Lesson Plans Brochures Public Relations Project Summary

Lead Investigator

Renee Edwards, Chair
Department of
Communication Studies
Louisiana State University


Stephanie Grey
Assistant Professor
Department of
Communication Studies

David Brown
Assistant Professor
Department of Geography and Anthropology

Andrea Miller
Associate Professor of the Manship School of Mass Communication

Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness










About the Project

A research team led by Renee Edwards, chair of LSU’s Department of Communication Studies, received a $130,000 grant from the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, or MASGC, for studies on improving huricane crisis communication in coastal communities.

Titled “Hurricanes, Institutional Procedures, and Information Processing (HIPIP): Engagement with Decision-Makers and Coastal Residents,” the project contains two distinct studies on the topic, both designed to create more effective hurricane communication among forecasters, government officials, media representatives and ultimately the public.

In summer and fall 2009, in-depth interviews of Southeastern Louisiana experts were conducted to gauge how these decision-makers manage crisis communications. The end result will be the development of “best practices” and recommendations for improving risk communication in coastal communities, focusing on Louisiana parishes east of the Mississippi River.

The second study focuses on the end user. A telephone survey of Southeastern coastal Louisiana residents conducted by LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab will examine effects of and relationships among information sources, anxiety, credibility, self-efficacy, crisis experience and demographics on storm knowledge and future decision-making – including why some residents choose to evacuate, while others do not.

Co-investigators include Assistant Professor Stephanie Grey, also of LSU’s Department of Communication Studies; Assistant Professor David Brown of the Department of Geography and Anthropology; and Associate Professor Andrea Miller of the Manship School of Mass Communication. Mark Cooper, director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, is the grant’s community partner.

The MASGC, created in 1972, is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. The consortium members include Auburn University, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of South Alabama.

For more information, contact Renee Edwards at 225-578-4172 or edwards@lsu.edu.


The mission of MASGC is to enhance the sustainable use and conservation of ocean and coastal resources to benefit the economy and environment in Alabama and Mississippi. To fulfill this mission, MASGC commits to interdisciplinary environmental scholarship and community-based natural resources management. For more information, visit http://www.masgc.org/page.asp?id=3