Be Prepared. At home and in your community.



The U.S. Virgin Islands Storm Strong Program

USVI communities face significant but often preventable, storm risks. The USVI Storm Strong Program brings together private and public partners to develop a long-term, high-impact, community-focused hurricane preparation Program.

This Program engages middle- and high-school youth and their families in workshops designed to increase their personal abilities to be prepared for a major storm. These workshops are taking place on all three islands - starting on St. Thomas in 2019 and expanding to St. John and St. Croix in later years.

In this Program you will:

  1. Discover how your family and community is at risk;

  2. Learn how to increase your family’s and community’s preparedness;

  3. Plan out what to do before, during, and after a storm;

  4. Develop and lead community projects using information gained in the Program.

Through this training, and over the next 5 years, we anticipate that approximately 400 USVI youth and their families will be empowered as leaders in their communities.


Become an empowered leader within your community.


Kristin Wilson Grimes, Ph.D.

Program Lead
Good day, my name is Kristin Wilson Grimes and I am the Program Lead for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I am a coastal wetlands scientist by training, but now work more broadly to understand how people impact and interact with coastal habitats. I work closely with USVI communities to engage them in the projects I work on, to make sure that the science remains relevant and accessible. I live on St. Thomas with my husband, our two island dogs, and adopted cat from Maine! Outside of work, I enjoy relaxing on our beautiful beaches, attending crossfit, cooking, and reading. Learn more about me…

Greg Guannel, Ph.D.

Co-Program Lead
My name is Greg Guannel, I work at UVI and I co-manage the USVI Storm Strong project. I’m a Civil Engineer by training, and have been working on hazard risk reduction issues for more than 10 years. I live on St Thomas with my wife and 2 young kids. Originally from Martinique, I enjoy Caribbean food, music, culture, as well as walking ghuts and learning about the history of the VI. I have a young family and love all things Caribbean, especially Zouk, Kompa, and ginger beer. Learn more about me…

Allie Durdall, MSc

Program Assistant
Hi there, I’m Allie Durdall. I recently graduated from and work at UVI. I’m a marine and environmental scientist with a love for coastal systems: mangroves, seagrass beds and salt ponds. Originally from Minnesota, I now live on St. Thomas with my rescue-pup, Cooper. I love the warm weather here and enjoy gardening, SCUBA diving, and hiking and swimming with my dog. Learn more about me…

Howard Forbes, Jr., MSc

Program Facilitator
Hi there, I’m Howard Forbes Jr. I am a graduate from the University of the Virgin Islands and now serve as the St. Thomas Coordinator for the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service. In this role, I have the opportunity to educate the local community about the importance of our natural resources within the territory. Originally, I am from the island of St. Croix but now reside on St. Thomas. I love living in the tropics as I get to scuba dive, enjoy mostly warm weather, and indulge in authentic Caribbean cuisine Learn more about me…

Kristina K. Edwards

Program Facilitator
Hello! I am Kitty Edwards and I am so excited to be on the USVI Storm Strong team. I was born and raised on St. Thomas, USVI and my love for my home has done so much to shape my career and get me into my current role as Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Coastal Zone Management Division fo DPNR. When I’m not working, I enjoy sleeping and discovering new to me music. When I’m not sleeping, I love diving, exploring ghuts, and sharing my love and knowledge of my home. I’m so lucky that’s my job!Learn more about me…

Imani Daniel

Community Liaison

Learn more about me…

Jarvon Stout

Program Facilitator
Oh hi, I almost didn’t see you there. My name is Jarvon. I am a native Virgin Islander and one of the curriculum facilitators for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I have a background in marine biology and have been working as an outreach specialist for 4 years. When I am not engaging and educating underserved communities of the Virgin Islands, I’m spending my time hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or scheduling multiple power naps for the upcoming week. Learn more about me…

Elisa Bryan Lacatena

Communication Specialist
When I’m not in my office, I can be found in the studio making art, practicing yoga and raising a teenager. Recently, I completed a 4-month intensive training in Authentic Leadership incorporating Non-Violent Communication techniques.

A fun fact about me is that I am also certified by the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City in Food For Healing. Learn more about me…

Karen Peterman, Ph.D.

Program Evaluator
My name is Karen Peterman and I am the Evaluator for the USVI Storm Strong Program. I am a developmental psychologist by training, but I work with clients from around the United States to study STEM projects and the effect they have on audiences. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and now reside in Durham, North Carolina. Outside of work, I enjoy watching my 8-year-old play sports, doing Pilates, and reading. Learn more about me…

Zelalem Adefris

Program Advisor
At Catalyst Miami, Zelalem works to educate Miami-Dade County residents on the local impacts of climate change, connect climate change to other social justice initiatives, implement programs that strengthen the resilience of communities, and advocate for policies that call for climate action. Zelalem has a Masters in Public Health in Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelors degree in Community Health from Brown University. Learn more about me…


Plan ahead! Know what to do before, during, and after a storm.


Contact Us

Name *

Mailing Address

USVI Storm Strong
2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, VI 00802

cell: 340-693-1672