriers that may have contributed to the decision by many residents of the ethnically diverse city of Long Beach not to evacuate before the storm. Their work is now being used to help government and weather officials develop better ways to communicate early warnings and evacuation recommendations.

The research showed that mandatory evacuation orders were most effective and that under voluntary evacuation notices the response was low. It also found that people were less likely to evacuate if they were elderly, disabled or had pets, according to a trailer for the documentary, which is featured above and is also posted at www.nyseagrant.org/csap.

The evening screening (7:30 pm) will be introduced by Bill Wise, Director of New York Sea Grant. It will be followed by a lively discussion with panelists Adam Sobel (Columbia University meteorologist and author of Storm Surge, a book about Sandy), Jamie Rhome (National Hurricane Center storm surge expert), Susan Dooha (Executive Director, Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York), representatives from Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, the Long Beach Latino Civic Association and researcher Jennifer Marlon of Yale University.

Admission to both screenings and discussions are free. Refreshments will be served.


Images from afternoon and evening sessions:


At the 2pm screening, Hofstra University researchers Dr. Emma Farmer and Dr. Elisabeth Ploran discussed their project while Dr. Mary Anne Trasciatti answered audience questions many of which were geared on improving evacuation notifications for seniors and people with disabilities. Photo: Barbara A. Branca / NYSG


New York Sea Grant's Director, Bill Wise, moderated the 7:30 panel of experts. Photo: Barbara A. Branca / NYSG


Video clips from evening panel discussion:

Margi Trapani, Director of Communications and Education, Center for Independence of the Disabled - New York




Helen Dorado-Alessi, Director, Long Beach Latino Civic Association






Jennifer Marlon, Researcher, Yale University




Jamie Rhome, NOAA's National Hurricane Center




Adam Sobel, Columbia University meteorologist and author of “Storm Surge”






Eric Zausner, Acting Director, Community Response Team, Nassau County Emergency Management



Other videos form these talks:

Nancy Solomon, Executive Director, Long Island Traditions




More Info: New York Sea Grant

Sea Grant, part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, is celebrating 50 years of serving America’s coasts.

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, is one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program (NSGCP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NSGCP engages this network of the nation’s top universities in conducting scientific research, education, training and extension projects designed to foster science-based decisions about the use and conservation of our aquatic resources. Through its statewide network of integrated services, NYSG has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources since 1971.

New York Sea Grant maintains Great Lakes offices at SUNY Buffalo, the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark and at SUNY Oswego. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and Stony Brook Manhattan, in the Hudson Valley through Cooperative Extension in Kingston and at Brooklyn College. 

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG also offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/coastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published several times a year.

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