Instructor Materials: Major Storms and Community Resilience Module
- Students will be able to identify and describe weather-related hazards and vulnerabilities for their community;
- Students will be able to relate historical storm data at the national- and local-scale in order to draw conclusions and community preparedness and current and future community vulnerabilities;
- Students will be able to develop evidence-based strategies and recommendations to mitigate local community vulnerabilities to storms with specific emphasis on different sectors and/or stakeholders in that community.
Module Summative Assessment: Students will apply and evaluate concepts in the context of their local community, culminating in the formulation and evaluation of hazard mitigation plan recommendations presented in a stakeholder position paper. In addition, students present and debate their positions in a town hall-style meeting. They are assessed on both their policy position paper and oral presentations (see Unit 3 for more detail).
Unit 1 introduces foundational concepts in geoscience, emergency management, and political science that are critical for achieving the learning objectives in the storm module. More specifically, within Unit 1 students acquire a vocabulary related to storm systems and risk, engage in practical exercises on event probability and frequency, and complete written activities and oral presentations that reinforce these concepts within the context of their own community and for two case studies (State of New Hampshire and New Orleans, LA). The activities include: a pre-and post-Unit survey on natural hazard risks; an exercise on probability and frequency of natural hazards in general and related to major storms in particular; an exercise using Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA) and the HVA's findings; and a synthesis assignment that requires analysis of an assigned Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) and development of a proposal to improve mitigation plans.
In Unit 2, students apply and evaluate foundational concepts about storm hazard and risk in the context of two cases studies: Superstorm Sandy (2012) and Storm of the Century (1993). Through different activities and assignments, students develop skills for finding, evaluating, and relating data to case studies in relation to preparedness, response, and resilience. The activities include: an analysis of Hazard Mitigation Plans for their local community, examination of storm-related geophysical processes in the context of societal risks, preparation of a press release for community preparedness, and a peer review activity and revision opportunity for the press releases.
Over the course of one week, students will apply and evaluate concepts in the context of their local community, culminating in the formulation and evaluation of hazard mitigation plan recommendations presented in stakeholder position papers. These position papers, which will also serve as the summative assessment of the Major Storms and Community Resilience Module, will be presented and assessed during a town-hall style meeting. In this role-playing activity, students apply and evaluate concepts in the context of assigned stakeholder positions from their local community. Over the course of a week, students formulate and evaluate hazard mitigation plan recommendations for major storms, and then present those recommendations in a town hall-style meeting. These assignments demonstrate students' ability to develop evidence-based strategies and recommendations to mitigate local community vulnerabilities to storms with specific emphasis on different sectors and/or stakeholders in that community. Instructors will assess student achievement of the learning goals through a formal oral presentation and a team policy position paper. As such, the culmination of Unit 3 in the town hall-style meeting serves as the summative assessment for the Major Storms module.