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2010 National Evacuation Conference

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Retired Gen. Russel HonorĂ , who served as commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, will headline an impressive lineup of keynote speakers and panelists set to appear as part of the 2010 National Evacuation Conference. The conference will be held Feb. 3-5at the JW Marriott in New Orleans, La., and is being organized by the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, or SDMI, and the Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency, which is housed at both LSU and the University of New Orleans.
"The recent earthquake in Haiti reminds us all again of the critical nature of this work," said SDMI Interim Executive Director Thomas Anderson. "General HonorĂ is currently in Haiti and will most certainly be able to provide firsthand accounts of ongoing operations. Learning from complex disasters such as this one is vital for improving the practice of disaster management and helping others survive future incidents. This is the heart of SDMI's mission."
HonorĂ , who has authored "Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family from Disasters," will also host a book signing during the conference.
Designed for academics and professionals with an interest in the development and modeling of comprehensive evacuation plans, the conference will bring together experts in the fields of transportation and emergency management to discuss more efficient and effective evacuation planning. Specifically, the event will focus on addressing challenges facing special-needs populations during disasters, improvements in evacuation planning and modeling, national evacuation policy development and the evacuation of animals.
"We are in the business of saving lives," said Gulf Coast Center for Evacuation & Transportation Resiliency Director Brian Wolshon. "LSU is part of the organizing effort to bring this mix of academics, practitioners and government agencies to address a significant issue and develop solutions for emergency management needs."
In addition to HonorĂ , speakers for the conference will include:
  • Federal government-level guests
    Eighth Coast Guard District Commander Rear Admiral Mary Landry;
    FEMA Region VI Director Tony Russell;
  • State and local government-level guests
    Texas Division of Emergency Management Assistant Director Jack Colley;
    Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Mark Cooper;
    California Emergency Management Agency Secretary Special Advisor Richard Devylder;
    Alabama Emergency Management Agency Brock Long;
    New Orleans Department of Homeland Security and Emergency
    Preparedness Director Colonel Jerry Sneed;
  • Academia guests
    Florida State University Associate Professor in the Department of Geography Jay Baker;
    University of New Orleans Professor and UNO Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology, or CHART, Founding and Associate Member Pamela Jenkins;
    UNO Associate Professor and MPA Program Director John Kiefer;
    Texas A&M Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center Former Director Michael Lindell;
    UNO Professor Emerita of Sociology and CHART Founder Shirley Laska;
    Florida International University Professor Emeritus in Sociology and Laboratory for Social and Behavioral Research at the International Hurricane Research Center Former Director Betty Morrow;
  • Non-profit guests
    New Orleans Council on Aging Executive Director Howard Rodgers;
    APA Hazards Planning Research Center Senior Research Associate and Manager Jim Schwab.
For speaker biographies, visit Additionally, those wishing to learn more can follow the conference on Facebook using the link provided on the conference's Web site.
"Even though this is the National Evacuation Conference, there are ramifications for the state, in the academic arena and internationally," said LSU Chancellor Michael Martin. "In fact, the conference will have an international tone considering 12 senior government officials from Sweden will be in attendance. Part of their contingency will lead a panel regarding the Swedish National Air Medivac unit's experiences during the 2008 Mumbai attacks in India."
Following registration and a welcome reception that will be hosted by the AARP on Wednesday, Feb. 3, the conference will reconvene the following morning for its opening session. Twenty-five panels, each lasting one hour and 15 minutes, will be held over the second two days of the conference. The complete panel agenda can be viewed using the "Program" link on the conference's Web site.
Along with premier partner AARP, the National Evacuation Conference is being supported by the following governmental, educational, corporate and organization partners:
  • AmbuBus
  • Baton Rouge Area Foundation
  • Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation
  • Journal of Transportation Safety and Security
  • Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
  • National Council on Disability
  • Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy Journal
  • Southeastern Transportation Center
  • Research and Innovation Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • University of California Transportation Center
  • Veolia Transportation
The Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, an integral part of LSU's E. J. Ourso College of Business, was established to help save the lives of people and animals by continuously improving disaster response management through research and education. Vision and a generous donation by LSU alumni Emmet and Toni Stephenson were responsible for the creation of the institute. For more information, visit
The Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency is a collaborative effort between the LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the University of New Orleans' Department of Planning and Urban Studies. The LSU-UNO Center is focused on evacuation and transportation resiliency in an effort to address the multitude of issues that impact transportation processes under emergency conditions such as evacuation and other types of major events. This area of research also addresses the need to develop and maintain the ability of transportation systems to economically, efficiently and safely respond to the changing demands that may be placed upon them.
As the only accredited urban planning school within the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas, UNO's Department of Planning and Urban Studies, or PLUS, has been an important regional institution helping to train leaders in urban issues for more than 40 years. Now, as New Orleans and the Gulf Region rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, PLUS faculty and staff continue this tradition of leadership by being at the forefront of rebuilding planning. With a range of programs from the undergraduate program in urban studies to the masters in urban studies and masters in planning to the advanced level of the urban studies Ph.D. program, PLUS provides comprehensive training to prepare students for careers in urban studies.
The tradition of excellence in the LSU College of Engineering is continuous from commencement to commencement. As the alma mater of 56 percent of engineering and construction management graduates in the state of Louisiana, the LSU College of Engineering demands the best from its students in order to prepare them to continue building this great state.
Source: Wendy Luedtke
Louisiana State University
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