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Dr. Walker Ashley is a professor at Northern Illinois University who focuses on examining the impacts of severe and hazardous weather on society. With more extreme weather events on the rise, we see an increasing number of vulnerabilities being exposed within communities, leading to wide spread loss of life and property. Improving the communication of risks imposed by severe weather is a major focus of scientists and some policy-makers. Today we’ll discuss how urban sprawl and development, local infrastructure, and even socioeconomic factors have been found to play a major role in how a disaster unfolds. We’ll also explore ways we can mitigate or prevent future disasters through preparedness and risk assessment.