Quick Response Grant Research

The following is a list of forthcoming Quick Response Grant Program research projects. Within 90 days of leaving the field, researchers submit an abstract and 10-page report detailing their preliminary findings. Completed reports are available on the Quick Response Reports page.

A First Step Towards Longitudinal Study on Homeowners’ Proactive Actions for Managing Wildfire Risks
Ji Yun Lee, Washington State University
Yue Li, Case Western Reserve University

Individual responsibility plays an important role in improving the resilience of communities exposed to wildfires. Homeowners’ decisions on whether to adopt proactive actions for managing wildfire risks are made based on the characteristics of houses and homeowners and consequently affect the recovery processes of houses and a community. Based on an online survey and field study of residents in Sonoma County, California, whose properties were damaged by the 2019 Kincade Fire, this research serves as a first step towards longitudinal study aimed at understanding homeowners’ proactive actions in response to wildfire.


Modeling of Evacuation Behavior in the 2019 Kincade Fire, Sonoma County, California
Xilei Zhao, University of Florida
Ruggiero Lovreglio, Massey University
Erica Kuligowski, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Daniel Nilsson, University of Canterbury

Wildfires have become an escalating problem in California. In order to adapt to the changing threat of wildfires, it is important to understand the household evacuation process, i.e., how people perceive wildfire threat and respond to it. A survey study with people affected by the 2019 Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, CA is proposed to better understand the wildfire evacuation behavior in this specific event. The survey will use interpretable machine learning to explore how different key factors affected people’s risk perception, evacuation decision, and subsequent evacuation behavior during the Kincade Fire.


How Californian Power Outages in October 2019 Shaped Perceptions of and Behavioral Adaptations Towards Future Natural Hazards
Matto Mildenberger, University of California, Santa Barbara
Peter Howe, Utah State University
Leah Stokes, University of California, Santa Barbara

Northern Californians experienced widespread power outages in mid-October 2019 intended to reduce risk of wildfire ignition. These outages affected about 600,000 customers over a 3-day period and caused major disruptions to normal activities among affected households. This project leverages these power outages as a natural experiment to investigate how experience with an outage–as a tangible hazard and climate adaptation-related event–shaped risk perceptions, policy preferences, and behavior.


Questioning Public Science: Perceptions of Meteorological Aptitude and Scientists’ Response
Staci Zavattaro, University of Central Florida
Kelly Stevens, University of Central Florida
Christopher Emrich, University of Central Florida

This research posits the role of brand trust in crisis communication, focusing on the ways in which the public and meteorologists perceive their roles in the communication process. Researchers will use a mixed methods approach in the wake of Hurricane Dorian to identify aspects of brand trust, the role brand personalities play in the public accepting or rejecting crisis information, and how meteorologists understand and communicate their roles. Findings will add to existing crisis communication literature by expressly examining the role of brands in the process.


2019 Searles Valley Earthquakes: Understanding Healthcare Facility Administrator Decision Making and Information Needs About Closure, Evacuation, Reopening and Reentry During Major Earthquakes
Nicole Errett, University of Washington
Kimberely Shoaf, University of Utah
Meghan McGinty, Johns Hopkins University
Katherine Pedersen, University of Washington

Following Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey, research involving hospital administrators concluded that they relied on intuition, experience in previous events, facility knowledge, and availability of information regarding the approaching storm to inform their decisions to evacuate or shelter-in-place. Yet, factors administrators and leaders consider when deciding to close, evacuate, reopen, or reenter healthcare facilities following an earthquake without advance notice remain largely unknown. To close this knowledge gap, this timely research explores what factors healthcare administrators consider when making decisions about their facility following the 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that struck Ridgecrest, California on July 4 and 5, 2019, respectively.


Impacts to Engineered Facilities Caused by the California Camp Fire
Erica Fischer, Oregon State University
Hussam Mahmoud, Colorado State University
Sara Hamideh, Iowa State University

The California Camp Fire caused significant damage to Butte County, California, and particularly to the town of Paradise. This research will examine and assess the performance of critical infrastructure in this wildfire and the mitigation techniques that were implemented before the fire. The results of this study will inform recommendations for codes and standards improvements to future mitigation techniques to prevent damage to critical infrastructure within a community.


Exploring the Legacy of Frequent Wildfires in Northern California on Recovery Organization Response to the 2018 Camp Fire
Catrin Edgeley, University of Idaho

This study will investigate the influence of several recent large fires in northern California and how they affected the responses of recovery organizations to the 2018 Camp Fire. Research will explore how past fires influenced interactions between organizations and determined the organizational ability to respond to short-term recovery needs. Findings will produce recommendations for incorporating the social legacies of past hazards into short-term recovery assistance.


Resilience from Below: Positionality of Informal Disaster Responders and Volunteers
Darien Alexander Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This research explores the opportunities and challenges faced by individuals in volunteer organizations active in disaster in the Florida Panhandle as their work intersects with formal emergency management- and government-led projects following Hurricane Michael. The author will look at interactions through the lenses of race, gender, class, and other identities carried by volunteers. The study will use qualitative methods to collect data during the response and recovery periods.


Reconstruction or Relocation? Mobility Decisions of Homeowners Exposed to Recurrent Disasters
Kijin Seong, Texas A&M University
Clare Losey, Texas A&M University

This work will examine homeowners in Lumberton, North Carolina, who received disaster assistance for elevation, reconstruction, or property acquisition following Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and it affected long-term mobility decisions during Hurricane Florence in 2018. Research outcomes will inform disaster recovery policy of factors that shape the mobility and rebuilding decisions of homeowners.


Effects of Acute and Chronic Stress Following a Hurricane on Pregnancy Outcomes
Michaela Howells, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Kelsey Needham Dancause, University of Quebec Montreal

This research uses questionnaires and biomarkers to assess stress caused by Hurricane Florence to socially disadvantaged and ethnic minority women who were pregnant. The authors will analyze infant birth outcomes, such as birthweight and gestational age. This will provide a baseline for continued follow-up throughout infancy and could help guide recovery efforts to improve maternal and child health in socially disadvantaged communities.


Damage, Dislocation and Displacement after low Attention Disasters: Experiences of Renter and Immigrant Households
Sara Hamideh, Iowa State University
Sri Sritharan, Iowa State University
Jon Wolseth, Iowa State University

This study will examine the impacts of low attention disasters with respect to damage, dislocation, and displacement on renter and immigrant households in Marshalltown, Iowa after an EF-3 Tornado. This small Midwestern city with a relatively high percentage of Hispanic, immigrant, and renter households suffered major destruction particularly in low income neighborhoods but received only State disaster declaration and limited media attention. This study will examine features of low attention disasters that shape disaster impacts, address the effects of housing tenure on disaster experiences, and the role of immigration status in visibility and eligibility of disaster victims for assistance.