Disaster Research 407

May 28, 2004

Table of Contents

  1. Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund - Request for Contributions
  2. Papers and Ideas Invited for 2006 World Congress of Sociology
  3. Student Recruitment for FEMA Pilot Training Course
  4. Call for Papers
  5. A Reader Request
  6. Travel Grants for International Conferences
  7. Lightning Safety Week
  8. Emergency Management Planning Tool for Hospitals
  9. Input Wanted!
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  11. Some New Web Resources
  12. Conferences and Training

1) Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund - Request for Contributions

Mary Fran Myers was the Co-Director of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1988 through her retirement in the fall of 2003. During her time at the Center, she was a major guiding force, both within the Center itself and among the broader hazards community. By the time of her death in April 2004, her numerous contributions to the field were recognized by thousands of individuals and organizations throughout the world.

One of Mary Fran's primary concerns during her many years of service was ensuring that those from all sectors of the hazards community would be represented at the annual Hazards Workshop. She was particularly concerned that many who can greatly benefit from and contribute to Workshop activities - including in particular local practitioners, students, and international participants - are also among the least likely to be able to afford to attend. Based on her explicit request, the funds raised through this program will be used to support scholarships to enable such individuals to attend the annual Hazards Workshop or be disbursed at the discretion of the Director of the Natural Hazards Center.

The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship will be awarded annually, and each year the scholarship recipient will be recognized at the Hazards Workshop. The recipient may also be invited to serve as a discussant on a panel, highlighting his or her research or practical experiences in the hazards and disaster field.

A gift account has been established with the University of Colorado Foundation, which will administer the scholarship funds. Checks should be written to the "University of Colorado Foundation" and sent to: Mary Fran Myers Scholarship, Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482. For more information contact Lori Peek; (303) 492-1028; e-mail: lori.peek@colorado.edu.

2) Papers and Ideas Invited for 2006 World Congress of Sociology

Planning is now underway for the International Research Committee on Disasters (IRCD) meetings that will take place as part of the World Congress of Sociology in Durban, South Africa, July 23-29, 2006. Although the World Congress is still two years away, IRCD must settle its session topics by this fall.

The following sessions have already been agreed upon: "Disaster Research: Guiding Light or Lost in the Shadows of the 9/11 World?", a session of invited senior disaster scholars, and an open panel. There will also be a session devoted to research by young scholars. A number of other possibilities are being discussed including a session on disasters and the environment, one on famine, and one on historical and contemporary research.

At this point, there are available slots throughout the program and room for open papers. Joseph Scanlon will be organizing many of these sessions and would welcome hearing from anyone wishing to suggest a session, attend the meetings in Durban, or present a paper. He can be reached at Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6 Canada; (613) 520-7400; e-mail: jscanlon@ccs.carleton.ca.

3)Student Recruitment for FEMA Pilot Training Course

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering of a new two-week pilot course that provides partnership opportunities for senior fire executives and their community planning partners to collaborate on developing a systems approach to fire and emergency services strategic planning. The course was designed by the U.S. Fire Administration and is titled, Partnering for Fire Defense and Emergency Services Planning.

In addition to coordination and strategic planning, the course will offer information on interoperability, risk assessment, data collection and analysis, and the interdependence of community services and emergency services within communities. Targeted students include local, regional, and state fire and emergency services officers who are responsible for data collection, analysis and planning, as well as local, regional, and state community risk planners and others.

The course will run from August 23-September 3, 2004. There is no tuition for this course and transportation and lodging costs will be covered. Applications are due June 4, 2004. Prospective students must complete a FEMA general admissions application. For complete course information, go to: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fire-service/nfa/courses/oncampus/nfa_pilot_off_P-507.shtm.

4) Call for Papers

The Geological Remote Sensing Group, a special interest group of the Geological Society of London is organizing a conference on "Mapping Hazardous Terrain Using Remote Sensing." The conference will be held on December 13-14, 2004, at the Geological Society of London in England.

The aim of the conference is to link the common interests of applied geomorphologists, remote sensing scientists, and civil engineers in mapping of terrain that is hazardous to human activities. Conference sessions will be organized by hazard type (volcanic, seismic, slope instability, subsidence and flooding) with combined sessions on new remote sensors and techniques. It is hoped that the set of papers presented at the conference will be published in an international journal.

Conference organizers are seeking paper submissions for this workshop. Both oral presentations (15-20 minutes with 5 minutes for questions) and posters are requested. Session titles and 300-400 word abstracts are due by September 27, 2004. Send abstract information (e-mail preferred) to Richard Teeuw, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, PO1 3QL, UK; e-mail: richard.teeuw@port.ac.uk.

5) A Reader Request

I am seeking subject matter experts that may be interested in authoring chapters in a textbook titled, Practical Approach to Disaster Medicine and Terrorist Events. The section that I am editing is entitled, "Topics Related to Terrorist Events." This is an outstanding opportunity to participate in the development of a new practice based disaster medicine textbook.

The following chapters of this section that are not yet assigned: medical intelligence, management of nuclear disaster, and security concerns in a terrorist event.

Please let me know of your interest at your earliest opportunity and include your most current demographic information, including job and/or academic title, mailing address, e-mail address, phone numbers. Please feel free to forward this message on to your colleagues.

All my best,

Mark Keim
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE; MS-E97
Atlanta, GA 30333
(404) 498-0455
E-mail: mkeim@cdc.gov

6) Travel Grants for International Conferences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide partial travel assistance for participants to the following meetings: International Symposium on Network and Center-Based Research for Smart Structures Technology and Earthquake Engineering in Osaka, Japan; and the Third International Conference on Earthquake Engineering in Nanjing, China. Information about both of these conferences can be found on the Hazards Center conference page (http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html).

Special consideration will be given to young and underrepresented earthquake researchers. For an application to receive travel support, contact George Lee (e-mail: gclee@mceermail.buffalo.edu), Fuh Yan (e-mail: yuan@eos.ncsu.edu) or Peter Chang (e-mail: pchang@eng.umd.edu).

7) Lightning Safety Week

Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 20-26, 2004. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provides suggested daily topics, resources, and links to related organizations through their web site at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/week.htm. This site also includes handouts, indoor and outdoor safety tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools, and more.

8) Emergency Management Planning Tool for Hospitals

Hospitals must be prepared to respond to natural and human-made mass casualty incidents that may cause sudden demand on services. One of the foci of hospital disaster planning has been the use of drills to train employees in and to test aspects of hospital response. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released an evidence-based tool to help hospitals evaluate their disaster training drills. Called Evaluation of Hospital Disaster Drills: A Module-Based Approach, the program is designed to help hospitals identify strengths and weaknesses in their responses during a disaster drill and improve their ability to fulfill required emergency management plans.

The program is based on several key principles, including the need to plan drill objectives, to train observers, to document drill activities, and to debrief all participants. This tool makes it possible to evaluate hospital disaster drills by using evaluation modules and addenda. The value of this approach is to identify specific weaknesses for improvement and to promote continuing efforts to strengthen hospital disaster preparedness.

Evaluation of Hospital Disaster Drills: A Module-Based Approach, is available free from AHRQ either on-line as a series of dowloadable files (http://www.ahrq.gov/research/hospdrills/hospdrill.htm), or as a notebook with accompanying CD-ROM. For more information contact Sally Phillips, AHRQ Bioterrorism Preparedness Research Program, Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850; (301) 427-1364; e-mail: sphillip@ahrq.gov; http://www.ahrq.gov/news/press/pr2004/hospdrpr.htm.

9) Input Wanted!

The Secretariat for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), is seeking input for a program it is sponsoring to collect functional tools that assist local communities, as well as municipal and national governments, to reduce the impacts of disasters. This project is one of a number being undertaken by the ISDR, which established working groups to follow up on the initiatives developed during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR).

Working Group three (WG3) is working "to advance knowledge on the development and application of data and tools for risk/vulnerability assessment and reduction." WG3 members consist of over twenty representatives of UN agencies, international nongovernmental organizations, and related regional and national bodies from around the world. WG3 focuses on understanding the needs for effective risk management, particularly from the local and national level, on small and medium-scale disasters and on the socioeconomic impact and environmental risks and associated impacts of disasters.

WG3's main objective is to promote the application of improved tools, resources, and practices for risk and vulnerability assessment at the local, sub-national and national levels. This is facilitated through the project's interactive web site at http://hq.unhabitat.org/rdmu/isdr/default.asp. The site contains instructions for finding and adding tools and best practices and also includes a web-dialog function. All additions are welcome! Material gathered will be credited to the institution/expert of origin and will be made available to others.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Esteban León, Disaster, Post-conflict and Safety Section, Urban Development Branch - Global Division United Nations Human Settlement Programs (UN-HABITAT), P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya tel: (254-2) 624191; e-mail: Esteban.Leon@UNHABITAT.ORG.

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.]

Emergency Management Officer

The Department of Civil Emergency Management in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is looking to hire an emergency management officer. The incumbent will be responsible for a range of tasks involving providing consultative services, technical planning expertise, and emergency planning assistance to state and local jurisdictions in order to promote organization and discipline in the event of a disaster or emergency. This includes programs related to emergency management coordination, planning, conducting and evaluating training exercises, conducting damage assessments, and administering federal and state funds allocated for disaster recovery operations. The incumbent will also respond to actual emergencies and disasters, provide public and/or individual assistance, review and approve claims, and assist local jurisdictions in researching, compiling, organizing, planning, revising, and maintaining their emergency operations plans.

Requirements include a bachelor's degree in business, public administration, or urban planning and one year of experience in emergency preparedness planning or emergency management operations, or in public assistance or disaster recovery operations at the local, state or federal level; or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one additional year of qualifying experience for each year of the required bachelor's degree.

Applications are due June 23, 2004. For more information contact Patricia Nelson, Jim Thorpe Building, 2101 North Lincoln Boulevard, Oklahoma City, OK 73105; e-mail: patricia.nelson@opm.state.ok.us.

FEMA Region VIII Support Positions

Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., an engineering and energy services firm, has a variety of vacancies related to floodplain management, GIS, technical support, and project management available in its Denver, Colorado office. These positions will support FEMA work throughout the region. Requirements range from GIS experience, floodplain mapping ability, geological and hydrological engineering expertise, project management experience, experience with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), to working with local communities on flood-related issues.

For a listing of specific openings and their requirements, visit the Michael Baker, Jr. Inc. job search web page at http://www.mbakercorp.com/careers/job_search.cfm. If you are interested in applying for any of the positions, send a cover letter and resume to Erin Windes at e-mail: ewindes@mbakercorp.com. General information about Michael Baker, Jr. Inc. can be found at http://www.mbakercorp.com.

Administrative Assistant - Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Task Force

The New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM) Urban Search and Rescue Task Force (NY-TF1) is seeking an administrative assistant to work closely with the program manager and other team personnel to help facilitate all activities.

The incumbent is expected to be highly organized, detail oriented, possess diverse operational abilities, and have strong interpersonal skills. Furthermore, the person will be responsible for a variety of program/project management tasks related to the planning, development and execution of unit business, including general oversight of budgeting, administrative, personnel records retention, data management, and financial management issues relating to NY-TF1. Specific responsibilities include assisting with the development of tabletop and field response drills; arranging travel for task force members and facilitating attendance at all out-of-town training courses; reimbursement of personnel salaries and expenses; and a variety of other administrative responsibilities.

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. To apply send a cover letter and resume to Phil Stober, NY-TF1/US&R Task Force, Office of Emergency Management, 11 Water Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201; e-mail: pstober@oem.nyc.gov.

11) 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 Center for Geohazards (ICG) in Norway has posted an 80-page post-earthquake reconnaissance report from Bam, Iran, on their site. The report, authored by ICG team participants, is available in PDF format.

The Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) has posted a link to a second draft of the National Response Plan (NRP).

The Emergency Preparedness and Response program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has produced a series of videos titled "The History of Bioterrorism." These videos can either be purchased or viewed free on-line. They describe Category A diseases that could intentionally be used to infect people and highlight preparedness issues.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the September 11 Commission) has posted a variety of statements and testimony from its recent public hearing in New York. The next public hearing is scheduled for June 16-17 in Washington DC.

"Crisis Manager" is an Internet blog created to discuss all things related to crisis management that has been launched by Jonathan Bernstein, editor of the newsletter with the same name.

"Science at NASA," an on-line newsletter recently focused on drought as the Western U.S. faces yet another summer of severe drought. The newsletter includes a variety of drought-related Internet resources.

"Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-disaster Research," published last year by the Hazards Center, is now available free and on-line in PDF format.

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has launched a Heart-Healthy Firefighter web site. The site operates in conjunction with the NVFC's heart-attack prevention program and is aimed at improving the health and wellness of firefighters.

12) 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.]

Fourth International Workshop on Structural Control. Sponsor: International Association on Structural Control (IASC). New York, New York: June 10-11, 2004. A major effort of this conference, held once every four years, will be to create a true workshop atmosphere rather than a mini-conference with a series of presentations. Presentations will focus on major research trends and applications of structural control and structural monitoring technologies, and a particular focus will be given to new sensors and sensor networks, together with the integration of the sensed data for large-scale model-based simulation. Information is available from the Columbia School of Civil Engineering, 610 Seeley W. Mudd, 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027; (212) 854-3143; http://www.civil.columbia.edu/4IWSC/.

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.

Practical Homeland Defense - A New Focus, A New Resolve. Sponsor: The American Civil Defense Association (ACDA). San Diego, California: June 25, 2004. This annual conference will provide reasonable and practical strategies for homeland defense through presenting many of the threats and issues that impact communities as they prepare for and respond to disaster. Complete conference details are available from ACDA, 118 Court Street, Starke, FL 32091; (800) 425-5397; http://www.tacda.org.

Geo-Environment 2004: International Conference on Monitoring, Simulation and Remediation of the Geological Environment. Sponsor: Ministry of Environment, Regional Government of Castilla y León, Spain. Segovia, Spain: July 5-8, 2004. Traditionally, geosciences have focused on the exploitation of natural resources. Today, sustainable development and the promotion of renewable energies is an essential requirement for our survival. The role of geosciences for land use is much wider, involving the evaluation and mitigation of natural and human-induced risks, many of which originate from events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, landslides, and subsidence. For more information contact Amy D'Arcy-Burt, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO40 7AA UK; tel: 44 (0) 238 029 3223; e-mail: gmckeogh@wessex.ac.uk; http://www.wessex.ac.uk/conferences/2004/geoenvironment04/.

Public Protection from Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Terrorism. Sponsors: National Institute of Standards and Technology and Health Physics Society. Gaithersburg, Maryland: July 6-9, 2004. This year's "health physics summer school" will focus on planning, assessment, and response with input from a wide variety of presenters. Detailed information is available from the Health Physics Society, 2004 Summer School, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; http://www.newfocus.net/iaem/forum/DCForumID4/49.html.

Floodplain Management Association Annual Conference. Monterey, California: September 7-10, 2004. The theme "you can pay me now, or you can pay me later" focuses on the need for pre-disaster planning. Protecting the public from natural and human-made disasters is the highest priority for engineers, floodplain managers, educators, and policy managers. Agenda details and registration information can be obtained from the Floodplain Management Association, P.O. Box 712080, Santee, CA 92072; http://www.floodplain.org.

XXIX Assembly of the European Seismic Commission (ESC). Potsdam, Germany: September 12-17, 2004. The program will focus on seismicity of the European-Mediterranean area, data acquisition, theory, and interpretation, earthquake source physics, earthquake prediction research, engineering seismology, and rapid intervention field investigation teams. Complete information can be obtained by contacting B.-G. Luehr, LOC XXIX General Assembly ESC, GFZ Potsdam Telegrafenberg E456, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany; e-mail: ESC2004@gfz-potsdam.de; http://www.gfz-potsdam.de/pb2/ESC2004/.

Pacific Homeland Security and Natural Disaster Conference. Sponsors: Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and Bay Area Economic Forum. Oakland, California: October 4-5, 2004. Conference topics and exhibits will address bioterrorism and our healthcare system, shipping and transportation security, infrastructure vulnerability, corporate programs and business recovery, role of local governments and special districts, the tools of technology, legislation, funding and insurance, natural hazard mitigation, effective disaster response, and preparing and coordinating the players. Complete information is available from ABAG, P.O. Box 2050, Oakland, CA 94604; (650) 494-1613; e-mail: exhibits@pacificsecurityexpo.com; http://www.pacificsecurityexpo.com/.

Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2004. Sponsor: CTBUH. Seoul, Korea: October 11-14, 2004. The paradigm shift of the last century in the dwelling culture and the way we inhabit space, along with advancements in engineering technology, has led the proliferation of tall buildings, which have become an epitome of city life with socio-cultural importance. This conference will examine the conceptual, historical, and technological conditions of today's tall buildings, review the advancements in related theories and practices, and suggest an outline of future developments with an emphasis on culture and technology for sustainable cities. Scholars, professionals and stakeholders are cordially invited to participate. Registration information is available from CTBUH, Convention Team, Hanjin Travel Service Co. Ltd. Haniln Building, #132-4, Bongrae-dong 1ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea; http://www.ctbuh2004.org.

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