The Disaster Research (DR) electronic newsletter is a moderated e-mail newsletter published by the Natural Hazards Center. DR comes out approximately twice monthly and comprises some of the news items that appear in center's printed newsletter, the Natural Hazards Observer, as well as other timely articles. In addition, it contains queries and messages from DR's many subscribers. DR is distributed worldwide via the Internet to over 2,700 people.
Disaster Research 384 February 28, 2003


February 28, 2003


  1. Firefighter Grant Application Period Opens in March
  2. Catastrophic World Hazards and Losses 2002
  3. Educational Opportunities for African, Latino, and Native American College Students
  4. Request for Public Comments
  5. Disaster Mental Health Seminar
  6. Media Fellowship on the Social, Ecological, and Political Aspects of Wildfires
  7. 2003 Awards in Excellence Call for Nominations
  8. Student Volunteers Wanted!
  9. International Summer School
  10. Comments, Comments, Comments!
  11. The Joel L. Fleishman Fellows in Civil Society
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  13. Some New Web Resources
  14. Conferences and Training

1) Firefighter Grant Application Period Opens in March

The application period for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration 2003 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program is scheduled to open on March 3, 2003, and will run through April 4, 2003.

The purpose of this program is to award one-year grants directly to states to enhance their abilities related to fire and fire hazards. The program seeks to support departments with the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of the public and their firefighting personnel.

Application dates and other related information is subject to change due to the unique funding structure for the federal government's fiscal year. Complete information, including how to apply, what items can be requested, and how applications will be evaluated, is available at

2) Catastrophic World Hazards and Losses 2002

Munich Re, a German-based global insurance and reinsurance company that analyzes, models, and calculates loss potentials, has released its 2002 analysis of natural catastrophes. Worldwide economic losses have increased from $36 billion in 2001 to $55 billion in 2002. Record figures were documented for windstorms, rain, and flooding, while the number of recorded natural catastrophes increased to around 700, greater than the 650 annual average for the 1990s. Windstorms and floods accounted for just under 500 of the total number of events, causing 98% of the insured losses from natural catastrophes and dominating the claims burden around the world.

The outstanding natural hazard event for 2002 was the major flooding experienced along the Danube, Elbe, and Moldova rivers and their tributaries. These were the worst floods in Europe in centuries, since the millennium flood in 1342. Record rainfalls, tropical cyclones, and tornadoes topped the list as well.

Complete information is available at

3) Educational Opportunities for African, Latino, and Native American College Students

The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) has received funding for the upcoming year to provide educational opportunities for African, Latino, and Native American college students interested in pursuing one of the risk analysis and risk management disciplines.

If you are a member of SRA and are interested in hosting an intern through this program, contact Michael Greenberg of SRA for the full details of the program and host requirements at (732) 932-0387 ext. 673; e-mail:

4) Request for Public Comments

In December 2002, the Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) convened a meeting of public warning experts from government, industry, academia and the nonprofit community. The purpose of this meeting was to draft a national strategy for improving the nation's public warning capability.

PPW is now seeking public comments on the draft strategy. All interested parties are welcome to participate in this process. Comments must be signed in order to be considered and must include contact information for the commentator(s). It is PPW's intent to make the comments available for public inspection at the end of the process. However, upon receipt of a written request, PPW will keep the identity of the commentator confidential.

Comments are due no later than Friday, April 18, 2003. The draft document may be found, along with instructions for sending in comments, at You may also contact PPW directly at Mail Stop N655, 7515 Colshire Drive, McLean, VA 22102-7508; (703) 883-2745.

5) Disaster Mental Health Seminar

The Disaster Mental Health Institute at the University of South Dakota announces a "Summer Intensive Program for 2003" intended to enable licenced mental health professionals to complete a graduate certificate in Disaster Mental Health. Each year the Institute will offer the three required courses for the graduate certificate, along with electives. This year's electives are Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Management in Disaster Mental Health.

Classes meet "in person" June 10 - July 2, 2003, and then require a combination of assigned readings, internet-based distance learning, and papers from May 12 - August 1, 2003. The certificate may be completed in two consecutive years, and participants are required to spend only 10 days on the Institute's campus each year.

The web site for the program is

6) Media Fellowship on the Social, Ecological, and Political Aspects of Wildfires

Southern Oregon University (SOU) in Ashland, Oregon, will present a Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) media fellowship titled "Ignite Your Knowledge: The Political and Environmental Heat Surrounding Forest Fires," April 8-11, 2003, at the university's campus.

Participating journalists will explore the ecological, social, and political aspects of wildfire management in the West with local, regional, and national experts. Academic scientists, community leaders, timber industry representatives, environmental groups, federal agency leaders, a United States Senator, and a former Chief of the U.S. Forest Service will speak on the environmental and social impacts of wildfires and recent changes in forest management. The workshop will provide hands-on research opportunities in the classroom and in the field. The proximity to recent fires will provide opportunities for field trips that will allow participants to learn about the impacts and risks of large wildfires.

Fellowships are available to all working journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, and on-line sites, as well as freelancers with substantial experience. SOU will provide room and board during the four-day fellowship; media organizations are responsible for travel expenses and salary during the fellowship. Applications are due by March 14, 2003.

More information is available from Kathryn Bazylewicz, Office of Research and Communications, Churchill Hall, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Boulevard, Ashland, OR 97520; (541) 552-6422; e-mail:;

7) 2003 Awards in Excellence Call for Nominations

The Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) is accepting nominations for its "Awards in Excellence" program. The program recognizes achievement in different areas of earthquake mitigation, preparedness, and response. It is an effective method to share model programs throughout the WSSPC region, as well as a means to recognize creative and innovative efforts within the earthquake hazard reduction community.

WSSPC hopes to bring greater visibility to exemplary state, county, and local programs and policies and facilitate the transfer of successful experiences to other states. State, provincial, county, or city governmental, or non-profit agencies in WSSPC member states are eligible for nomination. Programs must be submitted by someone outside the nominated agency.

Details about award categories, selection criteria, profiles of past winners, and complete eligibility requirements are available at Applications are due by May 16, 2003, and must be e-mailed to: For more information, contact WSSPC, 125 California Avenue, Suite D201 #1, Palo Alto, CA 94306; (650) 330-1101;

8) Student Volunteers Wanted!

The Canadian Center for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP) is inviting applications from qualified volunteers to participate in the 13th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM) to be held June 22-25, 2003, in Toronto, Ontario. WCDM will provide opportunities for training and networking among emergency management, business continuity, emergency health care, risk assessment, and security professionals world-wide, and for the organizations that supply and service these professions. Volunteers receive complimentary conference registration in return for their efforts.

Full details for interested students are posted at (click on "volunteer").

9) International Summer School

The Institute of Geography, the National Committee for Environmental Global Change, and the Simion Mehedinti Foundation invite graduate-level and young researchers to attend the third International Summer School in Romania to study Environmental Hazards and Sustainable Development in the Mountain Regions.

The main topics include environmental hazards field assessment and mapping, human pressure on the environment and the impact of natural hazards on socio-economic systems, and vulnerability of rural settlements from landslides and floods. The program will run from July 21-27, 2003, and will be held in Bucharest. The application deadline is March 15, 2003.

Questions and requests for more information may be directed to Diana Dogaru or Gabriel Simion, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy, Human Geography Department, 12 Dimitrie Racovita Street, Sector 2, Bucharest, Romania; e-mail:

10) Comments, Comments, Comments!

DR Readers -

I would like to invite you to visit the American Lifelines Alliance (ALA) web site at It has been updated to provide information on the history of ALA, past and current ALA projects, and updated matrices to identify available guidelines and standards for improving the performance of lifelines to natural and human-made hazards.

ALA is in the process of identifying projects that can be implemented in 2004, and your input in identifying needs within the lifelines industry is a valuable contribution to ALA. Examples of past ALA projects that have been undertaken based upon input provided to ALA include: 1) an update to national ice and concurrent wind speed hazard maps; 2) guidelines for the design of buried pipelines; and 3) guidelines for the seismic design and retrofit of above-ground piping. ALA invites you to suggest potential projects important to improving current hazard management practices in the lifelines industry. ALA is particularly interested in opportunities to participate in projects that can be used as case studies for the application of ALA guidelines.

All comments on the ALA matrices, web site, and future projects should be e-mailed to Joe Steller, If you or a colleague would be interested in becoming a "corresponding advisor" to ALA, please provide your e-mail address to Joe Steller. If you would like to discuss technical issues related to future projects with ALA, please feel free to contact me directly.


Doug Honegger
ALA Principal Investigator
D.G. Honegger Consulting
(805) 473-0856

11) The Joel L. Fleishman Fellows in Civil Society

Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy is proud to offer an exciting program for outstanding civil society practitioners: The Joel L. Fleishman Fellows in Civil Society. The fellowship program is designed to provide a unique learning experience at one of the leading public policy institutions in the U.S. While at Duke, fellows perform research and work with institute faculty and other Duke affiliates on issues relating to the development of civil society.

The fellowship is designed to provide a select group of outstanding civil society practitioners working internationally or domestically with the opportunity to come in residence to the Sanford Institute for a four-week mini-sabbatical. It also offers access to Duke University library and research centers and allows participants to pursue research or other work of their choosing related to the development of civil society.

The fellowships covers housing and program expenses, as well as providing a stipend. Full-time academics are not eligible to apply. The 2003 Fellowship period will begin October 1, 2003. The start date is not flexible since all fellows begin together as a cohort.

Applicants are selected based upon their proposed research project and other application materials as described on-line. The application deadline is May 1, 2003. To download an application, visit For questions or more information, contact Amy Hepburn; e-mail:

12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

[Below are a few recent job vacancies that are related to some of the myriad activities in which DR readers engage. Please contact the organizations directly for more information.]

New York City Emergency Preparedness Positions

The New York City Office of Emergency Management has five grant-funded openings each with an anticipated duration of 20-22 months. Job titles are: Mitigation Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Community Outreach-Disaster Education Coordinator, Infrastructure Emergency Preparedness Specialist, Human Services Assistance Coordinator, and Training and Exercises Director.

Job descriptions and complete information about these positions are available from MaryAnn Marrocolo, New York City Office of Emergency Management, 11 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11220; e-mail:

WFP Short Term Assignments

To respond to the recent rise in humanitarian emergencies worldwide, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is building a registry of consultants for short-term professional assignments. WFP is looking for candidates with more than three years of post-graduate professional working experience in the following disciplines: logistics and transport, finance, human resources, food aid/humanitarian programming, and security. Successful candidates will be fluent in at least two of the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Portugese, Russian, or Arabic, and will be available for deployment on short notice.

Applications should be sent in English in the body of an e-mail to, with "Consultant Roster 1269" in the subject line. More information is available from WFP's applicant guidelines web site:

Spring Internship Available

There is a good possibility of a spring internship opportunity with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Emergency Management Higher Education Project. Work would involve helping develop and participating in the 6th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference, to be held June 4-5, 2003. For complete details students may contact Wayne Blanchard at the Emergency Management Institute, National Emergency Training Center, FEMA, 16825 South Seton, N430, Emmitsburg, MD 21727; (301) 447-1262; e-mail:

Research Position in "Earthquakes and Lake Sediment Analysis"

A researcher is sought to work on a European Union funded research project (RELIEF) on the sedimentary analysis of past earthquake disturbance in lake and coastal zones on the western North Anatolian Fault, Turkey. Requirements include a masters or Ph.D. in at least one of the following fields: sedimentology (especially microstructural analysis), geochemistry (especially radiometric dating), paleolimnology, or coastal-wetland geology (low-energy environments).

The full-time appointment will have a duration of two years. The appointee will be based at Brunel University's main west London campus, but will be expected to travel abroad for fieldwork and progress workshops. Applications are due by March 18, 2003. For more information, contact Suzanne Leroy, Human Resources, Brunel University, Uxbridge UB8 3PH, U.K.; tel: +44 1895 203178; e-mail:

13) 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]
Citizen Corps, created to help coordinate volunteer activities to make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation, has recently revised its web site to make it more user-friendly.
The web site for the National Mass Fatalities Institute provides information about training, support, and resources related to preparing emergency planners and responders for mass casualty incidents.
Free, high quality coastal and environmental photographs are available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s on-line photo library. A variety of searches of these public domain photographs are available at this web site. New York City's Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) web site contains information on emergency pet preparedness that includes a step-by-step plan for protecting pets. The Pan American Health Organization's Program on Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief announced that the SUMA (Humanitarian Supply Management System) web site has been given a complete facelift to provide for more dynamic service.

14) 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:]

The Homeland and Global Security Summit. Sponsor: Center for Homeland and Global Security. Washington, DC: March 3-5, 2003. This summit is aimed at businesses and contractors who are interested in working with the Department of Homeland Security and learning about new federal spending priorities, recent changes in procurement procedures, and awarding contracts. To register, contact the Center for Homeland and Global Security, 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, 6th Floor, N.W. Washington, DC 20004; (202) 756-2244; e-mail:; .

7th Annual Business Continuity Conference and Exhibition. Sponsor: Contingency Planning and Management (CPM). Las Vegas, Nevada: March 25-27, 2003. This conference includes a wide variety of educational opportunities, an interactive mock disaster simulation exercise, exhibits, and networking opportunities. Registration information is available from CPM, 84 Park Avenue, Flemington, NJ 08822; (908) 788-0343, ext. 135; e-mail:;

American Planning Association's (APA) 2003 National Planning Conference. Denver, Colorado: March 29-April 2, 2003. There are a number of hazard and disaster-related sessions during this planning conference. Complete session and conference information is available from APA, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036; (202) 872-0611; e-mail:;

APWA North American Snow Conference. Sponsor: American Public Works Association (APWA). Quebec City, Quebec: April 27-29, 2003. This conference combines educational opportunities, networking, and the latest technologies in snow and ice management. Conference information is available from APWA, 2345 Grand, Suite 500, Kansas City, MO 64108; (816) 472-1905; e-mail:;

The Tenth Annual Long Island/New York City Emergency Management Conference 9/11: A Country Changed. Sponsors: New York State Emergency Management Office, Long Island Power Authority, New York City and Nassau County Offices of Emergency Management. New York, New York: May 5-7, 2003. The conference will focus on changes in emergency management by federal, state, Long Island, and New York City agencies from September 2001 through May 2003. Emergency response, law enforcement, and management professionals will discuss changes that have taken place since September 11. Complete conference details will soon be available at

The Big Flood: North Sea Storm Surges-An International Scientific Meeting. Sponsors: Risk Group, the Tyndall Center, Halifax General Insurance Services Limited, and the British Geomorphological Research Group. London, England: May 23, 2003. The meeting's agenda includes talks on storm surge histories, the present condition of North Sea structural defenses, inundation modeling of coastal floods, risk perception and policy, public health and social impacts, and London's vulnerability. For more information, contact Maria Sylvester, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd., Unit 6, 23-25 Gwydir Street, Cambridge, CB1 2LG, U.K.; tel: +44-1223-460475; e-mail:;

School Resource Officers School Safety Conference. Sponsor: National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). Orlando, Florida: June 29-July 4, 2003. More information is available from NASRO, 1601 NE 100th Street, Anthony, FL 32617; 1-888-316-2776;

The 8th Annual Research Event of the Fire Service College. Sponsor: Fire Service College. Moreton-in-Marsh, U.K.: November 19-20, 2003. The event brings together an audience of researchers and practitioners interested in issues related to fire and emergency management. A call for papers has been issued with a submission deadline of April, 30 2003. For further information, contact Anne Eyre; tel: (01926) 427939; e-mail:

2003 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting. Baltimore, Maryland: December 7-10, 2003. The theme for the meeting is "bridging risk divides," and it will highlight building links among risk disciplines and sectors such as academia, industry, government, and nonprofits. Abstract submissions are due May 9, 2003, and must be submitted on-line. For more information about abstract submission or the meeting, contact SRA, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; e-mail:;

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