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The nation’s top emergency management official, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator (FEMA) Craig Fugate, will speak about the future of addressing threats from severe weather and other disasters at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gerrard Hall.

Fugate’s lecture, “Emergency Management in the 21st Century: Addressing Long-Standing and Emerging Natural Hazards, Threats and Vulnerabilities” is part of the Natural Hazards Resilience Speakers Series, presented by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence.

Drawing on his experience as an emergency manager at the local, state and federal level, Fugate will focus on the chronic hazard threats that face the United States as well as those emerging as a result of climate change. He will discuss policies being used to prepare for, respond to, recover from and mitigate their effects and will use examples from past disasters to explore how the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to proactively address these problems.

Since beginning his service as FEMA Administrator in May 2009, Fugate has promulgated the “whole community” approach to emergency management, emphasizing and improving collaboration with all levels of government and external partners, including voluntary agencies, faith-based organizations, the private sector and citizens.

Prior to his position at FEMA, he served as the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida State Coordinating Officer for 11 presidentially declared disasters, during which he managed $4.5 billion in federal disaster assistance. In 2004, Fugate led the largest federal disaster response in Florida history when four major hurricanes impacted the state in quick succession; Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Fugate began his emergency management career as a volunteer firefighter, paramedic and a lieutenant with the Alachua County Fire Rescue.

The event is presented in partnership with Carolina’s Department of City and Regional Planning. and the speaker series is part of the graduate certificate program in the study of Natural Hazards Resilience.


About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


About the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence

Led by UNC-Chapel Hill, the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence is a Department of Homeland Security-funded consortium focused on research and education to enhance the Nation’s ability to safeguard people, infrastructure, and economies from catastrophic coastal disasters such as floods and hurricanes.


About FEMA

FEMA, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, supports citizens and first responders to ensure the nation works together to build, sustain and improve the capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.


Center for Coastal Resilience contacts: Josh Kastrinsky, (919) 445-9605, or Anna Schwab, (919) 962-0344, at

Communications and Public Affairs contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090,

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