North Carolina State University

Project Name:

Expanding and Institutionalizing Disaster Resilient Policy and Design Education through National Hazard Mitigation Policy Counsel and Course Development

Other Research Participants/Partners:

UNC Departments of Marine Sciences, City and Regional Planning, Geological Sciences, Law School, Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology, Center for Public Service

Project Description:

This project will undertake four activities:

  1. Develop a new 3-hour course titled Disaster Resilient Policy, Engineering, and Design that will serve as one of three core courses in a new 13-credit Graduate Certificate Program of the same name titled: Disaster Resilient Policy, Engineering and Design at North Carolina State University.
  2. Host nationally-recognized speakers as part of the Disaster Resilient Policy, Engineering and Design Course at North Carolina State University. Former students and Graduate Certificate recipients working on this project and others may be asked to speak in classes to discuss their job and unique insights they may have gained that are relevant for current students who want to pursue this type of career.
  3.  Work with FEMA and AECOM (FEMA contractor) to develop policy recommendations (policy briefs) tied to the development and implementation of the new Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA), drawing from personal experience and research findings in the academic and practice-based literature
  4. Conduct research on the role of state government in the development of local government’s capacity and commitment to achieve the goals of the DRRA (an assessment of the capacity and commitment of local governments to implement pre- and post-disaster hazard mitigation plans and grants will be undertaken in the future if additional funds are available). The findings will be incorporated into courses associated with the new graduate certificate program and the research to be conducted will be done by students pursuing the new graduate certificate.

Project Abstract

Research Interests:

Hazard mitigation, planning for post-disaster recovery, and climate change adaptation. Translational activities include advising international, federal, state and local governments on a number of issues including the linkage between sustainable development and risk reduction, pre- and post-disaster policymaking, and improving the nexus between disaster management initiatives and emerging climate change adaptation measures.

CV

Department Page

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Media appearances (selected)

Dr. Gavin Smith on “The Big Picture with Olivier Knox”
What happens when a family loses everything?
As storms keep coming, FEMA spends billions in ‘cycle’ of damage and repair
The Carolinas survey Florence damages
Hurricane raises questions about rebuilding along North Carolina’s coast
The life-or-death science of evacuation psychology 
Hurricane Florence drives some residents to give up on this disaster-prone town
Facing Florence, some North Carolinians still recovering from previous storms
Charlotte Talks: ‘Near-Normal’ hurricane season forecast 
Responding to community needs: Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts in eastern North Carolina
Seeking refuge in Houston by BBC World Service
In the wake of Harvey and Irma, how money moves through government and into disaster aid relief
After shelters, some Harvey victims will move to vacant Houston apartments
A Storm Forces Houston, the Limitless City, to Consider Its Limits
Experts say it could take Houston years to fully recover from Harvey
Carolina Planning Journal, Volume 42: Re:(Anything)
Hurricanes’ impact on health
Some N.C. towns struggle to survive a year after Matthew
After two floods, historic African-American town could move to higher ground
Saving Princeville
Hurricane Matthew Infographic
Building resilience capacity during hurricane season
Let There be Floods!: Charlotte-Mecklenburg County looks to the future for floodplain management
City planning should meet community needs, expert says
FEMA administrator: Government agencies don’t always plan for worst-case scenarios

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