April 30, 2002


  1. So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye . . . and Welcome Back!
  2. Five More Quick Response Reports
  3. Report Outlines Ten Ways to Reduce Recurring Losses
  4. FEMA Seeks Input On First Responder Grants Program
  5. Seeking Information: Courses on Bioterrorism?
  6. Internet Resources of Interest
  7. Conferences and Training


So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye . . . and Welcome Back!

With this issue, my stint as guest editor of the Disaster Research (DR) newsletter draws to a close. DR's long-time, talented editor returns to his rightful place in May and will again produce the usual longer and more frequent DRs. Thank you for a wonderful six-month adventure.

Best regards,
Wendy Hessler

Five More Quick Response Reports

Five new quick response reports are now on-line on the Natural Hazards Web site. Three of the documents explore more aspects of the September 11 terrorist attacks while the other two evaluate post-disaster communication and emergency support efforts. The Natural Hazards Center sponsors "Quick Response" investigations that allow researchers to visit the site of a disaster immediately after impact in order to assess response and recovery. In turn, the researchers publish summaries of their findings on the Hazards Center's Web site. The newest reports are:


Report Outlines Ten Ways to Reduce Recurring Losses

A report published by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) outlines 10 of the most important solutions to decrease recurring losses from natural disasters. The 29-page report is the outcome of a June 2000 workshop convened by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the IBHS. The document addresses why losses from natural disasters are increasing and offers recommendations and priorities for future research and development of cost-effective solutions to reduce the losses. Participants identified research areas for residential and commercial buildings and prioritized mitigation methods that would offer the biggest loss reductions in the shortest time for damages from hurricanes/windstorms, earthquakes, floods, hail, wildfire, and winter storms. Incorporating holistic measures that integrate research, development, and education with professional practices and public policies garnered consensus. Some specific steps needed to reduce losses include reducing well-known vulnerabilities in roofs, envelopes, and structural/foundation systems of existing buildings and preventing them in new construction. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF file from the IBHS Web site at http://www.ibhs.org/research_library/downloads/292.pdf.


FEMA Seeks Input on First Responder Grants Program

Grant money may be available in the near future to assist state and local disaster professionals with planning, training, exercises, and equipment for responding to acts of terrorism. In a move to prepare for a potential "First Responder Initiative," the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is requesting ideas for the program's design and provision processes. FEMA's Office of National Preparedness (ONP), which will implement the grant program, is requesting ideas and recommendations on ways that state and local governments can collaborate in a planning process that builds on existing emergency response plans and strengthens first responders' ability to respond to acts of terrorism. FEMA envisions a planning process that sees local response plans and first responder capability-building as part of a broader state strategic plan. In addition, ONP is seeking suggestions regarding eligibility criteria and factors that should be considered when determining how much grant recipients should receive.

The $3.5 billion earmarked for the program is part of President Bush's 2003 annual budget. Congress needs to approve the budget before funding will be available. FEMA announced the need for ideas on how to structure the grant program in the April 16, 2002, Federal Register (Vol. 67, No. 73, pp. 18621-18622). On April 10-11, 2002, ONP officials held the first of a series of meetings to gather opinions about the Initiative. Fifty representatives of the state and local responder community and several officials from key government offices discussed possible conditions of the grants, the appropriate definition of 'first responder,' factors to be considered in deciding allocation formulas, and effective grant mechanisms.

Written comments regarding the "First Responder Initiative" must be received by May 16, 2002. Send documents by mail to Rules Docket Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20472; by fax to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) at (202) 646-4536; or by e-mail to OGC at rules@fema.gov.


Seeking Information: Courses on Bioterrorism?

DR Readers:

Portland State University is currently conducting a graduate-level course on bioterrorism policy. A question was asked that I thought would be appropriate to ask this group: Are any other colleges or universities offering a similar course or a course on any other aspect of bioterrorism?

If anyone knows of such a course, I would appreciate learning about it. Please e-mail me at bobgrist@hotmail.com. I would be willing to share the results so we can see how our academic institutions are addressing this current problem.

Thank you!

Bob Grist
Doctoral Student
Hatfield School of Government
Portland State University
E-mail: bobgrist@hotmail.com


Internet Resources of Interest

(Below are new Internet resources we've discovered. For an extensive list of good Internet sites dealing with hazards, see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sites/sites.html)

The September 11 terrorist attacks spurred interest in national security issues. One place to find more information on the subject is the newly updated ANSER Institute for Homeland Security's Internet home page. The nonprofit research organization added a "What's New?" column highlighting the Institute's activities and publications. In addition, a new, interactive opinion poll surveys users with a fresh question every week. The well-designed home page leads readers to other sections offering current news articles, library materials, and other resource pages.


Conferences and Training

[Below are some recent announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of upcoming hazards-related meetings andtraining is available from our World Wide Web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html]

25th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology. Sponsors: American Meteorological Society. San Diego, California: April 29- May 3, 2002. Contact: John Gaynor, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; (301) 713-0460, ext. 117; e-mail: john.gaynor@noaa.gov; WWW: http://www.ametsoc.org/AMS/meet/FAINST/25hurr.html.

Homeland Security and Bioterrorism Health Futures: Implications and Imperatives. Hosts: Armed Forces Journal conference and exhibition group and the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. Crystal City, Virginia: May 23- 24, 2002. Contact: Jack Corrado, Conference Coordinator, Armed Forces Journal Publishing Company, McLean, VA 22102; (703) 848- 0496; e-mail: jack@afji.com; WWW: http://www.afji.com/conferences/HomelandSec2002/Homelandsec2002intro.html.

2002 International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference. Sponsors: Hazardous Materials Committee of the International Association of Fire Chiefs. Hunt Valley, Maryland: May 30 - June 2, 2002. Contact: International Association of Fire Chiefs, 4025 Fair Ridge Dr., Suite 300, Fairfax, VA 22033-2868; (703) 273-0911; fax: (703) 273-9363; e-mail: jericson@iafc.org; WWW: http://www.iafc.org/conference.shtml.

ASDSO 2002 Southeastern Regional Conference. Sponsor: Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). Atlanta, Georgia: June 2-5, 2002. Contact: ASDSO, 450 Old Vine St., 2nd Floor, Lexington, KY 40507-1544; (859) 257-5140; (859) 323-1958; e-mail: info@damsafety.org; WWW: http://www.damsafety.org.

2nd Annual Seminar of the European School of Advanced Studies in Reduction of Seismic Risk (ROSE). Pavia, Italy: June 7-8, 2002. Contact: The ROSE School Secretariat, Collegio Alessandro Volta, Vai Ferrata, 27100, Pavia, Italy; tel.: 39-0382-548735; fax: 39- 0382-528422; e-mail: rose@unipc.it; WWW: http://www.roseschool.it/files/conference-RSeminar2002.htm.

The 2nd Annual National Symposium and Exhibition on Terrorism Preparedness and Response. Sponsors: National Defense Industrial Association and the InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability. Los Angeles, California: June 10-12, 2002. Contact: National Defense Industrial Association, 2111 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201; (703) 522-1820; fax: (703) 522-1885; e-mail: info@ndia.org; WWW: http://register.ndia.org/interview/register.ndia?PID=Brochure&SID=_0NL0UZ5AV&MID=2450.

Funding and Evaluating Emergency Preparedness and Response Plans for First Responders. Presented by The Law Enforcement Development Center. Washington, D.C.: June 10-12, 2002. Contact: The Performance Institute, 311 N. Washington Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 519-6270; fax: (703) 519-6271; WWW: http://www.performanceWeb.org/.

Arizona Emergency Services Association 29th Annual Conference. Phoenix, Arizona: June 12-13, 2002. Contact: Nick Angiolillo; e-mail: nick.angiolillo@co.avapai.az/us.

New Technology in Emergency Communications and Disaster Recovery. Washington, D.C.: June 24-25, 2002. Contact: National Institute for Government Innovation; (888) 670-8200; fax: (941) 365-2507; WWW: http://www.nigi.org.

Disaster Mitigation Workshop Series. Presented by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA). The workshops, intended for staff involved in cultural collections care activities, will provide tools for assessing a cultural institution's vulnerability to disaster, evaluating fire prevention and suppression strategies, determining security risks, and assessing health and safety factors related to disaster. New York, New York: June 25-27, 2002. Contact: Preservation Services Office, CCAHA, 264 South 23rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; (215) 545-0613; fax: (215) 735-9313; e-mail: ccaha@ccaha.org; WWW: http://www.ccaha.org/.

20th Annual Meeting Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). "Sound Science and Sound Survival Insurance after September 11." Colorado Springs, CO: July 27-28, 2002. Contact: DDP, 1601 N. Tucson, Blvd. Suite 9, Tucson, AZ 85716; (520) 325-2680; WWW: http://www.oism.org/ddp.

National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Annual Conference. Ashville, North Carolina: September 1-5, 2002. More information and registration materials will be available in June 2002. Contact: NEMA; (859) 244-8162; e-mail: nema_admin@csg.org; WWW: http://www.nemaweb.org/index.cfm.

Fall World 2002: 14th International Disaster Recovery Symposium and Exhibition. Sponsor: Disaster Recovery Journal (DRJ). Orlando, Florida: September 8-11, 2002. Contact: DRJ, P.O. Box 510110, St. Louis, MO 63151; (314) 894-0276; fax: (314) 894-7474; WWW: http://www.drj.com/conferences/orl2002/8pg/.

AEG/AIPG Annual Meeting: Gambling with Geologic Hazards. Sponsor: Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG) and the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG). Abstracts due May 1, 2002. Reno, Nevada: September 24-27, 2002. Contact: Jonathan Price; (775) 784-6691; e-mail: jprice@unr.edu; WWW: http://www.aegweb.org.

COSTO 2002. Sponsor: Council of Security and Strategic Technology Organizations. This conference is intended to accelerate the development and application of safety and security technologies using eight agenda tracks covering security, homeland defense, business continuity, disaster communications, and other topics. Washington, D.C.: October 14-17, 2002. Contact: COSTO, 421 Hudson St., #320, New York, NY 10014; (212) 352-9720; e-mail: info@COSTO.info; WWW: http://www.costo.info.

Sixth International Conference on Corporate Earthquake Programs. Session topics include corporate and societal earthquake hazard mitigation, unique characteristics of recent disasters, emergency preparedness training in corporations, business continuity planning for public and private sector organizations, damage estimation and insurance, regional cooperation for disaster reduction, and economic impact of the New York September 11 attack. Abstracts due May 31, 2002. Osaka, Japan: October 28-30, 2002. Contact: Dr. Guna Selvaduray; (408) 924-3874; fax: (408) 924-4057; e-mail: gunas@email.sjsu.edu.

Attacks and Encounters: Wildlife as Hazard. Sponsors: The James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research and the Department of Geography at Southwest Texas State University. Research presentations and papers will address aspects of unexpected human encounters with wildlife in their natural settings (on land; at sea; and in urban, suburban, and rural contexts). Abstracts are due by June 15, 2002. San Marcos, Texas: November 1-3, 2002. Contact: John Tiefenbacher, Associate Director for Research and Publications, The James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research, Department of Geography, Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666; (512) 245-8327; fax: (512) 245-8353; e-mail: jt04@swt.edu; WWW: (This site will be on-line soon.) http://www.geo.swt.edu/centers/lovell/conference.html.

AWRA 2002 Annual Water Resources Conference. Sponsor: American Water Resources Association (AWRA). Abstracts due May 13, 2002. Session topics include effects of climate change; flood forecasting, warning, and preparedness; flooding and floodplain management; and drought management. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: November 3-7, 2002. Contact: Janet L. Bowers, Conference Chair, Chester County Water Resources Authority, West Chester, PA; (610) 344-5400; fax: (610) 344-5401; e-mail: jbowers@chesco.org; WWW: http://www.awra.org/meetings/Philadelphia2002/

22nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis. Abstracts are due by May 13, 2002. New Orleans, Louisiana: December 8-11, 2002. Contact: Society for Risk Analysis, 1313 Dolley Madison Blvd., Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; e-mail: sra@burkinc.com; WWW: http://www.sra.org.

National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) 2003 Mid-year Conference. Washington, D.C.: February 22-26, 2003. More information and registration materials will be available in December 2002. Contact: NEMA; (859) 244-8162; e-mail: nema_admin@csg.org; WWW: http://www.nemaweb.org/index.cfm.

International Erosion Control Association 34th Annual Conference and Expo. Las Vegas, Nevada: February 24-28, 2003. Contact: International Erosion Control Association, P.O. Box 774904, 1355 S. Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-4904; (970) 879-3010; fax: (970) 879-8563; e-mail: ecinfo@ieca.org; WWW: http://www.ieca.org.

Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Annual Conference. St Louis, Missouri: June 3-8, 2003. Contact: Diane Brown, ASFPM, 2809 Fish Hatchery Road, Suite 204, Madison, WI 53713; (608) 274-0123; fax: (608) 274-0696; e-mail: asfpm@floods.org; WWW: http://www.floods.org.

Dam Safety 2003. Sponsor: Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). Minneapolis, Minnesota: September 7-10, 2003. Contact: ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, 2nd Floor, Lexington, KY 40507; (859) 257-5140; fax: (859) 323-1958; e-mail: info@damsafety.org; WWW: http://www.damsafety.org/conferences.cfm?content=annual.

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