Meet Amina Assefa, UC’s expert on planning for the worst
In August 2005, Amina Assefa was applying to graduate programs to pursue a doctorate in biology when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, killing more than 1,800 people and causing more than $125 billion in damage. Although she did not have any background in emergency management, Amina decided to put her academic plans on hold to volunteer with the American Red Cross.
While completing her Gulf Coast assignment, Amina lived side-by-side in emergency shelters with evacuees from Louisiana and Mississippi. There, she gained a deep understanding of disasters’ profound impact on people’s lives, and the emotional and physical toll of living through them. This experience would change the course of her own life.
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