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We report an ongoing case study of hurricane risk and hazard communication by emergency managers, local government public information officers, and populations residing in eastern North Carolina's coastal zone. Our approach is to look at communication about hazards and risks from official and unofficial sources and public behavior together, understanding risk and hazard communication as public discourse. For analytic purposes we distinguish instrumental (governmental and organizational) and communal (conversational and everyday) strands of discourse to identify problematic conditions for risk and emergency communication. Preliminary findings apply to the public information- perception-behavior relationship as it affects response to weather-related natural disasters. Keywords: emergency communication, risk communication, public information, discourse analysis.