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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is located primarily within the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the Piedmont region of the state. The region enjoys mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and minor seasonal fluctuations in weather patterns, such┬áthat the area has been described as the “Southern Part of Heaven.” However, the area does experience natural hazards that threaten life safety and can damage the built environment.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, drought and other types of hazards are part of the natural world around us. Their occurrence is inevitable and unstoppable. Furthermore, with evidence of global warming becoming ever more solid, the consequences of changing climatic patterns may well result in more frequent and more damaging natural events, including hurricanes and tropical storms, tornadoes, torrential rainfall, severe winter storms, and lengthening periods of drought. The possibility of even more severe natural hazards increases the threat to public safety and exacerbates the risk of damage to the physical assets of the University. This in turn creates the potential for more disruptions in operations of the campus, endangering the ongoing instruction and research that is so vital to our University, our host community and the state.

We cannot eliminate all risk nor achieve 100┬ápercent “resistance” against the impacts of natural hazards. However, we can take steps to reduce the vulnerability of the University to identified hazards, thereby reducing the potential for preventable damage and disruption. The concept and practice of reducing risk to people and property from known hazards is called hazard mitigation.

Download a PDF version of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.