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ECU and North Carolina Emergency Management Host Second-Annual Hurricane Conference

In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season, East Carolina University and North Carolina Emergency Management have teamed up with representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service to review the latest tools and trends in forecasting and decision making for storm surge and river floods.

The second-annual hurricane conference for emergency managers is being held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the Murphy Center at ECU. Facilitating the conference are researchers from Renci at ECU, led by Director Tom Allen, and the Center for Natural Hazards Research, led by Director Jamie Kruse. Also contributing technical assistance are Ken Gallupi and Jessica Proud Losego from Renci at Chapel Hill.

ECU Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Deirdre Mageean will welcome conference participants. NCEM Director of Emergency Management Doug Hoell and Deputy Director Mike Sprayberry, one of the conference organizers, also will be in attendance.

Keynote speaker Dr. Rachel Davidson of the University of Delaware will discuss new approaches to evacuation. Davidson, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, researches natural disaster risk modeling and is a mentor for the "Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers" program funded by the National Science Foundation.

Additional presentations will include information from the National Hurricane Center, the NWS Southeast River Forecast Center and local NWS offices. Emergency managers, the NWS, academic partners and representatives from media organizations will have an opportunity to discuss local forecasting needs with the goal of further improving flooding and storm surge tool requirements.

“The conference represents a strong multi-disciplinary partnership,” says Jeff Orrock, warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Raleigh. “By working together, we are able to provide the best information possible to residents of our state.”

The conference will conclude with the 2011 Hurricane Season Outlook.

For additional information, contact ECU professor Donna Kain at 252-717-9330, or by email at kaind@ecu.edu, or NCEM Area 2 Coordinator David Weldon at dweldon@ncem.org.