Bertie County Emergency Operations Plan Assessment & Update
Dr. Anuradha Mukherji’s Disaster Planning class partnered with the Mid-East Commission and Bertie County Emergency Management in Spring 2020 to work on updating Bertie County’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Five groups of students (4 undergraduate and 1 graduate group) worked on select sections of the EOP that were decided beforehand in consultation with Bertie County. The Bertie County EOP had not been updated since 2004, and the Emergency Management department needed help to assess and revise this critical document that would assist the county with preparedness, response, and recovery during disaster events. This is where the ECU planning program came in. The students’ efforts and the revised EOP sections on Sheltering and Mass Care, Communications, Notifications and Warnings, County Resources and Distribution Pod (CRDP), and Donations Management were well received by our community partners. Because Bertie County is representative of rural North Carolina, the students specifically gained insights on emergency management planning practices in a rural setting. In doing so, the students also contributed valuable planning services to the eastern North Carolina region.
Capstone Planning Studio
Students in Fall 2019 Planning Studio (PLAN4096) presented their capstone projects successfully to a jury of professional planners. Their projects were part of a collaboration with Sampson County, North Carolina. Students were tasked with updating the Sampson County Land Use Plan. The land area for Sampson was divided into three sections or projects – North, Central, and South – with a team of students assigned to each section.
The focus of the three projects was to understand the site and analyze its opportunities and constraints based on community data, site observations and stakeholder input. Students conducted field trips to project sites to visually document and conduct on-site observations. They spoke with key stakeholders including liaisons from planning departments, county commissioners, business owners, town officials, and residents. The final project reports present a set of land use recommendations for each of the three sections of the county.