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 395 September 29, 2003


September 29, 2003


  1. New Hazards Center Created
  2. QR Proposals Sought
  3. From a Reader: Land Use and Hazards
  4. Hazards Center Special Publication!
  5. . . . And Two New Quick Response Reports
  6. FEMA Provides State Grants for Community Emergency Response Teams
  7. Call for Papers
  8. From a Reader: Information Sought on Wildfire Evacuation
  9. Recently Awarded Grants
  10. Call for Papers
  11. OCIPEP Request for Proposals
  12. Watson International Scholars Program Announcement
  13. Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program Seeking Applications
  14. Some New Web Resources
  15. Conferences and Training

1) New Hazards Center Created

Millersville University in Pennsylvania announces the creation of the Center for Disaster Research and Education (CDRE). The center's mission includes conducting research into the behavioral and organizational response to disasters and terrorism as well as risk and hazards assessment; disseminating research findings to the public, mass media, and emergency management personnel; contributing to the education of disaster researchers, public policy makers, emergency managers, and other concerned community members; and contributing to public policy development and the creation of disaster-resilient communities.

CDRE anticipates undertaking several grant-supported projects, including developing training and educational materials and a variety of collaborative research. Partnerships are being created with the Disaster Research Center of the University of Delaware, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Office of Homeland Security, and the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Emergency Management Agency.

In addition, CDRE publishes the newsletter "UnScheduled Events" and the on-line journal "Contemporary Disaster Review," both of which are official publications of the International Research Committee on Disasters of the International Sociological Association.

For more information, visit CDRE's web site at, or contact Henry W. Fischer, Department of Sociology, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302; (717) 872-3568; e-mail:

2) QR Proposals Sought

The Quick Response (QR) research program is a small travel grant program for social and behavioral scientists in the U.S. who wish to go quickly to a disaster site to gather data that would otherwise be lost. QR grants are only available to study disasters as they are occurring and in their "immediate" post-impact period (days to weeks after an event.) The program enables researchers to get into the field as soon as possible to conduct short, qualitative and/or quantitative field investigations of disasters during the coming year.

Each fall the Natural Hazards Center invites scholars interested in hazards research to submit proposals to be considered for "pre-approval." In the proposals, researchers anticipate disasters that might occur in the coming 12 months, identify a research question they want to pursue after such an event, and plan a methodology to get into the field immediately. If the proposals are approved, they remain on file at the center. When an event occurs that presents an appropriate research opportunity, the scholar contacts the center for authorization to enter the field. If funds are still available in the annual budget, the authorization is granted immediately and the scholar can leave without delay.

Proposals for 2004 are due by October 15, 2003. Complete information is available at

3) From a Reader: Land Use and Hazards

I am a research planner in New Zealand specializing in land use and natural hazard issues. The planning schools in New Zealand do not teach courses on natural hazards land use issues and I am keen to see this happen as I believe planning policy could be greatly improved through a greater understanding and application of hazards knowledge. I would like to find out about U.S. planning schools that include natural hazard courses in their programs.

Is anyone able to provide any advice on any such planning schools? If so, please e-mail me.


Janine Kerr
Policy & Planning, Natural Hazards Group
Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS)
69 Gracefield Road
PO Box 30368 Lower Hutt, New Zealand
DDI: +64-4-570 4802

4) Hazards Center Special Publication!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Special Publication #39 Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research. This volume collects the findings, lessons, and recommendations that grew out of post-September 11 disaster research. Consisting of 20 selections written by researchers who received grants to investigate questions that arose in the wake of the disaster, each piece takes a distinct view on topics ranging from engineering to behavioral sciences.

Chapters in this edited volume address a variety of topics, including the activities of emergency response agencies and other organizations following the attack on the World Trade Center, impacts of the Trade Center attack on the built environment and infrastructural systems, individual psychosocial responses and collective behavior following the events of September 11, 2001, and reactions and responses among the Muslim population. Other chapters focus on the political and public policy aspects of September 11 and its aftermath. Also included are a summary of what this post-September 11th research tells us, an overview of "quick response" as a research method, and a report of the preliminary observations made by researchers and first responders at a workshop held only a few months after the disaster.

Copies of this 600-page book are available from the Hazards Center for $25.00 plus shipping. In the near future, the complete text of the book will be available on-line in PDF format. To order, contact the Hazards Center publications administrator, Janet Kroeckel, at (303) 492-6819; e-mail:

5) . . . And Two New Quick Response Reports

QR #163: Surviving the Storm: Sheltering in the May 2003 Tornados, Moore, Oklahoma, by Ann Patton explores the impacts of a 2003 tornado on Moore, Oklahoma, a town that has repeatedly sustained tornado damage most recently in October 1998, May 1999, and May 2003. Despite widespread damage from this 2003 F3 tornado, however, no one was killed and injuries were scattered. Patton's research focuses on how residents took shelter from the storm, how their sheltering behavior has changed in recent years, and the lessons that they are learning and sharing. The report is available at

QR #164: Flood Damage Assessment and Survey of Mitigation Efforts at Stump Lake, North Dakota: A Study of a Closed-basin Lake Flood, by Paul E. Todhunter and Bradley C. Rundquist, documents the flood history of Stump Lake and rural Nelson County, assesses the flood damage that resulted from the rise of Stump Lake and the growth of rural wetlands in Nelson County, and surveys flood mitigation efforts associated with this closed-basin flood hazard. Remote sensing image interpretation, field work, personal interviews and compilation of data from private, county, state, and federal agencies are used to quantify the direct, indirect, and secondary damages associated with terminal lake and rural wetland flooding in Nelson County. The study provides a case history of a pervasive, chronic flood hazard not routinely addressed by federal flood mitigation programs. The report is available at

6) FEMA Provides State Grants for Community Emergency Response Teams

On August 15, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a notice in the Federal Register regarding the availability of $18.8 million in grants for fiscal year 2003 for the development or improvement of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). The FY2003 grant funding is in addition to $17 million distributed under the FY2002 emergency supplemental appropriation. In the FY2003 program, FEMA intends to continue, maintain, and expand existing state and local CERT programs while supporting new CERT Train-The-Trainer courses and extending the CERT program into new jurisdictions nationwide.

FEMA Regional Offices have finished processing these CERT grants from the 2003 budget to the states and territories. Local government jurisdictions that are interested in receiving sub-grants for starting or maintaining CERTs should contact the person in their state or territory who is responsible for the CERT/Citizen Corps programs.

For further information about this program at the federal level, contact Sam Isenberger, National Emergency Training Center, Training Division, 16825 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, MD 21727; (301) 447-1071; e-mail:

7) Call for Papers

I am organizing a session on the "Sociology of Disasters" at the Midwest Sociological Society annual meeting which is being held April 1518, 2004 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Interested parties should submit a completed paper (preferred) or an abstract to or to the address listed at the end of this message. Presenters must submit drafts of papers or abstracts to session organizers by October 17, 2003. Submissions should include the paper or abstract and the names of all authors and their institutional affiliations, mailing addresses, daytime telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.

For those wishing to submit a paper on a topic other than disasters, visit the website for other session topics at Please direct all questions concerning this posting directly to me. Thanks.

JoAnne DeRouen Darlington
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Morgan Hall 404
1 University Circle
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 298-1081

8) From a Reader: Information Sought on Wildfire Evacuation

We are starting a major research project on wildfire (bushfire/forest fire) evacuation policy and research. In some areas of Australia residents are advised to stay with their properties and actively protect them during a wildfire. One reason for this is that late evacuation is believed to be dangerous. We are keen to establish what the wildfire evacuation policies are outside of Australia, and would greatly appreciate any information about policies in other countries, or research and evaluation that may have been done in the area of wildfire evacuation.

Please send any links or suggestions to: Nina Roberts (e-mail: or John Handmer (e-mail:

Centre for Risk and Community Safety
Department of Geospatial Science
RMIT University, GPO Box 2476V
Melbourne 3001
Victoria, Australia

9) Recently Awarded Grants

>U.S.-Czech Research on Environmental Policy Learning and Capacity Development. Funding: National Science Foundation, $64,773, 24 months. Principal Investigators: JoAnn Carmin, Stacy VanDeveer, and Douglas J. Crawford-Brown, Urban Affairs and Planning, 105 Architecture Annex, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061; (540) 231-5426; e-mail:

Decision Technologies for Managing Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies. Funding: National Science Foundation, $399,742, 36 months. Principal Investigators: William A. Wallace and John E. Mitchell, 5117 Low Center for Industrial Innovation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180; (518) 276-6854; e-mail:

Toward Improved Understanding of Warnings for Short-Fuse Weather Events. Funding: National Science Foundation, $422,951, 36 months. Principal Investigators: Eve Gruntfest and Charles Benight, Department of Geography, University of Colorado, P.O. Box 7150, Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150; (719) 262-4058; e-mail:

Preliminary Damage Assessment of Bingol Earthquake. Funding: National Science Foundation, $28,202, six months. Principal Investigators: Julio A. Ramirez and Mete A. Sozen, Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907; (765) 494-2716;

10) Call for Papers

The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy (IJSSP) has extended its deadline for submission of papers for a special issue on disasters. The editors are looking for a diverse set of papers focusing on issues ranging from natural or technological hazards, gender and disasters, race/ethnicity and disasters, public health and disasters, vulnerability, mitigation, preparedness, response, emergency management, social policy, and more. Papers with an interdisciplinary or international focus are encouraged.

Submissions are due by December 15, 2003. Send a printed copy of your submission to Havidan Rodriquez, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, 77 East Main Street, Newark, DE 19713; or e-mail to

11) OCIPEP Request for Proposals

The Canadian Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness announces a request for proposals for a research report that documents and analyzes the existing emergency/disaster management post-secondary education programs in Canada, and proposes what directions, changes and/or reinforcements are needed to ensure Canada has the capability and capacity to generate a viable, professional and self-sustaining cadre of emergency management professionals and researchers.

The successful bidder will conduct a thorough review of current and planned post-secondary educational services in Canada that provide emergency management education; plan, organize and conduct a one day strategic planning session (for approximately 10 participants) which serves to solicit feedback, commentary and direction on the current and future needs of emergency (disaster) management post-secondary education in Canada; and evaluate the current supply of formally educated emergency managers by assessing the number of graduates from the various identified programs and courses, among other requirements.

Proposals are due October 10, 2003. Complete information is available at (keyword search "OCIPEP"). OCIPEP may be contacted at 122 Bank Street, 2nd Floor, Ottawa, Canada K1A 0W6; (613) 944-4875;

12) Watson International Scholars of the Environment Program

Brown University, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program and the Henry Luce Foundation, is sponsoring an intensive curriculum that focuses on mid-career environmental leaders from developing nations.

Program organizers seek an unusual range of practitioners, applied scientists, policy experts, and technologists from within the diverse fields of environment who can make linkages among the complex array of global environmental challenges we now face. This opportunity is relevant and transferable to developing-nation contexts of biodiversity conservation, ecosystem management, global climate change, environmental health, and ecological economics. Approaches and tools participants will acquire include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, environmental conflict resolution, rapid biodiversity assessment, ecological risk assessment, monitoring and predictive modeling.

An active field component includes the World Resources Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Conservation International, the environment division of the World Bank, the Smithsonian Institution, the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole), several consulting firms and additional universities.

The 2004 program will run from January 27 through May 12, 2004. Applications are due October 1, 2003. Complete information, including scholarship opportunities, is available at

13) Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program Seeking Applications

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently named approximately 100 grand recipients under the agency's new Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program. DHS will provide recipients with stipends and tuition for either two-year undergraduate scholarships or three-year graduate student fellowships. In addition, recipients are offered 8-10 week internship opportunities.

Through this program, DHS, in coordination with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, is supporting the growth and mentoring of the next generation of scholars and scientists who will study ways to prevent terrorist attacks within the U.S., reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and minimize the damage and recovery needed when attacks occur. The Homeland Scholars and Fellows Program is open to all students interested in pursuing scientific and technological innovations that can be applied to the DHS mission.

DHS has proposed doubling funding for this program for fiscal year 2004 and will expand the program to provide internships and specialized fellowships for students and faculty to further their knowledge of homeland security through short- and long-term exchanges.

Applications for the 2004 program will be accepted between October 1-December 5, 2003. For more information about the Homeland Security Scholars and Fellows Program visit or e-mail: e-mail:

14) 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]
This web site, from the Weather Channel, includes interactive resources for teachers, students, and parents, on a wide variety of climate and weather related topics.
The Disasters Roundtable (formerly called the Natural Disasters Roundtable) has unveiled an updated web site. The Roundtable's mission is to facilitate and enhance communication and the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policymakers in order to identify urgent and important issues related to the understanding and mitigation of natural, technological, and other disasters.
A reminder that the most current listing of programs and satellite information about the Emergency Education Network (EENET)'s current schedule is available on this web site.
This web page, from the International Facility Management Association web site, presents an overview of the results of a survey that was distributed to facility managers in the northeast after the recent blackout.
The "Hurricane Watch Net" is an organization of amateur radio and weather people who disseminate hurricane advisory information to marine interests, Caribbean Island nations, emergency operating centers, and others in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific as promulgated by the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida.

15) 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:]

ASCE 3rd Forensic Congress. Sponsor: American Society of Civil Engineers' Technical Council on Forensic Engineering (TCFE). San Diego, California, October 19-21, 2003. Congress presentations include: lessons learned from terrorist attacks, bridge failures, earthquake damage, construction failure, fire protection, geotechnical failures, insurance and risk, repair methodologies, and more. Program details and conference information is available from ASCE, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191-4400;(800) 548-2723 or (703) 295-6300;

Hazards Watch: Reducing Disaster Losses through Improved Earth Observations. Sponsor: the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academies. Washington, DC: October 22, 2003. This workshop will provide the opportunity for researchers, decision-makers, practitioners, and other interested parties to discuss and exchange views and perspectives on opportunities to transform the tools available to emergency managers and policy makers by taking advantage of the earth observing systems and information already available and by influencing the systems of the future. Of particular interest is the opportunity to gain critical disaster reduction information required to make informed decisions at all levels, from local to international, from response to long-term mitigation. You may register on-line at (click on the registration link); for more information contact Patricia Jones Kershaw, Disasters Roundtable, The National Academies, 500 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-3063; e-mail:

51st Annual Conference. Sponsor: International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Orlando, Florida: November 14-20, 2003. The theme of this year's conference is "communities connecting: comprehensive emergency management," and featured sessions include the use of robotics in disaster response, perspectives on information management during emergencies, continuity of services, public health and emergency management, and much more. Complete information, including pre-conference training opportunities, is available from IAEM, 201 Park Washington Court, Falls Church, VA 22046; (703) 538-1795;

Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting. Kansas City, Missouri: April 15-18, 2004. The theme for this meeting is "the discipline of sociology in a post-disciplinary age: developing strategies for dialogue with fields near and far." As mentioned in this DR, there will be a special session on the sociology of disasters at this conference. Details are available from the Department of Sociology, Drake University, 2507 University, Des Moines, IA 50311; (515) 271-4108; e-mail:;

Lighting the Way to Floodplain Management. Sponsor: Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFM). Biloxi, Mississippi: May 16-21, 2004. This conference will showcase the state-of-the-art techniques, programs, resources, materials, equipment, accessories, and services to accomplish flood mitigation and other community goals. Non-profit, government, business and academic sectors will share how they successfully integrate engineering, planning, open space, and environmental protection. Abstracts are due by October 24, 2003; see for details. General conference information is available from ASFM, 2809 Fish Hatchery Road Madison, WI 53713; (608) 274-0123; e-mail:;

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