Newswise — In the face of a life-threatening storm, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) must get people and property out of the way utilizing highly accurate predictions of a storm’s impacts. A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Center of Excellence (COE) developed tool is helping them do just that.

The ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) storm surge model, developed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), combines wind, wave height, tide, and other factors to produce highly accurate results. It enables decision-makers to identify which locations will become inundated and to plan for response-related actions before severe storms occur. ADCIRC has been run for all U.S. land falling hurricanes for the past seven years.

In 2011, based on ADCIRC results, the USCG relocated its operations center to St. Louis before Hurricane Irene struck the Virginia coast and was able to continue critical operations during the hurricane. Following Hurricane Sandy, FEMA Region II NY/NJ used ADCIRC hindcasts of storm water levels to aid with rapid damage estimates for loss of life and property, which helps estimate the resources required for aid to states/locals and response.

America’s universities are teaming up with DHS S&T to find innovative solutions to the multitude of threats our nation faces. Our COEs are a consortium of hundreds of universities conducting ground-breaking research to address homeland security challenges, educate the future homeland security workforce, and train the next generation of homeland security professionals and scholars.

In June, the S&T launched the new Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence (CRC) led by UNC. The launch of the CRC builds upon the previous work of the DHS Coastal Hazards Center, including ADCIRC. The CRC will collaborate with more than a dozen partner universities to address the unique challenges facing communities across the U.S. that are vulnerable to coastal hazards. CRC will equip the next generation disaster response professionals through education and training with cutting edge tools and knowledge to prepare for and respond to disasters. Finally, CRC is dedicated to transitioning their knowledge products, tools and technologies into the hands of their customers.

Interested? Want to learn more?

Please join S&T and the Coastal Resilience Center on Twitter @dhsscitech on August 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST for a lively discussion about how the DHS COEs are working with the homeland security enterprise to make our nation safer and more resilient. Submit your questions and comments before, during or after the chat and use the #STTechTalk hashtag to engage in the two-way discussion