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Title: Caribbean Resilience of Infrastructure in the United States Virgin Islands
f. Analyzing the US Virgin Islands’ resilience in relation to their infrastructure in the case of natural disasters - The U.S. Virgin Islands are comprised of four islands in the Caribbean: St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and Water Island. With the high frequency of hurricanes in the Caribbean region, these islands commonly experience infrastructure disruptions. Worse, disasters such as Irma and Maria in 2017 make total losses far from unexpected. The islands have also seen a history of economic and political turmoil, rendering their infrastructure insufficient for resisting such devastating events and the lower class more susceptible to disruptions. These factors combined posits the need for resilient infrastructure to be established on the islands. Resilient infrastructure involves bolstering the utilities that are required for modern life, such as clean water, power, and transportation, such that they maintain the highest output possible when disrupted by a disaster and can be easily and effectively restored to their status quo. Our work this semester focused on assessing the infrastructure on the islands to energy options could be better implemented. This has involved gathering as much quantitative and qualitative data on the USVI as possible. This was done in order to perform a rigorous more » analysis on which sections of the network are most necessary for the interconnected systems network together to function; these sections are known as critical points. Only so much data is available overseas, however, so to complete our assessment we will identify what we need to fill in the gaps in our data by working in collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands. We are constructing an accurate disaster model of the USVI infrastructure and determine its critical points as well as make recommendations for additional hazard and mitigation plans. We will then focus on getting these recommendations to the right positions of power, which could lead to establishing resilient infrastructure on the island and pave the way to a more sustainable future. In the future, we hope to create a cooperative learning bond with the University of the Virgin Islands so that future applications of the project can proceed. « less
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CEDC Summit 2020
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National Science Foundation
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