FIU disaster and weather experts on Superstorm Sandy

One reminds us that nothing is guaranteed and the other asserts that damage from Superstorm Sandy “is on us.”

This week FIU News caught up with faculty experts Richard S. Olson and Hugh Willoughby for their take on Superstorm Sandy. (When we spoke with Willoughby Oct. 30, the storm was still classified as a hurricane.)

Olson, who is director of extreme events research and professor of political science, says there are lessons to be learned in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He serves on the Climate Change and Social Stress panel of the National Academy of Sciences and has written extensively about urban vulnerability to disasters and the political ramifications of how governments respond. He studies the political fallout from natural disasters and has been involved in more than 20 field responses and post-disaster investigations.

Willoughby is distinguished research professor in the Department of Earth and Environment. Until 2002 he was a research meteorologist in the Hurricane Research Division of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, where he worked from 1975 to 2002; from 1995 to 2002 he was its director. He has made more than 400 flights into the eyes of typhoons and hurricanes. His hurricane-research interests include analysis of aircraft observations, formulation of theoretical models of motion and intensification, and analysis of economic and human impacts.

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