A team at Indiana University is developing guidance to help communities plan for and adapt to climate change in the Great Lakes. The focus is on helping people prepare for that early period in a flood event before local, state or federal help is available.
The guidance will be in part based on experiences of Great Lakes residents gathered via an ongoing survey. The survey will be available through March 12 and can be reached through the following link. All US Great Lakes residents are encouraged to complete it and pass on the invitation to friends and neighbors: https://iu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3rephDk9fC6QWEK
The project is funded by the US Army Corps of Engineers through its US Coastal Research Program. The survey takes about 25 minutes to complete and responses are anonymous.
The guidance will help individuals within communities think about how climate change impacts will affect them personally.
For instance: Are you likely to be affected by storm surge or flooding? If so, is your neighborhood likely to lose power because the closest relay station will be flooded? Will local streets be flooded? Will medical facilities be accessible? Will your nearest cell tower be under water, and potentially not working? Knowing that, what can you do now to prepare?
In parallel with the survey, researchers are building a GIS-based database that incorporates critical infrastructure (from a community perspective) with models of storm impacts and a focus on flooding.
The database will include visual models of specific local areas, initially those with high vulnerabilities, to provide investigative tools people can use to explore projected vulnerabilities to flooding where they live. Such visual scenarios will help with personal planning for storm-related emergencies.
Questions about the survey may be directed to Dr. Diane Henshel (email@example.com). Those interested in participating in upcoming focus groups or having their communities considered for initial development of the visual story maps also are encouraged to reach out to Henshel.
Dr. Diane Henshel is a toxicologist, risk assessor and risk communicator in the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.