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Hurricane center, FEMA leaders challenge emergency managers to educate coastal residents

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ORLANDO, Florida — Two of the country's top disaster experts have challenged emergency managers and forecasters from Texas to Maine to help educate coastal residents and developers about hurricane hazards.

National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb and Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Craig Fugate spoke Wednesday at the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.

Fugate said he doesn't necessarily discourage building along the country's storm-prone coastline. However, he wants city and county officials to factor disaster preparedness and risk into proposals for any new development or post-storm reconstruction, along with job creation and tax revenues.

Knabb warned that many people on the Gulf and East coasts don't know whether they live in an evacuation zone and don't understand that a hurricane's wind speeds won't necessarily correspond to its storm surge.

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