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 388 May 7, 2003


May 7, 2003


  1. The Hazards Center Announces Two New Quick Response Reports
  2. Public Health Law Center Funding
  3. Research Request
  4. Fire Academy Classes
  5. Seeking a Social Scientist
  6. Homeland Security State Grants for All Hazards Emergency and Terrorism Preparedness
  7. Global Humanitarian Internship
  8. Turning the Tide Toward Sustainable Development
  9. 2003 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  11. Some New Web Resources
  12. Conferences and Training

1) The Hazards Center Announces Two New Quick Response Reports

"QR 162: Flood Hazard Vulnerability: A Study of Tropical Storm Allison (TSA) Flood Impacts and Adaptation Modes in Louisiana" by Francis O. Adeola. This report focuses on the impacts of Tropical Storm Allison (TSA) which caused severe flooding and flood damage in June 2001 in several communities in Louisiana. The factors associated with increased vulnerability of people to flood hazards and modes of adaptation and coping of flood victims are explored. Shortly after the storm, 149 afflicted households participated in a survey designed to assess the impacts of TSA, vulnerability, coping and adaptation modes of the impacted population. The results and discussion are presented in QR 162.

"QR 161: An Analysis of the September 20, 2002, Indianapolis Tornado: Public Response to a Tornado Warning and Damage Assessment Difficulties" by Jaimie D. Mitchem. In September 2002, three tornadoes occurred in Indiana. One of these hit the southern and eastern portions of Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana. This tornado had remarkable 112 mile track, the second longest in Indiana's history. However, despite being in an urbanized area and causing millions of dollars of damage, no fatalities occurred. Early warnings, rapid dissemination, and an overall prepared citizenry all seem to have contributed to this. This QR Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the tornado.

Both reports are available electronically on the Hazards Center web site at

2) Public Health Law Center Funding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking applications from public and private nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, or public health schools with the goal of creating centers for public health preparedness in public health law to improve both the contribution that law makes to the health of the public and the performance of public health systems. Funding will be provided for two or more centers in FY2003. It is expected that the awards will begin on or about September 1, 2003, and will be made for a 12-month budget period within a project period of up to three years.

Priority proposals will address improvements in the contribution of law to prevent, prepare for, and respond to terrorism and infectious disease outbreaks, along with other public health emergencies.

Applications are due June 9, 2003, and must be sent to Technical Information Management-PA#03048, Procurement and Grants Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2920 Brandywine Road, Atlanta, GA 30341-4146. For proposal details, contact Merlin Williams at (770) 488-2765;

3) Research Request

I am working on research regarding community based organizations and recovery. I have of course found literature on local recovery, organizations and recovery (Red Cross etc.), but I have not been able to find what I really need. Specifically, I need a source or sources that would provide me with a review of the literature, or a bibliography of literature, regarding community based organizations and recovery. Thus, does anyone know of a good source which contains a lit review of the role of community based organizations in recovery?


Mike O'Brien

4) Fire Academy Classes

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced that the National Fire Academy (NFA) is now accepting applications for its first semester 2004 residential program, which begins October 1, 2003. The enrollment and application period for the first semester runs from May 1-June 30, 2003.

General eligibility requirements include substantial involvement in fire prevention and control, emergency medical services, fire-related emergency management activities, or other allied professions. Applicants must also meet specific selection criteria for each course.

To find out more about the National Fire Academy, the selection criteria, or obtain an application to apply for first semester residential training courses and programs, visit

5) Seeking a Social Scientist

The National Weather Service (NWS), Office of Hydrologic Development (OHD) seeks a social scientist to evaluate and report on the effective use of NWS flood severity categories. The full solicitation may be found at the URL below.

Respondents who believe they meet the requirements are requested to submit in writing via e-mail an affirmative response by May 16, 2003. Responses must be sufficient to permit agency analysis to establish a bona fide capability to meet the requirements.

The NWS point of contact is Jenista Featherstone, Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), SSMC4 - Room 7601/OFA61 1305 East West Highway, 7th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301) 713-0828 x184; e-mail:;

6) Homeland Security State Grants for All Hazards Emergency and Terrorism Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security's Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has provided $165 million in grants to help state and local governments better prepare to respond to all hazards preparedness activities and emergency management. These funds are a result of a significant increase in funding for the Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) program from the FY03 budget.

Local emergency managers plan, train, exercise, and coordinate all emergency services in response to major incidents. They also assume the leading role in mitigation program activities that are designed to reduce the vulnerability of communities to all hazards. The EMPG program allows states the flexibility to allocate funds according to risk vulnerabilities and to address the most urgent state and local needs in all hazard mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

Complete program information, along with eligibility requirements and instructions about how to apply, may be found at

7) Global Humanitarian Internship

The Center for Global Education at George Mason University is offering a 15-credit semester program focusing on international humanitarian action. The program addresses humanitarian emergencies as well as longer term humanitarian needs resulting from conflict, poverty, health crises, natural disasters, and environmental degradation. The program will take place in Washington D.C., where students will intern with area organizations and participate in academic seminars and site visits. An internship coordinator will assist participants in finding internships that match their goals and interests. The program concludes with a week long trip to Geneva, Switzerland, and includes briefings at the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross/Red Crescent, the United Nations, and other humanitarian organizations.

The semester runs in both the fall and the spring, and is designed for upper-level undergraduate students. Applications for Fall 2003 are due June 1, 2003, and applications for Spring 2004 applications are due October 1, 2003. For more information, contact Julie Ryan-Silva, Center for Global Education George Mason University, Johnson Center, Room 235, 4400 University Drive - Mailstop 2B8, Fairfax, Virginia 22030-4444; (703)993-2170; e-mail:;

8) Turning the Tide Toward Sustainable Development

In keeping with the International Year of Freshwater, the United Nation's International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) 2003 World Disaster Reduction Campaign looks at water-related hazards. Hydrometeorological hazards (such as floods, droughts, landslides, tropical cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons) are on the rise, affecting more communities than ever due to activities that increase vulnerability and change the natural balance of ecosystems. This is why disaster reduction needs to be successfully incorporated into the broader goals of sustainable development to enable the building of disaster resilient communities.

"Turning the Tide," the slogan for this year's campaign, aims to change our perceptions and attitudes towards hydrometeorological disasters through the involvement of as many sectors as possible. In preparation for the June release of campaign materials, contributions are being sought that exemplify turning the tide. Stories, examples from local, national, or transborder integrated management of floods or water-related emergencies are welcome (500 words or less). Contributions to be included in the information kit must be received by June 20, 2003.

For more information contact Nicole Rencoret, Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, UN/ISDR Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland Office A-579 (Doors 15 and 17); tel. 41 022 917-2777; e-mail:;

9) 2003 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2003 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction. This award was established in 1986 by founding Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, Mr. Ryoichi Sasakawa, in recognition of innovative efforts and outstanding initiatives in the field of disaster reduction. The closing date for nominations is August 15, 2003.

Complete eligibility information, application forms, and a description of the application process is available at If you have specific questions, contact Christel Rose; e-mail: Nomination forms may be sent to the Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), Administrator of the UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction, Palais des Nations, 8014 Avenue de la Paix, CH-1211 Geneva 10; tel: 41 022 917-27-86;

10) 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.]

Research Analyst

The American Institutes for Research (AIR), a nonprofit corporation engaged in research, development, evaluation, and analysis, is seeking a research analyst to support and participate in an evaluation of the National Flood Insurance Program. Responsibilities include management of the project, data collection, report preparation, and interaction with local, state, and national government agencies. Additional responsibilities within AIR's International programs are also likely. Some travel may be required.

Masters degree required, preferably in public policy; PhD preferred. Two to three years' experience required in evaluations of government programs, intergovernmental relations, or environmental policy. Excellent written and oral communication skills, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, and the ability to manage multiple priorities and meet tight deadlines are essential.

The position is open until filled. Send resume with a cover letter, writing sample, and salary requirements to: Human Resources-FLOOD, American Institutes for Research, 1000 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW Washington, DC 20007; e-mail: (subject line: flood insurance);

ADPC Seek Interns for the Summer

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), based in Bangkok, is starting a project to develop comprehensive, practical and updated resource books on disaster risk management with hazard-specific volumes on flood and earthquake. ADPC is looking for interns to join the professional project team and conduct research on disaster impacts, risk assessment and mapping, policy and legal frameworks, structural and non-structural interventions, community-based issues, etc. for the development of these resource books.

Internships are available starting from July 2003 for at least 3 months. If required, ADPC could provide some allowances for lodging, but travel is at the expense of the intern. Requirements include enrollment in or completion of a master's degree in a related field. Only those short-listed will be contacted. To apply, please e-mail a covering letter and CV to

11) 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]
The Cambridge University Center for Risk in the Built Environment (CURBE) has posted several fact sheets and idea sheets on their web site.
Teton County's Project Impact program in Wyoming has launched a new interactive natural hazards web site. Along with general information and hazard resources, the site contains an interactive natural hazards map that allows users to pinpoint hazards at specific locations.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's National Ocean Service (NOS) recently launched a web site that provides real-time coastal observations and forecasts for major U.S. estuaries and seaports, the Great Lakes and the coast. The map-based web portal called "nowCOAST" provides spatially-referenced links to real-time information from meteorological, oceanographic, and river observing networks.

12) 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:]

Crisis Communications: How to Effectively Use Visual and Print Media as Part of Your Crisis Communications Plan. Sponsor: National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC). Arlington, Virginia: May 14, 2003. Panelists will share what works and what does not when using visual and print media to effectively communicate with audiences in times of crisis. Information available from NAGC, 10366 Democracy Lane, Suite B, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 691-0377; e-mail:;

**Satellite Downlink** Chemical Threat Agents: The Community Provider's Perspective. Sponsor: U.S. Army Medical Command, Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Education System, and Emergency Management Strategic Healthcare Group. Live Satellite Broadcast: May 21, 2003. This is the third in a series of broadcasts concerning readiness to respond to chemical warfare and terrorism. Medical and civilian defense personnel must be prepared to provide appropriate treatment to all populations and age groups. This live, interactive, two-hour satellite broadcast will provide discussion on a variety of topics. A live question and answer session will follow. Complete information is available at

Emergency Preparedness in a Changed World. Sponsor: ABS Consulting. Two locations: Washington, DC: June 18-19, 2003; and Long Beach, California: July 23-24, 2003. This meeting will provide participants with the strategic resources to prepare for, and recover from, any emergency or disaster through creating organization-wide emergency management plans. Complete information is available from ABS Consulting, 4 Research Place, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850; (301) 921-2345;

Forest Health Summit. Sponsor: Western Governors' Association. Missoula, Montana: June 17-19, 2003. The goals of this meeting include evaluating how science and technology might be better used on the ground to address forest health issues, and how to accelerate locally driven projects to prevent catastrophic wildfires. Key documents, detailed information, and registration forms may be obtained from the Western Governors' Association, 1515 Cleveland Place, Suite 200, Denver, Colorado 80202; (303) 623-9378;

Building Seismic Safety Council Annual Meeting. San Diego, California: June 18-20, 2003. The agenda for this meeting includes technical sessions, presentations from the U.S. Geological Survey, and a panel discussion on the future of seismic safety. Complete meeting information may be obtained from the Building Seismic Safety Council, 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 289-7800; e-mail:;

Tsunamis: Their Science, Engineering, and Hazard Mitigation. Sponsor: Sapporo, Japan: June 30-July 11, 2003. IUGG2003 Registration Office Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC), 02-15 Natsushima-cho Yokosuka 237-0061 Japan; e-mail:;

InfraGard 2003: Implementing the National Strategy. Sponsor: InfraGard. Washington, D.C.: June 24-25, 2003. This conference, open to both general membership and prospective InfraGard members, will focus on homeland security, white house policy, law enforcement and integration of the role of the commercial private sector, the FBI and law enforcement. On-line registration and additional information is available from InfraGard, 4356 Bonney Road, Suite 103, Virginia Beach, VA 23452; (800) 326-0268; e-mail:;

First Response Expo 2003. Sponsor: Rescue International. Allentown, Pennsylvania: July 12-14, 2003.See displays of emergency, urban search and rescue, Haz-Mat, disaster, communications and homeland defense response equipment. Learn about the latest in educational programs in disaster response. Conference information is available from Rescue International, PO Box 544, Delaware Water Gap, PA 18327; (570) 424-7620; e-mail:;

International Public Works Congress and Exposition. Sponsor: American Public Works Association (APWA). San Diego, California: August 24-27, 2003. Of special interest to DR readers are sessions on earthquake recovery, risk management, terrorism, and crisis response, among others. Registration and other information is available from APWA, 2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 500, Kansas City, MO 64108; (816) 472-6100; e-mail:;

Contingency Planning and Management Conference East. Sponsor: Contingency Planning and Management (CPM). Washington D.C.: November 11-13, 2003. This conference is geared toward those who work with developing, maintaining, and implementing business continuity plans. Educational sessions, disaster simulation exercises, and networking opportunities are included. Complete details are available from CPM, 84 Park Avenue, Flemington, NJ 08822; (908) 788-0343;

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