April 29, 2005


  1. New Law Makes FEMA Mitigation Grants Tax Free
  2. NIMS Compliant ICS Training Guidelines
  3. National Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 15-21, 2005
  4. NOAA Seeks Applicants for Undergraduate Scholarships
  5. Funding Opportunity: SAFER Grants
  6. TIEMS Virtual Conference: Education and Disasters in Africa
  7. Reader Request: Tsunami Project
  8. Survey: Natural Hazards Library at the Natural Hazards Center
  9. Trivia: 2005 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences and Training
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) New Law Makes FEMA Mitigation Grants Tax Free

On April 15, the president signed Public Law 109-7, making mitigation grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency tax free. Prior to the passage of this law, these grants were considered to be taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service. This tax code change applies to mitigation grants past, present, and future.

The complete text of Public Law 109-7 is available in any federal repository library and on the Library of Congress Web site at http://thomas.loc.gov/.

2) NIMS Compliant ICS Training Guidelines

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center has developed guidelines for incident command system (ICS) training providers that will help them ensure that the training they offer meets the requirements of NIMS. Since one of the first steps for becoming compliant with NIMS is institutionalizing the use of ICS across the response system, ICS training must be consistent with the concepts, principles, and characteristics of the NIMS ICS training offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) training entities along with that of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG).

The NIMS National Standard Curriculum: Training Development Guidance outlines the system’s ICS concepts and principles, management characteristics, organizations and operations, organizational element titles and recommendations for a model curriculum. It also provides an evaluation checklist for content that may be used to make sure that ICS training meets the “as taught by DHS” standard. The guidance document is available at http://www.fema.gov/nims/.

The model NIMS ICS curriculum organizes four levels of training: ICS-100, Introduction to ICS; ICS-200, Basic ICS; ICS-300, Intermediate ICS; and ICS-400, Advanced ICS. ICS training provided by the Emergency Management Institute, the National Fire Academy, the NWCG, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Coast Guard follow this model.

According to the NIMS Integration Center, emergency management and response personnel already ICS trained do not need retraining if their previous training is consistent with the DHS standard. This would include courses managed, administered, or delivered by the Emergency Management Institute, the National Fire Academy, NWCG, USDA, EPA or the U.S. Coast Guard.

For more information about NIMS ICS, e-mail NIMS-Integration-Center@dhs.gov or call (202) 646-3850.

3) National Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 15-21, 2005

The National Hurricane Center’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week is scheduled for May 15-21, 2005. A Web site has been dedicated to the effort with the goal of informing the public about the hurricane hazards and providing knowledge that can be used to take ACTION. Find out more and download a Hurricane Preparedness Week poster at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml.

4) NOAA Seeks Applicants for Undergraduate Scholarships

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting applications for a new undergraduate scholarship program in honor of the recently retired South Carolina Senator Ernest F. Hollings, who throughout his career promoted ocean research and the study of our atmosphere.

NOAA’s Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program will provide about 110 college undergraduates up to $28,425 to support academic studies related to NOAA science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities, and a related internship designed to provide a “hands-on,” multidisciplinary training experience.

The Hollings scholarship program will provide selected undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance for full-time study during their junior and senior years (up to a maximum of $8,000 per year); a 10-week, full-time internship position ($650/week) during the summer at a NOAA or partner facility; a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship; and travel expenses to attend and participate in a Hollings scholarship program conference at the end of the internship.

Hollings scholars will be selected from applicants majoring in a broad range of disciplines, including biological, life, and agricultural sciences; physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and teacher education.

Applications are due May 23, 2005. Applications for the Hollings Scholarship Program are available at http://www.orau.gov/noaa/HollingsScholarship/; by mail ATTN: NOAA/Hollings Scholarship, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, P.O. Box 117, MS 36, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117; by e-mail at HollingsScholarship@orau.gov; or by telephone (865) 576-3424. For further information, contact NOAA’s Education Office at noaa.education@noaa.gov or (202) 482-3384.

5) Funding Opportunity: SAFER Grants

The application period for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants will begin on May 31, 2005, and continue through June 28, 2005. The program is administered by DHS’ Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness. The SAFER Grants provide funding for the hiring of fire personnel and incentives for volunteer recruitment and retention. Through the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2005, Congress provided $65 million for SAFER.

The applications are automated and will be accessible through http://www.firegrantsupport.com/. Fire departments that have questions should contact the help desk at (866) 274-0960 or at firegrants@dhs.gov.

6) TIEMS Virtual Conference: Education and Disasters in Africa

The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) is sponsoring a 2nd Annual Virtual Conference on Disasters in Africa. The theme of this year’s conference is “Education and Disasters in Africa.” The conference will run from May 1-21, 2005, and end with a presentation of the conference results at the TIEMS annual meeting, to be held in the Faroes Islands May 24-27, 2005 (see http://www.tiems.org/ for details).

The theme for this year’s conference was identified during the TIEMS’ sponsored 2004 virtual conference on disaster management in Africa. The theme of education and disasters also links to the Decade on Education (2005-2014) and serves to call attention to the links between knowledge, education, and disaster mitigation and prevention.

Africa faces particular challenges in educating citizens about disasters, their management, and avoidance. But from community disaster preparedness activities to the establishment of university-level disaster research and training centers, the continent also has a wealth of experience and success stories, which need to be shared and replicated.

In this year’s conference, the third week will be devoted to the sharing of examples of how educational activities have been used to reduce or eliminate disaster impact in Africa. These case studies will be assembled by TIEMS on their Web site as a resource for those involved in disaster management and education in Africa.

To join the conference, send an e-mail to majordomo@tiems.org with “subscribe virtualconference” in the text. For more information, visit http://lists.tiems.org/virtualconference/ or contact Charles Kelly at Charles.Kelly@tiems.org.

7) Reader Request: Tsunami Project

A team headed by Henry Fischer of Millersville University in Pennsylvania has received funding to look at the handling of the dead from the Sumatra tsunami. While these funds have allowed us to send researchers to impacted countries and to talk to some of those who responded, we were not of course present at the time of impact. Since it appears that a great deal happened in relation to handling of the dead during the first hours and days after impact--before we arrived--it would be very helpful to us to be able to make contact with persons who were there. This would include tourists, backpackers, casual visitors, anyone.

We would really appreciate the chance to make contact with anyone who was in Indonesia, Thailand, India, or Sri Lanka at the time and would be willing to talk to us. We will not identify sources. By the way, this request is not confined to Americans. It appears there were persons from 55 countries killed by the tsunami, and this includes a significant number of Germans, Swedes, Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians, Finns, English, etc. There was also an Australian involvement.

There may also be persons some of you know who went to these countries in the wake of the tsunami because of persons who were missing. Contact with them would also be helpful. Let me stress again that we do not identify or share human sources when reporting so these persons would not be cited in our reports or their names shared with anyone.

It may also be that some in the International Association of Emergency Managers know some of those who responded in a professional capacity and are willing to help us make contact. Once again any such assistance would be welcomed.

I am sure our findings which seem to be raising many questions about handling of large numbers of dead from many cultures, religions, and of many different nationalities will be of value to the emergency community.

Joseph Scanlon
Professor Emeritus and Director
Emergency Communications Research Unit
Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada

I can be reached at jscanlon@ccs.carleton.ca.

If anyone would like to speak to me personally I will be in Canada at (613) 730-9239 in about 10 days. I will also be attending the hazards conference in Boulder, Colorado in July and would be delighted to talk to anyone there. I will mention the tsunami dead project when I identify myself.

8) Survey: Natural Hazards Library at the Natural Hazards Center

To better serve your needs, the Natural Hazards Center is conducting an assessment of the Natural Hazards Library (http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/library/). As part of this assessment, the Center is surveying both producers and users of research and knowledge on extreme events. The survey is extremely important and will provide answers to questions regarding user needs, library usage, and how the existing resources and services can be augmented and improved. It consists of nine questions and should take approximately two minutes to complete. To ensure confidentiality, this survey is anonymous and your responses cannot be linked to you.

To make this as simple as possible, the Center has posted the survey on the Web at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/library/survey/. It will remain online through June 30, 2005.

Please note that you do not have to be familiar with the Natural Hazards Library to take the survey. If you have any questions about the survey or the library, please contact the Natural Hazards Library at hazlib@colorado.edu or (303) 492-5787.

9) Trivia: 2005 Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Names

Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center and now maintained and updated by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. The lists featured only women’s names until 1979, when men’s and women’s names were alternated. Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2005 list will be used again in 2011. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.

The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1, 2005. Here are the names for this year’s Atlantic tropical cyclones:

Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince, Wilma

For information about the worldwide naming of tropical cyclones, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml.

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/.]

Select video presentations from the 2004 Church World Service Emergency Response Program (CWS ERP) Forum on Domestic Disaster Ministry have been posted on the CWS ERP Web site. Featured presentations include “Overview of Disaster Research,” “Participatory Action Research,” “Preparing Neighborhoods for Disasters,” “Going Beyond a Ministry of Presence,” and “Breaking Out of Cycles of Trauma.”

eAceh.org is an effort by the government of Indonesia and the donor community to bring together the many stakeholders rebuilding lives, livelihoods, and communities in Aceh and northern Sumatra devastated by the earthquake and tsunami on December 26, 2004. Information from all government agencies, international institutions, bilateral donors, international NGOs, and local Lembaga Swadaya Masyakarat participating in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Aceh shall be made available on this site.

This Web site supplements KQED Public Broadcasting’s documentary Coastal Clash that takes an in-depth look at the struggle for California’s shores, a struggle that is echoed on coastlines around America. Online features include a “How Beaches Work” animation, classroom content, and a bulletin board.

The 12th Disasters Roundtable Workshop, held on October 28, 2004, focused on grand challenges in science and technology related to society’s vulnerability to disaster. Agencies and stakeholders from the disaster research and policy community gathered to discuss research and program priorities for the future. They identified problems in science and technology that might be resolved by coordinated and sustained investments in research, education, communication, and the application of knowledge and technology. Attendees talked about how such investments might help produce significant reductions in the loss of life and property from natural, technological, and human-induced disasters. The summary is available here.

This is the final report on the Oregon Natural Hazards Workshop’s (ONHW) Public Entity Risk Institute-supported three year project to coordinate the implementation of the Institute of Business & Home Safety Showcase State program in Oregon. Learn about the challenges and opportunities of coordinating a statewide disaster mitigation effort and how ONHW plans to continue promoting proactive disaster mitigation in Oregon.

To help insurers and reinsurers analyze and prepare for future multiple-catastrophe years, AIR Worldwide Corporation has released a white paper entitled Analyzing and Preparing for Multiple Event Seasons. It includes a detailed explanation of how insurers can explicitly account for the probability of multiple events in a single year. A case study demonstrates techniques insurers can use to manage the risk of multiple-event and multiple-peril years.

This Web site from the National Weather Service’s Hydrologic Information Center features a U.S. flood summary archive from 1997 to the present.

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.]

2005 Southeast Homeland Security Conference. Organizers: Georgia Emergency Management Agency, Georgia Office of Homeland Security, Chatham Emergency Management Agency. Savannah, Georgia: June 28-July 1, 2005. This three-day conference will provide experts and practitioners from the public, private, and voluntary sectors who will address an array of topics related to homeland security initiatives and future visions. It is open to all government and private sector executives; health, medical, and hospital professionals; planners, trainers, first responders, emergency managers, and the military. For more information, contact Diana Wright, Conference Management Solutions, Inc., 310 West College Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301; (850) 222-2383; e-mail: dwright@nettally.com; http://www.sehomelandsecurityconference.com/.

Ocean/Coastal Science and Engineering Education 2005. Organizer: School of Engineering Griffith University. Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia: June 6-8, 2005. Coastal/Ocean science and engineering communication and education is a growing field that ultimately aims to improve the quality and sustainable development of the coastal and ocean environments. In order to assist in the development of improved communication and educational strategies and techniques, this inaugural international conference will provide an open forum for presentations and discussion on all aspects of coastal/ocean science and engineering communication and education. The conference will consist of oral presentations, discussion groups, and miniworkshops to help advance communication and educational approaches. For more information, contact Charles Lemckert, School of Engineering Griffith University-Gold Coast Campus, PMB 50 Gold Coast Mail Centre, Queensland 9726, Australia; +61 7 5552 8574; e-mail: OCSEE05@griffith.edu.au; http://www.gu.edu.au/school/eng//OCSEE/OCSEE.html.

GIS in Weather, Climate, and Impacts Workshop 2005. Organizer: National Center for Atmospheric Research GIS Initiative. Boulder, Colorado: July 6-8, 2005. As a step towards fuller integration of earth system science and bridging atmospheric and geographic information systems (GIS) communities, this workshop will bring together representatives from academic communities, the private sector, and government organizations to explore uses of GIS in atmospheric and related geo- and social sciences, discuss needs and opportunities in geospatial research and education, and address issues of data management and discovery. For more information, e-mail GISsupport@ucar.edu; http://www.gis.ucar.edu/05workshop/.

Coastal Zone 05: Balancing on the Edge. Organizer: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. New Orleans, Louisiana: July 17-21, 2005. The 14th installment of the biennial coastal resource management conference series will focus on balancing the issues and interests of land and sea. With over 1,000 participants expected from all over the world, this conference promises to provide valuable tools, lessons learned, and new ideas to help address the coastal management issues faced around the world. For more information, contact Gale Peek; (843) 740-1231; e-mail: Gale.Peek@noaa.gov or Lynn Sellers; (843) 740-1284; e-mail: Lynn.Sellers@noaa.gov; http://www.csc.noaa.gov/cz/.

2005 WSSPC Annual Conference. Sponsors: Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC), U.S. Geological Survey, Federal Emergency Management Agency. Boise, Idaho: September 11-14, 2005. The objective of this conference is to revisit the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program goals and what the goals support-—reduced exposure to loss of life, infrastructure, economies, and resources—-in light of national realities: western earthquakes, rural earthquakes, and earthquakes in cash-strapped states and communities. For more information, visit http://www.wsspc.org/Events/ac2005/.

Association of Engineering Geologists Annual Conference. Las Vegas, Nevada: September 19-24, 2005. The technical program for this conference features landslides and slope stability, engineering geology of problem soils, earthquake/seismic hazards, environmental site assessments (regulatory aspects), hydrogeology, and environmental risk management and remediation. Field trips, short courses, symposia, and a teachers’ workshop round out the event. For more information, contact Jim Werle at jwerle@converseconsultants.com or Barbara Luke at bluke@ce.unlv.edu; http://www.aegweb.org/.

The Sixth Open Meeting of the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Research Community. Organizer: International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. Bonn, Germany: October 9-13, 2005. The theme of this meeting is “Global Environmental Change, Globalization and International Security: New Challenges for the 21st Century.” It aims to promote a better understanding of global transformations, to identify the resulting opportunities and challenges, and to develop appropriate responses. This entails a critical assessment of what the community has achieved to date as well as the development of a forward-looking action plan that links human dimensions research into contemporary policy debates on future actions of the global community. For more information, visit http://openmeeting.homelinux.org/.

12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Substitute Faculty Position
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York

The Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York, is seeking to fill a substitute faculty position that begins September 2005. Grade will be commensurate with credentials and experience. The successful candidate will teach graduate courses in security management and emergency planning for the Graduate Program in Protection Management. The person filling this position will be encouraged to apply for a tenure-track position likely to commence in January or September of 2006. Teaching responsibilities primarily involve graduate courses in security management and/or emergency planning. Preference will be given to applicants who have or are near completion of the PhD, and who provide evidence of teaching, research, and professional experience relevant to either security or emergency management.

The Protection Management Program offers M.S. degrees for students seeking formal education qualifications in managing fire safety, emergency, and security functions in both the public and private sectors.

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York, is located in midtown Manhattan. The Graduate Program in Protection Management offers M.S. degrees and has about 90 current students. More information about the program can be found at http://web.jjay.cuny.edu/~prt_mgt/. Graduates in the program take foundation courses in emergency, security, and fire safety management, and specialize in one of those areas. In addition, students share three management courses with public administration students. Both programs are in the Department of Public Management, which has been ranked first or second by “U.S. News and World Report” for MPA programs with an emphasis on criminal justice. The New York metropolitan area offers unlimited opportunities for emergency and security management research and professional development, especially for persons interested in the emergency planning and security issues in urban settings.

Applicants should send a letter of interest outlining teaching and research interests, a curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation to Norman E. Groner, Department of Public Management, John Jay College, 445 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019; (212) 237-8834; e-mail: ngroner@jjay.cuny.edu.

Chair on Social Vulnerability (part time, rotational basis)
Scientific Advisor (senior/junior, full time)
MunichRe Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability, United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, Germany

Reference number: 2005/1/UNU-EHS
Closing Date: May, 31 2005

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training, and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of the UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations, its peoples, and its member states.

Within its intergovernmental academic mandate, the UNU has recognized the deterioration of human security due to environmental changes and catastrophic events of natural and manmade origin as an urgent challenge area.

The UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) aims to provide research-based, policy-relevant advice and training to enhance the capacity of societies to cope with environmental risks. As its priority, the UNU-EHS will focus on human and environmental security and vulnerability assessment, particularly in flood plains, deltas, and coastal zones.

The MunichRe Foundation (MRF) was established in 2005 on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of MunichRe. Within its program “From Knowledge to Action” MRF supports the UNU by providing operational funding for five years to support a chair on social vulnerability. Vulnerability as a social feature is influenced by cultural, institutional, and governance settings along with technological competencies, knowledge, and economic options available for affected communities. The chair will explore, in particular, the cultural and economic dimensions of vulnerability with special attention on indigenous perceptions, participatory approaches, and community-based coping practices to detect and reduce vulnerability. The MRF chair is established to enhance the involvement of leading scientists in the work of the UNU in this area. Therefore chairholders will be appointed for one or two years on a rotational basis. It is expected that they will collaborate with the UNU-EHS both prior to and following their tenure. Full professors in active service or senior researchers with equivalent qualifications are invited to apply for the position of the MRF chair for social vulnerability. The future incumbents shall have the following profile:

  • Documented scientific achievements (significant list of publications with high citation index, academic honours, etc.);
  • Leading function in international projects and in scientific associations;
  • xperience in postgraduate education (lists of MSc and PhD courses and supervised students);
  • Experience in developing countries;
  • Experience in science-policy and science-public dialogues; and
  • Excellent command of English and preferably other UN languages.

Successful candidates will hold the chair for cycles of one or two years. They are expected to stay an aggregate three months per year at UNU-EHS during their tenure. Chairholders will be engaged under the Personnel Service Agreement category of the UNU-EHS (non-taxable) and receive competitive remuneration for the periods spent at the UNU-EHS, a travel grant, and seed funding for project generation.

The chair is supported by a scientific advisor (senior/junior level, full time) whose main task will be to integrate the chair’s activities into the work program of the UNU-EHS. The successful candidate for this position has:

  • A PhD or an equivalent doctoral degree and a strong background in one of the relevant scientific areas (social, natural sciences, economics, etc.);
  • Distinguished scientific/professional achievements (at least five years of work experience, substantial publications list, etc.);
  • Experience in developing countries and preferably also in international organizations;
  • Experience in networking and collaborative research, including project acquisition;
  • Excellent command of English and preferably other UN languages and German; and
  • Ability to work in a team.

Scientific advisor contracts of one-two years duration, with the possibility of renewal, will be offered in the Personnel Service Agreement category of the UNU-EHS. Annual (non taxable) remuneration is within the range of 40.000 to 48.000 Euros. Suitably qualified women and candidates from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

How to apply: Detailed application, including your curriculum vitae naming three referees, is to be sent solely by post to Dr. Janos J. Bogardi, United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Goerresstr. 15, D-53113 Bonn, Germany. Unfortunately, due to the large number of expected applications, only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Find out more about the UNU at http://www.unu.edu/.

Questions for the readership and contributions to this e-newsletter are encouraged. Questions and messages should be indicated as such and sent to hazctr@colorado.edu.

Back to Top