About Storms to Life

Storms to Life is a project aimed at improving public awareness of the risks of living in hurricane-prone areas of North Carolina and is maintained by the Renaissance Computing Institute at East Carolina University (RENCI at ECU). This website is currently under development, but you may read the offical project proposal below.

Project Proposal

Project Leaders: J.P. Walsh and Reide Corbett
Website and content created by S. Daniel Siepert

In order to maintain and improve public awareness of the risk of living and owning property along the coast, we must not forget the past. Although the Gulf Coast has been affected dramatically recently, storms have caused great destruction in North Carolina in the past, and people have suffered great losses and, in some cases, have decided to relocate.

The concerted effort of this project aims to 1) explore the impact of overwash resulting from storm surge and its impact on human infrastructure and the geologic record and 2) to construct a website and awareness campaign for communicating the impacts of storms in the past and their potential ramifications if they were to occur today.

One analogous example is the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank for Katrina; however, that project is primarily focused on human accounts. Our effort will collate geologic, geographic, oceanographic, and historical information (photos, narratives, and oral history accounts) so that people can visualize and understand past events and learn from them. We will start by focusing on a few storms (e.g., Hurricane Isabel, the Ash Wednesday Storm, and the Great Storm of 1899). An engagement activity planned for September 2009, Learning from Hurricane Floyd: A Symposium on the Tenth Anniversary of this Disaster, to be held in Greenville will dovetail nicely with the objectives and efforts of this project. The event will include a one-day public-oriented outreach agenda (e.g., prominent and engaging speakers) and a one-day research discussion to bring together the management and research communities.

The footprint of this project will span the Web, news media, and physical infrastructure in key outreach areas (e.g., NC Ferry terminals, NC Aquariums) through the deployment of interactive kiosks in eastern NC. Our risk communication team will assist in the development, testing, and usability enhancements of these products.

Primary Purpose

Public education for risk awareness.

Specific Deliverables

Interactive, multimedia, web- and kiosk-based instructional tools.