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UTRGV research program aims to generate disaster plan for impoverished areas

Dr. William Donner, an associate professor in the Sociology department at UTRGV, says his Disasters Studies program will better analyze how vulnerable the Rio Grande Valley is to a major flood.

Following the aftermath of recent major flooding in Louisiana, a research program from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley aims to create a plan that will better prepare the Rio Grande Valley for natural disasters.

Dr. William Donner, an associate professor in the Sociology department at UTRGV, says his Disasters Studies program will better analyze how vulnerable the Rio Grande Valley is to a major flood.

Donner and a group of students will work together for three years collecting data that will be used to prepare a plan in the presence of a catastrophe. His goal is to ensure the safety of valley residents, specially those who live in impoverished areas.

The studies program was awarded a grant by the AXA Foundation of $250,000 to begin their scientific research. Donner hopes that the information retrieved from the project will help raise even more money so they can continue planning for the safety of Valley residents.

According to Dr. Donner, the Disasters Studies program will begin in October, and it will become a blue print for emergency personnel to follow in.

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