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 387 April 21, 2003


April 21, 2003


  1. Lightning Safety Awareness Week
  2. Student Paper Contest: Ecological Risk Assessment
  3. Geography and Hazards!
  4. A Multi-Level Approach to Crisis Counseling, Trauma, and Response
  5. EMS Week 2003
  6. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  7. Some New Web Resources
  8. Conferences and Training

1) Lightning Safety Awareness Week

The week of June 22-28, 2003, has been designated as Lightning Safety Awareness Week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the U.S., an average of 73 people are killed each year by lightining, and this is more than the annual number of people killed by hurricanes or tornadoes. In addition, lightning strikes can also result in long-term debilitating symptoms for those who survive a strike.

With the goal of lowering lightning death and injury rates and reducing vulnerability, NOAA has unveiled two web sites to educate about lightning danger, the risk it poses, and how to protect yourself. Visit to learn more and download lesson plans and fact sheets.

2) Student Paper Contest: Ecological Risk Assessment

The Ecological Risk Assessment Specialty Group (ERASG) of the Society of Risk Analysis (SRA) is seeking student research papers to be presented at their annual meeting. A $500 travel award and a $100 cash award, including a conference fee waiver, will be awarded to the author of the best student paper. Students do not have to be members of SRA to submit abstracts. All abstracts must be submitted on-line by May 15, 2003. Copies of each abstract must be submitted to the SRA web site at as well as e-mailed to Igor Linkov at the e-mail address below.

Students with accepted abstracts will be notified in July and must then submit a 3-5 page extended abstract to ERASG by August 15, 2003. Abstracts and papers will be blind-reviewed by a panel of judges. For more information, contact Igor Linkov, ERASG; (781)676-4053; e-mail:

3) Geography and Hazards!

The Department of Geography at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), invites applications for 2003 admission to the master's degree program. Geography at CSULB has the following emphases: geospatial technologies and methods (including GIS, remote sensing, cartography, quantitative methods, qualitative methods, and field techniques); environmental and physical geography (including hazards, hydrology and water resources, biogeography, climatology, and palaeoclimatology); and human geography (including urban cultural geography, urban economic geography, social geography, and medical geography).

To learn more about the CSULB Department of Geography, please visit, and click on "graduate study." To apply, send official transcripts and a 1.5-2 page statement of purpose, and arrange for three confidential letters of reference to be sent to: Christine M. Rodrigue, Department of Geography, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840-1101; (562) 985-4895; e-mail:

4) A Multi-Level Approach to Crisis Counseling, Trauma, and Response

The Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute, together with the University of Wyoming Outreach School, is offering the following set of workshops in it Spring Workshop Series on April 23-25, 2003. Titled "Crisis Counseling, Trauma, and Response: A Multi-Level Approach," the seminar is intended for three levels of disaster mental health responders: immediate responders (usually paraprofessionals); longer-term interveners (mental health professionals); and those who supervise both long- and short-term mental health response.

Participants will learn about trauma-informed crisis response, with the ultimate aim of ameliorating or preventing trauma acquisition and loss of functioning. The latest research in the field will be discussed, including topics such as timing of interventions, the advisability of debriefing, and the impact of trauma on special populations, such as children.

Further information is available from the Outreach School at the University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3972, Laramie, WY 82071; (877) 733-3618; e-mail:;

5) EMS Week 2003

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) announces Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week 2003 on May 18-24. The theme of this year is "EMS: When it Matters Most." No matter what type of emergency happens or when it occurs, EMS is immediately available to provide lifesaving care and transportation.

EMS week kits are available to help coordinate, plan, and promote activities in individual communities across the country. In addition, general information about EMS, along with fact sheets and EMS week event information, may be obtained from Asha Jones, International Fire Chiefs Association, (703) 273-0911; e-mail:, or on-line directly from ACEP at,204,0.html.

6) 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.]

Emergency Management Coordinator

Des Moines, Iowa, has an opening for an emergency management coordinator. Job requirements include knowledge of local, state, and federal laws and regulations pertaining to emergency management; policies applicable to local emergency management programs; the principles of public administration; and demonstrated skill in public speaking, among other requirements. Full job description and application are available from Polk County Human Resources, 111 Court Avenue, Suite 372, Des Moines, IA 50309; Applications are due by May 16, 2003.

All-hazard Emergency Operations Internship
Beaufort, South Carolina, has a 10-week student internship available for students studying criminal justice, GIS, or computer science who are interested in government and public safety. Internship responsibilities include helping to update all-hazard emergency operations plans and standard operating procedures, and enhancing the county emergency response plan to include counter-terrorist planning. The internship is available from approximately mid-May through August, and a working knowledge of Beaufort County roads and boundaries is preferred. To apply, contact Job Service, 914 Boundary Street, Beaufort, SC 29902. Applications are due by April 30, 2003.

7) 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]
These web pages from the Southern California Earthquake Center commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Long Beach Earthquake on March 10, 1933.
The Pacific Institute announces an on-line, searchable, water and climate change bibliography that is a comprehensive database of scientific literature pertaining to climate change and freshwater resources worldwide. The bibliography currently contains more than 3000 entries.
These companion web sites, from Trout Unlimited and American Rivers, provide a variety of information for communities that are looking for help with dam-removal decisions. The sites provide an overview of fundamental issues and perspectives that should be considered, along with case studies.
Sponsored by Disaster Ready Austin and the Texas Environmental Center, this web site is a clearinghouse for a variety of information regarding flood safety and the reduction of flood-related fatalities and property damage.
FAMCom is an on-line kit designed to help families plan how to get in touch quickly during a crisis and prepare for potential crisis situations.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Business Continuity Management Team (BCMT) represents many of the organizations that help with continuity issues in the event of a campus emergency, and coordinates with MIT's Emergency Response Group. This web site provides an overview of the group's plans and activities, as well as disaster recovery and business continuity efforts on the MIT campus.

8) 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:]

Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference. Sponsor: Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). Rockford, Illinois: May 7-9, 2003. This fifth annual conference spans school crises, communication challenges, vulnerability assessments, hazards materials/bioterrorism training, domestic preparedness, and more. General conference information may be obtained from Charles Corley, Winnebago LEPC, P.O. Box 1552, Rockford, IL 61110; (815) 987-5990; e-mail:

10th Meeting of the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS). Sophia Antipolis, France: June 3-6, 2003. This conference is a forum for researchers and practitioners in risk and emergency management disciplines to share ideas and exchange information. A conference program and registration information is available from TIEMS, P.O. Box 2777 Solli, N-0204 Oslo, Norway; e-mail:;

The Emergency Manager of the Future. Sponsor: Natural Disasters Roundtable (NDR). Washington, D.C.: June 13, 2003. This roundtable forum is titled "the emergency manager of the future." Registration information is available from Patricia Kershaw, National Academies Building, 500 5th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001; e-mail:;

21st Century Threats and Conflicts: Annual Meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness (DDP). Sponsors: DDP, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, and Physicians for Civil Defense. Phoenix, Arizona: July 12-13, 2003. DDP's annual meeting brings together authorities on strategic and civil defense and scientists speaking on real threats and manufactured scares. Complete information is available from DDP, 1601 North Tucson Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85716; (520) 325-2680;

Local Response to Terrorism: Lessons Learned from the 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon. Sponsors: Arlington County, Virginia, Department of Homeland Security, and the International City/County Management Association. Arlington, Virginia: July 28-30, 2003. (This conference is re-scheduled from March 19-21, 2003.) The conference goal is to bring together teams of policymakers from local jurisdictions to learn from Arlington County's experiences in responding to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon and to work as a team to analyze the response capacities within their own jurisdictions. To register, or for more information, contact Melinda Watters, 3877 Fairfax Ridge Road, Suite 200, North Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 383-4580; e-mail:;

Ecoflood Conference: Toward Natural Flood Protection Strategies. Sponsor: Institute for Land Reclamation and Grasslands Farming (ILRGF). Warsaw, Poland: September 6-13, 2003. A key objective of this conference is to bring together specialists from various disciplines who work with flooding to gain a comprehensive understanding of the key issues surrounding floods, including the effectiveness of using wetlands for flood mitigation, the costs and benefits involved and, interdisciplinary recommendations for natural flood defenses. Conference information is available from ECOFLOOD, Department of Nature Protection in Rural Areas,Institute for Land Reclamation and Grassland Farming (IMUZ), Falenty, 05-090, Raszyn, Poland; tel: +48.22.7200531; e-mail;

New Mexico Environmental Health Conference. Sponsor: New Mexico Environmental Health Association (NMEHA). Albuquerque, New Mexico: October 20-22, 2003. This year's regional conference includes an issue track on emergency and disaster management, along with tracks on environmental health innovations, community health protection, and special areas of environmental interest. More details are available from Tom Duker, (510) 314-0324; e-mail:;

First International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring and Intelligent Infrastructure (SHMII-1). Sponsor: Ibaraki University. Tokyo, Japan: November 13-14, 2003. Structural health monitoring involves the measurement and assessment of in-service structures to carry out real time inspection and damage detection through the implementation and use of "smart" devices. The conference will address progress in the development of building, transportation, marine, underground, energy generating, and other civilian infrastructures that are periodically, continuously or actively monitored. Conference information is available from the SHMII-1 2003 Secretariat, c/o the Department of Urban and Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ibaraki University,Nakanarusawa-cho, 4-12-1, Hitachi, Ibaraki 316-8511, Japan; tel: +81-294-38-5172; e-mail:;

14th Mexican National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. Sponsors: Mexican Society for Earthquake Engineering (SMIS), College of Civil Engineers of Leon, and the Society of Structural Engineers of Guanajuato. Leon-Guanajuato, Mexico; November 19-22, 2003. The theme for the congress is "challenges for earthquake engineering in the twenty-first century." The conference is directed toward professors, researchers, students, practitioners, building officials, institutions from the private and public sectors, and all others working with topics directly related to earthquake engineering research, teaching, design and construction. Complete information is available from Angelica Mendoza-Reyes,Camino Sta. Teresa No 187, Local 9, Col. Parques del Pedregal, Delegacion Tlalpan, 14 020 Mexico; tel: (52-55) 5606-1314; e-mail:;

EERI Annual Meeting 2004. Sponsor: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Los Angeles, California: February 4-8, 2004. Information is available from EERI 499, 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612-1934; (510) 451-5411; e-mail:;