University of Georgia academic and outreach faculty are conducting research on the impacts of Hurricane Matthew to better understand how coastal residents were affected by the storm. In March, they conducted interviews with 35 people of diverse backgrounds in Chatham and McIntosh Counties. In total, the research team will be interviewing 60 people in these counties and electronically surveying another 1,000 people throughout coastal Georgia. The research will help identify communication and knowledge gaps and increase awareness of how coastal residents are vulnerable to major storms.

The findings will be shared with local governments, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), FEMA and citizens to enable improved planning for future storms. The project is funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response grant and Georgia Sea Grant. Brian Orland of UGA’s College of Environment and Design and Meredith Welch-Devine of the UGA Graduate School, are co-leading the project.