HRRC helps North Carolina
prepare for next hurricane


Ten years after Hurricane Floyd devastated eastern North Carolina, officials are ready with new emergency procedures developed with the help of Texas A&M’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center.

“We have learned that doing better means working differently,” wrote John Cooper, director of MDC Inc., a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit organization, in the May 29 Raleigh News & Observer.

He said the HRRC joined other federal, state and local agencies in eight states and the District of Columbia to research and test emergency solutions.

“For instance, in rural, northeastern North Carolina, we learned that standard emergency preparedness lists called for items that were unrealistic for many with limited incomes,” he wrote. “With input from Hertford residents, county emergency managers amended plans and maps to better reflect the conditions, concerns and capacities of the most vulnerable groups and enlisted them in efforts to spread information about shelters, injury prevention and hurricane and winter storm preparedness.”

For Cooper’s column, which contains more details about the changes the HRRC helped develop, visit

The HRRC’s collaboration with Cooper’s organization, FEMA and the University of North Carolina’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies also resulted in the launch of the Emergency Preparedness Demonstration.

Through the initiative, the HRRC researchers were involved in an effort to:

  • Learn why disadvantaged communities are typically less prepared for disasters and what preparation strategies have and haven’t worked;
  • Test ways to engage disadvantaged communities in helping with disaster planning and preparedness; and
  • Reduce community and household vulnerability to harm from disasters while positioning the community to undertake coordinated, comprehensive, and equitable disaster recovery in the future.

Writing in the website of Plan It Now, a nongovernmental agency that advocates the empowerment of people in hurricane and severe storm affected areas through information and connection, Cooper wrote that the HRRC and its partners worked with local officials and residents.

“Each team participated in a facilitated process that required reflection on its history of disasters, an informed examination of the extent to which disadvantaged groups remain vulnerable to disasters, and the consideration of promising strategies for increasing disaster awareness and preparedness among disadvantaged groups,” he said.

Cooper’s account of the planning sessions is at


- Posted: June 17, 2009 -

- the end -


Please click on images for slideshow

Update your contact info and share your news!

The College of Architecture strives to keep up with former students and share their successes in the archone. newsletter. Please take a moment to update your contact information and tell us what you've been up to. Click Here
bottom page borders