UNO Researcher to Speak at National Conference On Gulf Coast Safety in the Face of Extreme Weather

The University of New Orleans Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (UNO-CHART) co-sponsors this week a national conference designed to explore how the Gulf Coast might fare were another Katrina-like event to strike. Pamela Jenkins, a UNO-CHART researcher and UNO sociology professor, will participate as a panelist. She will discuss how past severe weather events affected the Gulf economically, ecologically and structurally, as well as lessons from Hurricane Katrina and critical changes needed to help protect Gulf Coast communities.
The conference “Gulf Coast: Preparing for Extreme Weather” will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, July 24-25, at the Hilton Riverside Hotel, New Orleans.  At the two-day conference, Jenkins and other experts will discuss interconnecting topics including: natural hazards risks, forecasting, evacuation protocols, land use, building practices and socioeconomic and environmental impacts.  The event will include an address by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and presentations by leading scientists, policy makers, emergency responders, construction experts and conservationists. Attendees may also participate in facilitated workshops fostering dialogue and generating solutions to better protect homeowners and businesses from the threat of extreme weather.
Co-sponsoring the conference on extreme weather impacts to the Gulf Coast is a natural step for UNO-CHART, an applied social science hazards research center that collaborates with coastal Louisiana communities including the City of New Orleans and its surrounding parishes.
Founded in 2001, UNO-CHART is comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of faculty, staff, and graduate research assistants representing various academic disciplines including sociology, political science, public administration, planning, urban studies, engineering and geography. Projects aim to assist residents and local and state officials in reducing risk to natural hazards, especially hurricane and climate hazards, and to help them gain a better understanding of their risk and what they can do to protect themselves from these hazards.
Currently, UNO-CHART has projects that address repetitive flooding, disaster mitigation planning, community resilience assessments, storm mitigation efforts by coastal communities, coastal restoration, community continuity, resilience curriculum development, risk literacy, risk management and hurricane evacuation of vulnerable populations. For more on UNO-CHART, visit the research group’s website.