TALLAHASSEE, FL (November 16, 2011) – Master and doctorate-degree students interested in performing research on financial analysis, investment management or corporate finance as they relate to mitigating the effects of, responding to or recovery from natural disasters, are encouraged to apply for a new $1,500 State Farm® Financial Services Scholarship. Winners will be recognized at the 2012 FLASH Annual Meeting in October at Lake Buena Vista, FL, at which they will be required to present their research findings as posters.

  The scholarship was recently unveiled by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural andmanmade disasters. It’s part of a $22,500 scholarship program aimed at students seeking academic degrees in various areas of study related to disaster mitigation.

  The FLASH scholarship program was developed as a higher education extension of StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes®, a popular interactive severe weather experience at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort sponsored by FLASH and four of its partners: RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd.; WeatherPredict Consulting Inc., an affiliate of RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie® and State Farm®.

  The State Farm® Financial Services Scholarship is one of five new $1,500 scholarships that will be awarded in each StormStruck sponsor’s name over the next three years. Others include:  
  • RenaissanceRe® Risk Management Scholarship – for students performing research on the identification, assessment or prioritization of risk as it relates to natural disaster liabilities.  
  • Simpson Strong-Tie® Structural Engineering & Construction Scholarship – for students performing research on resilient construction materials or techniques.  
  • The WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. Meteorology Scholarship – for students performing research on meteorology or meteorological risk modeling as it relates to natural disasters.  
  • FLASH Social Science Scholarship – for students performing research on behavior change, societal effects or other social aspects as they relate to natural disaster mitigation or preparation.
  “With these scholarships, FLASH and its partners are taking the study of mitigation to higher education for the first time ever,” said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of FLASH. “We’re creating an educational link between traditional disciplines that support mitigation – like meteorology, insurance, construction and engineering -- as a field of study and practice.”

  This year’s application process opens Dec. 1, 2011 and closes Feb. 15, 2012. Scholarship awardees will be notified in March regarding their selection as 2012/2013 recipients. For more details on the open application process, interested individuals are encouraged to visit www.flash.org/scholarship.

  StormStruck is designed to help guests learn their risks fornatural disasters, understand their property-protection and safety options and take action today to protect their families and their homes. In a 100,000-square-foot venue, StormStruck allows guests of all ages to experience a spectacular 4-D windstorm and team up to build a home that can withstand severe weather. Guests play fun-filled disaster safety games, create storm kits, take interactive quizzes on natural disasters local to their zip codes and can even create simulated mini-storms.