September 15, 1999 Panel Discussion

Hurricane Shelter Study in the Gulf Coast States


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)
Slides: 1, 2

Marc Levitan
Andy Crawford

Amy Sebring

Related Pages:
Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
Florida DEM (PDF file): Questions and answers to shelter program issues


EIIP Virtual Forum Presentation
Wednesday - September 15, 1999 - 12:00 Noon EDT

Hurricane Shelter Study in the Gulf Coast States

Dr. Marc Levitan
Acting Director Hurricane Center
Louisiana State University

Andy Crawford
Hurricane Program Manager
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Amy Sebring
Moderator - EIIP Technical Projects Coordinator

As Hurricane Floyd threatened the states of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas on September 15, 1999, the EIIP Virtual Forum hosted two individuals to talk about their experience with the Hurricane Shelter Identification study in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Both states have developed shelter evaluation criteria, based on guidelines issued by the American Red Cross and further developed by the state of Florida and adapted them for their own situations. And both states rely on local authorities to utilize the information.

Dr. Marc Levitan, Acting Director, Hurricane Center at Louisiana State University (LSU) and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, was heavily involved with the Hurricane Shelter Identification study for the state of Louisiana, and noted that in a post-study survey, the guidance appeared to have had a positive influence during Hurricane Georges.

Mississippi has taken the approach of developing an all-hazards evaluation criteria, anticipating different scenarios potentially requiring sheltering or mass care, such as a hazardous materials or flooding situation, in addition to hurricane. Andy Crawford, Hurricane Program Manager, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, noted that although training in the evaluation methodology has been conducted this summer, actual data collection by local authorities will begin and continue during the upcoming year.


Associate Professor of Civil Engineering
Acting Director, LSU Hurricane Center

Dr. Marc Levitan has been actively engaged in wind engineering research, practice, and teaching for the past 15 years. His primary research focus is in the fields of wind loading on structures, wind damage assessment, wind damage mitigation, and hurricane sheltering and evacuation issues. Past research projects have dealt with wind loading on low-rise buildings, electrical power transmission towers, and many other types of structures. He is currently involved with research in areas relating to wind loading on industrial and petrochemical structures, and assessment/retrofit/design of hurricane evacuation shelters. Dr. Levitan has over 20 publications in these areas and has made a similar number of presentations at conferences, seminars, and short courses. He was the driving force behind the creation of the new LSU Hurricane Center, and was recently named Acting Director. The Center is a campus-wide, multi-disciplinary initiative. It's mission is to address hurricanes and other weather-related hazards and their impacts on the natural, built, and human environments.

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Hurricane Program Manager
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Andy Crawford has been the Hurricane Program Manager for the state of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency since December 1996, following his retirement from the Navy as a Lt. Commander. He holds an M.A. in Public Affairs from the University of Alabama, and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from Auburn University.

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