Hurricane Irma Relief
Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on September 6, 2017, when it was recorded as the strongest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Causing an estimated $290 billion in damage, severe flooding occurred across the state.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, we hypothesized that members of the private well community would have an urgent need for opportunities to test their water quality for bacterial contamination, information on how to properly disinfect their wells, and help implementing disinfection protocols. We have teamed up with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Science Extension to facilitate sample collection and communication of results.
We were able to do this through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant. RAPID grants support urgent and time-sensitive research investigating unanticipated anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) or natural disasters. Our grant is titled, “Potable Water Hazards and Resource Needs in Private Well Communities Impacted by Extreme Flooding Events.” Read the grant proposal in full below.
This research grant is also aimed at developing communication strategies and informational resources for future severe flooding events, which we are doing in collaboration with the Louisiana State University-Health Science Center. All community engagement and communication is being done through Texas A&M and the University of Florida, using existing or developing new community-based infrastructure to communicate with, instruct, and receive feedback from the communities where we have been working.
The pages linked below summarize our work to-date.