East Carolina University and North Carolina Emergency Management will host the second annual hurricane conference for emergency managers May 18 in the Murphy Center on campus.
Along with representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service, ECU researchers will review the latest tools and trends in forecasting and decision-making for storm surge and river floods.
ECU geography professor Dr. Tom Allen, director of RENCI (the Renaissance Computing Institute) at ECU and economics professor Dr. Jamie Kruse, director of ECU’s Center for National Hazards Research, will facilitate the event, with technical assistance from 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 topics will be presented by representatives from the National Hurricane Center, the National Weather Service Southeast River Forecast Center and local NWS offices. The conference will conclude with discussion of the 2011 Hurricane Season Outlook.
“The conference represents a strong multi-disciplinary partnership,” said 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.”