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Helping local governments create safer, more resilient communities
University Of Virginia To Host Hazard Mitigation Summit

June 15, 2004 --

When: June 16 to 18

Where: Newcomb Hall

Disasters are something for which you can prepare.

The School of Architecture’s Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, in cooperation with the Virginia Emergency Management Office and Virginia Commonwealth University, will host the Virginia Hazard Mitigation Summit: Planning for Disaster Resilient Communities, from June 16 to 18 in Newcomb Hall, at the University of Virginia.

“It’s an effort to help local governments … create safer and more resilient places,” said Timothy Beatley, the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the School of Architecture. “Mitigation is the long-term reduction of hazard.”

Representatives from communities around the state will convene in Charlottesville to learn from each other about preparing for and preventing disasters, avoiding loss of life and excessive costs, and how to recover quicker. The summit will also help communities to fulfill hazard mitigation requirements under federal law.

“This summit will be an opportunity for local and regional government officials to relate stories of what they are doing,” said Beatley. “The state people are here more as experts in certain fields.”

The summit will concentrate on natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and wildfires, as separate from homeland security situations.

Panel discussion topics will include hazard mitigation success stories, hazard assessment methods, building for high wind events, winter storms and northeasters, hurricanes, community outreach, open space protection, engaging business in the process, drought assessment, dam safety, tornados, shelter and evacuation plans, floods, wildfire assessment, citizen involvement and overcoming local obstacles to planning.

The keynote speaker will be John W. Marshall, Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Public Safety, who will talk about creating resilient communities.

Other speakers include

  • Andy Lipkis, president and founder of TreePeople, a Los Angeles-based organization that focuses on tree-planting as a way of improving the environment, who will speak on funding green resilient communities, and
  • Franklin Dukes, of the U.Va. Institute for Environmental Negotiation, who will speak on engaging the public in the mitigation process.

“This conference is aimed at local government officials to share experiences,” said Beatley. “Those that are further along will share information that can help others.”

For more information on the summit and a schedule of events, access: or call (434) 924-6457.

Contact: Tim Beatley, (434) 924-6457

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:42:09 EST
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