July 22, 2005


  1. Plans for DHS Reorganization Announced
  2. Invitation to UN/ISDR Online Dialogue
  3. Comments Invited: NSF Directorate for Engineering Reorganization
  4. Call for Nominations: EGU Soloviev and Plinius Medals
  5. Call for Proposals: NFPA 2006 World Safety Conference and Exposition
  6. Call for Papers: Terrorism and Evacuation Issues
  7. Some New Web Resources
  8. Conferences and Training
  9. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Plans for DHS Reorganization Announced

On July 13, Michael Chertoff, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced plans to reorganize DHS, realigning policies, operations, and structures to address potential threats(human-caused and natural). The Homeland Security Act of 2002 provides certain flexibility for the secretary to establish, consolidate, alter, or discontinue organizational units within the department. Some of the proposed changes will require congressional action.

The reorganization is the result of the Second Stage Review, which studied the department's programs, policies, operations, and structure and recommended ways that DHS could better manage risk in terms of threat, vulnerability, and consequence; prioritize policies and operational missions according to this risk-based approach; and establish a series of preventive and protective steps that would increase security at multiple levels.

The plan's six-point agenda aims to:

  • Increase overall preparedness, particularly for catastrophic events;
  • Create better transportation security systems to move people and cargo more securely and efficiently;
  • Strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes;
  • Enhance information sharing with partners;
  • Improve DHS financial management, human resource development, procurement, and information technology; and
  • Realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.

Among the changes is the dismantling of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will report directly to the secretary and its mission will be refocused on response and recovery. To enhance coordination and deployment of preparedness assets, a new Directorate for Preparedness will consolidate preparedness assets from across the department, which, in addition to FEMA's preparedness activities, will include the infrastructure half of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Directorate, elements of the Office of State and Local Government Coordination and Preparedness, and the U.S. Fire Administration. This new directorate will be tasked with facilitating grants and overseeing nationwide preparedness efforts supporting first responder training, citizen awareness, public health, infrastructure, and cyber security.

For more information about these and other proposed changes, read the "Department Six-Point Agenda" at http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0646.xml. Links to proposed end-state organizational charts, a press release, remarks from the secretary, and the Homeland Security Act of 2002 are also available at this address. Various committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives are holding hearings to discuss the proposal. Michael Chertoff's testimonies are available at http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=45. Visit the committee Web sites at http://www.senate.gov/ and http://www.house.gov/ to view webcasts of the hearings.

2) Invitation to UN/ISDR Online Dialogue

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Secretariat is hosting an online dialogue on the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction into strategies to attain the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). In January 2005, the World Conference on Disaster Reduction called for a stronger link between internationally agreed upon development goals and disaster risk reduction. In September 2005, world leaders will meet in New York for a summit to review the MDGs.

The online dialogue seeks to bring into the process voices from varied professional, geographical, and institutional groups. The two broad areas that the dialogue seeks to address are how to make the MDG indicators more sensitive to disaster risk reduction and how to better incorporate disaster risk reduction into the 'areas of intervention' to achieve the MDGs.

You are invited to provide comments on how disaster risk reduction should be better represented in the MDGs, both for the current targets and indicators, and for how the MDGs can be linked more closely to the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015. Your views are requested on both the content and the actual processes of how to move forward with the integration, particularly with reference to the MDG indicators and areas of intervention to achieve the MDGs.

It is necessary to fill in an online registration form in order to post opinions on the Web site. The dialogue will be moderated by Praveen Pardeshi at the ISDR. The dialogue opens on the July 12, 2005 and will continue for a period of three weeks on the Web at http://www.unisdr.org/mdgs-drr-dialogue/.

3) Comments Invited: NSF Directorate for Engineering Reorganization

The National Science Foundation Directorate for Engineering (ENG) has completed a strategic planning process and has proposed a reorganization of the ENG. Public comment is invited on the strategic plan, the outlined reorganization, and supporting planning and assessment documents. All documents are hosted at the ENG electronic meeting Web site, http://www.nsf.gov/events/event_summ.jsp?cntn_id=104206&org=ENG, from June 1-October 1, 2005. ENG is making a concerted effort to move forward and prepare for future challenges and opportunities. Several committees and advisory groups have been working since May 2004 to develop the guiding documents. Please e-mail your comments, suggestions, or concerns to the ENG Quality Management Chair at engquality@nsf.gov. Find out more about the ENG at http://www.nsf.gov/dir/index.jsp?org=ENG.

4) Call for Nominations: EGU Soloviev and Plinius Medals

Every year, the Natural Hazard Section of the European Geosciences Union(EGU) has an opportunity to award two medals to fellow scientists involved in the study of natural hazards. These awards are the Soloviev Medal and the Plinius Medal.

The Soloviev Medal is awarded to senior scientists that have made exceptional contributions in one or more fields of science related to natural hazards. Recipients of the medal have significantly contributed to the improvement of our knowledge on natural hazards, improving our ability to recognize, assess the hazards, and mitigate the risk in view of environmental protection and the integrity of human life and socioeconomic systems. The Plinius Medal is reserved for scientists at the beginning of their careers in natural hazards studies who have already made outstanding interdisciplinary contributions in two or more fields related to natural hazards.

You now have an opportunity to nominate a fellow scientist for the Soloviev or the Plinius Medals. The proposal for nominations must include a summary and a short personal statement in support of the candidate signed by at least two, independent scientists from two different organizations, preferably different countries, at least one of whom must be an EGU member; a short curriculum vitae of the nominee; and a list of the nominee's most relevant publications and other relevant contributions.

The deadline for the submission of nominations is August 15, 2005. Nominations received after the deadline will not be considered. Nominations can be sent by e-mail to Fausto Guzzetti, at Fausto.Guzzetti@irpi.cnr.it or through the EGU Web site, http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/awards/Committees.html. More information on the medals, including a list of recipients, can be found on the Web at http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/awards/general.html.

5) Call for Proposals: NFPA 2006 World Safety Conference and Exposition

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is now accepting proposals for educational presentations at NFPA's 2006 World Safety Conference and Exposition. The NFPA invites you to share your knowledge with your peers in the field of fire and life safety as a presenter in Orlando, Florida, June 4-9, 2006. Presentations should be noncommercial in nature with no specific brand names mentioned. The Sessions Committee and the Content Advisory Council will review all presentation proposals. Selections will be made based on quality, relevance, focus, practical application, timeliness, and on the presenter's experience and credentials.

To submit your proposal online, visit http://www.nfpa.org/ or download a submission form at http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/WSC%2006/WSC06call.pdf.

6) Call for Papers: Terrorism and Evacuation Issues

The American Public University System is calling for papers for a conference entitled "Ripple Effects of Terrorism: Managing Evacuation." While much work has been done on making cities safer in the age of terrorism, more work needs to be done understanding the impact that an evacuation would have on the small towns and counties near large cities. Papers sought for the conference are on the logistics, politics, and consequences of an evacuation of major cities and what small towns and counties may need to consider before such an event occurs.

This one-day conference will be held on May 3, 2006, at the National Conservation Training Center located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The intent of the conference is to initiate a dialogue between local officials, scholars, and practitioners in the related fields of disaster management, homeland security, criminal justice, and emergency management.

If you have further questions, contact Robert Jaffin at BJaffin@apus.edu. The deadline for submissions is November 15, 2005. Send one-page proposals to:

Robert Jaffin,
American Public University System
111 West Congress Avenue
Charles Town, WV 25414

The following paper theme ideas (based upon evacuation and reception) are not meant to limit papers, only to provide ideas that directly support the event:

  • At risk populations
  • Federal role in evacuation and reception
  • Fire and law enforcement roles and responsibilities in evacuation and reception
  • Health care/trauma center preparations for highly elevated populations for extended periods - not surge
  • Inbound logistics
  • Incarcerated populations
  • Interoperability
  • Livestock
  • Local Community Emergency Response Team roles
  • National Guard role in evacuation, reception, and sustainment
  • Non-governmental organization roles
  • Outbound logistics
  • Pets
  • Role of schools in evacuations beyond short duration events
  • Spectrum allocation
  • Transportation network management overload including loss of electronic signaling and communications

7) 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/.]

This public Web site created by the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management encourages and facilitates the training and affiliation of disaster volunteers. Through map-based technology the site links potential disaster volunteers with agencies that can use their skills. It also enables organizations and Citizen Corps entities become more effective in their disaster work by helping to build their volunteer base.

Final statistics on fatalities, injuries, and damages caused by weather related hazards in the U.S. for 2004 are available from the National Weather Service Office of Climate, Weather, and Water Services and the National Climatic Data Center.

The full report "Assessment of the Community Healthcare Providers' Ability and Willingness to Respond to a Bioterrorism Attack," is available for download online. The report includes findings from a large survey of community healthcare providers in Florida.

The Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference meets annually to bring together the responsible federal agencies and other stakeholders to review the nation's hurricane forecast and warning program and to discuss recommendations for improving preparedness for the upcoming hurricane season. The updated plan incorporates new procedures, procedural changes, and agreements reached at the 2005 conference and is available for free online from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorological Services and Supporting Research.

This 2004 issue of "Aging Successfully," a newsletter of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, is focused on providing information on how elderly persons and health care providers working with them can prepare to minimize the human toll caused by disasters.

The July 1, 2005, issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" features this article, "Heat Related Mortality - Arizona, 1993-2002, and United States, 1972-2003." Findings reported in the article indicate that during the period from 1993 to 2002 the incidence of heat related deaths was three to seven times greater in Arizona than in the United States overall.

On July 11, 2005, the Congressional Hazards Caucus sponsored two Capitol Hill briefings titled "Hurricanes: Lessons Learned to Reduce Future Risks." The briefings were organized by the American Geological Institute, the American Geophysical Union, the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Red Cross. A summary of the briefings, speaker presentations, and a new fact sheet on hurricanes is available here.

The Benfield Hazard Research Centre has launched a new Web page on disability and disasters. The primary aim is to identify publications and unpublished material on the subject (in print or online), field initiatives, and people working in this field. An annotated list of publications, outlines of known research and field projects, and details of key contacts will be updated periodically on this Web page. This work will be ongoing. Details of publications, initiatives, and people working in the field are therefore welcome.

8) 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.]

Disaster Ready! All-Hazards Collaboration Conference. Presenters: Orange County Health Care Agency/Emergency Medical Services and the Orange County Disaster Advisory Committee. Garden Grove, California: August 25-26, 2005. This first annual conference will focus on learning how to combine diverse responsibilities (allied health, ambulance, emergency medical services, fire, hospitals, law enforcement, military, etc.) to effectively respond to mass casualty events, natural disasters, and weapons of mass destruction incidents. Information on the event can be found at http://www.emsa.ca.gov/data_inf/disasterready2005A.pdf.

Emergency Evacuation Workshop. Organizer: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Various dates and U.S. locations: September-December 2005. This one-day workshop is designed to benefit professionals concerned with preparedness and protection of facilities including property managers, facility managers, engineering managers, safety directors, fire service personnel, loss prevention personnel, risk managers, security managers, safety team members, and other interested individuals. For registration, date, and location information, go to http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?pid=eew or call (800) 344-3555 and mention priority code SM-AAZ-IZ to choose the date/city that best fits your schedule.

Analyzing Risk: Science, Assessment, and Management. Sponsor: Harvard School of Public Health Center for Risk Analysis. Boston, Massachusetts: September 27-30, 2005. This program combines lecture, discussion, and case study to cover key areas of the science and analysis of human health risk. Participants examine complex problems involving chemicals and radiation, discuss emerging analytic approaches, and have an opportunity to review important issues with leaders in the field. Participants will learn how to examine and apply the science behind decision making and prepare for the new analysis tools and techniques needed for successful initiatives in the field. To register, call (617)384-8692, or visit http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/RISK.shtml#register.

National Disaster Mental Health Conference. Organizer: Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute. Estes Park, Colorado: October 20-22, 2005. The conference is titled "Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Wildfires, Avalanches and Floods: Where Do We Go From Here?" It will include information, papers, seminars, forums, and discussions on various areas of disasters, critical incidents, crises, responses to terrorism, trauma and related areas. The conference will bring together presenters and discussants who have responded to such events and can offer insights into how best to prepare for and respond to future events. The conference is not just for mental health providers, but also for first responders, emergency planners, and others involved in planning for and responding to these events. For more information on the conference and the call for papers (open through August 25, 2005), visit http://www.rmrinstitute.org/fall2005.html.

2005 National Conference on Urban Ecosystems. Organizer: American Forests. Charlotte, North Carolina: November 17-18, 2005. The 2005 National Conference on Urban Ecosystems, "Nature at Your Service," will show how to reconnect people to their city's natural resources. The conference is designed both for those who want to influence the shape and direction of their community and for those who must meet environmental quality requirements. From local to regional perspectives, the conference will highlight latest technologies, emerging public policies, and tools to help put the urban forest to best use. For more details on topic areas and speakers, online registration, travel and hotel accommodations, and scholarship availability, visit http://www.americanforests.org/conference/. For conference questions, contact Donna Tschiffely at donna@amfor.org or (703)904-7508.

TIEMS Workshop Czech Republic 2005. Sponsor: The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS). Prague, Czech Republic: November 28-29, 2005. The theme of the conference is "Crisis Management and Security Globalisation." The deadline for the submission of abstracts is September 30, 2005. Detailed information, instructions for speakers, and registration forms for the conference can be found at http://www.emergency.cz/konference/index.php?q=en/2005/index.

9) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator
Bristol-Burlington Health District, Connecticut

The Bristol-Burlington Health District (BBHD) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator. This is a full-time position with responsibility for development and implementation of local and regional public health emergency response plans, training, drills, and oversight of preparedness for naturally occurring and human-caused disasters. BBHD is the mass vaccination/dispensing area for residents of Bristol and Burlington.

The individual in this position should have strong computer, writing, and interpersonal skills. Duties also involve working closely with community partners involved in emergency preparedness such as police, fire, chief elected officials, Bristol Hospital, and medical and non medical volunteers. A working knowledge of the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System is a plus. Advanced degree in related field preferred. Salary $50,000 - $55,000. Closing date for applications is August 1, 2005. For further information please contact or send resume to:

Patricia J. Checko
Bristol-Burlington Health District
240 Stafford Avenue
Bristol, CT 06010
Phone: (860) 584-7682
Fax: (860) 584-3814
E-mail: patriciachecko@ci.brisol.ct.us

Postdoctoral Instructor in Environmental Studies Institute
University of Chicago, Illinois

A two-year appointment at the rank of Instructor is available beginning winter term 2006 in Environmental Studies, an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree program at the University of Chicago. Candidates must hold or be within six months of receiving a doctoral degree in a social science. The Instructor will conduct two one-quarter courses per academic year in areas related to environmental politics or policy and also team-teach a course in sustainable development. This 12-month, full-time position offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and time and support for research.

Applications should be postmarked no later than August 19, 2005. Applicants must go online to http://jobs.uchicago.edu/ to complete the University of Chicago Web based application form and must complete a profile and apply for the postdoctoral instructor position under requisition #070269. Applicants must also send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, dissertation abstract, two letters of recommendation, and a list of courses ready to teach directly to:

Theodore L. Steck
University of Chicago
920 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Project Officer - Mitigation and Research
Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency

The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) is seeking applicants for the position of Project Officer to provide critical support to the implementation of mitigation and research projects, specifically the Adaptation for Climate Change and Disaster Mitigation: Township Planning Strategies for Storm Surge in the Caribbean. See the terms of reference at http://www.cdera.org/cunews/uploads/project_officer_mr_job_description.pdf. Expressions of interest should reach the CDERA Coordinating Unit no later than July 22, 2005. The successful candidate will be expected to assume duties no later than September 1, 2005. Applications should be addressed to:

Deputy Coordinator, CDERA
Building #1 Manor Lodge Complex
Lodge Hill
St. Michael, Barbados
Fax: (246) 425-8854
E-mail: cdera@caribsurf.com

Public Safety Communications Supervisor
Brown County Public Safety Communications Department, Wisconsin

Brown County Public Safety Communications Department is seeking a Communications Supervisor to oversee and direct the daily activities of staff for a countywide emergency communications center. Openings exist for full-time and LTE positions. Salary range: $44,247 to $52,832. Requirements: high school diploma plus five years of experience in public safety dispatching and/or communications systems, emergency management services, fire, or law enforcement required. Two-year degree in supervisory management or a related field and supervisory experience preferred, or the equivalent. To obtain the required application form contact Brown County Human Resources at(920) 448-4065 or visit the Web page http://www.co.brown.wi.us/human_resources/APPLICATION.pdf.

Public Health Specialist - Personal Services Contractor
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, DC

The U.S. government, represented by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) within the U.S. Agency for International Development(USAID)seeks a Public Health Specialist to provide technical assistance to OFDA in the management of health and medical components of the U.S. government's international disaster relief and preparedness programs. To view the full solicitation for the personal services contractor position, visit the Web site http://www.globalcorps.com/jobseek.html. Applicants interested in applying for this position must submit application materials before August 1, 2005 at 5:00 PM EDT. Qualified U.S. citizens only. Any questions on this solicitation may be directed to:

Amy Feldman or Stephanie Paul
Phone:(202)661-9377 or (202)661-9369
E-mail: public@globalcorps.com

Social Scientist/Deputy Director
Institute for the Study of Society and Environment, Boulder, Colorado

The Institute for the Study of Society and Environment (ISSE) seeks a dynamic Social Scientist/Deputy Director for a new research and leadership position. This is a full-time, mid-career position involving social science/interdisciplinary research (75%), program development, and management duties (25%), which includes assisting the director to develop ISSE into a position of national and international recognition and leadership in research on human-atmosphere-environment interactions.

ISSE's mission is to improve the base of knowledge about societal implications of atmospheric and related environmental processes so that decision makers might better understand, anticipate, and respond to atmospheric science-related issues. ISSE is an interdisciplinary institute within the Societal-Environmental Research and Education (SERE) Laboratory.

The position requires a PhD in a social science discipline or equivalent experience and at least five years research experience in an interdisciplinary setting. The successful candidate will demonstrate international recognition as a scholar and leader in the investigation of the science-society interface related to atmospheric and/or Earth system science. Also, the position requires the ability to play a leadership role in establishing and maintaining effective interdisciplinary research programs involving both in-house and multiinstitutional collaborative teams. A demonstrated record of success in administrative and management activities is desired.

Applications should include cover letter, current curriculum vitae, the names of three professional references, and reference job #5089. View a detailed job description and apply at http://www.ucar.edu/. Initial consideration will be given to applications received prior to August 31, 2005. Applications received after that date will be reviewed on an as needed basis. Apply online or send a resume to:

3065 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80301.

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.

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