Building Resilience to Withstand Natural Disasters

With Florida's unique vulnerabilities and FIU's decades of multidisciplinary research success in disaster-related research around the globe, our Extreme Events Institute is addressing challenges related to natural disasters. Rather than just respond to natural disasters, FIU seeks to address vulnerabilities before storms hit so that international communities are not torn apart physically, socially and politically by a major weather event.

  • The Extreme Events Institute encompasses all of the severe weather capabilities of FIU under one umbrella organization.

  • The Wall of Wind research and testing facility – one of only eight National Science Foundation-supported experimental facilities in the country – is the largest and most powerful university research facility of its kind, capable of simulating Category 5 hurricane winds. The NSF grant awarded this year supports the design of a facility that would exceed Category 5 winds: the “Cat 6 project.”
  • The International Hurricane Research Center houses state-of-the-art facilities that enable research to reduce hurricane damage and loss of life through more effective mitigation techniques.

  • FIU has created a Hurricane Loss Model that is employed in the state of Florida and could be used in other coastal states for risk reduction.

  • By working with USAID (United States Agency for International Development) on disaster risk reduction techniques, researchers aim to help stem the loss of life generated by violent storms in the Caribbean and Latin America.

  • FIU had $246 million in research expenditures in FY 2021.

FIU receives $12.8M NSF grant to design an extreme wind, surge and wave testing facility

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $12.8 million four-year cooperative agreement to Florida International University’s Extreme Events Institute to support the design of a national full-scale testing facility capable of wind speeds of up to 200 miles per hour, combined with a water basin to simulate storm surge and wave action.

Mellon Foundation awards FIU $4.63M to help vulnerable communities prepare for, recover from disasters

Vulnerable communities, which include Black and Hispanic South Florida residents, are often disproportionately impacted by disasters such as hurricanes, floods and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. FIU researchers plan to study and address these racial and ethnic disparities over the next three years with a $4.63 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

FIU hurricane researcher to testify before Congress on storm preparedness

Associate Director of the International Hurricane Research Center Erik Salna provided expert testimony Oct. 14, is 2021.

Scientists search for predictability in future hurricanes

Researchers in the Institute of Environment are arming scientists with a database that could improve impact predictions of hurricanes on coastal communities and hopefully improve resiliency planning.

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