Disaster Research 250

March 5, 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Web Sites Dealing with Desertification
  2. Web Sites Dealing with Wind Engineering
  3. Even More Web Sites
  4. Conferences and Training

Web Sites Dealing with Desertification

[Adapted from "Tiempo" - a newsletter on Global Warming published by the International Institute for Environment and Development and the University of East Anglia]

The first URL is the home page of the Office of Arid Land Studies, University of Arizona. The site offers information about the office and its many programs, announcements, as well as access to the "Arid Lands Newsletter" (the second URL above) - an informative bulletin covering desertification and related issues.

The International Arid Lands Consortium (IALC) is an independent, nonprofit research organization supporting ecological sustainability in arid and semiarid lands worldwide. The first page listed above provides information about the IALC's mission, activities, and its member institutions. It also offers the IALC on-line newsletter and a directory of arid lands researchers. The second URL above provides numerous links to other Internet resources dealing with arid lands and desertification.

This site provides an electronic exhibit about the world's drylands created by the Smithsonian Institution and the United Nations Environment Programme.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has put together this "Desertification Library Page" - a hypermedia collection on desertification, with documents in English, French, and Spanish.

The Web site of the Reseau International d'ONG sur la Desertification (RIOD) - the International NGO Network on Desertification and Drought - provides an introduction to the organization, a copy of its "Circular on Desertification," past issues of the "ECO" newsletter, an index of RIOD focal points around the world, and links to related organizations.

This is the main site for information regarding the international treaty intended to promote effective action on desertification through innovative local programs and supportive international partnerships. It includes much information about the treaty and subsequent policy and program developments.

Web Sites Dealing with Wind Engineering

[Adapted from "The Wind Engineer" - the newsletter of the American Association for Wind Engineering]

The Department of Civil Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo, maintains several pages of wind engineering information on the World Wide Web. They include general information about wind hazards, a list of wind engineering meetings, links to wind-related Web sites, a list of information sources for residential wind damage and wind resistant design, information about the American Association for Wind Engineering (AAWE) and copies of the AAWE newsletter, and (at the second URL above) the complete text of the AAWE report "Wind Engineering: New Opportunities to Reduce Wind Hazard Losses and Improve the Quality of Life in the USA."

The home page of the AAWE (see above) is available at this URL.

The Natural Hazards Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame studies the effects on structures of wind, waves, earthquakes, and other natural phenomena. The lab is currently developing a program for undergraduates to participate in hazard engineering research, as well as a database of response spectra. Information about both projects is available from the Web site.

Texas Tech University is the home of the Wind Engineering Research Center, which conducts interdisciplinary research on the effects of wind on civil engineering infrastructure, including buildings, bridges, transmission-line towers, and various other structures. This Web site provides a complete description of the center, its programs, and projects; lists center publications; explains research and other projects that have been undertaken; offers research data and findings, and provides links to other useful Internet resources.

Even More Web Sites

These are some more of the latest Internet resources we've discovered. For a list of selected Internet/Web sites dealing with disaster management, see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sites/sites.html.

The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) conducts a "Disaster Management Support Project" to strengthen natural and technological disaster management on a worldwide basis by fostering improved use of existing and planned earth observation satellite data. Supporting the committee's work, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has launched this Web site to provide ongoing specific satellite data on volcanic ash, floods, tropical storms, wildfire, El Nino, earthquakes, drought, and oil spills. It also provides special coverage of emerging crises, such as recent fires in Indonesia, as well as background information about the entire project.

This page from NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Hydrological Program presents the hydrological outlook for various regions of the country, including information on possible spring flooding. The site also offers recent Department of Commerce/NOAA/NWS news releases on potential flooding, other information from the Office of Hydrology and NWS, and, at the second URL above, a new page on the Department of Commerce's "Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative" (NDRI).

The NDRI will involve several important new activities to reduce the costs of natural hazards. The initiative is an interagency effort to reduce and mitigate the direct and indirect costs of natural disasters. Developed through the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR), the enterprise is part of the administration's effort to apply the tools of federal agencies to save lives, reduce costs, and lower the risks of natural disasters.

To support NDRI, NOAA's FY 1999 budget request includes $55 million for new activities in two critical areas intended to lower the impacts and costs of natural hazards: 1) providing the best possible warnings and information to prevent damage and permit escape during hazard events, and 2) providing information and techniques to lower the vulnerability and increase the resiliency of people and property before and after hazard events. NOAA's request will provide more accurate and timely warnings and forecasts for weather-related and other natural disasters and provide information on the risks and costs of natural disasters in the nation's valuable coastal communities - some of the areas hardest hit by natural hazards. The increase will also support the development of techniques to mitigate the impacts of natural hazards, measures to reduce the introduction and spread of nonindigenous species that threaten coastal fisheries, and research for dealing with other coastal hazards such as harmful algal blooms and the growing hypoxic "dead" zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Department of Energy's Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development redesigned Web site includes an extensive section on disaster planning. That section contains segments on key principles, case studies, codes/ordinances, articles/publications (lots of good ones), educational materials, and other resources. These pages offer information on how long-term community sustainability can be incorporated into disaster preparedness, mitigation, and recovery.

The "Wildfire Magazine" Web site, which we've mentioned before, offers all kinds of information about the incendiary hazard, including excerpts and previews from the magazine; recent wildfire news; a wildfire calendar of meetings, training, and other events; lists and catalogs of publications and journals available from the International Association of Wildland Fire; databases, directories, and bibliographies; access to the association's library services; tips on wildfire safety; and much more. Of particular note, the site now includes the complete recommendations and abstracts from and some complete papers presented at the Canada/U.S. Fire Safety Summit held in Rossland, British Columbia, last fall.

The "Palo Alto Weekly" newspaper provided extensive coverage, including background information, of the recent El Nino-related floods in the San Francisco Bay area. We found one article - "FEMA Map Proves Nearly Accurate" - particularly interesting; it discusses how actual flooding in the Palo Alto area accurately reflected flooding predicted by FEMA/Federal Insurance Administration Flood Insurance Rate Maps. (The hard copy edition of the newspaper includes an actual map overlay comparing the two areas).

The redesigned Emergency Management Australia (EMA) Web site includes sections on personal safety; school resources; government policy and programs; general emergency management information; current issues in emergency management; the Australian International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction program; upcoming conferences, training, and other events (searchable by date, subject, etc.); and research and program grants available from EMA.

The site is linked to the Australian Hazards Research and Researcher Database - http://www.es.mq.edu.au/NHRC - a fully searchable on-line index that includes synopses, complete contact information, and other details for various hazards research projects in the Australia-South Pacific region.

The EMA site also provides direct access to Australian Emergency Management Institute (AEMI) library catalog, comprising 10,000 items and about 12,000 abstracts of journal articles, and to copies of "INFOrecent" - AEMI's quarterly bulletin of information on new publications and other materials received by the library.

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) now offers all of its journals (nine different titles) on-line via the World Wide Web. This service makes it possible for users to conduct full-text searches across all the journals to find the information they need.

Also from down under, this page from the Australian Geologic Survey Organisation (AGSO) offers information on urban geologic hazard risk and vulnerability assessment, earthquake research and seismic hazards, natural hazards mapping in Australia, nuclear test monitoring and geomagnetic research, and regional volcanism and tectonics. Several products and services are available on-line, including a guide to landslide survival and property protection.

"Contingency Planning and Management" magazine now offers this Web site - a "global information network for the business continuity community." Users can search the "magazine section" index for a broad range of articles on business continuity subjects; browse a "knowledge base" section for information on products and services available from over 500 suppliers; participate in an on-line forum; receive purchasing advice; take a look at surveys of personnel involved in contingency planning; and participate in surveys (the site currently is soliciting opinions regarding mitigation incentives).

The Insurance USA Web site offers information and research papers on such topics as the possible impact of a hurricane on New York (with maps of potential flooding), as well as a list of upcoming conferences and links to related disaster and news sites.

Conferences and Training

Below are recent conference announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of upcoming disaster-related meetings and training is available from our World Wide Web site:

Emerging Public Health Threats and the Role of Climate Change. Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others. Atlanta, Georgia: March 11-12, 1998. See: http://eis.wpi.org/epaworkshop/ health .

Meeting of Health Disaster Coordinators in the Caribbean Region. Organizers: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Curacao: March 26-27, 1998. Contact: Dr. Dana van Alphen, PAHO, P.O. Box 508, Bridgetown, Barbados: tel: (246) 426-4261; fax: (246) 436-6447; e-mail: dvanalphen@pahocpc.org.

Disaster K-9 Seminar. Host: Hamilton County Special Tactics and Rescue Service. Chattanooga, Tennessee: March 26-29, 1998. Contact: Kevin Carson; (706) 866-1010/ (706) 931-2969; e-mail: kmcarson@aol.com.

Workshop of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Disaster Management Support Project [see the description under "Even More Web Sites" above]. Hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Silver Spring, Maryland: March 31-April 2, 1998. Contact: Janice Sessing, NOAA/NESDIS International Affairs, NOAA, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20910-3282; (301) 713-2024, ext. 110; fax: (301) 713-2032; e-mail: jsessing@nesdis. noaa.gov .

Wyoming Fourth Annual Hazardous Materials Conference. Cheyenne, Wyoming: March 31-April 2, 1998. See the Wyoming Emergency Management Agency Web site:; or contact NancyJo Ilminen, (307) 777-4920; or e-mail Steve Cochrane, cochranes@wy-iso.army.mil.

First Regional Conference on Pacific Island Coastal Erosion. Maui, Hawaii: April 1-3, 1998. Contact: Rob Mullane, Hawaii Sea Grant; (808) 984-3254; fax: (808) 984-3251; e-mail: mullane@hawaii.edu.

Earthquake Retrofit of Wood-Frame Homes: Training for Trainers of Building Contractors, Inspectors, and Homeowners. Offered by: Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). Oakland, California: April 3-4, 1998. Contact: Michelle McDaniels, ABAG Training Center, P.O. Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604-2050; (510) 464-7953; fax: (510) 464-7980; e-mail: michellem@abag.ca.gov.

Moving Toward Mitigation: Joint Conference of the North Carolina Association of Floodplain Managers and the South Carolina Association of Hazard Mitigation. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: April 5-8, 1998. Contact: W. Dave Canaan, Mecklenburg County Engineering, 700 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202; (704) 336-3736 - or - Trudie Johnson, Town of Hilton Head Island, One Town Center Court, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928; (803) 341-4665.

Critical Elements of Business/Service Continuity Planning. Offered by: Strohl Systems, Inc. Chicago, Illinois: April 7-9, 1998; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: June 1-3, 1998; San Francisco, California: September 23- 25, 1998; Washington, D.C.: November 16-18, 1998. Contact: Educational Division, Strohl Systems, 500 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, attn: Conference Coordinator; 1-800-634-2016; fax: (610) 768- 4135.

International Symposium on Climate Variability: Impacts on Rural Activities. Newcastle, Australia: April 13-17, 1998. Contact: Howard Bridgman, International Symposium on Climate Variability, Department of Geography, University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia; fax: 61- 49-215877; e-mail: gghab@cc.newcastle.edu.au.

International Workshop on Non-Structural Flood Control in Urban Areas. Organizers: IRTCUD - Regional Center for Tropical Climates. Sao Paulo, Brazil: April 20-22, 1998. Contact: International Workshop on Non- Structural Flood Control in Urban Areas, Av. Brigadeiro Luis Antonio, 317 - cj.33, 01317-901 Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil; tel: (+55) (11) 604- 6412; fax: (+55) (11) 604-3406; e-mail: urban_floods@edu.usp.br.

Slope Stability and Landslides. Offered by: University of Wisconsin- Madison. Cincinnati, Ohio: April 20-22, 1998. Contact: C. Allen Wortley, Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 432 North Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706; 1-800-462-0876; fax: (608) 263-3160; e-mail: custserv@epd.engr.wisc.edu.

Bay Area Training for Search and Rescue (BATSAR). Dublin, California: April 24-26, 1998. Includes sessions on K-9 search and rescue. Contact: Alameda County OES, 4985 Broder Avenue, Dublin, CA 94568; attn: BATSAR '98.

Redefining Risk Management: 36th Risk and Insurance Management Society Annual Conference. San Diego, California: April 26-May 1, 1998. Call 1-800-713-7467.

International Conference on Modern Preparedness and Response Systems for Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcanic Hazards. Santiago, Chile: April 27-30, 1998. Sponsors: International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI) and the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI). For details contact IUGG Chile National Committee, P.O. Box 4-D, Santiago, Chile; (56 2) 696 8221; fax: (56 2) 698 8278; e-mail: seisvolc@conf.dgf.uchile.cl

Business Recovery Managers Symposium. Offered by: MIS Training Institute. Orlando, Florida: April 28-30. Contact: MIS Training Institute, 498 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01702-2357; (508) 879- 7999; fax: (508) 872-1153; e-mail: mis@misti.com; WWW: http://www.misti.com.

Critical Incident Stress Management Workshops. Offered by: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Los Angeles, California: April 30-May 3, 1998. Contact: ICISF, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Unit 201, Ellicott City, MD 21042; (410) 750-9600; fax: (410) 750-9601.

Water Resources Systems - Short Course: Hierarchical-Multiobjective Approach in Water Resources Planning and Management. 1998 Theme: Risk Assessment and Management. Offered by the Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, University of Virginia. Charlottesville, Virginia: May 4-8, 1998. Contact: Center for Risk Management of Engineering Systems, Thornton Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 924-0960; fax: (804) 924-0865.

International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), EMS Section, First Annual Conference. Las Vegas, Nevada: May 26-28, 1998. Contact: IAFC, 4025 Fair Ridge Drive, Fairfax, VA 22033-2868; fax: (703) 273-9363; e-mail: iems@connectinc.com; WWW; http://www.ichiefs.org.

Second World Conference on Structural Control. Kyoto, Japan: June 28- July 1, 1998. Contact: 2WCSC Steering Committee, c/o Professor Akira Nishitani, Department of Architecture, Waseda University, 3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169, Japan; fax: 81 3 5286 3286; e-mail: 2wcsc@nstn.arch.waseda.ac.jp.

Coastal Environment '98: "Environmental Problems in Coastal Regions." Cancun, Mexico: September 8-10, 1998. Contact: Liz Kerr, Coastal Environment '98 Conference Secretariat, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton SO40 7AA U.K.; tel: (44) (1703) 293 223; fax: (44) (1703) 292 853; e-mail: liz@wessex.ac.uk; WWW: http://www.wessex.ac.uk/.

Wetlands '98: Integrating Wetland/Floodplain Ecosystems in Water Projects/Watershed Management. St. Louis, Missouri: September 20-24, 1998. Contact: Association of State Wetland Managers, P.O. Box 269, Berne, NY 12023-9746; (518) 872-1804; fax: (518) 872-2171; e-mail: aswmi@aol.com.

The Management of Emergencies and Disasters - A British Council International Seminar. Stoke-on-Trent, U.K.: October 18-23, 1998. Contact: Paul Viggers, Marketing and Recruitment Manager, International Seminars; tel: +44 (0)1865 316636/ +44(0)1865 302709; fax: +44 (0)1865 557368; e-mail: International.Seminars@britcoun.org; WWW: http://www.britcoun.org/seminars/health/isem8032.htm.

Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Annual Congress. Orlando, Florida: October 22-23, 1998. Contact: IBHS, 73 Tremont Street, Suite 510, Boston, MA 02108-3910; (617) 722-0200; fax: (617) 722-0202; WWW: http://www.ibhs.org.

Disaster Management: Crisis and Opportunity. Sponsor: Center for Disaster Studies, James Cook University. Cairns, Australia: November 1-4, 1998. Contact the Center for Disaster Studies, P.O. Box 6811, James Cook University, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia; tel: +61 7 4042 1215; fax: +61 7 4042 1214; e-mail: linda.berry@jcu.edu.au; WWW: http://www.tesag.jcu.edu.au/cds/cdsweb.htm.

Local Authorities Confronting Disasters and Emergencies (LACDE) 1998 Annual Conference. Vina del Mar, Chile: November 30-December 3, 1998. Contact: LACDE, Union of Local Authorities in Israel, 3 Heftman Street, Tel Aviv 61200, Israel; tel: 972-3-695-5024; fax: 972-3-691- 6821; e-mail: ulais@netvision.net.il; WWW: http://www.ladpc.gov.il.

Sixth U.S.-Japan Workshop on Urban Earthquake Hazard Reduction. Sponsors: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Committee on Urban Earthquake Hazard Reduction and the Japan Institute of Social Safety Science. Kobe, Japan: January 12-14, 1999. Abstracts are due June 15. Contact: Susan Tubbesing, Executive Director, EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612-1934; (510) 451-0905; fax: (510) 451-5411; e-mail: skt@eeri.org; WWW: http://www.eeri.org.

Eighth Canadian Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: June 13-16, 1999. A call for abstracts has been issue. Contact: 8th CCEE Conference Secretariat, c/o Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2324 Main Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z4; fax: (604) 822-6901; e-mail: 8ccee@civil.ubc.ca; WWW: http://www.civil.ubc.ca/home/eq/conferences/.

Tenth International Conference on Wind Engineering (10ICWE). Copenhagen, Denmark: June 21-24, 1999. Contact: 10th International Conference on Wind Engineering, Danish Maritime Institute, Hjortekaersvej 99, DK-2800 Lyngby, Denmark; tel: +45 45 87 93 25; fax: +45 45 87 93 33; e-mail: icwe99@danmar.dk; WWW: http://www.danmar.dk/icwe99.

Local Authorities Confronting Disasters and Emergencies (LACDE) 2000 Conference. Southport, England: Dates to be determined. Contact: LACDE, Union of Local Authorities in Israel, 3 Heftman Street, Tel Aviv 61200, Israel; tel: 972-3-695-5024; fax: 972-3-691-6821; e-mail: ulais@netvision.net.il; WWW: http://www.ladpc.gov.il.

Twelfth World Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Sponsor: New Zealand Earthquake Commission and others. Auckland, New Zealand: January 30-February 4, 2000. Abstracts due September 1998. Contact: Conference Secretariat, 12WCEE Organizing Committee, c/o Convention Management, P.O. Box 2009, Auckland, New Zealand; tel: 64-9-529 4414; fax: 64-9-520 0718; e-mail: 12wcee@cmsl.co.nz; WWW: http://www.cmsl.co.nz/12wcee; also see http://www.eeri.org/Meetings/12WCEE.html.

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