Our Coast, Our Delta: LSU Researchers Help Homeowners Take Action to Prevent Flooding

May 30, 2023

Protecting coastal residents and homeowners from rising sea-levels and storms is a growing challenge all around the world, and especially in places like Louisiana. At this year’s State of the Coast conference in New Orleans on May 31-June 2, LSU researchers will talk about their ongoing work to decrease flood risks.

Md Adilur Rahim potrait

Md Adilur Rahim

Carol Friedland, director of LSU AgCenter’s LaHouse and associate professor in the LSU AgCenter, and Robert Rohli, professor of oceanography and coastal sciences in the LSU College of the Coast & Environment, will be joined by Md Adilur Rahim, an LSU graduate student from Bangladesh, for a Thursday session called “Flood Risk Management Through Actionable Information for Gulf Coast Homeowners” (1:30-3 p.m. in room 207). They will discuss FloodSafeHome, a digital tool that provides expected incentives and savings from installing freeboard, which is added height between a home’s first floor and base flood elevation.

By providing information on construction costs, anticipated insurance savings as well as avoided flood damage, FloodSafeHome informs homeowners and building professionals on the financial benefits of mitigating flood risk. While the tool is in beta testing in three Louisiana parishes, it is currently being expanded to 20 coastal parishes to soon become a statewide resource to help homeowners make informed decisions.

“This research will directly benefit Louisiana’s coastal communities as it aims to reduce damage and costs for homeowners by giving them better information.” 

Md Adilur Rahim, LSU graduate student

“This research will directly benefit Louisiana’s coastal communities as it aims to reduce damage and costs for homeowners by giving them better information,” Rahim said. “By providing tailored savings and expected costs, people are able to weigh the benefits of freeboard to then make whichever decision is best for their families.”

Rahim will present his work on quantifying the homeowner’s flood risk reduction through natural and nature-based features, associated with LSU’s Army-supported DEEDS project to secure coastal terrain. Central to his research is the integration of ecosystem services, a paradigm-shifting approach to flood risk mitigation. His research quantifies homeowners’ expected reduction in flood risk by working with nature and harnessing the protective capacities of naturally occurring processes. As such, his research presents an innovative pathway toward greater resilience.

After finishing his PhD at LSU, Rahim plans to continue doing research on risk assessments of natural hazards to help coastal communities become more resilient. At State of the Coast, he will also present on “Disaster Recovery and Planning for Social Resilience” (Thursday, June 1, 3:30-5 p.m. in room 210).