UofM Receives $3.2 Million Award to Increase Disaster Resilience in West Tennessee

July 5, 2017 - A multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers led by the University of Memphis has been awarded a $3.2 million grant from the 2015 HUD National Disaster Resilience Competition to map and assess damage from future floods and earthquakes in Lake, Dyer, Lauderdale, Madison and Tipton counties in West Tennessee. The effort will also include focused public education and community outreach activities. The UofM grant is part of the $44 million Rural by Nature award to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) to address areas of the state that were heavily impacted by the historic 2011 floods and are also at risk from damage by earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Most Rural by Nature funds will address major infrastructure upgrades in these communities, including the rehabilitation of aging waste water treatment plants.

The UofM work will provide a toolkit for these communities to plan and prioritize infrastructure upgrades, prepare and respond to future disasters, and submit data-driven funding requests for disaster mitigation. The UofM team includes Vanderbilt University, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium.

"This important work will assist the state in increasing disaster resilience in some of West Tennessee's most vulnerable rural communities through applied research and education," said UofM President M. David Rudd.

"We look forward to working with the University and various state agencies to understand the magnitude and distribution of potential losses from extreme weather events and damaging earthquakes, especially for vulnerable rural communities along the Mississippi River," said Ted Townsend, chief operating officer for the TNECD.


Contact: Gary Patterson