Monday, May 17, 2010
Sulmona Presentation to Universita L'Aquila Students and Sulmona officials May 14
I departed L'Aquila by Train in route to Sulmona to visit the students and faculty as well as town leaders at the Universita branch in Sulmona. I gave a presentation on "Lessons Learned in Disaster Recovery from Hurricanes that hit Louisiana." Since Hurricane Katrina got worldwide attention, the students and faculty were very interested in the comparison of the hurricanes and the L'Aquila earthquake and the business disaster recovery process of each. The student questions showed a desire to speed of the recovery process and get back to "normal." I told them that disasters of that magnitude don't allow quick solutions. Government and private resources are stretched and the process is extremely time consuming and proper planning is required to insure that the recovery focuses on long-term solutions and not "quick fixes." Professor Margherita Mori of the Department of Economics led the class and was able to offer excellent insight to the issues that we discussed. The faculty was very eager to offer suggestions and programs to help in the recovery. I then departed to Rome and had the opportunity to speak with the Fulbright office in Rome.