Webinar: Risk Communication in the Post-Sandy Era

Oct. 29 will mark the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey. Residents of the region had never before dealt with a storm of its magnitude, and that lack of experience influenced people’s perceptions of the dangers it posed and how they responded – in some cases with disastrous consequences. Sandy yielded many lessons on what information was and was not effective in prompting residents to make decisions that protected themselves, their loved ones and their properties.

The Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) and Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) will host a special webinar on Aug. 15 at 11 a.m. that explores best practices for communicating the risks that major coastal storms present to the public. The discussion is being made possible through grant funding* provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The webinar will feature three speakers who have made important contributions to our understanding of effective risk communication since Sandy:

  • Rachel Hogan Carr, Executive Director of the Nurture Nature Center, has served as principal investigator on several flood-related research and education projects in partnership with NOAA. She was recently the lead author on the New Jersey Sea Grant-funded report “They Had the Facts, Why Didn't They Act?”, which examined Jersey Shore residents’ responses to coastal flood forecast and warning products issued by the National Weather Service during Sandy.
  • Michael Oppegaard, Emergency Management Coordinator for the Monmouth County (N.J.) Sheriff's Office – Office of Emergency Management, oversees a wide range of programs related to disaster planning and response for the county. This year, the county completed an innovative High Water Mark project that placed signs throughout 15 municipalities that are educating tourists and residents on the heights reached by floodwaters during Sandy and Irene.
  • Sarah Watson led the development of NOAA’s 2016 Risk Communications Basics guidebook as a graduate student at Rutgers University and covered Sandy recovery efforts as a reporter for The Press of Atlantic City. The guidebook was designed to help community leaders understand and connect with stakeholders and inspire risk-wise behavior through improved communication.

The webinar is free and intended as a resource for all those interested in the subject matter, including government agencies, emergency responders, academic researchers, NGOs, coastal business owners and residents in flood-prone communities.

To Participate

For planning purposes, please register by emailing Karl Vilacoba at



Webinar URL:

Audio Options: Participants may follow the webinar with their computer speakers or call the number listed below.

Conference Number (Toll Free): 866-939-9699

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