February 9, 2006


  1. National PERISHIP Awards
  2. Request for Nominations: 2006 Mary Fran Myers Award
  3. DHS Wants Kids to Get Ready!
  4. 2005 Disasters in Numbers
  5. Summer WAS*IS Workshop Announced
  6. Katrina Media Fellowships
  7. Students Invited to Apply for Dam Safety Scholarships
  8. Some New Web Resources
  9. Conferences and Training
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) National PERISHIP Awards

The Natural Hazards Center and the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), in partnership with the National Science Foundation and Swiss Reinsurance Company (Swiss Re), will be awarding PhD dissertation fellowships to support research on any aspect of natural and human-made hazards, risks, and disasters. The goal of the program is to foster the development of the next generation of interdisciplinary hazards scholars who can offer wide-ranging contributions to the body of knowledge in hazards research. As a relatively small subset of many different disciplines, the interdisciplinary hazards field relies to an unusual extent on an influx of young scholars committed simultaneously to their own disciplines and to the more practical, applied aspects of the field. This combination can be difficult to achieve in today’s traditional academic climate, and thus this program helps solidify student interest in and commitment to hazards via financial support.

Applications for the second round of PERISHIP Awards are due September 1, 2006. Complete program information, including deadlines, eligibility, and application requirements, is available at http://www.cudenver.edu/periship/. Specific questions can be directed to Audre Hoffman, PERI, 11350 Random Hills Road, #210, Fairfax, VA 22030; (703) 352-1846; e-mail: periship@riskinstitute.org.

2) Request for Nominations: 2006 Mary Fran Myers Award

The Gender and Disaster Network and the Natural Hazards Center invite nominations of individuals working in the hazards field who should be recognized for efforts to advance women’s careers in emergency management and the academy and for promoting gendered disaster research. Established in 2002, the Mary Fran Myers Award recognizes that vulnerability to disasters and mass emergencies is influenced by social, cultural, and economic structures that marginalize women and girls. The award was so named to recognize Myers’ sustained efforts to launch a worldwide network among disaster professionals for advancing women’s careers and for promoting research on gender issues, disasters, emergency management, and higher education.

The intent of this award is to recognize people whose program-related activities, advocacy efforts, or research has had a lasting, positive impact on reducing hazards vulnerability for women and girls. The award committee is especially interested in soliciting nominations from countries outside the United States. People whose work adds to the body of knowledge on gender and disasters, is significant for the theory and/or practice of gender and disasters, or has furthered opportunities for women to succeed in the hazards field are eligible to receive the award.

Nominations are due by May 15, 2006.

To nominate someone:
*Submit the full name and contact information (mailing address, e-mail, telephone, fax) of both nominee and nominator,
*Provide a maximum five-hundred word description of specific examples of how the nominee’s work fits the award criteria mentioned above,
*Provide a resume/curriculum vitae of the nominee that reflects his/her commitment to gendered research and the promotion of women’s involvement in the field,
*Provide a personal statement from the nominee indicating willingness to be considered, and
*Provide no more than one letter of support, not to exceed one page, from another person or organization that supports the nomination.

Direct questions and submit materials (e-mail attachments only) by May 15, 2006, to Madhavi Malalgoda Ariyabandu at mariyabandu@yahoo.com. For more information, visit http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/mfmaward/.

3) DHS Wants Kids to Get Ready!

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Advertising Council have launched "Ready Kids" a family-friendly tool to help parents and teachers educate children about emergencies. A new Web site features games and puzzles as well as age-appropriate, step-by-step instructions on what families can do to better prepare for emergencies and the role kids can play in that effort. In-school materials developed by Scholastic Inc. offer lessons that meet national standards for language arts, social studies, and geography while providing teachers and parents with a vehicle to explain important emergency preparedness information to children.

To ensure that the information included in the program is presented in a way that is understandable and appropriate for children, DHS consulted with a number of organizations experienced in education and children’s health, including the American Psychological Association, American Red Cross, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of School Psychologists, National Parent Teacher Association, National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prominent organizations involved in the distribution of “Ready Kids” materials include Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Boy Scouts of America, and the National Parent Teacher Association.

"Ready Kids" is the newest addition to the "Ready" campaign, a national public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. Find out more about the program and meet Rex, the mountain lion mascot, and his family at http://www.ready.gov/kids/.

4) 2005 Disasters in Numbers

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Belgian Universite Catholique de Louvain’s Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters released the official figures of the number of disasters in 2005.

There were 360 natural disasters last year compared to 305 in 2004, an increase of 18 percent. The number of people affected by disasters also rose in 2005. In total, 157 million people - 7 million more than in 2004 - required immediate assistance, were evacuated, injured,or lost their livelihoods. Despite this increase, loss of life was significantly lower than in 2004. Most disaster-related deaths in the last two years were due to single incidents of devastating proportions: the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 and the South Asian earthquake in 2005.

Disasters in 2005 cost a total of $159 billion in damage; $125 billion of this amount is attributed to losses caused by Hurricane Katrina. Costs incurred from disaster damage rose by 71 percent from the total $92.9 billion in 2004.

More information on 2005 disaster figures is available at http://www.unisdr.org/.

5) Summer WAS*IS Workshop Announced

The National Center for Atmospheric Research Societal Impacts Program has announced a summer version of the Weather and Society * Integrated Studies (WAS*IS) workshop in Boulder, Colorado, from July 14-21, 2006. The summer WAS*IS workshop is meant to accommodate additional graduate students and others who were unable to participate during the school year.

WAS*IS aims to better integrate weather and social science to empower practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders to forge new relationships and to use new tools for more effective socioeconomic applications and evaluations of weather products. Enthusiastic, innovative individuals who feel strongly about the need to bring together researchers, practitioners, and stakeholders in order to make weather relevant are encouraged to apply.

Applications are due March 22, 2006. To find out more, visit http://www.rap.ucar.edu/was_is/. Questions may be directed to Eve Gruntfest; (303) 497-8116; e-mail: ecg@ucar.edu or Julie Demuth; (303) 497-8112; e-mail: jdemuth@ucar.edu.

6) Katrina Media Fellowships

The Open Society Institute (OSI) has announced a one-time fellowship competition in response to the critical issues of poverty, racism, and government neglect that were laid bare by Hurricane Katrina. The Katrina Media Fellowships will support media makers working in print and radio journalism, photography, and documentary film and video to generate and improve media coverage of issues exposed by Katrina and to stimulate and sustain a national conversation on these issues.

Applicants may propose projects that expand and deepen the public’s understanding of race and class inequalities in the Gulf region brought to light in Katrina’s aftermath. Applicants may also propose projects that address the government’s response to problems caused or illuminated by Katrina, the use or misuse of public funds, the role of private contractors, the effectiveness of cleanup and rebuilding efforts, citizen involvement in these efforts, and lessons learned that should inform the handling of future natural and human-caused disasters. In addition, applicants may propose projects that draw attention to OSI’s current or past programmatic priorities using Katrina as the frame. These priorities include, but are not limited to, access to legal services and government assistance, criminal justice reform, improving end-of-life care and access to health care, and education reform.

OSI expects to award 12 to 15 fellowships in May 2006. Fellows will receive between $15,000 and $35,000 to carry out projects in print, radio, photography, and documentary film and video production. Award amounts will cover a stipend and project expenses and will vary depending on the project duration, medium, and costs involved. The fellowship term is one year and begins June 15, 2006.

OSI will give special consideration to applicants who have been displaced from or are residents of the Gulf region. The application deadline is March 31, 2006. For more information and an application form, visit the Katrina Media Fellowship Web site at http://www.soros.org/initiatives/justice/focus_areas/katrina/.

7) Students Invited to Apply for Dam Safety Scholarships

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) will award up to $5,000 to one or more senior undergraduates for continuing education toward careers related to the design, construction, and operation of dams. Applications are due March 31, 2006, for the 2006-2007 undergraduate scholarship.

Eligible candidates for the ASDSO scholarship are U.S. citizens; full-time students in an accredited civil engineering program or in a related field as determined by ASDSO; senior undergraduates during the 2006-2007 school year with an expected graduation date of May or December 2007; and future professionals in hydraulics, hydrology, or geotechnical disciplines or in another discipline related to the design, construction, and operation of dams.

Scholarship details and application forms are available at http://www.damsafety.org/ or by contacting ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, 2nd Floor, Lexington, KY 40507; (859) 257-5140; e-mail: info@damsafety.org.

8) 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/.]

GAO Preliminary Observations on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has undertaken a body of work to address federal, state, and local preparations for, response to, and recovery from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Statement by Comptroller General David M. Walker on GAO’s Preliminary Observations Regarding Preparedness and Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is available here.

Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association announced that scientists will now rank high-impact Northeast snowstorms into five categories: extreme, crippling, major, significant, and notable. The Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale index differs from other meteorological indices in that it uses population information in addition to meteorological measurements to provide an indication of a storm’s societal impacts.

Transportation Research Board Special Issue on Evacuation Planning
A featured story in the May-June 2005 issue of TR News examines evacuation planning. A real-time emergency planning system, the authors point out, could generate evacuation routing and traffic management plans in response to accidents, terrorist attacks, or other catastrophic events that change the capacity or the topology of the road network and could serve as a training simulator for emergency planning.

Christian Aid Disaster Preparedness Briefing Paper
This briefing paper, Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared: How Disaster Preparedness Can Save Lives and Money, from Christian Aid argues that many low-cost steps can be taken to reduce the impacts of disasters and that local community involvement and organizing for disaster risk reduction is crucial.

Current World Disasters Map
The National Association of Radio-Distress Signaling and Infocommunications, Havaria Emergency and Disaster Information Services in Budapest, Hungary, collects data on current natural and human-caused disasters around the world and provides the information on their Web site.

Special Needs Populations in Disasters: Katrina and Beyond
A transcript of the Emergency Information and Infrastructure Program Virtual Forum presentation titled Special Needs Populations in Disasters: Katrina and Beyond is available here.

New NIMS Resources Online
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and its National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center have recently added a number of NIMS-related resources online, including Integrating NIMS into State/Local Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Integrating NIMS into Local/Tribal EOPs and SOPs, and Training Guidelines for Incident Command System Instructors.

Report on Western Media Coverage of Humanitarian Disasters
A new study by U.S.-based media analysts CARMA International, which surveyed disaster reporting in newspapers in the United States, Australia, and Europe, found that it is not human suffering but western self-interest that dictates how disasters are covered in the press.

Assessment of Health-Related Needs after Tsunami
The February 3 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report features the report “Assessment of Health-Related Needs After Tsunami and Earthquake - Three Districts, Aceh Province, Indonesia, July-August 2005.” The report summarizes survey results of the health and nutrition status of tsunami-affected populations and evaluates the effectiveness of relief interventions seven months after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Natural Disasters and Peacemaking Project Overview
The Worldwatch Institute has launched a two-year project addressing the intersections between natural disasters, environmental degradation, conflict, and peacemaking. The project will examine a range of cases, including the situation in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Indo-Pakistani relations following the 2005 South Asian earthquake, earthquake diplomacy between Turkey and Greece, and other cases.

Changing Hurricane Risk in the North Atlantic
This report from Munichre addresses the elevated frequency of intense storms in the North Atlantic Ocean in 2004 and 2005, the implications of a systematic change in the hazard situation, and the resulting shift in the loss distribution and its parameters.

Louisiana Recovery Authority
The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body at the state level implementing the governor’s vision for the recovery of Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. This Web site provides information on the task forces and recovery teams established by the LRA and the priorities for short- and long-term recovery needs.

Mississippi Governor's Commission: Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal
The Governor’s Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal was formed shortly after Hurricane Katrina to develop a broad vision for a better Gulf Coast and South Mississippi. The commission focuses on giving local leaders access to ideas and information that will help them decide what their region will look like in the future. The Web site also includes a link to final team reports from the commission's Mississippi Renewal Forum.

9) Conferences and Trainings

[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.]

Disasters Roundtable Workshop: Community Disaster Resilience. Sponsor: The National Academies. Washington, DC: March 20, 2006. The roundtable’s mission is to facilitate and enhance communication and the exchange of ideas among scientists, practitioners, and policy makers to identify urgent and important issues related to the understanding and mitigation of natural, technological, and other disasters. For more information, contact Byron Mason, Disasters Roundtable, The National Academies, 500 5th Street NW, Keck WS617, Washington, DC 20001; (202) 334-3511; e-mail: bmason@nas.edu; http://dels.nas.edu/dr/.

Grouping for Solutions: Increasing Organizational Reliability by Bringing Academicians and Practitioners Together. Presenter: The Coalition for High Reliability Organizations. Ontario, California: April 2-4, 2006. This workshop will focus on high reliability organizations, bringing together experts in high reliability from the U.S. Navy, the fire service, medicine, law enforcement, and academic management programs to discuss current research and knowledge. Its target attendee comes from positions in administration, operations, command, and management of high-risk systems. To learn more, e-mail admin@highreliability.org; http://www.highreliability.org/.

Southwest Homeland Security Conference “Securing the Southwest Together.” Sponsors: State of Arizona and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Phoenix, Arizona: April 18-19, 2006. This conference will bring colleagues together to develop interstate collaboration, strengthen trust and relationships between all homeland security partners, and foster homeland security leadership. The focus areas of the conference will be border security (interstate and international), terrorism prevention, catastrophic preparedness, public education/outreach, and Native American homeland security. For additional information, call (866) 512-3968 or e-mail shsc@iem.com; http://www.swhomelandsecurity.com/.

American Planning Association 2006 National Planning Conference. San Antonio, Texas: April 22-26, 2006. One of the primary tracks at the 2006 conference will be Safe Growth America. A workshop on Planning for a Disaster-Resistant Community as well as other sessions will address hazards mitigation and disaster preparedness. To learn more, contact the American Planning Association, 122 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60603; http://www.planning.org/2006conference/.

2006 National Flood Conference. Host: Federal Emergency Management Agency National Flood Insurance Program. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: May 7-10, 2006. This conference is intended for anyone involved in the National Flood Insurance Program. For more information, contact Catherine King, 2006 National Flood Conference, 7700 Hubble Drive, Lanham, MD 20706; (301) 918-1439; e-mail: CatherineR.King@associates.dhs.gov; http://bsa.nfipstat.com/.

14th Annual National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) Conference. Raleigh, North Carolina: May 9-12, 2006. This conference includes NVOAD committee meetings as well as opportunities to exchange ideas on disaster response and training workshops. For more information, contact Ande Miller, NVOAD, PO Box 151973, Alexandria, VA 22315; (703) 339-5596; e-mail: amiller@nvoad.org; http://www.nvoad.org/annualconf1.php.

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress. Host: Environmental Water and Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Omaha, Nebraska: May 21-25, 2006. Topics at this conference include river and wetlands restoration, dam removal, hydraulic structures, education and research, and sustainable development in water, stormwater, and wastewater, among others. For further information, contact Leonore Jordan, American Society of Civil Engineers, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191; (703) 295-6110; e-mail: ljordan@asce.org; http://www.asce.org/conferences/ewri2006/.

Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Fourth Annual Meeting. Washington, DC: June 21-23, 2005. This meeting will bring together members of the extended NEES community to share ideas and information about activities underway in the research, education, and information technology segments of the network. Topics will include collaboration with U.S. research organizations, international collaboration, transfer of research results to practitioners, and outreach to attract groups traditionally underrepresented in earthquake engineering. To learn more, contact the NEES Consortium, 400 F Street, Davis, CA 95616; (530) 757-6337; e-mail: info@nees.org; http://www.nees.org/4am/.

Americas’ Fire and Security Expo. Organizers: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), ROC Exhibitions, and NFPA Journal Latinoamericano. Miami Beach, Florida: July 18-20, 2006. This conference includes informational sessions and workshops presented by leading professionals in the fire and security industry in both English and Spanish. It also offers opportunities for global information exchange and networking. A few of the many concurrent sessions include Overview of NFPA’s New Security Standards, Understanding the Hazard, and Lessons Learned in Recent Major Fires in Latin America. For additional information, contact ROC Exhibitions, 1963 University Lane, Lisle, IL 60532; (630) 271-8210; e-mail: info@rocexhibitions.com; http://www.americasfireandsecurity.com/.

10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Emergency Management Specialist
University of California at Riverside: Riverside, California

This position manages and continuously improves a comprehensive emergency management program involving the complex and hazardous situations created in an intensive, dynamic research and industrial growth environment.

Job responsibilities include the following:

  • Provide seamless integration of emergency management programs into existing campus organizations and activities, as well as with all other programs in the university’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety.
  • Develop, assess, and maintain the campus emergency operations plan. *Conduct ongoing evaluation of campus preparedness.
  • Develop, implement, and facilitate integration of the Incident Command System into all campus emergency planning activities.
  • Plan, implement, and coordinate the development and readiness of the emergency operations center’s facilities and equipment.
  • Evaluate and identify response resources.
  • Interact with various public and private agencies and officials as well as campus departments for active emergency and disaster preparedness planning.
  • Provide technical expertise and response to emergencies on campus, including after-hours and on-call time.
  • Facilitate general preparedness for recovery.
  • Coordinate preparation of detailed reports and applications to state and federal agencies for reimbursement and financial assistance needed to recover from declared disasters.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree or equivalent; a minimum of three to five years of demonstrated, recent professional-level experience in emergency management and planning, policy development, and coordination with large organizations with multiple priorities; and demonstrated experience in emergency management practices as well as advanced knowledge of standardized emergency management and the Incident Command System.

View the complete job description at http://www.ehs.ucr.edu/news/jobs/emerg_mgt_specialist.pdf.

Disaster Planning and Preparedness Advisor
American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program: Washington, DC

The American Red Cross seeks an experienced disaster planning and preparedness advisor to guide the international disaster preparedness and planning portfolio for countries affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. This position aims to increase the capacity of the national societies and vulnerable communities to protect themselves from and respond to future disasters in their own countries. The advisor will provide technical support to field and headquarters staff and movement partners in the design and implementation of disaster planning and preparedness strategies.

The advisor represents the American Red Cross internationally at disaster planning and preparedness forums with other Red Cross movement partners, governmental agencies, international organizations and nongovernmental agencies, internal American Red Cross chapters and national headquarters staff, the media, and the general public for all tsunami-related matters.

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s degree preferred), at least five-years experience in emergency humanitarian response operations, at least three-years experience working on disaster planning and preparedness programs, and two-years experience working in a developing country. Knowledge of disaster relief, disaster plans, and mitigation programs, as well as skills in facilitating institutional development, are critical. Strong international project design and project management experience with a proven track record of successful teamwork is necessary. Knowledge of American Red Cross operating procedures is helpful. Strong written and verbal communication skills and the ability to work in an environment of diverse languages and cultures and achieve results are essential. This full-time position will require 25-50 percent travel.

Applicants for this position must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Applications should include a cover letter, a detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses (including phone and e-mail) of three or more professional references. Completed applications should be e-mailed to Helena Brykarz, Global Recruitment Specialists; (510) 527-3316; e-mail: Hbrykarz@GlobalRecruitment.net. For a complete job description, visit http://www.globalrecruitment.net/.

Livestock/Animal Health Specialist
OFDA Response Alternatives for Technical Services: Worldwide

The Response Alternatives for Technical Services (RATS) is a program developed by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to satisfy its growing need for surge capacity. In response to numerous disasters worldwide, OFDA could not find in a timely manner adequate staff to cover all positions in the field, in Washington, DC, and to backfill for permanent staff deploying to the field. The RATS program brings onboard select candidates who work on a part-time basis for no more than 250 days per calendar year and can be deployed within hours to facilitate OFDA’s response to disasters. RATS positions are contracted for an initial period of one year with the option to extend up to five years. RATS respond to humanitarian emergencies worldwide, including natural, technological, and conflict-related disasters.

The contractor may serve in the OFDA offices in Washington, DC when critical shortages of staff occur and on response management teams, which provide program, administrative, technical, and logistics support to OFDA disaster assistance response teams. The contractor may also be required to travel on short notice as a critical component of a U.S. disaster assessment team or to backfill staff members in OFDA regional or program offices overseas.

There is currently an open position in the RATS program for a livestock/animal health specialist. The position will provide expert technical advice to OFDA disaster assistance response teams, response management teams, regional missions, and/or the Washington-based technical assistance group on issues regarding livestock (including poultry, small ruminants, and other animals contributing to household food security) and animal health issues for populations at risk in conflict, disaster-affected, or otherwise food-insecure areas. The position will also conduct initial assessments of the livestock and/or animal health situations at the regional, subregional, or national levels following disasters and recommend appropriate relief activities for vulnerable populations.

For a complete job description and information on how to apply, visit http://www.globalcorps.com/jobseek.html. The deadline for application is March 3, 2006. Questions should be directed to Amy Feldman, Global Corps; (202) 661-9377; e-mail: afeldman@globalcorps.com.

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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