June 19, 2002


  1. On-Line Survey Now On-Line
  2. Seeking Information on Incorporating Vulnerability Analysis into Mainstream Development
  3. Announcing CIRI and TISP
  4. LSU Opens New Center to Study Health Impacts of Hurricanes and Floods
  5. Transportation Research Board Creates Committee on Evacuation
  6. USGS Creates Earthquake Research Committee
  7. EERI Expands Its Learning from Earthquakes Program
  8. WMO and Others Launch Associate Program on Flood Management
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Send Us Your Reprints!
  11. Some Recent Research Grants of Note
  12. FEMA Seeking Participants for Workshop on K-6 Earthquake Education
  13. Conferences and Training

On-Line Survey Now On-Line

In the last issue of DR, we posted the request below for people to participate in an on-line survey on hazards mitigation decision making. However, when that issue was sent out, the survey was not yet on Columbia University's Center for Hazard and Risk Research web site.

It is now.

The original request:

Please take a few minutes to answer a few questions and help further the science of decision-making regarding hazards. The purpose of this on-line study is to gain an understanding regarding responses to suggestions for mitigation of disasters. Such an understanding could be helpful in developing mitigation strategies for many different disaster scenarios. From data collected in interviews with disaster- relevant professionals, this short survey was designed to elicit from a wider range of respondents information about reactions to suggestions that they have encountered. Many questions that disaster professionals wonder about regarding disasters are included in the survey.

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The entire study should be completed by the fall of 2002. The survey is part of a masters degree project in Earth and Environmental Sciences Journalism at Columbia University and can be found on the web page of Columbia University's Center for Hazard and Risk Research: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/CHRR.

Seeking Information on Incorporating Vulnerability Analysis Into Mainstream Development

[Adapted from the excellent Natural-Hazards-Disasters e-mail list: natural-hazards-disasters@jiscmail.ac.uk. Apologies for cross-posting to those of you who receive both newsletters. To join the natural-hazards-disasters network, see: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/natural-hazards-disasters.html]

Terry Cannon and I are doing a small piece of work advising the UK's Department for International Development on how to incorporate vulnerability analysis into mainstream development and humanitarian assistance programmes more effectively.

As part of this work, we will produce an inventory of methods of analysing social vulnerability, and assess their applicability in different contexts.

Although we already have documents on many methods in our collections, there are always going to be some we don't know about somewhere in the world, so we would be grateful for tip-offs about any that you know of.

As well as knowing about the formal methods themselves, we are also keen to find evidence of how effectively they have been applied and lessons learnt from that application.

Thanks and best wishes,

Dr. John Twigg
Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
Tel: +44-(0)20-7679-2436
E-mail: j.twigg@ucl.ac.uk
WWW: http://www.bghrc.com

Announcing CIRI and TISP

In all disasters, natural or human-caused, maintaining the integrity of the built environment is critical if damage and loss of life are to be held to a minimum. Recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) launched the Critical Infrastructure Response Initiative (CIRI) to address infrastructure vulnerability and develop strategies for mitigating the effects of natural and human-caused disasters on critical elements of the nation's transportation, water, power, communication, and other important systems. As part of that effort, CIRI assembled two building performance study teams that are gathering data on the effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. and joined with construction industry groups and federal agencies to form the Infrastructure Security Partnership (TISP).

ASCE will hold a series of "summits" wherein participants will share information and expertise needed to make the various components of the nation's infrastructure more secure. Summit topics include "The Critical Water Infrastructure Dialog," building systems security, and security for transportation systems. Goals of TISP will be to assess infrastructure vulnerability; prioritize needed infrastructure renovation based on the results of vulnerability assessment; and determine research and development that will help protect critical elements, develop retrofit designs to mitigate disaster damage, formulate new design procedures, and improve disaster preparedness and response.

Spearheaded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TISP was established so that the collective technical expertise of professionals within both the design and construction industries and the government sector could collectively improve security. Other founding members include the American Institute of Architects, the Society of American Military Engineers, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and others.

Other objectives of TISP include promoting efforts to improve antiterrorism and asset protection, disseminating infrastructure knowledge, transferring knowledge of effective security measures, and encouraging protocols related to the sensitivity of information generated by the new partnerships.

To obtain more information about CIRI, contact Marla Dalton, Critical Infrastructure Response Initiative, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191; (800) 548-2723. To learn more about TISP, contact Larry Delaney, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Construction Division, (202) 761-4945. Interested persons can also view the TISP web site: http://www.tisp.org.

LSU Opens New Center to Study Health Impacts of Hurricanes and Floods

Disease risk in Louisiana due to hurricanes is high. Forty percent of the state lies in a coastal zone where 70% of residents dwell. Ninety percent of this coastal zone is at or below sea level, and major population areas in that region, such as New Orleans, rank among the most at-risk areas in the nation to social, health, and economic impacts of hurricanes. To address these problems, the Louisiana State University Board of Regents, through its Health Excellence Fund (HEF), recently awarded a five-year contract to the university's Hurricane Center to establish the HEF Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts from Hurricanes and Floods.

Using New Orleans as a test case, the center will develop detailed models for the assessment and amelioration of public health problems due to hurricanes and major floods. To conduct this work, a multi- campus, multidisciplinary team was formed with representatives from the natural science, social science, engineering, mental health, and public health communities. Recent research indicates that even a category 3 hurricane could cause levy over-topping in the region, resulting in widespread and long-term flooding that could create biological and chemical contamination.

Using computer models, team members will calculate storm surges and rainfall flooding and use government databases and geographic information system technology to identify at-risk areas, determine probable chemical and sewage site releases, and simulate air and water movement of contaminants. The researchers will also identify the impacts of these events and test various management scenarios.

For further information about this project, contact the LSU Hurricane Center, Suite 3513 CEBA Building, Louisana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; (225) 578-4813; fax (225) 578-7646; WWW: http://www.hurricane.lsu.edu.

Transportation Research Board Creates Committee on Evacuation

The Transportation Research Board (TRB), Technical Committee on Transportation Safety Management, part of the National Academies of Science, has created a new Subcommittee on Emergency Evacuations. The subcommittee will explore:

The subcommittee comprises a diverse cross-section of professionals with a range of transportation-related expertise. The first formal meeting of the subcommittee was held in January in Washington, D.C. Interested persons should contact Brian Wolshon, LSU Hurricane Center, 3513 CEBA Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; (225)578-5247; fax: (225)578-5263.

USGS Creates Earthquake Research Committee

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently announced the establishment of a Scientific Earthquake Studies Advisory Committee to advise the director of the Survey on matters relating to that agency's participation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). At the committee's first meeting in May, the group reviewed the program's current status and USGS's five-year NEHRP plan. Created through an act of Congress, the committee is required to issue an annual report to the director before September 30 of each year regarding performance goals and policy issues related to the NEHRP. To obtain more information about the committee, contact John Filson, USGS, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192; (703) 648-6785.

EERI Expands Its Learning from Earthquakes Program

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) recently received a $3.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to expand its Learning from Earthquakes program, which supports postearthquake investigations to understand the effectiveness and failures of earthquake engineering. Following a recent one-day training session regarding postearthquake investigation skills and an invitational workshop to develop damage data collection protocols, four research projects were selected for funding. They are:

Further information about this expanded research effort can be obtained from Marjorie Green, EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612-1934; e-mail: mgreene@eeri.org.

WMO and Others Launch Associate Program on Flood Management

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Global Water Partnership, and the Japanese government have established the "Associate Program on Flood Management" (APFM) to promote adoption of flexible structural and nonstructural solutions to problems in flood-prone regions of the world.

One of the main purposes of the project is to establish and encourage close cooperation among agencies and institutions concerned with flood management. The United Nation's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction is also involved with this initiative and will provide assistance in identifying international, regional, and national agencies relevant to this project.

To obtain further information or to become involved in the APFM, contact the Hydrology and Water Resource Department, WMO, Case postale 2300, CH-1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland; e-mail: miyake_k@gateway.wmo.ch.

Some New Web Resources

[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]

The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) recently completed an extensive study of how land-use planning is used (or not used) by local jurisdictions to mitigate natural hazards. The results of that research are presented in Are We Planning Safer Communities?, which is available from the URL above. In that volume, the author, Michele Steinberg, analyzes when, where, and how land-use planning is used. She found that it is frequently used on a limited basis but seldom used comprehensively, and that it was most likely to be an effective tool in locations where such planning was mandated by the state. Another volume, The IBHS Showcase State Model for Natural Disaster Resistance and Resilience, which includes ideas for state and local planning, is also available from http://www.ibhs.org/research_library.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region VIII Office in Denver, Colorado, has added this section to its web site both to provide information about the current wildfire situation in the region (which, as many of you know, is bad) and to provide interested persons and organizations with background information about wildfire prevention and mitigation. Several guides, checklists, brochures, and other information are provided.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) maintains this nice "Earth Observatory" web site, which, on its "Natural Hazards" page provides a map of the world with appropriate icons showing where natural hazards have occurred - click on an icon and read and see the latest information about that particular calamity. Hazards covered include dust and smoke, fires, floods, severe storms, and volcanoes. The "Newsroom" page offers breaking news, recent stories, and images about current hazards and other terrestrial phenomena studied by NASA.

The RAND Science and Technology Policy Institute recently released Protecting Emergency Responders: Lessons Learned from Terrorist Attacks, summarizing key findings from a conference sponsored by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The book may be ordered or downloaded from the web site above.

This site, from the Institute for the Study of the Continents (INSTOC) at Cornell University, provides access to a wide range of earth science information, covering earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, topology, and sea level change. It includes, graphs, maps, movies, and interactive programs that allow on-line data analysis, experimentation, and mapping.

The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) in Kobe, Japan, has produced a report entitled, Preliminary Immediate Study on the Expanding Damage and Response to the Victims in the Event of the September 11th Attack. The study assesses the economic losses and impacts of the terrorist disaster and will be used to inform reconstruction proposals and plans. An Executive Summary is available from the ADRC web site.

Compiled by Kevin D. Motes of the U.S. Government Information Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, this bibliography focuses on U.S. federal documents on terrorism - specifically on the events of September 11. All documents are concisely annotated and available from the Federal Depository system. Many are also available on the web.

This report, Rapid Assessment of Injuries Among Survivors of the Terrorist Attack on the World Trade Center, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Vol. 51, No. 1), details the type and severity of injuries among a sample of survivors who received emergency care in the 48 hours following the World Trade Center attack.

The National Academies of Science has established a web site entitled "Responding First to Bioterrorism: Expert-selected Web Resources for 'First Resonders' on Bioterrorism and Public Safety" with a search engine of approximately 3,000 related web sites. Information is broken down by content categories, audience types, authoring sources, and presentation format.

Send Us Your Reprints!

The Natural Hazards Center would like all hazards authors to send us their recently published articles. We promise to give them a good home among our extensive collection of documents on human adaptation to natural hazards and related events. As an added incentive, works will be accessible via our on-line bibliographic database, HazLit, to other researchers, practitioners, and individuals with an interest in natural hazards and disasters.

Please send or fax your article reprints to Wanda Headley, Library Manager, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482; fax: (303) 492-2151.

Some Recent Research Grants of Note

[Below are some recent grant announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of grants awarded from 1995 to the present (primarily funded by the National Science Foundation) is available from the Center's web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/grants.html]

Urban Stream Corridor Management in the United States: The Interaction of Ecology and Policy. Funding: National Science Foundation, $208,820, 24 months. Principal Investigators: Rutherford Platt, Center for Public Policy and Administration, Ecological Cities Project, Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003; (413) 545-2499; fax: (413) 545-1200; WWW: http://www.umass.edu/ecologicalcities; and Timothy Beatley, School of Architecture, Campbell Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22903; (804) 982-2196; e-mail: tb6d@virginia.edu.

Turning to Digital Government in a Crisis: Coordinating Government, Business, and Nonprofit Services in Response to the World Trade Center Attacks of September 11, 2001. Funding: National Science Foundation, $100,931, 12 months. Principal Investigator: Sharon S. Dawes, Center for Technology in Government, 1535 Western Avenue, State University of New York-Albany, Albany, NY 12204; (518) 442-3027; e-mail: sdawes@ctg.albany.edu.

An Integrated Transportation Network Reliability Analysis Framework. Funding: National Science Foundation, $375,000, 48 months. Principal Investigator: Anthony Chen, Department of Civil Engineering, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322; (435) 797-7109; e-mail: achen@cc.usu.edu.

FEMA Seeking Participants for Workshop on K-6 Earthquake Education

July 15-18, 2002, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host a hands-on workshop to introduce kindergarten and elementary school teachers to Earthquakes: A Teacher's Package for K-6 (FEMA publication #159). The material provides basic information about earthquakes, with lesson plans and activities designed to promote scientific literacy among young children and to give them the information and skills they need to cope safely during and following an earthquake. The workshop also addresses crisis intervention, focusing on the needs of children and school personnel, with a unit on earthquake risk reduction for schools.

The workshop will be held at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC), Emergency Management Institute, Emmitsburg, Maryland. To apply, submit FEMA form 75-5 (General Admissions Application) with student signature and supervisory or sponsoring office signature through your state emergency management training office to the NETC Admissions Office; fax: (30l) 447-1658. Admissions applications may be downloaded from the EMI web site at http://www.training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/rclists.htm. For further information on enrollment, contact the NETC Admissions Office, (301) 447-1035; fax: (30l) 447-1658.

Conferences and Training

[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]

"Connecting Communities: Emergency Preparedness and Security Regional Forums." Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration (FTA). "These two-day forums are intended to help metropolitan areas and their surrounding communities become better prepared to respond to emergency situations in the coordination, communication, planning and practice of safety and security measures."

   July 24-25: Seattle, WA          September 17-18: St. Louis, MO
   August 12-13 : San Jose, CA      October 16-17: Detroit, MI
   August 14-15: San Francisco, CA  October 30-31: Denver, CO
   August 20-21: Washington, DC
   August 27-28: Chicago, IL
Other forum cities with dates to be determined are: Charlotte, NC; Dallas, TX; Hartford, CT; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Diego, CA. Additional cities may be added at a later date. See: http://www.transit-safety.volpe.dot.gov; or e-mail: Tami von Isakovics at Isakovics.Tami.Von@fta.dot.gov.

Symposium in Honor of Huixian Liu and the inauguration of the U.S.- China Earthquake Engineering Foundations. Held in conjunction with the International Conference on Advances and New Challenges in Earthquake Engineering Research (ICANCEER-2002). Sponsor: Asian-Pacific Network of Centers for Earthquake Engineering Research (ANCER). The conference will involve two consecutive back-to-back meetings in different locations. Harbin, China: August 15-17, 2002, and Hong Kong, China: August 19-20, 2002. For the Harbin conference, contact: Xiaozhai Qi, Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Seismological Bureau, 9 Xufu Road, Harbin 150080, China; tel: 86-451-665-2625; fax: 86-451-666- 4755; e-mail: qxz@iem.net.cn/ or qxz@public.hr.hl.cn. For the Hong Kong conference, contact: Jan-Ming Ko, Faculty of Construction and Land Use; The Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong; tel: 85-227-665037; fax: 85-223-622574; e-mail: cejmko@polyu.edu.hk. For both conference programs, registration, and other information, see: http://www.nd.edu/~quake/ICANCEER/.

Critical Incident Stress Management. Offered by: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Maui, Hawaii: September 5-8, 2002. Contact: ICISF, 10176 Baltimore National Pike, Unit 201, Ellicott City, MD 21042; (410) 750-9600; fax: (410) 750-9601; WWW: http://www.icisf.org.

Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association (OFMA) Annual Fall Conference. Lone Wolf, Oklahoma: September 21-26, 2002. Contact: OFMA, P.O. Box 8101, Tulsa, OK 74101-8101; (405) 530-8800; WWW: http://www.okflood.org.

Wetlands 2002: Restoring Impaired Wetlands and Other Waters. Sponsor: Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM). Indianapolis, Indiana: October 7-9, 2002. Contact: ASWM, (518) 872-1804; e-mail: aswm@aswm.org; WWW: http://www.aswm.org.

Arkansas Floodplain Management Association (AFMA) Annual Fall Conference. Fort Smith, Arkansas: October 7-9, 2002. Contact: AFMA, c/o Arkansas Soil and Water Conservation Commission, 101 East Capitol, Suite 350, Little Rock, AR 72201; (501) 682-3907; e-mail: jason.donham@mail.state.ar.us; WWW: http://www.arkansasflood.org.

California Emergency Services, Southern California Chapter 2002 Conference. Palm Springs, California: October 7-10, 2002. See: http://www.scesa.org.

2002 LIDERES Course on Disaster Management. Hosted by: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Cuernavaca, Mexico: October 7-24, 2002. "Directed at top-level professionals with broad experience in disaster situations from a wide variety of organizations and sectors (health ministries, national disaster offices, the Red Cross, financing institutions, U.N. and other cooperating agencies)." Course conducted in Spanish. Contact: PAHO, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program, 525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037-2895; fax: (202) 775-4578; e-mail: curso-lideres@paho.org; WWW: http://www.disaster.info.desastres.net/LIDERES.

Hydrologic Extremes: Challenges for Science and Management. Host: American Institute of Hydrology. Portland, Oregon: October 13-17, 2002. Contact: Helen Dlose, 2499 Rice Street, Suite 135, St. Paul, MN 55113; (651) 484-8169; e-mail: aihydro@aol.com; WWW: http://www.aihydro.org.

Coastal GeoTools - 2003. Host: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coastal Services Center (CSC). Charleston, South Carolina: January 6-9, 2003. Possible focus areas include hazard mitigation, land use and community development, remote sensing, watershed planning, and other hazards-related topics. Abstracts are due July 19, 2002. See: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/GeoTools/; or contact: Mark Jansen, NOAA Coastal Services Center, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405-2413; (843) 740-1200; e-mail: Geo.Tools@noaa.gov.

Fourth International STESSA Conference on the Behavior of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas. Sponsors: University of Naples and others. Naples, Italy: June 9-12, 2003. See: http://www.stessa2003.unina.it.

Coastal Zone Management Through Time. Host: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Coastal Services Center (CSC). Baltimore, Maryland: July 13-17, 2003. "Management Responses to Coastal Hazards" is one of four major conference themes. Abstracts are due September 16, 2002. See: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/cz2003; or contact: Jan Kucklick, NOAA Coastal Services Center, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405-2413; (843) 740-1279; e-mail: Jan.Kucklick@noaa.gov.

13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (13WCEE). Hosted by: Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: August 1-6, 2004. See: http://www.13wcee.com, or http://venuewest.com/13wcee; or contact: 13th WCEE Secretariat, c/o Venue West Conference Services Ltd., #645-375 Water Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5C6, Canada; (604) 681-5226; fax: (604) 681-2503; e-mail: congress@venuewest.com.

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