Environmental Health Perspectives (Internet / Print) January 2006http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/docs/2006/114-1/niehsnews.html The conditions in Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita reminded us all of our commonality in the human experience and moved many to help. Among those moved to help were the staff at the Community Outreach and Education Programs (COEPs) of NIEHS Centers across the country. Responding to communities in need is one of the primary functions of the COEPs, so providing outreach to those areas on the Gulf Coast impacted by the hurricanes seemed a natural step to take. "When our director volunteered our COEP [to lead efforts], we remarked that if COEPs had never existed, they would have had to be invented on August 28," says Pamela Diamond, director of the NIEHS Center COEP at University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston.