PLAN!T NOW Dreamkeepers Awards
Beginning in 2010, four tuition grants of $2,500 each were awarded annually to community college students through the Dreamkeepers Scholarship. To learn more about the 2011 scholarships, visit

Students studying meteorology
In 2011, PLAN!T NOW introduced a scholarship for students studying meteorology at any accredited four-year college or university nationally. PLAN!T NOW aims to benefit students making direct contributions to the field of atmospheric science, an important element in improving the consciousness of the dangers posed by severe weather. The scholarship offering will expand to other programs beyond this year. To learn more about the 2011 scholarships, visit

P!N Hurricane Relief Scholarship Program (P!N HRS)

In 2009 and 2010, scholarship funds went to students in two categories: those affected by severe storms and those studying natural hazard and weather science.

Students impacted by severe storms
As a means of improving hurricane preparedness in high-risk regions in the United States, P!N awards scholarships to college students who have been adversely impacted by hurricanes or severe tropical storms and who, as a result of the storm, experienced significant hardship. Hardship means:

  • Relocation and loss of important community networks
  • Physical injury to self, a family member or guardian or the death of a loved one.

The award is given to students who, despite suffering such significant setbacks demonstrate the fortitude to move forward in life, including matriculation into a four-year college or university. Award recipients demonstrate academic and/or service excellence, an inner drive to succeed and a willingness to use their life experiences as teachable moments to encourage hurricane preparedness for others. Awards are granted to U.S. residents attending a four-year college or university.

The 2010 expansion of the P!N HRS means that now, undergraduate and graduate students in fields that benefit natural hazards technology or science are eligible for grants.

Students studying natural hazard and weather sciences

The 2010 expansion of the P!N HRS means that now, undergraduate and graduate students in fields that benefit natural hazards technology or science are eligible for grants.

How Do I Apply?

All P!N HRS grants are administered by Scholarship America ( Check this page for details about the application procedures and requirements.

P!N HRS Highlights

Summer 2009: Program Inauguration
$40,000 in scholarships was granted to four worthy students: Jessica Alvey (University of Alabama), Alexander Girau (Loyola University), Amanda McGovern (Portland Institute of Fashion and Design), William Stoudt (Tulane University).

Kenny Chesney Rocks HRS!
Thanks to a successful 2009 Hard Rock Café International Kenny Chesney concert that benefited PLAN!T NOW, the 2009 and 2010 HRS distributed scholarship funds to undergraduate and graduate students (1) living in communities struck by a hurricane or coastal storm and want to pursue higher education and/or who are (2) pursuing undergraduate degrees in hazards sciences focused in the area of hurricane and coastal storm research or education.

2010: Three students awarded HRS scholarships
$30,000 in Hurricane Relief Scholarship funds were awarded to Lee Picard (University of Miami), Ashley Irvin (Loyola University New Orleans) and Jessica Alvey (University of Alabama).

Fifty for Five in New Orleans

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Mississippi coast, taking the lives of approximately 1,800 Americans and causing more than $35 billion worth of damage. Shortly thereafter, Hurricane Rita made landfall along the coast of Louisiana and Texas, causing further destruction. Although much has been done in the area over the past five years, much work remains in order to return families to their homes and to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

PLANIT NOW, in partnership with Rebuilding Together, commemorated the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina during the week of August 23–29, 2010, by helping 50 families move back into the Gentilly neighborhood of New Orleans.

Fifty for Five brought together more than 1,000 volunteers for a week of work in the historic neighborhood of Gentilly, providing significant rehabilitation to 50 homes. The event culminated with a celebration of commitment to New Orleans with staged performances including celebrities, media, volunteers from Rebuilding Together affiliates nationwide and the honorees, the New Orleans residents themselves. PLAN!T NOW and its partners provided materials and information about the crucial aspects of being prepared for hurricanes and other disasters.

PLAN!T NOW joined additional corporate sponsors, media personalities and Rebuilding Together volunteers and affiliates in the 50-home rebuild, community block-style party, awards ceremony, media events and other community celebrations.

The rebuilding, renovation and readying of 50 houses so that 50 families can finally return to their homes is a reminder of the impact Hurricane Katrina continues to have on people in communities like Gentilly and a promise to use preparedness to minimize the damage these storms cause and provide relief in their aftermath.

A Southern Storm Season: North Carolina Triangle Preps for Hurricane Season 2011
Chapel Hill, NC
May 2011

Colorado State University researchers’ data predicted an active 2011 storm season, which is especially alarming due to the potential damage this year’s storms could bring to Haiti, where thousands are homeless or living in tent communities, and the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, where visions of an oil spill-hurricane cocktail has meteorologists, fisherman, and coastal residents on edge.

These conditions make severe storm preparedness especially important this year.  PLAN!T NOW (P!N) played a small part through its annual Hurricane Preparedness Week event in Chapel Hill, the home of our Central East Coast office.

Specifically, P!N and A Southern Season, a Chapel Hill-based kitchen and gourmet store, partnered for the second year to mark National Hurricane Preparedness Week with an informational event at A Southern Season’s store in the town’s University Mall.

The two-day event featured information about hurricanes and other seasonal storms as well as the opportunity to meet local first responders and other preparedness advocates.

In both 2009 and 2010, P!N and A Southern Season held two such events – in May, at the beginning of hurricane season, and again in November, at its end. More than 5,000 Triangle residents attended, and in addition to learning about storm preparation, they helped raise money for P!N through the sale of key lime pies named in honor of country music star and P!N spokesperson Kenny Chesney. Also sold were copies of “Morgan Freeman and Friends: Caribbean Cooking for A Cause,” a cookbook featuring actor and P!N co-founder Morgan Freeman.

The P!N/A Southern Season Hurricane Preparedness Week is part of a nationwide campaign amongst public and private organizations educating the public about storm preparation annually in the lead-up to the June 1st start of the Atlantic basin hurricane season.

Also in 2011, PLAN!T NOW attended its first StormFest in Raleigh, N.C., where P!N staff and volunteers distributed information about the upcoming Young Meteorologist Program game.

Risk Reduction Curriculum
Individuals impacted by coastal storms in impoverished regions can lack basic preparedness tools, creating conditions for severe impacts from hurricanes and other major storms.

Making public education tools available is important to all is important to reducing lives and property lost to disaster.

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti January 12, 2010, P!N developed “The Disaster Risk Reduction Curriculum.” This series of tutorials is aimed at Haitian communities that relates the basic preparedness steps associated with floods, mudslides, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

The curriculum is being presented as an in-kind donation to Fonkoze as part of PLAN!T NOW’s work to improve preparedness measures through communication and connection. The project is part of PLAN!T NOW’s efforts to promote disaster preparedness among the most vulnerable populations. A better understanding of severe weather threats is an important step to creating more storm-safe communities. Haiti has been ravaged by many natural disasters that have negatively impacted the economic health of its population. In particular interest to P!N are the impact that Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike caused to Haiti, in widespread physical and economic destruction in 2008, as well as the January 2010 earthquake that’s left millions extremely vulnerable during the Atlantic hurricane season.