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Dr. Jennifer First Receives Grant from the Natural Hazards Center

Jennifer First, University of Tennessee
Kelsey Ellis, University of Tennessee
Stephen Strader, Villanova University

Dr. Jennifer First received a grant from the Natural Hazards Center focused on Weather Ready Research. The research focuses on Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings: Examining Climatology, Vulnerability, and Protective Decision-Making.

Dr. Jennifer First

Severe weather can often include overlapping tornado and flash flood warnings. During such events, the publicly recommended protective actions for tornado and flash flooding hazards are contradictory—sheltering below ground during a tornado and moving to high ground during flash floods. Using a convergent framework, this interdisciplinary study will combine atmospheric, geospatial, and social science methodologies to examine a location’s climatological risk and societal exposure to tornado and flash flood events and its relation to how residents perceived, responded to, and prioritized protective actions when dual warnings for tornadoes and flash floods occurred.

When extreme events such as these threaten communities, it is paramount that researchers collect perishable data prior to, during, and immediately following the disaster to ensure that vital information is not lost. This type of research is fundamental to the advancement of the field, and it can provide life-saving information to decision makers and ultimately promote the collective good.

The Natural Hazards Center—with support from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Weather Program Office, in partnership with the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) and the National Weather Service (NWS)—is issuing the first of four special calls for proposals for social, behavioral, and economic sciences to advance understanding of how to most effectively prepare for and communicate about extreme weather, water, and climate events. This new initiative is designed to advance knowledge while also building a diverse cadre of weather-ready researchers.

Click here to read more about the research grants: