Within 24 hours of its landing at 8pm EDT on October 29, 2012, Superstorm Sandy destroyed or damaged over 500,000 housing units, cut off power for 3,9700,000 customers, flooded tunnels, subways, and thousands of miles of roads. It shut off the New York Stock Exchange for twodays. The devastating impact was widespread along the New York and New Jersey coasts: from homes to critical infrastructure, from businesses to economies, from the environment to every aspect of daily lives. The cost of its damage exceeded $60 billion. One year after Sandy, many people are still struggling to rebuild their homes, restore their businesses, and get back their lives.

Hurricane Sandy MapSuperstorm Sandy reminded us the potential magnitude of the impact of climate and weather hazards on coastal communities. It provided a compelling case of the need to enhance the resiliencies of these communities against future storms. The New York State Resilience Institute for Storms and Emergencies (NYS RISE) was borne out of a deep-felt need to respond to the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy smartly by the State of New York and to better prepare the state for future storms. It was established by Governor Cuomo with four overaching objectives:

  • To aid the recovery efforts in New York State from Sandy
  • To inform critical decisions before, during, and after extreme weather events
  • To assess vulnerability and resilience in infrastructures, ecosystems, and operations for storm events
  • To speed up translation from preparedness research to application


Sandy Photos

NYS RISE is a consortium of five universities and a national laboratory that consists of the Stony Brook University, New York University, Cornell University, Columbia University, the City University of New York, and the Brookhaven National Laboratory of the Department of Energy of the United States. NYS RISE scientists study storm risks in lifelines and communities along the New York State coasts, including shelter, power, potable water, sanitation, communication, transportation, medical care, emergency response, the environment and their interdependencies. They also work with the New York State Governor’s Office of Story Recovery, stakeholders and partners to design better reconstruction projects and to improve the resiliency of communities. NYS RISE is a preparedness research center, combining leading thinkers from academia, government, and first responders to provide timely, unbiased, peer reviewed scientific information and intellectual resources to policymakers and stakeholders.

Initial focus of NYS RISE is directed to four topical areas. See the section on Projects for more detailed information.