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Coastal Communities Will Weather This Crisis And The Next: Reflections from Karen Willis Amspacher

Courtesy of Karen Willis Amspacher

Coping and recovering from a crisis is nothing new for North Carolina’s coastal residents. Hurricanes have altered life for generations of families along the Atlantic seaboard who regularly weather floods, evacuations and damage to homes and communities.

These circumstances are familiar to Karen Willis Amspacher, executive director of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center. The museum closed in September 2018 after suffering immense damage from Hurricane Florence and was only set to reopen April 1, 2020. The museum staff spent 20 months digging out artifacts, raising money and waiting for construction to finish. Then the pandemic happened.

Amspacher shares with host Frank Stasio how decades of hurricanes have shaped the resilient nature of coastal communities. She talks about the experience of dealing with two disasters at once and the lessons she hopes people will take from this time.

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Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.