UGA faculty experts on Irma preparations and recovery

September 8, 2017


Athens, Ga. - Faculty experts at the University of Georgia are ready to help residents understand possible implications of Hurricane Irma on a range of topics.

Economic impacts of hurricanes: Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of agricultural and applied economics, 706-542-0754,, can comment on Hurricane Irma's potential impacts on the U.S. economy, especially in Southeastern states.

Talking with young children about storms: Diane Bales, associate professor of human development and family science, and human development specialist, UGA Extension, 706-542-7566,, can provide tips for helping children understand and stay safe.

How to talk to children about a natural disasters: Gayle Spears, clinical associate professor in the UGA College of Education specializing in counseling psychology, 706-542-3931,, is available to speak to issues surrounding how to talk to children about a natural disaster such as a hurricane and other issues parents may be facing during times of uncertainty.

Tree damage during and after a storm: Kim Coder, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, urban tree expert, 706-542-9050,, can provide tips for how to best prepare for a strong storm and how to handle tree damage and cleanup after.

Deciding when and how to evacuate with pets: Sarah DeYoung, disaster behavior expert at the School of Public Health's Institute for Disaster Management, 706-713-2758,, can provide information about how people make the decision to leave an evacuation zone and what they do with their pets.

Preparing a three-day emergency food supply: Elizabeth Andress, a food safety specialist with UGA Extension, 706-542-3773,, can provide practical tips on putting together an emergency food supply. More info at:

Safety measures regarding medications and first aid: George Francisco, assistant dean and academic director in the College of Pharmacy,, 706-549-0898, and Brian Seagraves, academic professional in the College of Pharmacy, 706-424-1725,, can offer tips and safety measures regarding medications and first aid during disasters. For tips, see

Direct or long-term impacts of the storm on Georgia agriculture, specifics of storm in rural areas: Pam Knox, agricultural climatologist, 706-543-9560 (home phone),

Getting financial assistance for small businesses affected by the storms: Allan Adams, director of the UGA Small Business Development Center, 706-542-6626,, can speak to the availability of business disaster loans offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Psychology of weather and climate/human response to weather hazards. Alan Stewart, professor, department of counseling and human development services, College of Education, 706-542-1263,, studies how people react to the weather and how past weather experiences can influence how someone reacts today to an impending storm.
Small animal emergency and critical care, Amie Koenig, associate professor of veterinary medicine, 706-206-7925,

Helping property owners better prepare for future flooding: Scott Pippin, public service assistant at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, 706-542-3250,, works with communities to improve their resiliency by mitigating damage from flood events.

Managing stormwater: Jessica Brown, stormwater specialist at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant, 912-264-7341,, helps property owners and communities design and implement science-based solutions to manage runoff, which can lead to flooding.

Potential impacts of hurricane Irma on coastal ecosystems: C. Brock Woodson, assistant professor, College of Engineering, 706-542-9574,

Agricultural impacts and role of Extension after the storm: Mark McCann, assistant dean for UGA Extension and program leader for Agriculture and Natural Resources, 706-521-2228,

Health and risk communication: Glen J. Nowak, director of Center for Health & Risk Communication in Grady College and former media relations director of the CDC during Hurricane Katrina, 678-620-7010,, can talk about the breadth of health threats that public health agencies may need to communicate in a hurricane's wake.

Government crisis communications: Bryan Reber, C. Richard Yarbrough Professor of Crisis Communications in Grady College, 706-247-4153,, can talk about the most effective government messaging in the time of a crisis.

Understanding and communicating flood hazards: Brian P. Bledsoe, UGA Athletic Association Professor and director of the Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems in the College of Engineering,, can provide information on flood management and how weather, urbanization, drainage systems, and social factors interact to affect flood outcomes.

Disaster declaration: Gene A. Brewer, associate professor, public administration and policy, School of Public and International Affairs,, can answer questions about the disaster declaration process.

Large animal health and management: Lee Jones, 229-386-3340,, associate professor, beef production medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine.

Emergency preparedness and recovery resources: The University of Georgia Extension offers valuable research-based information to support communities preparing for and recovering from disasters:


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