Disaster Research 403

March 19, 2004

Table of Contents

  1. NEHERP Research Proposals Solicitation
  2. From a Reader . . .
  3. Disaster and Environment Listserv
  4. New Quick Response Report
  5. Worldwide Post Cyclone Database
  6. World Water Day: Water and Disasters
  7. EERI Fellowship
  8. Articles Wanted
  9. FEMA Higher Education Conference: Input Wanted
  10. New Newsletter
  11. Assessing Risk in Volunteer Fire Departments
  12. Sasakawa Award
  13. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  14. Some New Web Resources
  15. Conferences and Training

1) NEHERP Research Proposals Solicitation

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHERP) is soliciting multidisciplinary and multi-year project proposals. The purpose of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) NEHERP is to provide products for earthquake loss reduction to the public and private sectors and by carrying out research on earthquake occurrence and effects. Applications may be submitted by educational institutions, private firms, private foundations, individuals, and agencies of state and local governments.

Those who are interested in applying are urged to pay special attention to Appendix A of the program announcement as NEHERPS's research priorities have been extensively revised for FY2005 to reflect the new earthquake hazards program five year science plan, which is currently in the process of final approval and will cover the FY2003-2007 period.

This new plan describes four major program elements: national and regional earthquake hazards assessments; earthquake information, monitoring and notification; research on earthquake physics, occurrence, and effects; and earthquake safety policy.

The application period will run from April 1-May 6, 2004. The complete announcement can be found at http://www.usgs.gov/contracts/nehrp/. Questions may be directed to Brenda Donnelly, Contracting Officer; (703) 648-7489; e-mail: bdonnell@usgs.gov.

2) From a Reader . . .

To DR subscribers and readers:

The School of Journalism at the University of Missouri has received a grant from the Missouri Department of Homeland Security to create a program to help journalists better cover disasters, hazards, and terrorism. Part of that program will include the creation of a web site that will include a section of "best practices" journalistic work that treats these issues appropriately, even excellently.

Scholars in the field often pay attention to news reports, and that is where the project needs your help. If you note (or have noted in the past) news articles that you believe could serve as exemplars for other journalists, we would like to know of them. If they are selected for inclusion in the web site the project staff will take care of copyright and other necessary clearances.

Nominations will remain anonymous, and print, television, and radio stories all will be considered. While we would like the entire story, a notation of where it was published or broadcast and the date should allow those working on the project to track it down.

Please send your nomination, suggestions, questions, or comments to Lee Wilkins, 280 East Gannett Hall, School of Journalism, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: WilkinsL@missouri.edu.

3) Disaster and Environment Listserv

The Benfield Hazard Research Center at University College in London has established an Internet listserv to focus on linkages between disasters and the environment. The intent of the list is to support research and discussion on the interactions between disasters (natural and conflict-induced) and the environment with the goal of linking researchers in diverse fields such as geography, ecology, sociology, anthropology, environmental studies, natural resource management, development studies, disaster studies, and refugee and humanitarian assistance.

Benfield Hazard Research has begun this unmoderated list as part of its rapid environmental impact assessment in disasters project (see http://www.benfieldhrc.org/SiteRoot/disaster_studies/rea/rea_index.htm for information about this project).

To join the group, visit http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk, type "environment-disasters" into the "find list name" search function and follow the instructions to join. For further information, contact C. Kelly; e-mail: 72734.2412@compuserve.com.

4) New Quick Response Report

The Hazards Center announces the availability of a new Quick Response (QR) report titled QR 166: Damage Assessment After the Paso Robles (San Simeon, California) Earthquake: Lessons for Emergency Management by David McEntire and Jill Cope of the University of North Texas. The report explores damage assessment, an often-neglected area of emergency management study, using the San Simeon earthquake in Paso Robles, California (San Luis Obispo County) as a case study to identify lessons for the emergency management profession. The report's findings range from the importance and repetitive nature of damage assessment, to the need for coordination among the many actors involved in the post-disaster damage assessment function. The paper also provides background information about Paso Robles and the earthquake, and discusses data collection methods.

QR 166 is available free on-line at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr166/qr166.html and is also available in PDF format. Information about the Quick Response program can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/.

5) Worldwide Post Cyclone Database

Due to increasing demand from the emergency management community to improve knowledge transfer networks between practitioners and researchers, the Center for Disaster Studies and Emergency Management Australia have collectively developed a "Post Cyclone Database." The database provides detailed summaries of international surveys examining the impacts of tropical cyclones worldwide.

The database contains information regarding lessons learned, research methods used, key findings, events, types of survey, full text links, and institutions involved in post cyclone surveys conducted worldwide. Organizers are inviting cyclone-related posts, research reports, articles, and other relevant information for inclusion in the database. This is an opportunity to establish links with research institutions, governments, and disaster organizations.

Submissions are due April 18, 2004. For more information, contact Jordahna Haig, Center for Disaster Studies, P.O. Box 6811, Cairns, QLD Australia; tel: + 61 7 4042 1215; e-mail: Jordahna.Haig@jcu.edu.au; http://www.tesag.jcu.edu.au/CDS/index.htm.

6) World Water Day: Water and Disasters

The World Meteorological Organization and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, along with other United Nations organizations are collaborating on events and awareness building activities in support of World Water Day on March 22, 2004. This year's theme is "water and disasters." Over the past few decades, natural disasters have caused considerable loss of life and increasing economic damage, affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Such disasters disrupt national economies, severely weaken the poor and vulnerable, and are recognized as major impediments to sustainable development and reduction of poverty. Addressing these issues require the integration of disaster and risk management into comprehensive development planning, built on improved knowledge base, commitment of decision makers and public participation, awareness and education.

The World Water Day web site http://www.waterday2004.org/ contains event information, outreach materials (including a 34 page brochure), and a variety of water- and disaster-related resources.

7) EERI Fellowship

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) announces a graduate fellowship for the 2004-2005 academic year to support one full-time student in a discipline contributing to the science and practice of earthquake hazard mitigation.

The one-year fellowship, underwritten with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals interested in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university and must hold U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. All applications must include an academic transcript and a statement of educational and career goals. Applications, together with a letter of nomination, shall be submitted to EERI by a faculty sponsor at the host institution. Two additional reference letters should be submitted directly to EERI. These letters should evaluate the applicant's recent academic performance and the candidate's potential to contribute to the field.

Application materials are due May 17, 2004, and announcement of the award will be made June 21, 2004. For more information contact EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320 Oakland, CA 94612;(510) 451-0905; e-mail: eeri@eeri.org; http://www.eeri.org.

8) Articles Wanted

Articles from practitioners as well as researchers are invited for the 3rd issue of the new electronic Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, due out in early summer. Articles must be submitted electronically, and details about submission requirements are on the homepage: http://www.bepress.com/jhsem/. The journal also welcomes "news from the field" and letters to the editor.

9) FEMA Higher Education Conference: Input Wanted

The Federal Emergency Mangement Agency (FEMA) is hosting its annual higher education conference June 8-10, 2004. General information about the conference is available at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/edu/highedConf04.asp.

David McEntire, from the University of North Texas, will be coordinating various sessions on emergency management theory. One session will be devoted to the status of emergency management theory and the others will address the contributions of various disciplines to the study of disasters and emergency management. Comments, feedback, and input for these proposed sessions is being sought. What concepts, theories, and issues should be included in the session about emergency management theory? Is there sufficient interest in two sessions on disciplinary contributions? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Send comments to David McEntire, University of North Texas, School of Public Service, P.O. Box 311277, Denton, TX 76203;(940) 565-2996; e-mail: mcentire@unt.edu.

10) New Newsletter

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) announces the inaugural edition of "Blueprint for Safety News," a newsletter with the goal of mitigation awareness. The first edition focuses on water and includes tips and techniques for flood protection. The newsletter will be distributed in both a printed version and on-line at http://www.flash.org. If you have comments or suggestions about the newsletter's content or delivery, contact Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH, 1427 East Piedmont Drive, Suite 2, Tallahassee, FL 32308; (877) 221-7233; e-mail: flash@flash.org.

11) Assessing Risk in Volunteer Fire Departments

A 2000 survey found that more than 87% of U.S. fire departments are staffed by all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer firefighters and officers. In addition, a very high percentage of those departments protect communities of fewer than 25,000 people.

In recognition of this, the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) will hold a virtual symposium on "Risk Assessment and Planning for Volunteer Fire Departments." The symposium is aimed at assisting volunteer officials to assess their particular risks and challenges and introducing a framework for strategic planning.

The symposium will be presented May 17-21, 2004, on PERI's web site and via e-mail. Enrollment is free, and fire officials or firefighters from all-volunteer or combination departments are urged to participate. A detailed description is available at http://www.riskinstitute.org/symposium.asp. For more information contact PERI at 11350 Random Hills Road, Suite 210, Fairfax, VA 22030;(703) 352-1846.

12) Sasakawa Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the "2004 United Nations Sasakawa Award for Disaster Reduction." The Sasakawa award recognizes individuals and institutions from around the world who have contributed, through innovative practices and outstanding initiatives, to reducing the risk and vulnerabilities of communities to natural hazards.

The award is administered by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and the United Nations. The deadline for nomination submissions is August 18, 2004. Complete information is available at http://www.unisdr.org/eng/sasakawa/sk-about-eng.htm.

3) 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.]

Toxic Substances Research Scientist

The Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment in the Center for Environmental Health, New York State Department of Health, is looking to hire a research scientist. The incumbent will evaluate the potential public health risks for exposure to environmental contaminants (chemicals and biologicals) by researching and developing qualitative and quantitative human health risk assessments. This will require review of toxicological, epidemiological, and occupational data on health effects of chemicals and developing health criteria for standards and guidelines for contaminants.

Review of resumes will begin on March 26, 2004. To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to the Human Resources Management Group, MM/RS1, Room 2276, Corning Tower Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12237-0012; fax:(518) 474-6771; e-mail: resume@health.state.ny.us (with the subject line "MM/RS1").

Coastal Management Specialist

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Coastal and Resource Management in Silver Springs, Maryland, is looking to hire a coastal management specialist. The incumbent will provide coastal hazards support to the program, participate in the development of a new and improved tools, data, information, forecast models, and training for coastal communities relating to the impacts of storms on coastal communities and resources. Responsibilities also include participating in the planning and implementation of pilot outreach activities with coastal states, local governments, and non-governmental organizations.

The position requires a masters degree in coastal management, natural resource management, land use planning, or a related discipline (or equivalent experience) and a minimum of 2 years environmental management experience. To apply submit a resume electronically at http://careers.psgs.com (search job PSGST-074).

Assistant Extension Specialist in Health Behavior and Promotion

The departments of extension specialists and human ecology at Cook College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, are seeking to fill a tenure track appointment with someone who can provide leadership, development, and evaluation of a statewide research-based program in the areas of health behavior, promotion, and communication with particular focus on urban areas and/or minority populations. The work will be carried out in cooperation with county extension program.

The specialist will also serve as a resource and liaison to university faculty and personnel and to public and private organizations related to health and wellness. The specialist will be expected to teach undergraduate courses and conduct applied research related to his/her extension program. Peer-reviewed journal publications, educational materials, and external funding are among the expected outcomes.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in health education, public health, or a health-related social science. Excellent communication, computer, and interpersonal skills and research experience are required.

Review of applications will begin on March 31, 2004, and continue until a suitable candidate is identified. To apply, send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, concise statement of research and extension objectives, and the name and addresses of five professional references to Zane R. Helsel, Department of Extension Specialists, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, 88 Lipman Drive, 313 Martin Hall, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525;(732) 932-5000 ext. 586; e-mail: helsel@aesop.rutgers.edu.

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

With support from the European Commission Office for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) as part of the Third Dipecho Action Plan for Southeast Asia, this program in Viet Nam works to protect families and homes with a strategy that emphasizes prevention rather than reconstruction for coastal communities through community-based programs to sustainably reduce vulnerability.

Due to demand, FEMA has provided a web site for "G197 Emergency Planning and Special Needs Populations." The course is not designed for self-study, but the materials are available on-line.

The "Multi-hazard Mapping Initiative" provides an on-line advisory atlas with the goal of fostering the exchange and collection of geospatial hazards data, increasing hazard awareness, and establishing standards for map creation. Maps can be customized in a variety of ways.

"Organizing Made Simple," a company devoted to creating simple peace in one's life, offers a downloadable, foldable crisis checklist.

The final report in the series of the National Academy of Public Administration's publications on "Containing Wildland Fire Costs: Enhancing Hazard Mitigation Capacity" was issued in January 2004 and is available on-line.

The latest issue of Benfield Hazards Research Center's newsletter is available on-line.

The United Nations Development Program Information and Communication Technology Program's impact on earthquake reconstruction in El Salvador is profiled in this article.

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued the first catalog combining courses for both the National Fire Academy (NFA) and Emergency Management Institute (EMI). The 272-page catalogue for FY 2005 is available on-line immediately; paper copies will soon be available.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announces the "America at a Crossroads" initiative to fulfill its mandate to promote programs that inform, enlighten, and enrich the public dialogue about crucial public affairs issues. The initiative focuses on the post-9/11 world and how it has affected the American imagination and our political, economic, cultural and social realities. CPB seeks funding proposals for programs that focus on our society after September 11, 2001. Proposals are due June 1, 2004.

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

26th Annual National Hurricane Conference. Sponsor: Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association. Lake Buena Vista, Florida: April 5-9, 2004. This conference will focus on mitigation strategies and case studies dealing with topics such as preparedness, evacuation, information dissemination, and institutional capacity building. Conference details can be obtained from the National Hurricane Conference, 2952 Wellington Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32309; (850) 906-9228; http://www.hurricanemeeting.com.

Risk Communication Workshop. Sponsor: WPI Training. Alexandria, Virginia: April 22, 2004. This workshop will focus on risk communication and perception along with message development and working with stakeholders. Information is available from WPI Training Services, 2000 Kraft Drive, Suite 1000, Blacksburg, VA 24060; (540) 557-6023; http://www.wpi.org/service/workshop.htm.

New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Conference 2004. Sponsor: New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association (NJEPA). Atlantic City, New Jersey: April 29-30, 2004. Conference topics include predisaster mitigation, HAZUS (the new multi-hazard GIS model), hospital preparedness, Citizen Corps, risk communication, and more. For conference details, contact NJEPA, PO Box 962, Mays Landing, NJ 08330; (609)548-8357; e-mail: info@njepa.org; http://www.njepa.org/.

2004 Mississippi Hurricane Conference. Sponsors: Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Gulf Coast Emergency Management Officials. Biloxi, Mississippi: May 4-6, 2004. Hurricanes impact more than just coastal areas, and many interior counties experience the effects of hurricanes. Planning, preparedness, training, and mitigation efforts are essential. This conference is targeted toward members of the emergency management community, including law enforcement, fire departments, county and city government, private industry, and voluntary organizations. For conference details, contact John Cartwright, MEMA, P.O Box 4501 Jackson, MS 39296-4501; (601) 366-2879; e-mail: jcartwright@memaorg.com; http://www.msema.org.

2004 Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference. Sponsor: Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Rockford, Illinois: May 5-7, 2004. Topics for this conference range from terrorism and domestic preparedness, new weather technology, communications and interoperability, amateur radios in emergencies, hazardous materials, and more. Conference details can be obtained from Melissa Kotrba, Winnebago Sheriff's Office, 420 West State Street, Rockford, IL 61101; (815) 987-5990; e-mail: KotrbaM@sherrif.co.winnebago.il.us; http://www.winn-lepc.org/conference.htm.

Third Southeast Asia Disaster Management Practitioners Workshop. Sponsor: Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Bangkok, Thailand: May 10-13, 2004. This workshop will address the expressed need for peer support for the operational and technical issues surrounding disaster risk management in southeast Asia. Workshop registration information can be obtained from Vicky Diopenes, ADPC, P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang, Pathumthani, Thailand 12120; e-mail: vicky@adpc.net; http://www.adpc.net/PDR-SEA/TDMPW.pdf.

AWRA's 2004 Spring Specialty Conference Geographic Information Systems (GIS)and Water Resources III. Sponsor: American Water Resources Association (AWRA). Nashville, Tennessee: May 17-19, 2004. This multidisciplinary conference will highlight water-related applications of GIS technology, including flood mapping and using the national hydrography dataset. For details, contact Harriette Bayse, AWRA, P.O. Box 1626, Middleburg, VA 20118;(540) 687-8390; e-mail: harriette@awra.org; http://awra.org/meetings/Nashville2004/.

VOAD Annual Conference. Sponsor: National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Lexington, Kentucky: May 18-21, 2004. The conference will not only provide information exchange, but encourage networking and cooperation among community resources, government, private business, and voluntary agencies working with disasters. Complete information can be obtained from George Betz, KY/VOAD, 2004 Registration, P.O. Box 91252, Louisville, KY 40291; (502) 561-3747; http://www.nvoad.org/annualconf1.php.

Hospital Emergency Management Strategies: Coping with Terrorism and Disasters through Effective Emergency Management. Sponsors: TVI Corporation and Homeland Security Research. Boston, Massachusetts: May 26-27, 2004. The focus of this conference is on developing and executing hospital-based response strategies for disasters. Session topics include resources and mass casualty triage, intensive care unit expansion, 10-codes for disaster preparedness, avoiding recurring pitfalls, hospital communications, and more. Registration information can be obtained from WRG Research, Inc., 500 West Cummings Park, STE 5200, Woburn MA 01801; (781) 939-2438; e-mail: info@worldrg.com; http://www.worldrg.com.

Long Island/New York City Emergency Management Conference Emergency Preparedness Planning: Public/Private Initiatives. Sponsors: Long Island Power Authority, New York State Emergency Management Office, New York City Office of Emergency Management, Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, and Suffolk County Office of Emergency Management. Melville, New York: June 2-3, 2004. This conference will focus on public and private sector emergency preparedness, and will showcase emergency preparedness and planning initiatives that stress the importance of coordination and cooperation. Hurricane preparedness will be a central theme. For more information contact Catherine Lowenski, State Emergency Management Office, 1220 Washington Avenue Suite 101, Building 22, Albany, NY 12226-2251;(518) 457-9986; e-mail: catherine.lowenski@semo.state.ny.us; http://www.linycemconference.com/.

New Zealand Recovery Symposium. Sponsors: Ministry of Civil Defense and Emergency Management, Earthquake Commission, Insurance Australia Group, New Zealand Fire Service. Napier, New Zealand: July 12-13, 2004. This symposium provides a unique opportunity for disaster recovery professionals to discuss the multifaceted aspects of recovery along with the opportunity to question, debate and provoke discussion about its wider implications. Registration forms and additional information are available from Lee Harrison, Recovery Symposium, Fairdene Productions, P.O. Box 7330, Wellington 6039, New Zealand; tel: 04 801 5385; e-mail: lee@event.org.nz; http://www.civildefence.govt.nz.

Third European Conference on Structural Control (3ECSC). Sponsor: Vienna Consulting Engineers (VCE). Vienna, Austria: July 12-15, 2004. This conference will foster interactions among the community of researchers contributing to structural control among the European research and professional community. Cross-fertilization between different scientific disciplines and professions is encouraged. More information is available from Susanne Halbkram, VCE, Hadikgasse 60, A-1140 Vienna, Austria; tel: 43-1-894-60-21, ext. 144; e-mail: halbkram@vce.at; http://www.samco.org/3ecsc/index.htm.

ASFPM Arid Regions Flood and River Restoration Conference. Sponsor: Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Mesa, Arizona: November 16-19, 2004. Conference details are available from Tom Loomis, Arizona Floodplain Management Association, P.O. Box 18102, Phoenix, Arizona 85005; (602) 506-4767 e-mail: trl@mail.maricopa.gov; http://www.azfma.org/meetings.htm.

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