As part of the Coastal Storm Awareness Program (CSAP) 10 social science research and related new technology projects were funded to improve public response to coastal storm hazard information.
In one of these studies, Jennifer Marlon of Yale University, and other collaborators in 2015 found that 70 percent of coastal Connecticut residents are either unsure or unaware if their home is in an evacuation zone as determined by flood maps developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Another 74 percent of coastal Connecticut residents have never seen an evacuation map for their community.
In order to provide information on evacuation zones, local evacuation routes and customized municipal preparedness, UConn Extension faculty at Connecticut Sea Grant, the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research and a UConn student developed a Coastal Storm Story Map. A story map is a tool developed by the software company Esri that allows authoritative maps to be combined with text, images and videos to tell a story. This story map provides information on evacuation zones and local evacuation routes, as well as links to sign up for town emergency alerts.
Piloted with four coastal towns, the project’s goal is to have information for all coastal and riverine communities throughout the state. Any town interested in providing evacuation route and shelter information for the story map, please contact Juliana Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder that major hurricanes can hit the Connecticut coast, the story map includes historic photographs and stories from the Hurricane of 1938, which caused massive devastation throughout much of Long Island, N.Y., and New England. This information provides graphic illustration of the powerful flooding and destruction that can accompany such a storm. Also provided are numerous links and resources for storm preparedness, from household paperwork to pet safety.