Disaster Research 406

May 13, 2004

Table of Contents

  1. Call for Papers
  2. Role of the Media in Terrorism Response
  3. AAAS Risk Policy and Homeland Security Fellowships
  4. National Incident Management System: An Introduction
  5. A Reader Request
  6. Hazards Center Working Paper
  7. Keeping Firefighters Healthy!
  8. National Hurricane Preparedness Week
  9. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences and Training

1) Call for Papers

The Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), is currently soliciting abstracts for a conference titled "Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2005." The conference will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 8-11, 2005.

The conference is geared toward coastal planners, managers, scientists, engineers, geologists, economists, oceanographers, meteorologists, property owners, elected officials, and others interested in coastal issues. Session topics will focus on the science, management tools, and policies related to coastal erosion, hurricanes, coastal storms, seismic events and tsunamis, climate change, sea level change, and wind.

Abstracts are due May 31, 2004, (the deadline has been extended) and must be submitted on-line at http://www.asce.org/conferences/cd05. The technical committee will review all submissions and notify authors by August 1, 2004. For details visit http://www.asce.org/conferences/cd05/cd05_abstract.cfm or contact ASCE, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, Virginia 20191; (703) 295-6300.

2) Role of the Media in Terrorism Response

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is collaborating with the National Academies to host a series of interactive workshops on the crucial role of the media in terrorism response. Titled "News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis," workshops will be held in ten locations across the country.

Each workshop will feature an interactive table-top terrorist scenario involving government officials, members of the media, and technical experts, with the goal of focusing on the challenges faced by these groups during a crisis to provide accurate and timely information to the public. In addition, the National Academies will provide information on weapons of mass destruction including fact sheets on specific terrorist threats as well as a list of experts who are able to provide reliable information quickly in a time of crisis.

Workshops are scheduled to begin in July 2004 in Chicago, Illinois, and continue through July 2005 in Boston, Massachusetts. A tentative schedule is available at http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?content=3549. For more information contact Kristin Gossel at DHS; (202) 282-8010; e-mail: kristin.gossel@dhs.gov or Randy Atkins at the National Academies; (202) 334-1508; e-mail: atkins@nae.edu.

3) AAAS Risk Policy and Homeland Security Fellowships

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announces fellowships in two areas that may be of interest to DR readers: Risk Policy in Health, Safety and the Environment; and Homeland Security. These fellowships offer a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers interested in solving problems at the interface of science and policy.

Assignments involve a wide array of environmental, homeland security, and public health issues, including counterterrorism, food safety concerns, environmental contaminants, and weapons of mass destruction, among other issues. Depending on the type of fellowship, fellows spend one year, beginning in September 2005, in assignments at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC. The program includes an orientation on relevant executive branch and congressional operations, and a year-long seminar series on issues relating to science, technology and public policy.

Applications are due January 10, 2005, for each program. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or an equivalent doctoral-level degree by the application deadline; individuals with a master's degree in engineering and at least three years of post-degree professional experience also may apply. Fellows are expected to be critical thinkers who are articulate, adaptable, and able to work with a variety of people from differing professional backgrounds.

More details can be found at http://fellowships.aaas.org/risk/ (Risk Policy) and http://fellowships.aaas.org/dhs/ (Homeland Security), or by contacting AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship Programs 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 326-6700; e-mail: fellowships@aaas.org.

4) National Incident Management System: An Introduction

In 2003 the president issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (HSPD-5), directing the secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS). The goal of NIMS is to provide a consistent nationwide template to enable all government, private-sector, and nongovernmental organizations to work together during domestic incidents.

A new course, "IS 700 - National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction," presented by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), introduces NIMS and explains its purpose, principles, key components and benefits. The on-line course takes approximately three hours to complete and contains "planning activity" screens to facilitate the planning process. These screens are printable so that they may continue to be used after the completion of the course.

A syllabus and information about this course can be found at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is700.asp.

5) A Reader Request

Those of you who are members of a seismological organization or an emergency response group are probably already distributing or receiving earthquake information soon after the occurrence of an earthquake.

I am currently doing research on the information needed by emergency organizations soon after the occurrence of an earthquake (during the response phase). Your answers to the questions below will help the Department of Natural Resources Canada develop its products for emergency situations.

I would very much appreciate your answers to these questions:

What information is sent or received when an earthquake occurs (location and magnitude, location map, estimates of damage, list of installations within a given radius, etc)? Please include any/all examples of past notifications as well.

Which organizations receive the information that you produce (civil defense, railways, lifeline utilities, etc.)?

Do you know what additional processing is done by the emergency organizations (call responders, running damage estimate models with the information you provided)?

What is the time delay between the earthquake occurrence and the delivery of the earthquake message? What communications means do you use (fax, telephone, Internet, etc)? Any information on future trends for this type of work is appreciated.

Are there products that the emergency organizations find most important to their work? Are you in close contact with these organizations?

Please contribute any additional information (reports, descriptions) that can help us define products of interest to emergency responders.

I appreciate the time and effort that you devote to answering these questions. If more convenient to you, it would be my pleasure to call you. In this case, please send me an email with your coordinates.

Maurice Lamontagne
National Hazards and Emergency Response Program
Natural Resources Canada
588 Booth / Room 338
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y7
tel: 613-947-1388
e-mail: malamont @ nrcan.gc.ca

6) Hazards Center Working Paper

The Hazards Center has released a new Working Paper (WP). WP #108, written by Claire B. Rubin, is titled "Emergency Management in the 21st Century: Dealing with Al Qaeda, Tom Ridge, and Julie Gerberding," and explores the policy implications of recent events for the emergency management community.

Building on an earlier paper in which three main themes of the new century were identified and developed: (1) the emergence and use of telecommunications in all domains of life, (2) the threat of terrorism throughout the globe, and (3) megadisasters resulting from natural hazards, WP #108 describes some recent issues that have been added to our collective agendas. For the emergency management community, the events of September 11, 2001, and their many outcomes have led to changes so extensive they are hard to document.

Working Paper #108 is available on-line at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/wp/wp108/wp108.html. Information about this and other Hazards Center publications can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/pubs/.

7) Keeping Firefighters Healthy!

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have recently announced the availability of a new guidebook that provides information on fitness and wellness for volunteer firefighters and fire departments.

The prevalence of cardiovascular illness and death and work-inhibiting strains and sprains among firefighters illustrates the need for a comprehensive health and wellness program in every fire department. The guidebook aims to reduce loss of life from heart attack and stress and includes examples of effective health and wellness programs. It complements existing U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) firefighter wellness and fitness partnerships with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Limited quantities of this publication may be ordered free of charge by visiting http://www.usfa.fema.gov (click on publications) or by calling (800) 561-3356. The publication may also be read on-line at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-267.pdf. Additional information about USFA's Fire Service Fitness and Wellness initiatives and partnerships can be found at: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/inside-usfa/research/safety/fitness.shtm#fa.

8) National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week 2004 runs from May 16-22, 2004. Outreach materials, including awareness, preparedness, and vulnerability assessment information are available at http://www.floridadisaster.org/hurricane_aware/english/intro.shtml . The focus of this comprehensive site and its associated materials is on providing information to help people become aware of hurricanes and prepared to take appropriate action.

9) 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.]

Emergency Preparedness and Training/Communications Manager

Stanford University's Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is looking to hire an emergency preparedness and training/communications manager to develop policies, plans and procedures, and education and training projects to protect the university and its programs from the impacts of a major emergency or disaster. The incumbent will also develop training and communications programs to ensure that members of the Stanford community understand applicable EH&S regulations, policies, and procedures to help maintain a safe and healthy work environment.

Requirements include a bachelor's degree in a related field with 6-10 years of applicable experience in emergency preparedness and communications management. Additional experience in industrial hygiene, biological safety, or safety management is desired and an advanced degree in a related field is preferred. Applicants should provide evidence of successful experience in project and program management, excellent verbal skills and ease in giving presentations, strong writing, editing, and graphics skills; demonstrated successful experience in delivery of training and communications in a variety of media; understanding of and proficiency with computer methodologies and technologies that support planning, data management, and training activities; and the ability to work under pressure, exercising good judgment independently and as part of a team.

A detailed job description is available by visiting http://jobs.stanford.edu and searching job #005340. Only applications submitted through the Stanford Jobs website will be accepted. For more information, contact Cristina Delfin at e-mail: cdelfin@stanford.edu.

Tenure-track Disaster Position

Brandon University, in Manitoba, Canada, invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in its applied disaster and emergency studies (A-DES) program, beginning August 1, 2004. The A-DES Department offers four-year degrees in applied disaster and emergency studies with concentrations in either planning and management or disaster science.

The successful candidate will have practical or applied experience related to disasters and emergencies and an understanding of the challenges posed by interdisciplinary approaches to risks, hazards, disasters, and the emergencies that arise from such phenomena. In addition, the successful candidate should have a proven record of teaching, planning, research, and scholarship. Requirements include a masters (Ph.D. or equivalent preferred) in a field related to the topic, experience in dealing with an all-hazards approach, knowledge of disaster management in Canada, work experience in disaster management either in the private or public sector, and the experience or knowledge to effectively link university-based activities with public and private agencies and institutions. The successful candidate will be expected to teach courses in organizational response to disasters and emergencies, and emergency preparedness laws and regulations, as well as courses in his or her area of expertise.

Applications are due by May 28, 2004, but will be accepted until the position is filled.Send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, transcripts, and the names and e-mail addresses of three referees to Janet Wright, Brandon University, Brandon, MB, R7A 6A9, Canada; e-mail: hr@brandonu.ca; http://www.brandonu.ca/jobs/detail.asp?ID=289.

Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is seeking applications for a regional advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The position is located in Costa Rica and the incumbent is responsible for strategic analysis, coordination of disaster response activities, and the identification and formulation of disaster preparedness, mitigation, and training programs in an assigned LAC region.

This position requires an experienced practitioner in disaster response and preparedness activities who is able to travel outside of Costa Rica on short notice for up to 2-3 weeks at a time. The contractor will actively develop and coordinate preparedness, mitigation, and training programs to increase the capability of host governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations to respond and prepare for disasters.

The position closes May 21, 2004. To apply, send cover letter, resume, form OF-613, and contact information for five references, to GlobalCorps, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20004; e-mail: lac@globalcorps.com; http://www.globalcorps.com.

Hazard Mitigation/Safer Building Multi-Media Strategic Consultant

The Caribbean Hazard Mitigation Capacity Building Program (CHAMP) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) and with support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is seeking to enhance regional capacity to reduce vulnerability to the effects of natural hazards. This is to be done through two major routes: the development of national hazard mitigation policies and implementation programs, wider use of hazard information in development decisions; and strengthening safe building practices, building training, and certification.

These groups are seeking a consultant to develop a public education and information campaign to persuade appropriate audiences in Belize, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, and Saint Lucia to implement programs consistent with national hazard mitigation policies and to use safe building techniques and materials. The overall strategy should identify target audiences, develop and test appropriate messages and outreach media, and include assessment and evaluation tasks. Deliverables include a variety of materials, kits, brochures, or other products for dissemination to the general public.

Applications must be received by May 17, 2004. Contact Terry Ally, CDERA, Building 1 Manor Lodge Complex, Lodge Hill, St. Michael, Barbados; (246) 425-0386; e-mail: pubinfo@cdera.org for more information.

10) 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.]

This Draft Disaster Mitigation Plan for the City of Berkeley is part of an ongoing process to build a disaster resistant Berkeley. The impetus for developing the plan at this time is the requirement established by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The plan develops the city's comprehensive efforts to make Berkeley safer by accomplishing damage prevention in the built environment.

The Emergency Responder Safety Institute is providing a highway safety awareness video free to fire, police, and emergency services chiefs and training officers. The video covers the dangers of incident response on North American highways.

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have created a series of web pages addressing the recent NBC 10.5 miniseries, to separate fact from movie fiction.

Another web site to debunk earthquake myths and fantasies is sponsored directly by USGS and includes fact sheets, information, and links to other organizational resources.

"Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disaster" (CARD) was created after the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Oakland Hills firestorm to provide disaster preparedness/response support to vulnerable and underserved communities in Alameda County, California.

Communications for Coordinated Communications and Response in Emergencies (ComCARE) is a public/private partnership of nurses, physicians, emergency medical technicians, 9-1-1 directors, emergency managers, transportation officials, technology and transportation companies, public safety and health officials, law enforcement groups, consumer organizations, safety groups, and others working to encourage the development and deployment technologies to enhance emergency response capabilities and facilitate cooperation across professional, jurisdictional and geographic lines.

Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) is a resource for forecasting the risk from tropical storms worldwide. This we site provides innovative forecast products to increase risk awareness and to help decision making within the (re)insurance industry, other business sectors, government and society. The TSR storm tracker provides the best available information for assessing the risk from active tropical storms worldwide as well as monthly forecasts for seasonal tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic, Northwest Pacific and Australian-region basins.

This article from Forbes magazine explores natural hazards and their relationship with home insurance rates. The article profiles the most expensive states to get insurance.

"LLIS.gov" is a national network of lessons learned and best practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials. LLIS.gov's secure, restricted-access information is designed to facilitate efforts to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism across all disciplines and communities throughout the U.S.

A risk and vulnerability assessment helps to identify people, property, and resources that are at risk of injury, damage, or loss from hazardous incidents or natural hazards to help prioritize the precautionary measures that can make a community more disaster-resistant. Staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration worked with county officials in Florida to demonstrate effective tools and methods for making these assessments. These tools and methods are easily adaptable to other communities and areas.

11) 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.]

Continuity of Operations and Planning Workshop. Sponsor: Partnership for Emergency Planning (PEP). Kansas City, Missouri: May 20, 2004. This workshop will provide step-by-step advice on how to create and maintain a comprehensive disaster or continuity of operations plan. Workshop details can be obtained from Joyce Cheng, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 8930 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114; (816) 926-2327; e-mail: joyce.cheng@usda.gov; http://www.pepkc.org/info.htm.

Effective Management of Mass Fatality Events. Sponsor: Virginia Institute of Forensic Science and Medicine and Kenyon International Emergency Services. Glen Allen, Virginia: June 7-11, 2004. This course provides an overview of the concepts and principles of mass fatality management. It will provide a scientific and systematic approach to such incidents with applied theory and hands-on learning methods to assist local, state, and federal jurisdictions with response. For more information contact Bill Ellerman, Virginia Institute of Forensic Science, 700 North 5th Street, Richmond, VA 23219; (814) 786-6858; e-mail: bellerman@vifsm.org; http://www.vifsm.org/.

Health Risks of Disasters: Building Capacity to Respond. Sponsors: Disaster Roundtable and the Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine of the National Academies. Washington, DC: June 22, 2004. This joint workshop will examine the issues of health risks and disasters, with an emphasis on the type of health risks, capacity needs, and research needs that are necessary to adequately respond to a variety of crisis conditions. This workshop is one in a series that both examines the larger views of disasters or environmental health, and serves as a discussion to illuminate ideas. On-line registration is available at http://dels.nas.edu/dr/wkshp_reg.asp, or contact Patricia Kershaw at (202) 334-1964; e-mail: pkershaw@nas.edu (include your name and contact information) by June 18, 2004.

2004 NEMA Annual Conference. Sponsor: National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). New York, New York: September 11-15, 2004. The agenda includes a World Trade Center memorial, public and private sector meetings, and more. Conference details will soon be available from NEMA, P.O. Box 11910, Lexington, KY 40578; (859) 244-8000; e-mail: nemaadmin@csg.org; http://www.nemaweb.org/?526.

Backyards and Beyond: 2004 Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Education Conference. Sponsor: National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Wildland/Urban Interface Working Team. Denver, Colorado: November 4-6, 2004. This conference offers a forum for discussion and education in wildland/urban interface assessment, planning, safety, fire suppression, mitigation, resources, and best practices for bringing together diverse interests to develop and implement local solutions. It will introduce audiences to wildland/urban interface techniques and resources, as well as provide continuing education for those already involved. Conference details can be found at Conference Management Solutions, 310 West College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301 (attention: W/UI Education Conference); (850) 222-2383; http://www.firewise.org/2004conference/index.htm.

Partners in Preserving Liberty: U.S. EPA Region III Emergency Preparedness and Prevention Conference. Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: December 5-8, 2004. This conference is geared toward emergency responders, environmental health and safety workers, those who deal with hazardous materials, maritime security, first responders, transportation and shipping, emergency medicine, and others. Conference details can be obtained from EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street (3PM52), Philadelphia, PA 19103; e-mail: ConferenceAdministrator@2004conference.org; http://www.2004conference.org.

International Workshop on Water and Disasters. Sponsors: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), Environment Canada, United Nations University, International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. London, Ontario: December 13-14, 2004. This workshop will provide an interdisciplinary environment to discuss a variety of international, regional, and local initiatives aimed at minimizing the negative impacts of water-related disasters. Registration information is available from ICLR, 1389 Western Road, London, ON, Canada N6A 5B9; (519) 661-3234; e-mail: sdoyle@uwo.ca; http://www.iclr.org/pdf/First_Announcement_2004.pdf.

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