The Emergency Preparedness Demonstration was a program to better prepare disadvantaged groups for future disaster events. A joint initiative of MDC and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the demonstration program was supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help disadvantaged communities in six states and the District of Columbia prepare for disasters. MDC was the lead partner for the two-year program, which alerted residents to the hazards of natural, technological, and manmade disasters and communicated what they could do to be better prepared.
The program was carried out in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C., all of which received major presidential disaster declarations as a result of damages inflicted by Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The project received an additional $500,000 to extend its work into areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. This part of the project focused on the Asian immigrant community in South Mobile County, Alabama, whose seafood businesses were devastated by flooding from Katrina.