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Governor Cuomo Announces the Launch of the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies

STONY BROOK, NY, October 31, 2013--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.

"We must prepare for the increased likelihood of extreme weather events, and part of that effort is creating an academic environment for the study and research of resilience and preparedness to guide policy discussions," Governor Cuomo said. "The New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms and Emergencies will bring together several of our State's top universities to help provide a resource of in-depth scientific information as New York continues to develop strategies to better prepare for natural disasters."

The 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 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 Institute will undertake include development of a rapid response plan to protect against future climate-induced storms; creation of proposals to further harden New York’s 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.

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."