Dr. Jennifer Horney, research assistant professor of epidemiology and director of the UNC Center for Public Health Preparedness at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and Dr. Philip Berke, professor of city and regional planning and deputy director of UNC’s Institute for the Environment, have been awarded a grant to develop indicators of effectiveness for post-disaster recovery efforts.
The grant, "Measuring Community Recovery: Developing Indicators for Health Community Recovery," is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate. The study will develop and validate key indicators of community recovery after a natural disaster. Such measurable indicators of community recovery have not been developed for officials at the federal, state, or local level.
"This project is particularly important because it focuses on giving practitioners at the federal, state, and local levels the tools they need to measure how well a community is recovering from a disaster," Dr. Horney said. The grant will be administered by the Coastal Hazards Center of Excellence (CHC) at UNC. Phase one of the project funds two graduate research assistants as part of its $100,000 initial budget. The grant can expand to more than $420,000, pending funding in years two and three.
"As communities begin to recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, this project is not only timely, but will provide important actionable tools for practitioners on the ground," said Dr. Gavin Smith, executive director of the CHC and co-principal investigator for the project.
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[Photo: Dr. Jennifer Horney]