November 1, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces New Academic Partnership Focused on Storm Resilience and Emergency Preparedness

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies (NYS RISE), a new applied think tank led by New York University and Stony Brook University that will serve as a hub of research and education on emergency preparedness, as well as a clearinghouse of information regarding extreme weather and natural disasters.

 

The Resiliency Institute will bring together academic thought leaders as well as government officials, national experts and emergency response leaders, to conduct research and provide scientific information and intellectual resources that will lead to the development of comprehensive plans that policymakers and stakeholders can use to better protect communities.

 

Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee taught us many lessons from the last three years, but the biggest lesson of all was that we have much more to learn about todays changing and unpredictable climate, Governor Cuomo said. That is why we are launching the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies. NY RISE will bring together several of our states top universities to serve as a world-class think tank of research and education on extreme weather and emergency preparedness. We are gathering top academic leaders, policy makers, emergency experts and first responders from across the nation to develop strategies to meet one simple goal and that is to better protect New Yorks communities in natural disasters.

 

The Resiliency Institute will serve as a statewide anchor for policymakers and emergency responders, providing comprehensive analysis to inform critical decisions before, during, and after extreme weather events. The Resiliency Institute will foster an environment of thought leadership and knowledge development regarding storm-hazards risk management; provide expertise to aid agencies in providing and quantifying resilience in ecosystem and infrastructure design, operation, and investment; and develop platforms for transforming predictions into adaptive measures. The NYS RISE approach will speed the translation from research to application to ensure preparation for extreme weather events, realizing the goal of a more resilient New York.

 

Projects the Resiliency Institute will undertake include development of a rapid response plan to protect against future climate-induced storms; creation of proposals to further harden New Yorks infrastructure; identifying areas of vulnerability to extreme weather events; and long term planning for storm risk from climate change.

 

In addition to NYU and Stony Brook University, partners include Columbia University, Cornell University, City University of New York and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

 

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, The NYS RISE initiative will allow New York to get ahead of severe weather in the future and to better protect and rebuild our communities in the wake of such events. The Institutes data-driven, collaborative approach brings together New Yorks greatest assets, resources, and experts and positions our state to identify and use only the most effective innovations and preparedness methods in the future. SUNY is proud to be a part of this critical partnership, which will allow all of New York to be more vigilant.

 

Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr, MD., said, "From Hurricane Sandy to extreme flooding upstate, New York State is experiencing historic natural disasters and emergencies - endangering and taking lives, destroying property, and negatively effecting a recovering economy. NYS RISE is a collaboration of researchers that, through Governor Cuomo's vision, will help us better understand major storms and their effects on our coastal environment, infrastructure, and critically, identify new ways to protect human life and property. Through our School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University looks forward to collaborating with NYU and some of the region's greatest research institutions to provide the research and knowledge to help New York State rebuild and protect itself from future storms.

 

Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan, President of Polytechnic Institute of New York University, said, We are proud to be a partner of this public-private project that will serve as a hub of research and education on coastal preparedness and sustainability. At a time when New York has truly felt the devastating effects of extreme weather conditions, the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storm & Emergencies will help prepare our region for climate change in the long-term, and bring us closer to becoming a hurricane- and flood-resilient city.

 

David Skorton, President of Cornell University, said, "There is no more important job than protecting the people of our state, and Cornell is pleased to be a partner in NYS RISE. Our considerable strength in engineering will help New York be a leader in storm preparedness and recovery, and Cornell's statewide reach allows us to assist wherever we are needed."

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