October 23, 2004


  1. New Quick Response Report
  2. Call for Abstracts: ASFPM
  3. Summer Research in Japan
  4. Call for Presentations: Risk Reduction
  5. Call for Papers: IJMED Special Issue
  6. Call for Presentations: CCEP
  7. 2005 National Hurricane Conference Awards Nominations
  8. Reader Request: Disaster Mental Health
  9. Reader Request: Validation of Emergency Response Plans
  10. New ICS Training Programs: FEMA and USFA
  11. Farewell and Good Luck to an Editor
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  13. Some New Web Resources
  14. Conferences and Training

1) New Quick Response Report

A new Hazards Center Quick Response (QR) report features damage survey data gathered using satellite imagery by Beverly J. Adams and other researchers from the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER) in the wake of Hurricane Charley. Charley represents the first category 4 hurricane for which both before and after satellite imagery is available from very high-resolution systems, offering the opportunity to investigate the use of remote sensing for postdisaster urban damage assessment and response activities.

In order to validate building damage characteristics identified on the satellite imagery, corresponding ground-based observations were required. Two field reconnaissance trips were conducted to collect perishable damage data using the VIEWS (Visualizing Impacts of Earthquakes with Satellites) system. It is envisioned that the data collected will ultimately form the basis of research activities extending the application of postdisaster damage assessment methodologies and algorithms developed for earthquakes to multiple hazards and improving the effectiveness of disaster response.

This QR report is available free online at http://mceer.buffalo.edu/research/Charley/Charley-screen.pdf. Other Hazards Center QR reports and information about the Quick Response program can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/.

2) Call for Abstracts: ASFPM

The Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) is inviting abstracts from potential speakers for its annual conference in Madison, Wisconsin, June 12-17, 2005. The concurrent sessions will be separated into the following tracks: plenary sessions; No Adverse Impact (NAI); public policy, education, and outreach; flood loss mitigation; integrated watershed management; National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); floodplain mapping technology; floodplain mapping application; hydrology and hydraulics; flood fighting products; and international issues. Anyone wishing to make a presentation must submit a one-page abstract describing the material to be presented and its relevance to the conference theme, “No Adverse Impact: Partnering for Sustainable Floodplain Management,” and/or major issues, along with a brief biography and contact information. For more information, topical suggestions, an abstract submittal form, and instructions, visit http://www.floods.org/Conferences,%20Calendar/madison.asp or contact Ricardo Pineda, California Department of Water Resources; (916) 574-0611; e-mail: rpineda@water.ca.gov. Abstracts are due October 29, 2004. Registration information and a conference brochure will be available in January 2005.

3) Summer Research in Japan

Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) sends some 100 U.S. graduate students to Japan for an intensive summer research experience. Applications are sought from qualifying students in structural, earthquake, wind, and geotechnical engineering who would like to participate in the 2005 NSF Summer Program in Japan and a supplemental program of student seminars and extensive laboratory and site visits focusing on natural hazards mitigation. Students in other fields of engineering and science with an interest in natural hazards mitigation are also encouraged to apply.

The supplemental program is entitled "Natural Hazard Mitigation in Japan 2005.” For more information on the program and the application procedure, visit http://cee.uiuc.edu/sstl/nhmj/. For questions, contact the program coordinators Y.C. Kurama (ykurama@nd.edu) or B.F. Spencer, Jr. (bfs@uiuc.edu). The deadline for application is November 1, 2004.

4) Call for Presentations: Risk Reduction

Present your ideas and strategies for emergency management and disaster mitigation at Symposium 2005: Best Practices in Risk Reduction for Colleges and Universities to be held at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, Washington, January 27-28, 2005. Share your expertise and success stories to help your higher education community colleagues better prepare for disasters and emergencies on their campuses. Symposium 2005 can be a great way to highlight your institution's innovative ideas and achievements, as well as network with emergency planners from across the country.

Proposals should be for one- or two- hour workshop and seminar presentations that focus on emergency management, risk reduction, hazards mitigation, business continuity, and crisis communication. Organizers are particularly interested in practical applications for campus settings, interactive seminars, and "how-to" workshop formats.

Submissions should include name and contact information; professional biography, resume or statement of qualifications; and a maximum two-page synopsis describing the proposed presentation including title, topic, objectives, target audience, and deliverable and are due by November 5, 2004.

Address proposals and inquiries to Elenka Jarolimek, UW Office of Emergency Management, Box 351275, Seattle, WA 98195; e-mail: elenka@u.washington.edu. Additional information is available at http://www.washington.edu/admin/business/oem/symposium/index.html.

5) Call for Papers: IJMED Special Issue

In Spring 2004, the Disaster Research Center (DRC) at the University of Delaware hosted a two-day conference focusing on the challenges, opportunities, issues, and future directions in the field of social science of disaster research. Given the important discussions that emerged, a special issue of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters (IJMED) will build off of the conference outcomes. This is an open call for papers and encourages submission and contributions from presenters as well as the larger disaster community.

While submissions may draw upon the author’s research and experiences, the emphasis of the articles should be on future endeavors, directions, and agenda-setting for the field, generally (but not exclusively) focusing on the conference topics (see the Web site at http://www.udel.edu/DRC/drc40conference/index.html). We encourage authors to use this as an opportunity to think about and explore bold new directions in the field as well as present forward-thinking approaches.

The special issue will be published in November 2005 and will be edited by Tricia Wachtendorf and Havidan Rodriguez. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2005. If you are interested and plan to submit a paper for this special issue, send a short note in Microsoft Word format to Tricia Wachtendorf, Disaster Research Center, University of Delaware, 87 East Main, Newark, DE 19716; (302) 831-1254; e-mail: twachten@udel.edu.

6) Call for Presentations: CCEP

The Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP) is calling for presentations for the 15th World Conference on Disaster Management to be held in Toronto, Canada, July 10-13, 2005. This year's theme is "The Changing Face of Disaster Management-Defining the New Normal." Presentations should fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Real events/lessons learned;
  • Emerging trends in disaster management;
  • The human element in disaster management;
  • Technical issues/threats;
  • Disaster management principals and practices; and
  • Research and development.

Abstracts must be submitted online and are due by December 4, 2004. For more information, visit http://www.wcdm.org/ or contact Adrian Gordon, CCEP; (905) 331-2552; e-mail: agordon@ccep.ca.

7) 2005 National Hurricane Conference Awards Nominations

The National Hurricane Conference is inviting nominations for its 2005 Awards Program. The featured awards are the Outstanding Achievement Award for a specific outstanding and innovative achievement in any hurricane-related activity (several awards will be made in different categories); the Distinguished Service Award for a sustained, significant contribution to one or more fields of hurricane-related activity or knowledge over a career; and the Neil Frank Award, the conference's top award, which will be presented to an individual who has made a major impact in hurricane preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation, or related fields. The deadline for submitting nominations is January 21, 2005. For more information, visit http://www.hurricanemeeting.com/, or contact Lisa Tait at (850) 906-9224 or lisa@hurricanemeeting.com.

8) Reader Request: Disaster Mental Health

I am a doctoral student interested in the mental health effects of disasters and war on children. I am trying to identify a dissertation topic and wanted to see if anyone know of potential resources. The convention in my department is for students to use secondary data for their dissertation. I am looking for a dataset that would allow me to look at mental health or psychosocial issues in children who have been affected by either a disaster or a complex humanitarian emergency. I am particularly interested in protective factors, effectiveness of interventions, and cultural issues, but I am open to exploring other aspects of this field. If you know of anyone who has data, who may be looking for students to analyze some of it, and whom you think would be open to sharing it, would you please let me know? Melissa Azur, NIMH Child Mental Health Services Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 North Broadway, Baltimore, MD; (410) 955-0601; e-mail: mazur@jhsph.edu.

9) Reader Request: Validation of Emergency Response Plans

I have both a professional and academic interest in validation of emergency response plans. With all due respect to our great first responders, there is very little science that goes into determining what is effective and what is not. There are lots of checklists that have been developed, but they have been based mostly on opinion and not science. Does anyone know of any research that is currently being conducted in this field? David Wright, University of Washington; e-mail: wrightd@u.washington.edu.

10) New ICS Training Programs: FEMA and USFA

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new online independent study course, Basic Incident Command System for Federal Disaster Workers, IS-200, is designed to identify incident command system (ICS) features and principles, describing in more detail elements such as establishment and transfer of command, management by objectives, unified command, ICS management functions, organizational flexibility, unity and chain of command, span of control, incident action plans, resource management, common terminology and clear text, integrated communications, and personnel accountability. A disaster scenario threads throughout the course to describe the common responsibilities associated with incident assignments from a federal disaster response workforce perspective. IS-200 is tailored specifically for federal disaster workers and is not meant to replace Basic Incident Command System, IS-195. Introduction to the Incident Command System for Federal Disaster Workers, IS-100, is a prerequisite to IS-200. To register and complete any of FEMA's online independent study courses, go to http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/.

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released its Web-based Incident Command System (ICS) Self-Study, 2nd Edition. This new program offers all first responders a basic understanding of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliant ICS as well as an overview and explanation of ICS, including organizational structure, positions and functions, responsibilities, and considerations. This self-paced program is available to all fire service officers and other first responders and emergency managers who use, implement, and function within an ICS. To participate in the program, go to http://www.training.fema.gov/.

11) Farewell and Good Luck to an Editor

Wendy Steinhacker, the Natural Hazards Center's senior editor, has heard the call of first response and is headed for the frontline. A dedicated disaster services volunteer, Wendy has decided it is time to employ her emergency medical technician skills full time.

While Wendy reigned supreme over Disaster Research and the Center's Web site, she also did a tremendous amount of work on the Observer (our print newsletter), edited Quick Response reports, working papers, special publications, and whatever else found its way to her desk. When not wordsmithing or offering grammatical advice, she lent her talents to other Center programs, such as the annual workshop, the Student Paper Competition, the PERISHIP Dissertation Fellowships Program, and the Mary Fran Myers Award and Scholarship.

Wendy truly was a team player who always had the best interests of the Center, and the community it served, both in mind and in heart. She will be missed, along with her dog Rocky. The Center will not be the same without them.

Thank you, Wendy, for everything. Good luck!

12) 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.]

Assistant Professor

Lehigh University seeks an assistant professor (or associate in exceptional cases) for a tenure-track position beginning August 2005 in environmental risk analysis, perception, and communication. Possible research specialties include decision processes and responses to environmental change, risk identification and response, risk perception, or risk communication to various audiences. This is a joint appointment between Lehigh's Environmental Initiative (EI) and a department that most closely matches the successful candidate's teaching and research interests. (Information about EI can be found at http://www.ei.lehigh.edu.) The successful applicant will develop vigorous research programs and courses that contribute to EI as well as departmental curricula.

Review of applications will begin December 10, 2004, and continue until the position is filled. Send cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy and research interests, up to three examples of scholarship, and a list of three references (including complete contact information) to Chair, EI Risk Search Committee, 31 Williams Drive, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015. (Also, send electronic versions of these materials to risk.ei@lehigh.edu.)

Assistant Professor

The Department of Geography at The George Washington University seeks an assistant professor in environmental geography with expertise in remote sensing and modeling to begin August 1, 2005. The candidate will teach undergraduate courses in introductory physical geography, environmental quality/management, and remote sensing as well as graduate courses in environmental issues and geospatial techniques. An established research record and international environmental interests are highly desirable. Generally, the teaching load is two courses per semester.

To apply, send a letter of interest, vita, and the names and contact information for three references to Marie Price, Department of Geography, George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052. Review of applications will begin December 1, 2004, and continue until the position is filled.

Policy Program Assistant

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sustainable societies, seeks a full-time policy program assistant. Applicants should possess strong writing and verbal skills, ability to work well in teams or independently, strong computer skills (database and Web site), ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure, be a self-starter, able to juggle multiple tasks, and committed to the environment. A bachelor's degree (environmental science or policy preferred) and two years’ experience are required. Experience in transportation, biofuels, renewable energy, and/or on Capitol Hill desired. Salary mid 20s to low 30s (depending on experience); excellent benefits; growth potential. Send cover letter, resume, and a short writing sample to Employment, EESI, 122 C Street NW, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20001; fax: (202) 628-1825; e-mail: eesi@eesi.org; http://www.eesi.org/. No phone calls please.

13) 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/.]

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has enhanced its Web site with a page dedicated to recovery information for the hurricanes of 2004, broken down by storm and then by the affected states. The page also features links to general information, including disaster recovery center locations, steps to take after the disaster, slide shows, and rebuilding techniques.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently adopted new technology to make it easier to apply for disaster assistance, allowing residents of federal disaster areas to apply online, as well as over the telephone.

The U.S. Department of Justice has released “An ADA Guide for Local Governments: Making Community Emergency Preparedness and Response Programs Accessible to People with Disabilities.” The guide breaks down preparedness and response into sections addressing planning, notification, evacuation, sheltering, and returning home.

In partnership with business and the Advertising Council, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has launched the Ready Business campaign, an extension of the individual- and family-focused Ready campaign, to help owners and managers of small to medium-sized businesses prepare for and respond to an emergency.

A VolcanoCam at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, about five miles from Mount St. Helens lets volcano watchers monitor the volcano’s activity from the safety and comfort of their desks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness has expanded its Spanish language emergency preparedness and response site to mimic the structure of its English counterpart.

This Nuclear Regulatory Commission Web page is dedicated to radiological emergency preparedness and response.

This pocket survival guide, “What You Should Do to Prepare for and Respond to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks,” focuses on simple steps individuals can take to prepare for and respond to terrorist attacks with chemical, biological, radiological (“dirty bomb”), and nuclear weapons. A printable version and software for Palm devices are available for download.

This report, “A Safer, More Resilient California: The State Plan for Earthquake Research,” is the result of a California state law that requires the state’s Seismic Safety Commission to develop a final five-year statewide earthquake research plan as part of its five-year hazard reduction plan.

This press release discusses the latest findings from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) World Trade Center (WTC) Investigation. Findings include the leading collapse sequence for each of the towers; details from the analysis of first-person interviews of WTC occupants, first responders, and families of victims; and new information gleaned from the analysis of emergency response and evacuation procedures/actions.

14) 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.]

Engineering for Extreme Winds: 2005. Sponsors: The Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Extended Studies at Texas Tech University. Lubbock, Texas: February 2-4, 2005. This short course is designed for engineers, building officials, architects, and other professionals who are involved in the design of buildings to resist extreme wind events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. For more information, contact Texas Tech University, Extended Studies, Box 42191, Lubbock, TX 79409; (806) 742-7200, (800) 692-6877; http://www.dce.ttu.edu/Outreach/extremewinds.asp.

2005 EERI Annual Meeting. Sponsor: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). Ixtapa, Mexico: February 2-6, 2005. Commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Mexico City earthquake, this meeting will highlight the impact of the event and the resulting progress made in all fields related to earthquake risk. There will be evaluations of the effectiveness of performance-based design, postdisaster response and recovery, and prediction and warning. Speakers will present the latest information on large-scale urban rehabilitation and urban risk. Poster abstracts are due by December 1, 2004. Travel scholarships are available for student and young EERI members. 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/.

26th Annual International Disaster Management Conference. Sponsors: Emergency Medicine Learning & Resource Center, Florida Emergency Medicine Foundation, Florida College of Emergency Physicians. Orlando, Florida: February 3-6, 2005. This conference was designed to meet the educational needs of all persons and agencies involved with emergency preparedness, response, and disaster recovery. For more information, visit http://www.emlrc.org/index.htm.

International Conference on Coastal Hazards. Sponsors: SASTRA Deemed University, Indian Geological Conference. Thanjavur, India: February 9-11, 2005. This conference will address natural and human-induced coastal and marine hazards and how the international community can work together to reduce the occurrences of these events and minimize their adverse impacts. For more information, contact H.R. Vasanthi, Coastal Hazards Conference, CARISM, SASTRA Deemed University, Thanjavur—613 402, India; e-mail: vasanthi@biotech.sastra.edu; http://www.sastra.edu/icch/.

8th World Congress on Stress, Trauma, and Coping. Sponsor: International Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF). Baltimore, Maryland: February 16-20, 2005. Presenters at this conference will explore a variety of crisis intervention topics, including emergency services and public safety; mass disasters, terrorism, and homeland security; and mental health and community crisis response. The conference is designed for anyone in the fields of crisis intervention, traumatic stress, emergency services, or disaster mental health. For more information, contact Shelley Cohen, ICISF, 3290 Pine Orchard Lane, Suite 106, Ellicott City, MD 21042; (410) 750-9600; e-mail: scohen@icisf.org; http://www.icisf.org/8WC/.

Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting. Denver, Colorado. April 5-9, 2005. This professional and scholarly meeting typically features a variety of hazards- and disaster-related sessions and provides attendees with the opportunity to network with colleagues, discover new developments in geography, and learn about cutting-edge research. For more information, contact AAG, 1710 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; (202) 234-1450; e-mail: meeting@aag.org; http://www.aag.org/annualmeetings/index.cfm.

Progress in Understanding Coastal Land Loss and Restoration In Louisiana: The W. Alton Jones Foundation Report Revisited. Sponsors: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Geological Survey, Louisiana Governor’s Applied Coastal Science Program. Lafayette, Louisiana: April 12-14, 2005. This symposium will focus on recent scientific and technological developments that provide insight into the causes of land loss, the consequences of the rapid changes during the twentieth century, and predicting the outcomes of system-scale restoration efforts. While the focus is on coastal Louisiana, discussion of important findings from other systems will be integral to the symposium program. Abstracts for posters and papers are due December 15, 2004. For more information, contact University of Louisiana Lafayette, Continuing Education, CREST Symposium 2005, P.O. Box 42411, Lafayette, LA 70504; (337) 482-5712; http://www.gulfcrest.org/activities.htm.

ISCRAM2005: Second Annual Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. Sponsors: Tilburg University, Nuclear Research Center SCK-CEN, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Brussels, Belgium: April 18-20, 2005. ISCRAM2005 will bring together designers, developers and users of information systems that support crisis-related activities, such as planning and training for crisis response, responding to a crisis, and performance evaluation. Organizers welcome academic and industry researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. Papers are due by December 30, 2004. For more information, contact ISCRAM; e-mail: iscram2005@uvt.nl; http://www.sckcen.be/iscram.

Postgraduate Training Course in Study and Management of Geological Risks, CERG 2005. Sponsor: Universite de Geneve, Centre d'Etude des Risques Geologiques. Geneva, Switzerland: April 18-June 9, 2005. The objective of this course is for students to develop expertise in the field of natural risk mitigation by integrating it in the planning of sustainable development. It offers a multidisciplinary approach in the search for solutions for a society confronted with natural risks and aims to develop experts who can advise the public and private sectors to take preventive measures to reduce the impact of natural disasters. The training is intended for geologists, geographers, geotechnicians, civil engineers, and land planners with an interest in humanitarian relief. For more information, contact Françoise Grondahl, Universite de Geneve, CERG-Secretariat, departement de Mineralogie, 13 rue des Maraichers, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland; 0041 22 379 66 02; e-mail: cerg@unige.ch; http://www.unige.ch/hazards/.

The 16th Global Warming International Conference. Sponsor: Global Warming International Center. New York, New York: April 19-21, 2005. A variety of topics related to global warming will be addressed at this conference, including global warming science and policy, extreme events and impact assessment, and human health in a changing climate. For more information, contact James A. Roberts, GWXVI International Program Committee, P.O. Box 5275, Woodridge, IL 60517; e-mail: jroberts@globalwarming.net; http://www.globalwarming.net/.

Disaster Resistant California (DRC) 2005. Sponsors: California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, The Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation at San Jose State University. Sacramento, California: May 15-18, 2005. This multidisciplinary conference is designed to bring together emergency management professionals; local, state, and federal government representatives; academicians; and private business partners to share ideas, technology, and resources and to promote partnerships as a means of reducing the vulnerability of individual communities to natural and human-caused disasters. Papers are invited; abstracts are due by November 19, 2004. For more information, contact Jessica Tran, Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192; (408) 924-3596; e-mail: jessica.tran@sjsu.edu; http://www.sjsu.edu/cdm/drc05.

TIEMS 12th Annual Conference. Sponsor: The International Emergency Management Society. Torshavn, Faroe Islands: May 24-27, 2005. This international conference will highlight the latest techniques, equipment, and theories in the profession while addressing the effects new technologies and geopolitical developments have had on it. The principal theme will be “Critical Infrastructures and System Failures.” Abstracts for papers and other workshop issues are due November 15, 2004. For more information, contact Rogvi F. Johansen, P.O. Box 347, FO-110 Torshavn, Faroe Islands; e-mail: rogvij@fisk.fo; http://www.tiems.org/.

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