UK Disaster Communication Expert Hosting Meeting on RAPID Response Research Following Harvey

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 1, 2017) Jeannette Sutton, director of the Risk and Disaster Communication Center at the University of Kentucky, will host a meeting at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5, to discuss the National Science Foundation's (NSF) RAPID Response Research. The meeting will take place in Room 224 in Grehan Building.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, it is possible the NSF will request proposals to conduct research on the impact of the hurricane, similar to former requests following Superstorm Sandy in 2013, the earthquake in New Zealand and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010, the Chinese Wenchun earthquake in 2008, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The RAPID mechanism is used to support activities having a severe urgency regarding availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic disasters and similar unanticipated events. A request for proposals has not yet been sent, but advanced preparation is of the utmost importance for short-term RAPID research.

Sutton, also an assistant professor in the Department of Communication in the College of Communication and Information, will be advising UK faculty about steps to inquire, develop and submit RAPID proposals for the Hurricane Harvey crisis that continues to unfold. 

She has been the recipient of three RAPID awards (for the Democratic National Convention in 2008, the L’Aquila Earthquake in 2009 and the New Zealand earthquake in 2011). Sutton is known for her expertise in crisis communication, specifically on social media, and has been interviewed frequently by national media outlets on the topic following Hurricane Harvey. She was also recently appointed to a three-year term on the National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

UK researchers across campus are invited to attend the Tuesday meeting to learn more about RAPID research. Please email Nancy Harrington, associate dean for research in the College of Communication and Information, to RSVP: