The Center for the Study of Natural Hazards (University of North Carolina Hazards Center), which has been working with PLAN!T NOW over the last year, is excited about moving forward in 2009 with a more formal relationship and several exciting initiatives.
In March, PLAN!T NOW moves into their new offices co-located with the UNC Hazards Center in Chapel Hill. The move will facilitate the direct day-to-day contact needed to develop collaborative strategies associated with the formulation of preparedness messages that are grounded in research findings and the experiences of emergency management practitioners. This will also allow Center personnel to introduce PLAN!T NOW staff to hazard research experts, agency officials and emergency management professionals at Center workshops, meetings and conferences.
Joint PLAN!T NOW / UNC Hazards Center tasks include, but are not limited to the following:
• Recruit, hire and train staff to carry out mutual objectives.
• Support fundraising efforts, as appropriate.
• Meet to share information, assess progress, set measurable goals and coordinate activities.
I am personally excited about the opportunities available through this unique partnership. One of the most pressing challenges in the hazards research community is the ability to convey findings in a way that resonates with individuals and communities. The partnership between PLAN!T NOW and the UNC Hazard Center provides the means to address this problem in a way that few organizations have attempted. I look forward to this new collaboration.
Gavin Smith, Ph.D.
Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Natural Hazards and Disasters
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill