NOAA Sea Grant Coastal Storms Program funds PDC Project in the Federated States of Micronesia

February 1, 2013

Pacific Disaster Center will work with local and regional partners to support disaster risk reduction for more than 100,000 Western Pacific islanders in FSM.

On January 23, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Islands Coastal Storms Program in partnership with the Sea Grant College Program at the University of Hawai‘i announced the release of funds for important disaster risk reduction efforts. “One million dollars in coastal hazard research and education grant money is being awarded to coastal communities throughout the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands region to help plan for, respond to, and recover from coastal hazards such as storms,” the statement began. Among the funded projects was one proposed by PDC to provide assistance to the Federated States of Micronesia.

PDC’s project is aimed at improving access to and use of locally relevant geospatial information to support disaster management and disaster risk reduction activities in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The project will develop and integrate geospatial data resources into PDC’s  web accessible decision-support application, DisasterAWARE. “A key component of this project will be to provide training to local disaster management and disaster risk reduction personnel in the use of data resources and decision-support tools to enhance on-the-ground efforts,” says PDC Director of Applied Science Dr. Heather Bell, who will lead this project over a two-year period. PDC and its partners—Island Research & Education Initiative (IREI) and College of Micronesia (COM)—will develop the first comprehensive set of Geospatial Information System (GIS) resources ever produced for FSM. This effort will include not only the major islands of each state in the Federation, but also the outer islands, enhancing disaster management capabilities for local disaster managers and planners. The results will be integrated into PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform, which will improve access to the data, facilitate its effective application, and enable others supporting disaster response and recovery activities to better collaborate with FSM officials.

To understand PDC’s interest in and relationship with the Federated States of Micronesia:
• As early as 2004, PDC extended assistance to FSM and other Pacific Island leaders (news or program)
• A white-paper/report on the 2004 activity is still relevant to some needs of Pacific Island Nations
• For several years, PDC participated in Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEE), many of them in FSM
• A news article on PRiMO Celebrates Ten Years of Building Partnerships in the Pacific, 2012
• FSM is in a meteorologically active region, for which storms are followed on the PDC Weather Wall.

Additional information about NOAA Coastal Storms Program UH Sea Grant Program:
• About UH Sea Grant website.
• Page covering the NOAA Coastal Storms Program and Small Grant Awards website.

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