Disaster Research 402

February 29, 2004

Table of Contents

  1. NEES-IRIS-USGS Workshop and Pilot Field Experiment
  2. Storm Surge Modeling Fellowship
  3. FDA Domestic Outreach Meetings
  4. FEMA Review of San Jose, California, Incident Response
  5. Call for Contributions: Primer on Disaster Risk Management in Asia
  6. Assessment of the Emergency Alert System
  7. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  8. Some New Web Resources
  9. Conferences and Training

1) NEES-IRIS-USGS Workshop and Pilot Field Experiment

Over the last decade significant investments have gone into developing research facilities such as the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) consortium, the Incorporated Research Institutes for Seismology consortium (IRIS), and the USGS National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). Additional work has gone into nurturing the scientific and engineering expertise needed to make use of these individual facilities.

NEES is seeking participants for a workshop and pilot field experiment to assess and demonstrate the combined capabilities of NEES's large-scale shakers (and other NEES components), the diverse array of seismic recording systems available through IRIS, and USGS geophysical and seismic instrumentation. Coordination with Earthscope and the ANSS also will be discussed.

The workshop's primary objective is to begin to discover the full potential of a multi-facility approach to solving scientific and engineering problems. Workshop sessions include: the exploration of scientific and engineering questions best addressed using multiple facilities; instrumentation "show and tell"; discussions and presentations of data processing and analysis tools; field experiment planning; and setting protocols for conducting multi-facility science and engineering.

Applicants will be required to submit ideas for multi-facility experiments that will be discussed during the workshop. Lodging, meals, and transportation may be partially covered, and USGS will offer support for the field experiment, including instrumentation deployment and participant expenses.

The workshop will be held at the University of Texas at Austin on April 29-30, 2004. Applications due on March 10, 2004. More information is available at http://www.ceri.memphis.edu/~gomberg/NEES/Index.htm.

2) Storm Surge Modeling Fellowship

The Louisiana State University (LSU) Hurricane Center is searching for a Ph.D. student interested in research in the area of storm surge flood modeling, to be awarded a four-year, $100,000 fellowship. The award is available to a full-time doctoral student entering Louisiana State University in the Summer or Fall 2004.

Research will include the application of model outputs to both mitigation planning and real-time operations/response. It is anticipated that the applicant will enter the Ph.D. program in civil and environmental engineering, engineering science, or oceanography and coastal sciences, but students with other relevant majors, such as geography or applied math, will also be considered.

Applications are currently being reviewed and a final selection will be made on April 15, 2004. For more information contact Marc Levitan, LSU Hurricane Center, Suite 3221 CEBA Building, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; (225) 578-4445; e-mail: levitan@hurricane.lsu.edu; http://www.hurricane.lsu.edu/.

3) FDA Domestic Outreach Meetings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is conducting a national series of outreach meetings with the theme of protecting the food supply and presenting an overview of agency actions on bioterrorism legislation. Directed toward owners and operators in charge of domestic food facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food under the FDA's jurisdiction, these meetings will provide an overview of recent FDA rulings and answers to some frequently asked questions about how these rules apply to ongoing activities.

Participation is free, and attendees are requested to visit http://www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html or http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsterr.html to gain an understanding of the Bioterrorism Act. Meeting details can be seen at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fsbtac18.html.

4) FEMA Review of San Jose, California, Incident Response

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released a technical review of the response to the worst fire loss in San Jose, California's, history with financial damage exceeding $90 million. Fire officials identified county-wide radio/data interoperability, the need for additional radio frequencies, and reviewing the mutual aid plan as priorities to be addressed based on lessons learned in the October 2002 fire. Eventually, 119 firefighters and 31 pieces of apparatus would respond to the construction site fire and 102 firefighters and 34 pieces of apparatus would respond to the secondary fire that burned through nearby residential units. A total of 11 alarms would eventually be dispatched to the fires.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) develops reports on selected major fires and emergencies, usually involving multiple deaths or a large loss of property. The objective reviews are intended to share significant "lessons learned" or new knowledge about firefighting or to underscore ongoing issues in fire service. USFA, which has no regulatory authority, sends an experienced fire investigator to the community after a major incident only after conferring with local fire authorities.

A copy of the full report can be found at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fire-service/techreports/tr153.shtm.

5) Call for Contributions: Primer on Disaster Risk Management in Asia

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) is collaborating on the creation of a primer on disaster and risk management in Asia. The publication will be used by professionals and practitioners as a tool to understand disasters in their geographical, social, economic, and cultural contexts. The overall goal of this project is to ensure an appreciation for and common understanding of disaster risk management that may be applied across all sectors and among all levels of current and potential participants in the disaster-risk reduction process.

ADPC is currently seeking case studies and photographs that highlight activities, training and awareness-building activities, drills, and preparedness activities related to disaster risk management. Selected items will be published with full acknowledgment of authors and their sources.

For additional information on the publication series visit http://www.adpc.net/UDRM/primer/default.htmor contact the Urban Disaster Risk Management Team at ADCP, P.O.Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel:(66-2) 516-5900-10; e-mail: audmp@adpc.net.

6) Assessment of the Emergency Alert System

The Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) has released an on-line publication that presents an overview of the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the nation's primary national warning system. EAS has two functions: to provide a method for the president to address the nation during crises; and provide an avenue for state and local officials to issue short warning messages of imminent or on-going hazards through broadcast and cable systems.

The report, "The Emergency Alert System (EAS): An Assessment," finds that there are concerns that prevent EAS from becoming truly effective and it outlines a number of specific recommendations that should be undertaken by the Department of Homeland Security and others to strengthen the system.

The report is available at http://www.partnershipforpublicwarning.org/ppw/docs/eas_assessment.pdf or directly from PPW, 7515 Colshire Drive, Mail Stop N655, McLean, VA 22102; (703) 883-2745; e-mail: information@ppw.us; http://www.partnershipforpublicwarning.org/ppw/index.html.

7) 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.]

Public Safety Director (Contract Position)

St. Mary's County Government in Maryland is seeking a public safety director to be responsible for the management of the county-wide emergency radio network; coordination of emergency planning and for human-made and natural disasters within the county; management of community right-to-know law compliance efforts; management of the animal control division within the county; and coordination with fire, EMS and law enforcement of all disaster and hazardous materials responses.

The position requires a bachelor's degree in emergency management planning or a related field; training in situations affecting hazardous materials; eight years experience in emergency communication, telecommunication, or hazardous materials; and five years experience in emergency management and emergency contingency planning.

Applications are accepted until the position is filled. Applications are available at http://www.co.saint-marys.md.us and applicants must submit a county employment application with a cover letter and resume to St. Mary's County Government, Department of Human Resources, P. O. Box 653, Leonardtown, MD 20650; (301) 475-4200 ext. 1100.

Assistant Professor

Rutgers University in New Jersey is looking to fill a tenure-track vacancy for an assistant professor in environmental/risk communication at the department of human ecology. The incumbent will be responsible for basic and applied research, teaching, and outreach in the area of environmental or risk communication. The issues may vary (e.g., natural resources, land use, natural hazards, environmental and/or health risks), and research might be related to topics such as stakeholder involvement, risk perception, public information, science communication, environmental justice. The person filling this position will be expected to teach graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental or risk communication.

Applications will be reviewed beginning March 1, 2004. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in social science related to the field of environmental/risk communication such as communication, journalism, psychology, planning, sociology, geography, environmental studies, law, urban studies, or anthropology. The successful candidate will have experience teaching, conducting research, and implementing outreach efforts. Send letter of application, two writing samples, and three letters of reference to: Environmental Communication Search Committee, Caron Chess, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, 55 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520; e-mail: chess_c@aesop.rutgers.edu.

8) 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 http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/sites.html.]

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) recently released the results of a member-based survey to determine the major challenges facing career, volunteer, and combination fire departments in 2004.

The All-Hands Community "Network Glossary of Terms and Definitions," is now available on-line. The glossary project has been ongoing since 2002 and currently features over 1,500 terms and definitions.

A variety of emergency management articles, papers, and presentations related to higher education are posted at this site administered by the Emergency Management Institute.

The National Governors Association has released a report titled "The Changing Ocean and Coastal Economy in the United States," that examines the factors affecting the country's coasts and oceans and their policy implications for states.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office for Domestic Preparedness (ODP) and United States Fire Administration (USFA) have announced to the nation's local fire departments the availability of the 2004 Assistance to Firefighters Program Guidance document.

The Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers has developed a new web site that includes answers to questions related to standards, technical articles, and an on-line version of their magazine Structure.

International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) has unveiled a new, enhanced web site to improve the way members find information about the IAFC, various conferences, and the fire and emergency service profession as a whole.

9) 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 web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html.]

Fundamentals of Earthquake Engineering. Sponsor: BOSS International, Inc. Various locations and dates: Boston, Massachusetts: March 4-5, 2004; Washington, DC: April 15-16, 2004; Denver, Colorado: May 20-21, 2004. This seminar is geared towards practicing engineering and building professionals with little or no training in earthquake engineering. It will cover the history and philosophy of seismic code development in the U.S. and provide a context for recent code developments. For more information contact BOSS International, Inc., 6300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53562; (608) 258-9943; http://training.bossintl.com/html/earthquake-engineering.html.

IAEM Mid-Year Meeting. Sponsor: International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). Alexandria, Virginia: March 13-16, 2004. This meeting will address emergency management and homeland security legislative and regulatory issues and advance IAEM work. The meeting is geared toward stakeholders from all levels of government, the private sector, public health, and related professions to exchange information and ideas. Additional information is available from IAEM, 201 Park Washington Court, Falls Church, VA 22046; (703) 538-1795; http://www.iaem.com.

Fourth International Congress on Disaster Psychiatry. Sponsor: Disaster Psychiatry Outreach (DPO). Miami, Florida: March 26-27, 2004. The field of disaster psychiatry is expanding and research about the psychiatric effects of disasters and their relevant interventions continues to grow. At the same time, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have a heightened sense of commitment to addressing the needs of disaster survivors. A major challenge for psychiatry lies in ensuring that disaster mental health professionals' good will is matched by their knowledge of sound practice and science. Topics to be discussed at this event will benefit psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, medical students, clinical psychologists, social workers, primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses who may encounter patients affected by trauma. Information is available from DPO, 141 Fifth Avenue, 3rd floor, New York, New York 10010; (212) 598-9995; e-mail: info@disasterpsych.org; http://disasterpsych.org/.

Regional Collaboration: Learning to Think and Act Like a Region. Sponsor: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: March 29-30, 2004. A growing number of land-related issues transcend political and jurisdictional boundaries and may be most effectively addressed at a regional level, defined by a unique place or specific problem. This course will explore these issues and focus on ways to foster and sustain regional collaborations. For more information contact the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, c/o Resource Plus, 200 Seaport Boulevard, Suite 75, Boston, MA 02210; (888) 845-8759; e-mail: lincolninstitute@resource-plus.com; http://www.lincolninst.edu.

Contingency and Disaster Planning for Universities and Colleges. Sponsor: Strategy Institute. Toronto, Canada: April 1-2, 2004. This Canadian conference is geared towards administrators, deans, emergency preparedness officers or health and safety coordinators, and other higher education staff. Its goal is to help ensure that campuses are protected against any type of crisis, and one session will highlight best practices from the U.S. Conference details can be obtained from the Strategy Institute, 245 Park Ave, Suite 3900, New York, NY; (866) 298-9343; http://www.strategyinstitute.com/.

Fourth Inter-regional Training Course on Public Health and Emergency Management in Asia and the Pacific (PHEMAP-4). Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Bangkok, Thailand: April 19-May 1, 2004. This course is designed to help countries throughout Asia and the Pacific develop more effective policy procedures, plans, guidelines, and standards of best practices for health sector emergency management. Course details are available from Janette Ugsang, ADCP, P.O.Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel:(66-2) 516-5900-10; e-mail: janette@adpc.net; http://www.adpc.net.

APWA North American Snow Conference. Sponsor: American Public Works Association (APWA). Lexington, Kentucky: April 25-28,2004. This conference combines continuing education with networking opportunities with the goal of highlighting the latest snow and ice control trends and technologies. Conference details can be obtained from APWA, 2345 Grand Boulevard, Suite 500, Kansas City, MO 64108; (816) 472-6100; http://www.pubworks.org/Meetings/Snow/2004/.

Southeast Asian Disaster Management Practitioner Workshop. Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC). Bangkok, Thailand: April 26-29, 2004. This workshop has the theme of "Institutionalizing Community-Based Disaster Management" in government policy making, planning and program activities, will emphasize disaster risk management issues, concerns and practices common throughout Southeast Asia. The workshop will promote knowledge building on community-based disaster risk management in the region and provide lessons learned by participating countries and global disaster risk management practices. Workshop details are available from Imelda Abaraquez, ADCP, P.O.Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand; tel:(66-2) 516-5900-10; e-mail: iabarquez@adpc.net; http://www.adpc.net.

Structures 2004. Sponsor: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Nashville, Tennessee: May 22-26, 2004. The theme for this congress is "Building on the Past: Securing the Future." Revised codes and standards along with new materials and building methods not only ensure the performance of new structures, they drive retrofit efforts. This meeting will showcase the latest code changes, including wind and seismic provisions, as well as new approaches to security, rehabilitation, and retrofitting, with the goal of bringing together practicing engineers, academics, and policy professionals. Further information can be obtained from ASCE World Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191; (703) 295-6300; http://www.asce.org/conferences/structures2004/general.cfm.

Contingency Planning and Management (CPM) 2004 West Conference. Sponsor: CPM. Las Vegas, Nevada: May 25-27, 2004. This conference and exhibition is geared toward those who work with continuity of operations, emergency management, and homeland security. The agenda includes a mixture of continuing education, panel discussions, case studies and tabletop exercises. Registration information is available from CPM 2004 West, c/o CDS, Inc., 107 Waterhouse Road, Bourne, MA 02532; (908) 788-0343; e-mail: CPM2004@WitterPublishing.com; http://www.contingencyplanningexpo.com/.

National Earthquake Conference: Strengthening America - Preparing for Earthquakes and More. Sponsors: Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Geological Survey. St. Louis, Missouri: September 26-30, 2004. The goal of this conference is to provide a national forum for dialog among earthquake professionals, government, and businesses to build common ground and lead to actions that reduce the social and economic losses from earthquakes. Information can be obtained from Phyllis Steckel, Missouri Seismic Safety Commission;(650) 330-1101; e-mail: steckel@yhti.net; http://www.earthquakeconference.org/index.html.

Fifth Annual International Disaster and Emergency Readiness Forum (IDER). Sponsors: United Nations, International Aviation Transport Association, International Training and Simulation Association, Institute for Civil Defense and Disaster Studies. Moreton-in-Marsh, England: October 14-15, 2004. With the increasing concern over national and international security due to the heightened threats of global terrorism, as well as natural and human-made disasters, it is essential for the international community to work together to share information and good practices and integrate disaster response. Conference details can be obtained from Simon Langdon, Insight Consulting Ltd., Churchfield House, 5 The Quintet, Churchfield Road, Walton-on Thames, Surey KT12 2TZ UK; tel: +44 1932 241000; e-mail: simon.langdon@insight.co.uk; http://www.andrich.com/ider/.

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