University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


UH Hurricane Conference Addresses Preparedness and Disaster Recovery


Toby Weber

With hurricane season entering its historically most active period, public officials, researchers and businesspeople from the gulf coast region met at the University of Houston last week to discuss disaster preparedness, rapid recovery and coastal protection options.

The gathering, “Hurricanes, Major Disasters, Coastal Protection and Rapid Recovery in Texas and the Gulf Coast Region,” was organized by the university’s Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology.

Roughly 100 people attended the event, which featured presentations covering flooding, coastal protection and evacuation strategies, among other topics. Attendees came from states all along the Gulf Coast region, including Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Among the 20 speakers at this conference were Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, Chief of the Texas Division of Emergency Management Nim Kidd and Texas State representative Larry Taylor. In addition to presentations, the conference showcased a dozen posters on ongoing research on hurricanes and other major disaster issues.

“We’re very pleased with how the conference turned out,” said Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the UH Cullen College of Engineering and one of the conference’s organizers. “It allowed people involved in emergency management and disaster preparedness in many different ways to come together, exchange ideas and build relationships that could prove vital in the face of a hurricane or other disaster in the future.”



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