On April 23 the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Joe M. Allbaugh, announced that as part of a preliminary process, FEMA is seeking ideas on the design of a first responder grants program and process for providing $3.5 billion to state and local responders to help them prepare for terrorist attacks.
The funding, requested in President Bush's FY 2003 budget, would include grants for planning, training, exercises, and equipment for responding to acts of terrorism. Although Congress has not acted on the president's budget proposal, FEMA wants to be ready if the funding is approved.
The agency requested written comments in a notice published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, April 16. The Federal Register notice follows a listening session involving federal agencies and representatives of first responder and emergency management organizations from around the country that took place April 10-11 in Washington, D.C. The session was the first in a series to be organized by FEMA's new Office of National Preparedness (ONP), which has been asked to implement the first responder initiative.
ONP specifically is looking for 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.
Written comments must be received by May 16, 2002, and may be sent to the Rules Docket Clerk, Office of the General Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street S.W., Washington, D.C., 20472; fax: (202) 646-4536; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Below are some new or updated Internet resources we've discovered. For an extensive list of useful Internet sites dealing with hazards, see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sites/sites.html]
In DRs #349 and #353, we announced the availability of the Hazard Center's Special Publication 38, The Storms of '98: Hurricanes Georges and Mitch - Impacts, Institutional Response, and Disaster Politics in Three Countries, by Richard Olson, Ricardo Alvarez, Bruce Baird, Amelia Estrada, Vincent Gawronski, and Juan Pablo Sarmiento Prieto. That work examines the response and "disaster politics" (including media coverage) associated with Hurricane Georges in the Dominican Republic and Hurricane Mitch in Honduras and Nicaragua. The focus is the "marginalization" of national emergency response agencies. These organizations - typically small national civil defense offices - were quickly shouldered aside when the disasters became major catastrophes demanding international attention and aid. New, temporary offices were established, with consequent duplication of effort, lack of coordination, and poor response.
To deal with this difficulty in the future, Olson and his colleagues offer their "accordion option" under which a national emergency organization recognizes its probable marginalization and therefore prepares a plan for the head of state that outlines how national-level disaster response can be expanded to include other ministries and organizations, while the emergency management office itself retains an organizing and coordinating role.
To make this important work available as widely as possible, The Storms of '98 has been translated into Spanish and is now available free from the web site of the Regional Disaster Information Center (CRID) in San Jose, Costa Rica at the address above. In English it remains available from http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sp/sp.html.
Persons desiring a printed copy can still purchase The Storms of '98 for $20.00, plus shipping ($5.00, U.S.; $8.00, Canada; $12.00, Mexico; $18.00, beyond North America) from the Publications Administrator, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; (303) 492-6819; fax: (303) 492-2151; e-mail: email@example.com.
On its web site, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), now offers the "Executive Summary" and "Observations, Findings, and Recommendations" from World Trade Center Building Performance Study: Data Collections, Preliminary Observations, and Recommendations prepared for the House of Representatives, Committee on Science. The site also provides a link to the full report.
Professor Louis Geschwindner of Pennsylvania State University assembled this site in order to bring together many of the web articles that deal with the World Trade Center and Pentagon tragedy. Although the articles focus on physical aspects of the WTC before, during, and after collapse, the site also includes sections on Building Conditions Around WTC Site; WTC Site Clean-up; Occupancy of the WTC; Structural Investigation Teams; the Pentagon Site; Insurance Industry Response; General Political Information; as well as firsthand reports, numerous images, and other information.
The Swiss Reinsurance Company (SwissRe) issues several "Sigma Insurance Research Studies" each year. Study #1 for 2002, entitled Natural Catastrophes and Man-made Disasters in 2001: Man-made Losses Take on a New Dimension, is available from the SwissRe web site. In that report, the company notes that human-caused and natural catastrophes claimed more than 33,000 lives worldwide in 2001 and that the burden on property insurance due to catastrophe losses was extremely high (~$34.4 billion) - with an estimated $19 billion incurred by property and business interruption losses arising from the September 11 event. Furthermore, the insurance industry must also cover liability and life insurance losses related to the attack, and those are estimated between $16.5 and $39 billion.
The estimated death toll for the earthquake in Gujarat, India, alone was 15,000, while about 3,000 people lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11.
According to the sigma study, 2001 would have gone down as an average loss year had it not been for September 11. However, this event confronted the insurance industry with an entirely new loss dimension. Until 2001 only natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Andrew, which resulted in losses of $20.2 billion or the Northridge, earthquake, which resulted in losses of $16.7 billion (at 2001 prices) had caused losses of this magnitude. The terrorist attack has exposed a new dimension of threat to the insurance industry, bringing up a number of questions regarding terrorism coverage.
To read the entire report - available in several different languages - see the web site above, click on "Research," then on "Sigma Insurance Research." Several other reports on natural hazard risks are available.
In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), to be held in Johannesburg, August 26-September 4, 2002, the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat has prepared a background paper, available from this web page, that outlines the secretariat's vision of how disaster risk reduction can be integrated into sustainable development.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) of Columbia University are now issuing regular "El Nino Outlooks" for the United Nations Interagency Task Force on Natural Disaster Reduction. See the U.N. ISDR regional site above for the latest outlook.
The site also offers several new documents including the ISDR's recently published Review of Disaster Reduction Trends in the Americas, Natural Disasters and Sustainable Development: Understanding the Links Between Development, Environment and Natural Disasters, the latest issue of ISDR Informs - Latin America and the Caribbean, and Guidelines for Producing a Community Risk Map.
The National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) produces a map that shows flood potential for the contiguous 48 states. Updated daily at 4 p.m. eastern time, this 5-day outlook provides an entry point for users seeking more detailed hydrologic information provided by the NWS's regional River Forecast Centers and Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs). Official flood forecasts and warnings will continue to be issued by WFOs.
At the second URL above, the HPC issues an excessive rainfall potential outlook. Areas identified on this map indicate locations where rainfall rates are forecast to exceed flash flood rates.
The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology Education and Training (COMET - see DR #262) provides materials, including numerous web-based case studies, for the education of meteorologists and other hazards professionals. The program has recently added several new studies of tornadoes, snowstorms, and other weather phenomena. Interested persons can stay informed of the latest developments in the COMET case study project by subscribing to the COMET mailing list: http://www.joss.ucar.edu/cometCases/mailList.htm.
At these URLs, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has posted two Annual Program Statements that may be of interest to the larger hazards community: Enhanced Disaster Preparedness in South Asia: Through Community-Based and Regional Approaches and Climate Forecast Applications for Disaster Mitigation in Asia.
Educators in the emergency management field may find the newly revised Disaster Central web site of interest. The site was created by Claire B. Rubin, an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington University, Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management. Rubin has also recently completed a "Terrorism Time Line (1988-2001)", which also may be useful as a teaching tool. A PDF copy may be viewed and downloaded at no charge at the second URL above.
This web site allows scholars to enter the details of any publications, papers, and presentations they might want others to know about, particularly those that are not indexed elsewhere, such as book chapters and conference papers. In its one year of existence, scholars from a wide variety of disciplines have added a great deal of content, including information about many publications on hazards and disasters. The result is an extremely powerful - and growing - academic search engine that also functions as an academic directory.
The purpose of the Disaster & Social Crisis Research Network (D&SCRN) is to promote the study, research, and analysis of natural, technological, and social disasters "with a view to contributing to the development of disaster-resilient European communities and preventing or mitigating the human, economic, social, cultural, and psychological effects of disasters." The network intends to achieve its scientific and social policy goals through the organization of sessions during the biannual conferences of the European Sociological Association, the organization of interim conferences, the organization of European sessions at other international social science conferences, the publication of an electronic newsletter, and the establishment of this web page. For more information, a list of members, and a copy of the network's latest newsletter, see the URL above.
In the last DR we noted that the Natural Hazard Center's Quick Response Report #149: Oregon Emergency Management: Evaluating Interagency Communication in the Post-Disaster Environment by Robert Parker, Andre LeDuc, and Kathy Lynn, was now available on-line. The correct URL is http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr149/qr149.html
The Christine Mirzayan Internship Program of the National Academies (the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council) is accepting applications for their fall internship program (September 9-November 27, 2002) through June 1. Applications for the internships are invited from graduate students through postdoctoral candidates in any physical, biological, or social science field or any field of engineering, medicine/health, or veterinary medicine, as well as business and law students. The internship program is designed to engage graduate science, engineering, medical, veterinary, business, and law students in the analysis and creation of science and technology policy and to familiarize them with the interactions of science, technology, and government. As a result, students develop essential skills different from those attained in academia and make the transition from being a graduate student to a professional.
The Natural Disasters Roundtable is one of the many NRC boards that is interested in hosting an intern this fall. Application details are available from the NRC internship program web site: http://www7.nationalacademies.org/internship/index.html. Questions should be e-mailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hazards U.S. (HAZUS) is a software program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) to estimate losses from potential earthquakes. The agencies have recently released a new, updated version.
HAZUS99-SR2 has several new features:
A SCEC article describing the many new features and improvements of the software and how to join the Southern California HAZUS User Group is available from http://www.scec.org/resources/020502hazus.html.
To order CD-ROM sets of the new version of HAZUS, print out and fax the order form available from http://www.fema.gov/hazus/re_form.htm, or contact the FEMA distribution center, 1-800-480-2520.
For more information about HAZUS, training opportunities, and future developments (including flood and wind modules), also see http://www.fema.gov/hazus.
On May 4, NASA launched its Aqua satellite to study the many ways that water affects the climate and how that relationship may be changing. The satellite is a three ton spacecraft with sensors designed to follow the cycle of the earth's water in its many forms to determine whether the cycle is being affected by climate change.
The Aqua Project is a multidisciplinary study of the earth's interrelated processes (atmosphere, oceans, and land surface) and their relationship to earth system changes. Specifically, Aqua instruments will contribute to global change research in the areas of: atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles, clouds, precipitation and radiative balance; terrestrial snow and sea ice; sea surface temperature and ocean productivity; soil moisture; and the improvement of numerical weather prediction.
The $952 million program, planned to last six years, should also improve understanding of biological systems dependent upon water, enhance long-term weather and climate forecasting, and further knowledge regarding severe storms.
For additional information about the Aqua satellite program, see http://aqua.gsfc.nasa.gov/.
The Caribbean Disaster Information Network (CARDIN) was established in June 1999 to link Caribbean disaster organizations, to develop a broad collection of disaster related information, and to ensure improved access to such material.
The project was initially funded by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), and the Library of the University of the West Indies at Mona was selected as the network focal point.
CARDIN is intended to strengthen capacity for the collection, indexing, dissemination, and use of disaster-related information in the English-, Spanish-, Dutch-, and French-speaking Caribbean. The network's major goals are to:
In February, the National University of Costa Rica held a workshop to launch the "MA Programme on Natural Disaster Mitigation in Central America" (NADIMCA). This collaborative effort among several Central America universities will begin in January 2003. Each year, 14 students will be selected for the two-year program, which includes courses in meteorology, hydrology, volcanology, geology, and seismology. For additional information, contact Dr. Frederico Guendel Umana, e-mail: email@example.com.
The Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre (BGHRC) at University College London is launching two new natural hazard and risk programs. The first is a certificate course - "Natural Hazards for Insurers"; the second is a one-year masters/diploma course in "Geophysical Hazards" scheduled to begin in September 2003. Applications from beyond the U.K. are encouraged. Additional information is available on the web: http://www.bghrc.com/Educ&Train/cert&masters.htm, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Below are descriptions of recently awarded contracts and grants for the study of hazards and disasters. An inventory of contracts and grants awarded from 1995 to the present is available on the Natural Hazards Center's web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/grants.html.)
Impacts of Extreme Events on Passenger Travel Behavior. Funding: National Science Foundation, $50,000, 12 months. Principal Investigators: Jose Holguin-Veras and Robert E. Paaswell, City College of New York, Institute for Transportation Systems, Building Y-220, 135th Street and Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031; (212) 650-8060; fax: (212) 650-8374; e-mail: email@example.com. This research focuses on the impacts on passenger travel of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Industry Roadmap for NEHRP-Funded Problem-Focused Research and Development in Earthquake Engineering (ATC-57). Funding: National Institute for Standards and Technology, $54,998. Principal Investigator: Christopher Rojahn, Applied Technology Council, 555 Twin Dolphin Drive, Suite 550, Redwood City, CA 94065; (650) 595-1542; fax: (650) 593-2320; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information can also be obtained from S. Shyam Sunder, Structures Division, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, Building 226, Room B164, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8610, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8610; (301) 975-6713; fax: (301) 869-6275; e-mail: email@example.com.
Narrative Networks: The World Trade Center Tragedy. Funding: National Science Foundation, $50,000, 12 months. Principal Investigators: Peter S. Bearman and Mary Clark, Columbia University, Department of Sociology, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, New York, NY 10027; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This project will involve collecting oral histories from six samples of New York residents with varying degrees of exposure to the World Trade Center disaster. It is the first of three phases of interviews that will track how individuals' accounts of those events are shaped over time by public narratives and determine whether they will eventually conform to a standard version of events.
Late Quaternary Tectonics and Environmental History in the Kamchatka-Komandorsky Region, Russian Far East. Funding: National Science Foundation, $361,000, 48 months. Principal Investigator: Joanne Bourgeois, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105; e-mail: email@example.com.
The Impact of Breakdowns of Physical Infrastructure on Social Networks. Funding: National Science Foundation, $30,000, 12 months. Principal Investigators: Mark K. Golberg, Kristin P. Bennett, and William A. Wallace, Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, Department of Computer Science, Troy, NY 12180-3590; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Understanding and Improving Protective Decision Making. Funding: National Science Foundation, $304,038, 36 months. Principal Investigators: David H. Krantz and Howard C. Kunreuther, Center for Decision Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027; e-mail: email@example.com.
Tree-Ring Based Reconstruction of Drought Over the Past 500-1,000 Years in the Eastern United States. Funding: National Science Foundation, $283,573, 36 months. Principal Investigators: Edward R. Cook and Brendan M. Buckley, Tree-Ring Laboratory, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strategic and Practical Use of Remotely Sensed Data in Emergency Management (SPURS-EM). Funding: NASA. A collaborative project of the Washington State Emergency Management Division, Western Disaster Center, and University of Washington; contact: Terry Egan, Washington Military Department, Emergency Management Division, Mitigation, Analysis, and Plans Unit, Building 20, M/S: TA 20, Camp Murray, WA 98430-5122; (253) 512-7041; e-mail: email@example.com; WWW: http://www.wa.gov/wsem.
Below is a calendar of satellite broadcasts scheduled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Education Network (EENET) (all times are Eastern time.)
June 5 Incident Command 9-11: Lessons Learned at the 2:00-3:00 p.m. Pentagon; Shanksville, Pennsylvania; and Boca Raton, Florida. June 19 National Alert Broadcast - Watch the EENET web site 2:00-3:00 p.m. for specific topics to be announced later June 26 Consequence Management News, Equipment, and 2:00-3:00 p.m. Training (CoMNET) Magazine July 3 Classroom Connection: Community Emergency Response 2:00-3:00 p.m. Team (CERT) Update July 17 Highlights from the Third Annual U.S. Fire 2:00-3:00 p.m. Administration's Stakeholders Meeting July 24 Weapons of Mass Destruction - "Live Response" 2:00-3:00 p.m. August 7 Helping Your School and Community to Be Better 2:00-3:00 p.m. Prepared August 21 National Alert Broadcast 2:00-3:00 p.m. August 28 Consequence Management News, Equipment, and 2:00-3:00 p.m. Training (CoMNET) Magazine September 5 USDA/DoD/FEMA Emergency Preparedness Satellite 10:30 a.m-3:30 p.m. Symposium: Homeland Security September 18 Around the Table in Emmitsburg: E-MAC Then and Now 2:00-3:00 p.m. September 25 Weapons of Mass Destruction - "Live Response" 2:00-3:00 p.m.Additional broadcasts are frequently added. For the most current listing of programs, details about any of the above broadcasts, and satellite broadcast information, check EENET's new web page: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/eenet.htm.
[Below are some recent announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of upcoming hazards-related meetings and training is available from our World Wide Web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html]
18th Annual Disaster Preparedness Academy. Offered by: Orange County California Red Cross. Fullerton, California: June 4-18, 2002. Contact: Orange County Red Cross, 601 North Golden Circle Drive (92705), P.O. Box 11364, Santa Ana, CA 92711-1364; (714) 481-5341; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.oc-redcross.org.
E-Safety: Delivering Communications and Information Technology Solutions for 21st Century Public Safety. Sponsored by: ComCARE Alliance and the Institute for International Research (IIR). Washington, D.C.: June 6, 2002. Contact: IIR-NY, P.O. Box 3685, Boston, MA 02241-3685; 1-888-670-8200 or (941) 951-7885; fax: (941) 365-2507; e-mail: email@example.com; WWW: http://www.iirusa.com/esafety.
Fifth Annual Conference of the Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN): "GDIN's Contribution to Human Health, Survival, and Well Being." Rome, Italy: June 17-21, 2002. See: http://www.iss.it/gdin; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) Chemical and Bioterrorism Preparedness Conference. Minneapolis, Minnesota: June 30- July 2, 2002. Contact: NEHA, 720 South Colorado Boulevard, Suite 970-S, Denver, CO 80246-1925; (303) 756-9090; fax: (303) 691-9490; e-mail: email@example.com; WWW: http://www.neha.org/tracks.html.
- Tenth International Course on Community-Based Disaster Management
(CBDM-10). Bangkok, Thailand: July 8-19, 2002.
- Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDMP) Regional Lessons Learned Workshop. Bali, Indonesia: August 13-15, 2002.
- Third International Course on Urban Flood Mitigation (UFM-3). Bangkok, Thailand: September 16-27, 2002.
- Twenty-Ninth International Disaster Management Course (DMC-29) Bangkok, Thailand: November 22, 2002.
These and many other courses are offered by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Asian Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel: (66-2) 524-5354; fax: (66-2) 524-5360; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW: http://www.adpc.ait.ac.th.
- Second Executive and Leadership Development Program for Emergency
Managers. August 19-30, 2002.
- Local- and Community-Level Disaster Risk Management. October 14-25, 2002.
- International Disaster Risk Management Course. May 6-17, 2002.
- Conflict Prevention, Resolution, and Reconstruction. November 18-29, 2002.
All of these courses are offered by the International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM), with training taking place in Manila, Philippines. For more information, see: http://www.idrmhome.org; or e-mail: email@example.com.
Floodplain Management in Ohio - Statewide Conference 2002. Sponsors: Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Ohio Floodplain Management Association, and Federal Emergency Management Agency. Columbus, Ohio: August 28-29, 2002. Contact: Alicia Silverio, Ohio Division of Water- Floodplain Management Division; (614) 265-6750; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note new dates:
Environmental Catastrophes and Recovery. Host: Brunel University. London, U.K.: August 29-September 2, 2002. Contact: Iain Stewart, e-mail: Iain.Stewart@brunel.ac.uk.
Earthquake Loss Estimation and Risk Reduction. Bucharest, Romania: October 24-26, 2002. Abstracts are due June 15. Contact: Conference Secretariat, INCERC, National Institute for Building Research, 266 Pantelimon, Bucharest, 73559 Romania; tel: 40-1-255-7866; fax: 40-1- 255-0062; e-mail: email@example.com; WWW: http://www.utcb.ro/conferin/conference.html.
Contingency Planners of Ohio 2002 Annual Business Survival and
Recovery Seminar. Columbus, Ohio: October 29, 2002 (the meeting will
be preceded by an informal networking session and vendor exhibit on
October 28 and followed by a Disaster Recovery Planning Review Course
October 30-31). See: http://www.geocities.com/cpohio; or contact: Joni
McLean, President, Contingency Planners of Ohio, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; tel: (614) 249-0397.
For information about the disaster recovery course, contact: Disaster Recovery Institute International, WWW: http://www.dr.org (see 2002 DRII U.S. Course and Exam Schedule section); or call (703) 538-1792.
Third World Water Forum. Host: World Water Council. Kyoto, Shiga, and Osaka, Japan: March 16-23, 2003. Contact: Secretariat of the 3rd World Water Forum, 5th Floor 2-2-4 Kojimachi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0083, Japan; tel: +81-3-5212-1645; fax: +81-3-5212-1649; WWW: http://www.worldwaterforum.org.
32nd International Geological Congress (IGC). Florence, Italy: August
15-22, 2004. For a conference circular, e-mail: email@example.com; or
contact: Chiara Manetti, Universita degli Studi di Firenze,
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Via La Pira, 4 50121 Firenze,
Italy; tel/fax: +39 055 2382146; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; WWW:
Note: The 32nd IGC includes a Topical Symposium on "Natural Hazards and Mitigation of Geological Risks"; for more information, contact Tina Nunziata, e-mail: email@example.com, or Attia El-Sayed, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In turn, the symposium will include a session on "Geological Data and Seismic Hazard Maps"; for details, see http://www.bghrc.com/Geolhaz/Syposium/info.htm, or contact Ioannis Papanikolaou, e-mail: email@example.com.
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