Dean’s Message: Helping After Disaster

September 26, 2017

Click here for disaster relief efforts and resources »

“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” — Isabel Allende

Dear Price Community:

With so many global challenges facing the world on a multitude of fronts, it is easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of what our collective and individual capacity can achieve. I write you from Asia at the conclusion of the USC global conference and I can say firsthand that friendship and collaboration have never been so apparent among the many participants from several countries.

The news from Mexico is not far from my mind. The Price School has strong ties with Mexico not only through academic partnerships and research initiatives but also through our own faculty, students, and staff and their families, friends, and colleagues.

As well, hurricane Maria has created a humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean, destroying much of the regions infrastructure and leaving more than 15,000 people in Puerto Rico in shelters with no timetable to return to their homes.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is also overwhelmed by the aftermath of Maria and the state of Florida and the city of Houston continue to struggle to return their cities and neighborhoods to a place of normalcy after hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

The unpredictability of natural disasters has left many of us feeling vulnerable and helpless. But there are things that we can do to help.

A New York Times story covering the devastation from hurricane Irma noted that “amid desperation and isolation, residents showed resilience.” Neighbors helped neighbors and shared food and other resources.

In Mexico, it was reported that first responders along with “neighbors, survivors and strangers” did what they could to help the victims. We all celebrated together when reports of survivors surfaced. We may not be first responders but we can support efforts to help our neighbors and compatriots affected by the recent string of natural disasters in our hemisphere. Below is a list of organizations working to assist our friends in Mexico and the Caribbean.

I would also like to echo President Nikias’ recent message to the USC community to “review the information and videos on our university’s emergency resources” at These pages outline emergency procedures during and after an earthquake. In three weeks, the annual Trojan ShakeOut Drill will take place and I encourage your participation.

Finally, to all Price students, if you have been impacted by these events, or any stressful event, USC offers support services that can be accessed at You should also feel free to reach out to student services (, or your program chair or administrator.

To paraphrase Isabel Allende, our human capacity is limitless. Every day, all members of the Price community work to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, worldwide. It is my privilege to serve as your Dean.


Jack H. Knott, Dean

Disaster Help and Resources

External Relief Efforts:

Below are links to organizations and resources to help victims of the earthquakes in Mexico and the ongoing relief efforts in the Caribbean, Florida, and Houston. If you need guidance in choosing a relief organization, the Los Angeles Times recommends a website that evaluates nonprofit groups and has “released a list of worthy organizations.”

USC Relief Efforts

Starting Monday, October 2 through Sunday, October 29 in the Caruso Center Student Lounge, you will find a box where you can donate any of the items mentioned above for Puerto Rico’s recovery. The items will be delivered to one of the hardest hit parts of the island that is currently having difficulty getting aide.

If you desire more detailed information about relief efforts, contact Victor Cruz Jr. and Limari Archuleta with “USC for Caribbean Relief” in the subject line.

USC University Resources