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 2,800 people.
Disaster Research 397 November 14, 2003


November 14, 2003


  1. Volunteer Reviewers for FEMA Class Sought
  2. RFP Issued for Assistance in Developing Water Pipeline Design
  3. FEMA Curriculum for Community-Based Disaster Mitigation
  4. ISDR Improves Outreach Capability
  5. Also of Note
  6. Report on Firefighting Hazards and Review of Grant Program
  7. New CERT Newsletter
  8. Submit a Journal Article!
  9. Mass Fatalities Institute On-line Newsletter
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  11. Some New Web Resources
  12. Conferences and Training

1) Volunteer Reviewers for FEMA Class Sought

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Higher Education Project is seeking volunteers to review a draft of an upper division college course, "Hazards Risk Management." This is an approximately 500-page "Instructor Guide" (with several hundred additional pages of handouts), that has been developed as a classroom course to be taught within an emergency management curriculum at the junior/senior college level.

The aim of this course is to help students contribute to the reduction of the growing toll (deaths and injuries, property loss, environmental degradation, etc.) of disasters in the U.S. by providing an understanding of the hazards risk management process and framework that may be applied at all levels of communities and governments.

Interested volunteers will have 45 days after receipt of the priority-mailed paper copy to review and return comments. It is requested that no one seek a review copy for information purposes only, as within a few months a final version of this course will be uploaded to the FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education web site at and available for downloading free of charge. If you are interested in becoming a reviewer, please familiarize yourself with other FEMA Emergency Management Higher Education Project courses prior to reviewing this course by visiting

To become a volunteer reviewer or to request more information, contact Wayne Blanchard, Emergency Management Institute, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 16825 South Seton, N-430, Emmitsburg, MD 21727; (301) 447-1262; e-mail:

2) RFP Issued for Assistance in Developing Water Pipeline Design

The American Lifelines Alliance (ALA) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for development of a "Design Guideline for Seismic-Resistant Water Pipeline Installations." The guideline will include design recommendations to reduce damage to water pipelines from earthquakes. Specific issues to be addressed include subsurface investigations, "standard" versus "seismic" pipeline design, applicability of recommended practices, standard pipeline materials, alternate pipeline materials and methods, and special pipeline components.

ALA is managed by the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). It is a public-private partnership with the goal of reducing risks to lifelines (utility and transportation systems) from a variety of hazards. For more details about this RFP, contact Joe Steller, ALA Program, c/o NIBS, 1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20005, (202) 289-7800 ext. 130; e-mail:;

3) FEMA Curriculum for Community-Based Disaster Mitigation

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announces a new, on-line curriculum. The community-based pre-disaster mitigation curriculum is designed to involve emergency management and community and faith-based organizations (CBOs/FBOs) in pre-disaster mitigation activities at the local level. The goals of the curricula are to enable participants to discover the role that CBOs/FBOs can play in mitigation activities, determine possible mitigation projects in which they might engage, and better understand ways that CBOs/FBOs and emergency managers can work together.

The curriculum can be seen at (scroll down).

If you would like to learn about pre-disaster mitigation successes in other communities or share how these training materials were used to launch a successful mitigation project in your community, success stories are available at

4) ISDR Improves Outreach Capability

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) announces the availability of a new informational publication and the expansion of a publication currently being distributed.

The inaugural issue of Disaster Reduction in Asia: ISDR Informs, issue 0, is now available on-line in PDF format at This publication will be published twice a year and focus on capacity building and fostering disaster-reduction partnerships and information sharing throughout the region and beyond.

And in an effort to reach new and wider audiences in Africa and Asia, the current issue of "Disaster Reduction in Africa: ISDR Informs" is now available in English and French. If you would like to receive a hard copy of this publication, e-mail:

ISDR information is available at Palais des Nations, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; tel: +41 22 9172103; e-mail:;

5) Also of Note

The Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Disaster Reduction was held in early October in Madrid, Spain. The meeting brought together participants from civil protection, environment, academia, and civil society. The resulting document, the Madrid Declaration, is now available on-line at It includes the conclusions and recommendations from the official delegations to the regional conference, and fosters a growing collaboration between the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the United Nations in the area of disaster prevention and reduction.

6) Report on Firefighting Hazards and Review of Grant Program

A technical special report on the risks of firefighting training and ways to reduce death and injury has been released by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The report underscores the inherent danger of such training but reiterates the importance of experience gained in real, rather than closely controlled, training fires. The complete report, "Trends and Hazards in Firefighter Training," can be seen at

In addition, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security, recently released an assessment of the first Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has been disbursing funds to fire departments across the country that lack the tools and resources necessary to protect the health and safety of fire personnel and the public. In FY 2003, Congress appropriated $750 million for AFG. Overall, the OIG found that the program succeeds in achieving a balanced distribution of funding through a competitive grant process, but concludes (and elaborates on) a number of opportunities to enhance AFG program effectiveness.

The complete report is available on-line in PDF format at

7) New CERT Newsletter

Since January 2002, there has been a nearly 100% increase in the number of states where Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is available. As funding continues to reach local communities, the number of citizens trained in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, urban search and rescue, and medical operations will continue to grow.

The Connection newsletter, comprised of articles written by the people from around the country who are involved in community preparedness on a daily basis, is seeking contributions. Suggested stories include (but are not limited to) emergency responses that CERT teams were involved in, schools and preparedness trainings, innovative CERT ideas, and how CERTs are maintaining skills and motivation. to others.

The newsletter can be found at,and complete guidelines for article submission can be found at You may also contact Frank Lucier, 3212 Jefferson Street, #117, Napa, CA 94559; (707) 251-8694; e-mail:

8) Submit a Journal Article!

The Journal of Emergency Management is soliciting paper submissions and opinion pieces for its next issue. Submissions are due by January 5, 2004. Manuscript guidelines can be seen at and submissions should be sent to Christopher Rowland, 470 Boston Post Road, Weston, MA 02493; (781)899-2702 x115; e-mail:

9) Mass Fatalities Institute On-line Newsletter

The National Mass Fatalities Institute (NMFI), an organization established to help communities, businesses, industries, government and disaster response agencies effectively plan for, respond to, and recover from a mass fatalities incident, announces an on-line newsletter.

The newsletter will be sent out periodically to provide updated news, information, and event listings to help communities and organizations be prepared for mass fatality incidents. To sign up for this free newsletter, send an e-mail to General information about NMFI, along with the newsletter, is available at

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.]

Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services

Westchester County is seeking a professional for the position of Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Services. Responsibilities include administrative management of a major segment of the fire services department. The incumbent will act on behalf of the Commissioner of Emergency Services in all departmental matters and must possess a knowledge of local, state, and federal laws applicable to services rendered by the department; knowledge of municipal law; extensive knowledge of emergency services; and excellent communication skills. Supervision is exercised over professional and support staff.

Candidates should possess a high school or equivalency diploma and either a B.S. degree and eight years of emergency service experience, four years of which must have been in a supervisory capacity, or twelve years of emergency service experience, four of which must have been in a supervisory capacity.

Applications are due by December 1, 2003, and must be sent to Symra D. Brandon, Westchester County, 148 Martine Avenue, Suite 904, White Plains, NY 10601.

12) 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 International College of Homeland Security is a web-based instructional service that was designed to provide a single source for courses, certificate, diploma and degree programs from many colleges, universities and learning centers. Site visitors can find course listings from more than 15 international colleges, universities, and learning centers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is looking for comments from responders on a working draft of a plan to guide community level preparedness and response to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). An e-mail is provided for submitting comments.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announces an on-line newsletter.
The Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination web site was started at the request of fire managers who needed a real-time application to provide geospatial information on the status, location, and proximity of wildfires to life, property, and infrastructure. A visual representation of the active fires gives managers a better idea of where to focus resources. This site received an unprecedented number of hits during the recent California wildfires, and has updated its server capabilities to accommodate future events.
Many connections between geospatial data, geographic information systems, and risk analysis for estimating populations at risk in natural disasters, technological accidents, terrorist attacks, and regional conflicts are presented in this column at, a resource for geospatial information.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announces a new web page for information on grant opportunities from DHS and throughout the federal government, including public health preparedness grants under Health and Human Services, counter-terrorism grants under the Department of Justice, and water-security grants from the Environmental Protection Agency.

13) 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:]

Emergency Management and Crisis Communications Forum - New Legislative Requirements, Best Practices, Case Studies and Mock-ups. Sponsor: Insight Information. Toronto, Canada: December 2-3, 2003. This conference will provide information on the latest on emergency preparedness initiatives, innovative crisis communication techniques, and what agencies need to do to meet new legislative requirements on emergency management. To register, contact Insight Information Co., 214 King Street West, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 3S6; (416) 777-2020; e-mail:;

Mesoscale Forecasting Workshop/Future of Real-Time Forecasting. Sponsor: U.S. Weather Research Program. Boulder, Colorado: December 8-12, 2003. The development and delivery of accurate, reliable, and useful mesoscale atmospheric forecasts present special needs, challenges and opportunities that are currently not consistently satisfied. As the resolution of atmospheric forecast models has increased there has been a corresponding but smaller increase in forecast skill and utility to end-users. These workshops will identify challenges, needs, and opportunities involved in developing improved, economically viable, integrated atmospheric mesoscale observing, modeling, and information-delivery systems. For more information contact Tom Schlatter, NOAA/OAR Forecast Systems Laboratory, Boulder, CO; e-mail: An on-line registration form can be found at

3rd Annual Government Convention on Emerging Technologies: Partnerships for Homeland Security. Sponsor: Government Emerging Technology Alliance (GETA). Las Vegas, Nevada: January 7-9, 2004. This convention will bring representatives from federal, state, and local governments, along with the private sector, together to collaborate on information technology issues related to Homeland Security. The event will also be the site of TERROREX 04, an interactive threat simulation exercise. For more information contact Howard Blumberg, National Conference Services, Inc. (NCSI), 6440 Dobbin Road Suite C, Columbia, MD 21045; (301) 596-8899; e-mail:;

Fire Rescue East 2004. Sponsors: Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation, the Florida Society Fire Service Instructors, and the Florida State Fire College. Jacksonville, Florida: January 21-25, 2004. Sessions will span fire service course design, team dynamics, fire systems design, weapons of mass destruction, shuttle disaster response, health and safety, rapid intervention teams, hazardous materials, and more. Conference details are available from the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association, 821 North U.S. 1, Suite B, Ormond Beach, FL 32174; (386) 676-2744;

Natural Flood Defenses: Practical Constraints and Opportunities, an International Workshop. Sponsor: Delft Hydraulics. Delft, the Netherlands: January 23, 2004. Flooding problems, ecological deterioration, and new European legislation are forcing the rethinking of current practices with respect to water management. The European Union is striving to create new initiatives and knowledge dissemination with respect to this subject. This workshop will facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion between scientists and stakeholders that are dealing with flood management and ecological sustainable solutions. To register, contact Delft Hydraulics, Rotterdamseweg 185, Delft, the Netherlands; tel:+31-15-2858468; e-mail:;

First Regional Training Course on Disaster Risk Communication (DRC-1). Sponsor: Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program (AUDM) of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Bangkok, Thailand: February 2-6, 2003. DRC-1 will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of communication campaigns to build capacity of development workers for more effective information dissemination. Participants will conduct research into creating effective, targeted communication plans and evaluations. More information is avaiable from Buddhi Weerasinghe, ADPC, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120 Thailand; e-mail:;

25th Annual International Disaster Management Conference. Sponsor: Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation and the Florida College of Emergency Physicians. Orlando, Florida: February 5-8, 2004. The conference agenda includes sessions on lessons learned from recent disaster events, response strategies and tactics, public health disaster management, and terrorism response. Information is available from the Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation, 3717 South Conway Road Orlando, Florida 32812; (407) 281-7396;

Crisis Management in Europe: Problems and Perspectives. Sponsor: European Crisis Management Academy (ECMA). Bled, Slovenia: March 11-14, 2004. This conference is part of the NATO Partnership Work Program for 2004, and the project on disaster management training for southeastern Europe. It will address crucial crisis management issues such as decision-making, leadership and coordination, crisis communication and information management, the psychological dimensions of a crisis and crisis management, the symbolic dimension of a crisis, civil-military cooperation during a crisis, and the role of supra-national institutions in crisis management. For more information contact Erik Kopac; tel: +386 1 589 2357; e-mail:

The GeoTec Event Pathways to Integration. Sponsor: GeoTech Media. Toronto, Canada: March 28-31, 2004. With a theme of "Navigating Pathways to Integration," the conference will explore the adoption of geotechnology into mainstream information technology. Of special interest to natural hazards researchers is the emphasis on providing a broad overview of geospatial technology applications. Event details are avaiable from Matt Ball, GeoTec Media, 6666 Gunpark Drive, Suite 102, Boulder, CO 80301; (303)544-0594; e-mail:;

The 2004 Homeland and Global Security Summit. Sponsor: Equity International. Washington, DC: March 31-April 1, 2004. Homeland security spending in the U.S. is projected to increase in coming years. This summit will provide the latest information on spending and programs, including sessions on funding and agency priorities, new grants for emergency management, public safety, disaster response, and more. Program and registration details are available from the Center for Homeland and Global Security, a division of Equity International, Inc., 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, DC 20004; (202) 756-2244;

Symposium on Rural Crisis Intervention. Sponsor: Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute. Casper, Wyoming: April 21-24, 2004. The purpose of this national-level symposium is to advance understanding of the context of rural America and provide a forum for presentation of research results in crisis intervention, critical incident stress management and debriefing, disaster mental health services, advances in service delivery, discussion and sharing of information, ideas and plans, development of research and service delivery networks, and presentation of continuing education training in these areas with special consideration of rural American communities. Abstracts are due January 30, 2004, and should be sent as e-mail attachments to: Symposium information is available from George Doherty, Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute, Box 786, Laramie, WY 82073.

Colorado Mitigation and Wildfire Conference (CMWC). Colorado Springs, Colorado: April 23-25, 2004. This conference focuses on managing and preparing for fire-related issues in the wildland-urban interface. Firefighters, planners, policy makers, public groups, and private industry discuss and develop ideas to help reduce the loss of life, property, and natural resources in these areas. Information is available from the CMWC, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 4550, Golden, CO 80419; (303) 271-8217;

International Workshop on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM2004). Sponsor: Tilburg University. Brussels, Belgium: May 3-4, 2004. This workshop is designed for information systems researchers who are working in the areas of crisis planning, response, and management, along with emergency response personnel and national and international policy makers in emergency response. Workshop organizers are currently soliciting papers on the design, development, deployment, operation, or evaluation of information systems for crisis planning, response, and management. Abstracts must be submitted to Bartelle Van de Walle, e-mail:, and general information can be obtained from Tilburg University, Warandelaan 2, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0) 13 466 91 11;

Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit II: Evaluating Approaches, Techniques, and Policies for Seismic Hazard Characterization in Extensional Regions. Sponsors: Western States Seismic Policy Council, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reno, Nevada: May 16-19, 2004. The Basin and Range Province of North America is a land of contrasts and challenges for seismic hazard analysis and application. This meeting brings together ten state surveys, the U.S. Geological Survey, university professors, those working in science and engineering geology to discuss seismic hazard analysis in the Basin and Range Province. The summit will be a sequence of summary talks given on specific topics relevant to seismic hazards in the Basin and Range Province. Follow-up will include panel discussions and interactive audience participation. Summit organizers are currently soliciting papers. Abstract titles are due by February 5, 2004, and expanded abstracts by March 10, 2004. Titles, abstracts, and papers can be sent to: Terri Garside, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, 89557; e-mail:;

2nd Annual Conference: Risk Management (ETR2A). Sponsor: European Telecommunications Resilience and Recovery Association. Sponsors: Northeast Development Agency and Northumbria University. Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: June 24-25, 2004. This conference brings together business, the public sector, and academia to address issues surrounding business, telecommunications, and public life in preparing for and responding to emergencies. Abstracts must be received by March 26, 2004, and sent electronically to: or to the address below. Abstract guidelines and conference information is available from the ETR2A Conference Office, Benchmark Communications, 63 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SG, UK; tel: 0191 241 4523;

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