Sept. 24-25 conference to feature lessons from hurricanes Ike, Sandy
Speakers include Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Port Authority Chair Janiece Longoria
HOUSTON — (Sept. 10, 2013) — Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters Center (SSPEED) will mark both the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike and the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy with a two-day conference at Rice Sept. 24-25 titled “Hurricane Ike: 5 Years Later.” The conference, organized by SSPEED directors Phil Bedient and Jim Blackburn, is intended for a broad audience of concerned citizens, business and industry leaders, emergency managers, governmental officials and academic researchers. More than 150 people have already registered.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Port of Houston Authority Chair Janiece Longoria will give keynote addresses. Other speakers include Bill Read, former director of the National Hurricane Center, New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s Kathryn Garcia and Office of Emergency Management’s Kelly McKinney. Each of these speakers will give presentations on Hurricane Sandy, including risk and response strategies.
The conference will feature discussions on hurricane protection for Houston, including the SSPEED Center’s proposed Centennial Gate, a large surge gate near the Fred Hartman Bridge that would provide major storm-surge protection for the Houston Ship Channel and adjacent neighborhoods. The session will include discussions on legal issues, finance strategies, land use, environmental impacts and more.
There will also be a discussion of post-Hurricane Katrina activities by Sara Hudson, the community preparedness coordinator from the city of New Orleans, and a presentation from Princeton Professor Ning Lin on climate changes and hurricane risk.
The conference will address emerging federal thinking on nonstructural alternatives like the SSPEED-proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area (LSCNRA) and the creation of an ecosystem services exchange. The LSCNRA’s Steering and Partner Committees Chairman John Nau III will give a presentation on the “Progress on the Creation of the LSCNRA.”
The final session of the conference will focus on evaluating and communicating risk to the public. This will include a discussion on sea-level rise, evacuation and emergency planning.
Media interested in attending should contact Jade Boyd at 713-348-6778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.