July 31, 2002


  1. Planning for a Disaster-Resistant Community
  2. Request for Proposals from the Firewise Communities Program Post-Workshop Assessment
  3. Another Quick Response Report
  4. New Masters Degree Program in Turkey
  5. Does Flood Mitigation Pay Down Under?
  6. Update Your Calendars and Address Books I
  7. Uninhabited UFOs
  8. NEMA Report on State Organizational Structures for Addressing Terrorism
  9. Update Your Calendars and Address Books II
  10. Arlington County After-Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon
  11. A Collaborative Approach for the Reduction of Wildland Fire Risks for Communities and the Environment
  12. Postgraduate Training Program in Emergency Management and Public Health
  13. Earthquake Hazards Reduction Fellowship Announced
  14. Some New Web Resources
  15. Conferences and Training

Planning for a Disaster-Resistant Community

The American Planning Association (APA) is developing a day-long training course in hazard mitigation planning under a cooperative agreement with FEMA. The course includes an overview of the provisions and planning requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. Pilot versions of the course will be given at the APA conference in Florida and at the upcoming Michigan Society of Planning (MSP) meeting.

The Florida APA Conference is scheduled for September 25, 2002 in Key West. The MSP Conference will be held on October 2, 2002 in Kalamazoo. More information about this course can be obtained from: http://www.planning.org/conferences/disaster.htm.

Request for Proposals from the Firewise Communities Program Post-Workshop Assessment

The Firewise Communities Program is a project of the National Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team. Its purpose is to raise awareness of the national wildland/urban interface fire hazard and to motivate behavior change among individuals and communities to reduce losses from wildfire. As the Firewise Communities Program has grown, so too has the difficulty of documenting its results. The program's national workshops are the centerpiece of its public outreach and education efforts. Fifteen workshops have been held since 1999, with more than 1,000 participants from 47 states. The program seeks proposals that will follow up with workshop participants, measure performance indicators, and assess community needs for assistance and support. The submission deadline is August 16, 2002. Visit the Firewise Communities Program at: http://www.firewise.org/communities/downloads.html, or contact Michele Steinberg,(617) 984-7487; e-mail; msteinberg@nfpa.org.

Another Quick Response Report

QR #157, "Terrorism in Shanksville: A Study in Preparedness and Response" is now available on-line at the Hazards Center web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr157/qr157.html. The authors examine the crash of United flight 93 in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, as an example of a multiple jurisdictional and intergovernmental emergency response in a small town/rural setting. They conclude that although the incident tested the abilities of numerous local, state and federal agencies, overall preparedness, existing relationships among emergency professionals, and the willingness of citizens to get involved countered the rural isolation and the extreme nature of the event.

New Masters Degree Program in Turkey

The Istanbul Technical University is pleased to announce the inauguration of a one-year masters degree program in disaster and emergency management. The non-thesis program is directed at professionals who are in charge of emergency and/or disaster management systems. The degree program is being initiated with support from FEMA and in cooperation with Oklahoma State University and Texas A & M University. For more information see: http://www.cedm.itu.edu.tr/index.php.

Does Flood Mitigation Pay Down Under?

The Australian Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics (BTRE), released the latest of its natural disaster reports in May 2002. The report is titled "Benefits of Flood Mitigation in Australia" (Report 106). The Australian government allocates financial resources to mitigate the impact of floods through the use of various tools and measures; however, little work has been done to assess the effectiveness of such mitigation. This report identifies the substantial savings to both communities and government in five case studies of flood mitigation. The case studies examine a wide variety of measures, including land use planning, voluntary purchase, building controls, levees, and road sealing. The complete report can be found on-line at: http://www.btre.gov.au/recent.htm#Top. For more information, contact Sharon Kierce, BTRE, e-mail: Sharyn.Kierce@dotars.gov.au.

Update Your Calendars and Address Books I

If you are going to the Asian Seismological Commission 2002 meeting (see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html for specifics), please note that the dates for the pre-symposium training course on earthquake vulnerability have been extended. The correct dates are November 11-22, 2002. For more information, see: http://www.nset.org.np/ASC2002.

Uninhabited UFOs

In August, NASA will begin using uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) to better understand the causes of electrical storms as well as their impacts on planet Earth. The research is part of the Altus Cumulus Electrification Study (ACES), a collaboration between NASA, the University of Alabama/Hunstville, Pennylvania State University, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. Researchers will chase down thunderstorms using UAVs to safely gather weather data and test new aircraft technology. This will be the first time a UAV is used to collect lightening research. For more information, see: http://farside.gsfc.nasa.gov/ISTO/dro/freewing.

NEMA Report on State Organizational Structures for Addressing Terrorism

The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) represents the emergency management directors in all 50 states, territories, and the District of Columbia who are responsible to their governors for disaster preparedness. In October of last year, NEMA undertook a survey of states to identify trends and commonalities in terrorism preparedness at the state level, both before and after September 11, 2001. Thirty-nine states responded to the survey, and partial data for the others was collected through public information sources. Overall, the report found that on a state-by-state basis, disaster response structures have not changed much since September 11.

However, since September 11, many states have created new entities or diversified functions within existing entities to better respond to terrorist threats. As of January 2002, 18 states had established new entities such as homeland security offices, and 27 states had created terrorism task forces, committees, or working groups. Although these positions vary greatly in where they are located and how they were created, all share a key emphasis on the crucial importance of integrated coordination among many state organizations.

The report, "State Organizational Structures for Homeland Security," may be found on NEMA's web site: http://www.nemaweb.org/News/NEMA_Homeland_Security_Report.pdf

Update Your Calendars and Address Books II

The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) is moving its headquarters to a new disaster-resistant building on the campus of MOSI, Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry. Effective July 22nd, their new address is 4775 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33617; (866)657-4247 or (813) 286-3400; fax (813) 286-9960. Read more about the design and see the building on this link: http://www.ibhs.org/newsroom/view.asp?id=194.

Arlington County After-Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon

A recent investigation into the county response to the events of September 11 provides a valuable blueprint for disaster response. Both the Pentagon and Washington's Reagan National Airport are within the jurisdiction of the Arlington Fire Department and, because emergency plans were already in place, the county's emergency personnel were extremely well-prepared for this unprecedented situation. However, a section on "lessons learned" notes that there were some problem areas with the response. The report recommends establishing a clear chain to coordinate emergency-response agencies; investing in reliable communications equipment and testing them in regularized exercises; collaborating with neighboring jurisdictions for support and mutual aid; and including public-health officials in emergency response planning.

Developed for Arlington County, Virginia by Titan Systems Corporation through a grant from the Office of Justice Programs, Office of Domestic Preparedness, and the Department of Justice, the report is 215 pages. It can be downloaded from: http://www.co.arlington.va.us/fire/edu/about/pdf/after_report.pdf

A Collaborative Approach for the Reduction of Wildland Fire Risks for Communities and the Environment

The "Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: 10-year Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan" created by governors representing 21 states and U.S.-flag Pacific Islands, aims to reduce wildfire risks and protect firefighters, citizens, communities, forests and rangelands.

The goals of the strategy are to improve fire prevention and suppression, reduce hazardous fuels, restore fire-adapted ecosystems and promote community assistance. The guiding principles for the strategy include protecting communities and watersheds at risk, fostering collaboration among governments and representative stakeholders, and creating accountability through performance measures and monitoring. The plan provides a framework for the long-term planning and inter-organizational collaboration that will be necessary to restore ecosystems, reduce fire risk, and promote community assistance programs. It does not alter or expand existing jurisdictions or responsibilities of participating federal, state or tribal agencies.

While the report details tasks and performance measures, it does not specify funding levels, which will be determined by Congress. The implementation plan, along with a number of background documents, may be found at: http://www.westgov.org.

Postgraduate Training Program in Emergency Management and Public Health

George Washington University announces a new postgraduate training program in emergency management and public health for beginning and mid-career professionals interested in combining emergency services, disaster relief, and the rapid assessment of public health concerns and services. For more information: http://www.homelandsecurity.org/hls/gwu071202.htm.

Earthquake Hazards Reduction Fellowship Announced

Designed to provide practicing professionals with the opportunity to gain greater skills and broader expertise in earthquake hazards reduction, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) is announcing the 2003 Professional Fellowship. The $30,000 fellowship commences in January 2003. The fellowship is awarded on the basis of a specific project to be carried out over a period of up to one year. Applicants must provide a detailed research work plan and will be expected to produce a written report upon completion. All applications must be accompanied by a professional resume and letter of nomination from the faculty host at the cooperating educational institution.

For more information or an application form: EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612-1934; e-mail: eeri@eeri.org; web site: http://www.eeri.org.

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]

This site provides a valuable overview of information, curricula, scenarios and other resources for emergency management education. The site addresses effective emergency management and practices and decision-making issues in response to natural hazards.

The emergency preparedness section of Public Security in Quebec is responsible for protecting human life and property against disasters and other events of a similar nature. Its role is to develop a culture of civil protection among the population and the web site houses a searchable databases and information. Contact: Céécile Gaudreault; e-mail: cecile.gaudreault@msp.gouv.qc.ca.

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]

Workshop on Aviation Terrorism and Biological Agents. Host: International Association of Emergency Managers and Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Working Group. Kansas City, Missouri: August 22, 2002. Registration deadline: August 16, 2002. For more information and on-line registration, go to: http://www.edmus.info/.

Government Symposium on Information Sharing and Homeland Security. Host: Government Emerging Technology Alliance (GETA), a post-September 11 organization with a mission to bring government and industry together to foster the efficient implementation of technology. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: August 19-21, 2002. Conference tracks: Intelligence for Homeland Security, Information Technology, Critical First Responder Needs, Training and Education. For more information, contact: National Conferences Services, Inc.; 888-603-8899; http://www.federalevents.com.

Western States Water Conservation Roundtable. Host: "Bridging-the-Headgate" partnership. Boise, Idaho: August 27-29, 2002. For information contact: Allen Powers (208) 334-1455; or Sue Lowry, Western States Water Council (307) 777-5927.

Tenth International Conference and Fieldtrip on Landslides. Host: International Landslide Research Group (ICFL); Japanese Friends of the ICFL. Krakow-Warszawa-Gdansk: September 6-16, 2002. For information, view the conference web site at: http://www.cottonshires.com/temp/volumes/Xth_ICFL_Nov01.pdf.

Western Water Law: Water Shortage, Supply and Quality in the Arid West. Denver, Colorado: September 12-13, 2002. Water users in arid states are faced with the pressing question, "Where does the water come from and what will happen in times of shortage?" See: http://www.cle.com/upcoming/denwat02.shtml.

Dealing with Disasters: Impacts on Human Health. Host: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. London, Ontario, Canada: September 27-28, 2002. For information about this workshop contact: Sandra Doyle, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, The University of Western Ontario, 1389 Western Road, London, ON Canada N6A 5B9; (519) 661-3234; e-mail: ssdoyle@uwo.ca.

12th Symposium on Earthquake Engineering. Host: Indian Society of Earthquake Technology (ISET). IIT-Roorkee, India: December 16-18, 2002. For more information contact: Ashok Kumar, Department of Earthquake Engineering, University of Roorkee, Roorkee - 247 667, India; e-mail: 12see@iitr.ernet.in.

International Conference on Advances in Flood Forescasting in Europe. Host: WL/Delft Hydraulics and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: March 3-6, 2003. For more information contact: Bob van Kappel; e-mail: bob.vankappel@wldelft.nl; http://www.wldelft.nl/.

2003 National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Conference. Reno, Nevada: March 8-12, 2003. The NDMS Conference is designed to promote interaction between local, state and federal public health practitioners and policy makers. For more information: (800) 872-6367 (press the "star" key); e-mail: ndms@usa.net; http://www.oep-ndms.dhhs.gov.

Disaster Resistant California Conference. Host: Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation. San Jose, California: April 21-23, 2003. This statewide conference will promote partnerships among public and private sectors to reduce state vulnerability to natural disasters. For more information: Disaster Resistant California (916) 845-8263; http://www.oes.ca.gov.

International Workshop on Wind Effect on Trees. Host: Institut für Hydromechanik. Karlsruhe University, Germany: September 16-18, 2003. In response to an increasing number of extreme wind/severe storm that caused wind damage to trees in Europe, the workshop will provide a forum for physicists, foresters, engineers, physiologists, and ecologists to examine new developments in the field. For more information contact: Mrs. Dipl.-Ing. C. Frank, Institut für Hydromechanik, Universität Karlsruhe, Kaiserstr. 12, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany; e-mail: wind2003@uka.de; http://www.ifh.uni-karlsruhe.de/ifh/science/aerodyn/windconf.htm

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