MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - An unruly ocean can devastate a shore line and endanger life and property. At the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College, Dolan Eversole is helping prepare people to survive coastal storms.
"It comes down to just education, making sure the right people have access to the information that they need," he said.
Eversole heads up the NOAA Sea Grant Pacific Islands Coastal Storms Program. Over the next three years, he'll parcel out $1.3 million to fund research projects. Among other things, the money will pay to develop mapping systems and advanced computer models similar to a new model that shows the potential impact of a storm surge on the airport runway.
"With the storm surge inundation it doesn't actually flood the runways from the ocean side," Eversole said.
The UH program will enlist researchers in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam and other Pacific island nations so they can better predict how coastal storms will affect their communities.
"The point of that is to not provide the maps to them but train them in how to do their own mapping. When they start talking about sea level rise adaptation and hazard mitigation they'll know how to map their communities better," Eversole said.
The ultimate goal is to improve weather observations and storm effect forecasting to protect life and property.
"One of the things we're looking at is providing our decision makers and lawmakers with information that they need to make better policies related to planning, land use, hazard mitigation, and emergency response," he said.