ECU hosts 8th Annual NC Hurricane Conference

GREENVILLE,  N.C. (WNCT) – East Carolina University hosted the 8th annual hurricane conference on Wednesday.

The 8th Annual North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM)/East Carolina University (ECU) Hurricane Conference focused on the impacts and lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew just before the start of hurricane season.

Featured speakers included Robert Hallowell from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and John W Van de Lindt, Co-Director of the Center of Excellence for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology.

Hallowell talked about the National Hurricane Program Technology Modernization Project and Dr. Van De Lindt told in attendance about the Hurricane Matthew Recovery project in Lumberton, NC.

The new modernization project will help emergency officials out during the worst part of the storm.

“It just takes a bunch of tools and puts it together in like one dashboard that allows an emergency manager to sit down and have everything at his fingertips to be able to analyze data and make a decision,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Deputy Director Joe Wright.

Wright said the state learned a lot of lessons after Matthew.

“We learned lessons about our lack of affordable housing, and how to deal with long-term sheltering issues,” he said. “We don’t really plan to keep people in shelters for months.”

The event was hosted by the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management and East Carolina University’s Center for Natural Hazards Research. Co-sponsors included North Carolina Sea Grant, the ECU Department of English, and the ECU Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

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