Superstorm Research Lab launches open online research resource
The Superstorm Research Lab (SRL), a mutual aid research collective, has just launched an online resource for the wider knowledge community working on issues related to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in the tri-state area: superstormresearchlab.org. In addition to its own qualitative interviews with first responders, affected residents, policy makers, and NGOs, which SRL has shared under a Creative Commons License, they have also collected:
· more than forty public reports written by government bodies, NGOs, and community-based organizations;
· data sets on news media, social media, door-to-door canvassing data, and requested relief items;
· over fifty sermons and other communications from religious institutions in the weeks following the storm;
· a directory of nearly thirty maps, visualizing the spatial and temporal distribution of everything from gas outages to social vulnerability to tweets;
· and documents from professional and grassroots volunteer relief groups, including meeting minutes, canvassing forms, volunteer training documents, and flyers.
Overall, SRL works to understand the changes in how New York City policy actors, NGO leaders, activists, volunteers, and residents are thinking about social, economic and environmental issues following Hurricane Sandy. They produce traditional academic articles, but are also pushing the boundaries of what it means to do scholarly work founded on the desire to create change. This data resource is part of SRL’s mission of promoting mutual aid within research and knowledge communities, connecting research and action, academia and wider community needs.