North Carolina is dependent upon hurricanes to survive. That's how doctor Stanley Riggs, a professor of geology at East Carolina University and a coastal expert, describes hurricanes. Riggs says hurricanes build the state's coastal system and helps with short term maintenance and long term evolution. Riggs has conducted extensive research on the barrier islands of North Carolina and suggests all these islands are not wise to build on. Riggs says North Carolina is second only to Florida when it comes to the number of hurricane landfalls.