Center of the Storm

Hazards and Disaster Research to Respond to Global Crises

When Hurricane Ike bore down on the Gulf Coast of Texas in 2008, it left a wake of ruin that made it one of the costliest storms to have ever hit the State. Texas is one of the most disaster-prone states in the country, subject to ice storms, tornados, hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires; it is second only to Florida as the state most likely to be hit by a hurricane. Texas is also among the states most prepared to deal with natural disasters, with years of experience mobilizing resources.

Late summer to fall is hurricane season in Texas, and the University of North Texas in Denton is in its element as one of the leading centers of emergency management in the nation, beginning in 1983 when it was the first university to offer an undergraduate degree in Emergency Administration and Planning (EADP).

Building on its relationship with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), UNT offers one of the most respected, comprehensive university degree programs in emergency management of its kind, providing students with access to FEMA expertise, a dedicated emergency management operations center, faculty at the forefront of their fields, and a strong network of UNT alumni and leading professionals engaged in every area of emergency management practice across the country.

“Emergency management is all about networking and collaboration and knowing who has the resources,” says David McEntire, Professor of Emergency Management and 15-year veteran in the Department of Public Administration at UNT. “It involves every strata of society — from health professionals, scholars and engineers to non-profit organizations such as the Red Cross and all levels of government agencies, including the military and national guard. How the network organizes is key.”