March 9, 2006


  1. 2006 Assistance to Firefighter Grants
  2. Firewise Leadership Awards
  3. AmeriCorps Positions in Mitigation Planning Available in Oregon
  4. Trial Precipitation Page from NOAA National Weather Service
  5. March 2006 “Observer” Available Online
  6. New Quick Response Report from the Natural Hazards Center
  7. Reader Request: Call for Manuscripts for Disaster Management Handbook
  8. Reader Request: Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation Group
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) 2006 Assistance to Firefighter Grants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released program guidance for the fiscal year 2006 Assistance to Firefighter Grants (AFG). The AFG is administered by the Office of Grants and Training in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration. The program provides funding to fire departments across the country to purchase equipment, vehicles, and training. Funding is also available for nonfire-based emergency medical service organizations. Grant applications are reviewed and ranked by panels of unbiased firefighters, and funding is distributed based on those recommendations.

AFG applications are available online at http://www.firegrantsupport.com and must be received by April 7, 2006. The Web site contains information on AFG funding priorities and program guidance as well as a tutorial on applying. For more information on the grant opportunities, contact (866) 274-0960 or firegrants@dhs.gov.

2) Firewise Leadership Awards

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Working Team is launching a new awards program to recognize outstanding efforts to promote a cooperative approach to reducing the loss of lives, property, and resources in the wildland-urban interface.

The Firewise Leadership Awards are open to individuals and organizations conducting wildland fire mitigation activities in residential developments in the wildland-urban interface. Eligible Firewise efforts may include, but are not limited to innovations in engineering; program communications, advertising, exhibits, and/or other informational programs; success in involving communities; collaboration across agency jurisdictions; and special partnerships.

Every two years the Firewise Leadership Awards are open to two regional level awards, three state level awards, and three local level awards. Efforts submitted must be ongoing or have been completed after January 1, 2004. All entries must be submitted by July 31, 2006, to Firewise Leadership Awards, c/o National Fire Protection Association, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169; (617) 984-7486; e-mail: firewiseawards@nfpa.org. Visit http://www.firewise.org/awards/ for entry guidelines and forms.

3) AmeriCorps Positions in Mitigation Planning Available in Oregon

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) is an AmeriCorps program run by the University of Oregon’s Community Service Center. The mission of the RARE program is to increase the capacity of Oregon’s rural communities in order to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions through professional assistance provided by trained, college graduates, who live and work in communities throughout the state for approximately 11 months.

In the 2006-2007 program year, RARE and the Oregon Natural Hazards Workgroup (ONHW), another program of the Community Service Center, are combining efforts to offer several RARE positions focused on natural hazards mitigation planning. This program will offer the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in developing local mitigation plans for rural communities in Oregon. Participants will receive training on the mitigation planning process and other skills relevant to developing mitigation plans. In 2002, a RARE participant coordinated the development and adoption of the first natural hazards mitigation plan in the country to meet new federal planning requirements.

The benefits of participating in RARE include assisting rural Oregon in the development and implementation of programs relating to natural hazards mitigation; a taxable living stipend of $1,250/month; medical health insurance; an educational award of $4,725 upon completion of the program; skills in project management, communication, plan development, and more; and eligibility for nine graduate credits from the Community and Regional Planning Program at the University of Oregon.

RARE placements for 2006-2007 begin in October 2006. Applications are due June 16, 2006. For more information and application guidelines, visit http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rare. For more information on the Oregon Natural Hazards Workgroup, visit http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~onhw.

4) Trial Precipitation Page from NOAA National Weather Service

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Weather Service Web site includes a new precipitation page, which provides high-quality precipitation analyses to be used for flood forecasts, drought monitoring, and climate trends. The service is being offered on a trial basis through June 2006. During this time, feedback on the service will be collected to determine whether it effectively meets users’ needs and should be continued after the trial period.

Fine resolution precipitation data can help government agencies, river authorities, agribusiness, hydropower utility companies, and others make better, more cost-effective decisions about water management and the impacts of water surpluses and shortages. Emergency management agencies will be able to monitor impending flood conditions and conduct more effective operations during floods.

The experimental Web page can be found at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/rfcshare/precip_analysis_new.php. A nine-question survey is available on the page for providing feedback.

5) March 2006 “Observer” Available Online

The March 2006 issue of the Natural Hazards Observer is available online at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/o/. This issue’s featured articles are:

  • Mitigation Generates Savings of Four to One and Enhances Community Resilience: MMC Releases Study on Savings from Mitigation by Philip T. Ganderton, Linda Bourque, Nicole Dash, Ron Eguchi, David Godschalk, Claret Heider, Elliott Mittler, Keith Porter, Adam Rose, L. Thomas Tobin, and Craig Taylor.
  • Urban Risk Reduction's Role in Sustainable Development by William Siembieda.

6) New Quick Response Report from the Natural Hazards Center

A new Quick Response report is now available from the Natural Hazards Center. It can be accessed online at http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qr181/qr181.html.

QR181 The Selendang Ayu Oil Spill: A Study of the Renewable Resource Community of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, by Liesel Ritchie and Duane Gill. 2005. These researchers examined community responses in Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, Alaska, to the Selendang Ayu shipwreck and oil spill in 2004. They found little to no evidence suggesting long-term negative social impacts from the incident and found some positive outcomes in the increased appreciation for the community’s ties to the natural environment and the heightened awareness of risks associated with the high volume of international shipping traffic in the region as well as other environmental risks.

7) Reader Request: Call for Manuscripts for Disaster Management Handbook

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to announce the anticipated publication of two comprehensive, encyclopedic handbooks with Taylor and Francis publishers. I invite you to consider contributing single or multiple manuscripts in one or both of the Disaster Management Handbook or the Homeland Security Handbook.

There are many aspects to these complex issues, and we are looking for various perspectives, including multidisciplinary academic, practitioners in the field, elected representatives, and others with first-hand accounts or experience. After the manuscripts are assembled, course support materials will be prepared to facilitate adoption in degree programs and for professional seminars. Hopefully, you and your colleagues will join me in contributing to these very important areas of our discipline.

I have placed the detailed information about the handbooks that you can view and download if you are interested on my Web site at http://www.nova.edu/~jackpink/. This includes the concept statement for each of these books, the proposed table of contents, and a link for relevant surveys that will be available. The deadline for these new manuscripts will be summer 2006.

If there is a topic that is relevant but not shown in either of the tables of contents that you would like to suggest, please e-mail your comments mentioning where the appropriate placement would best fit. I welcome your proposed contribution(s) or further inquiries. Please pass this material along to colleagues that may have an interest.

Thanks for your consideration and best regards,

Jack Pinkowski
Institute of Government and Public Policy
Phone: (954) 262-5115; (800) 672-7223 x5155
E-mail: jackpink@nova.edu

8) Reader Request: Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation Group

At last year’s American Evaluation Association (AEA)/Canadian Evaluation Society joint meetings in Toronto, there was a “late-addition” session titled “Enhancing Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery through Evaluation.” As an outgrowth of that session, a core group developed a proposal to create a topical interest group (TIG) in this arena. At the recent AEA board winter meeting, this TIG was approved and will soon be added online to the AEA Web site.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation TIG seeks to improve the understanding and practice of community resilience in disaster and emergency situations through effective monitoring and evaluation practice. Toward this end, it seeks to facilitate communication and support professional monitoring and evaluation activities that enhance disaster and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery through sharing of evaluation approaches, issues, practices, concepts, and theories related to disasters. The goals of the TIG are to:

  • Improve understanding of ways in which effective evaluation practice can enhance disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience;
  • Generate theory and knowledge about effective human action in the context of disasters;
  • Encourage exemplary evaluation practice related to disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience;
  • Improve understanding of and ability to negotiate/address challenging social, political, and physical contexts in which disaster-related evaluations are conducted;
  • Improve use of evaluation findings with respect to evaluation preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience; and
  • Support the mission of the American Evaluation Association.

The TIG will be reviewing submissions for papers/sessions at the annual AEA meeting this fall. If you have an interest in this arena, consider this venue for presenting your work. For additional information, contact Liesel Ritchie, The Evaluation Center, 4405 Ellsworth Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; (269) 387-5895; e-mail: Liesel.Ritchie@wmich.edu.

9) 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/.]

FEMA Six-Month Recovery Update for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the fact sheet “Progress Made: A 6-Month Update on Hurricane Relief, Recovery and Rebuilding,” which provides an overview of federal resources deployed for the two hurricanes and recovery progress made.

Survey Findings on Perceptions of Vulnerability and Preparedness
The presentation of findings from a national survey indicating that nearly half of all Americans feel personally vulnerable to a major natural catastrophe can be found on the Web site of ProtectingAmerica.org.

Preparing for Future "Katrinas"
This policy brief from the Brookings Institute includes proposals to establish an independent federal office to operate a catastrophic reinsurance program.

EIIP Virtual Forum on Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned
A transcript of the Emergency Information and Infrastructure Program (EIIP) Virtual Forum presentation titled The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned? may be found here.

Structural Performance of the New Orleans Hurricane Protection System
The National Research Council’s Committee on New Orleans Regional Hurricane Protection Projects has released Structural Performance of the New Orleans Hurricane Protection System During Hurricane Katrina: Letter Report, which is available for free download from the National Academies.

Law, Science, and Disaster Workshop Summary
A summary of the October 18 workshop of the National Academies Disasters Roundtable: Law, Science, and Disaster, may be found here. The workshop examined recent developments and trends in hazards and disaster law and its implementation and drew on the September 11 experience to discuss the related issue of victim compensation.

New Hazards Fact Sheets from USGS
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has added the following new fact sheets to their series on the hazards theme:
FS-2006-3014: Volcano Hazards - A National Threat
FS-2006-3015 and 3016: Wildfire Hazards - A National Threat
FS-2005-3121: Hurricane Hazards - A National Threat
FS-2006-3023: Tsunami Hazards - A National Threat
FS-2006-3026: Flood Hazards - A National Threat
FS-2005-3156: Landslide Hazards - A National Threat

International Society of First Responders
This new Web site is the online home of the International Society of First Responders. It aims to provide resources needed for homeland security and to unite responder disciplines. The site includes a training center, resource library, and new and popular documents available for downloading.

Structural Engineers Celebrating Earthquake Safety
The Structural Engineers Association of Northern California developed this Web site to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake. The site contains information on why earthquakes happen, why some buildings fail during an earthquake while others do not, how structural engineers study earthquakes and develop new buildings codes and standards, and what individuals can do to protect themselves and their environment before, during, and after an earthquake.

10) 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.]

Annual Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture: Disasters, Death, and Destruction: Accounting for Recent Calamities. Washington, DC: March 15, 2006, 5:30 p.m. Host: National Academies Ocean Studies Board. At this free public event, Roger Pielke Jr. will talk about how recent catastrophes have led to a perception that the economic impact and severity of weather-related disasters is increasing and that this increase could be related to climate change. Pielke will discuss observed trends, the state of knowledge in this area, and the implications for policy and research related to natural hazards and global climate change. Registration and information are online at http://www.dels.nas.edu/osb/about_revelle or e-mail revellelecture@nas.edu.

Before Disaster Strikes: Prepare or Beware - The Critical Role of Community Development Organizations in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery. Dallas, Texas: April 5, 2006. Organizers: Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Freddie Mac, and NeighborWorks America. This symposium will focus on how community development organizations can be prepared for and recover from disasters that strike their communities and how they can contribute to community response and recovery. To learn more, contact NeighborWorks Training Institute; (800) 438-5547; e-mail: nti@nw.org; http://nw.org/network/training/DallasSymposium.asp.

2006 Water Law, Policy and Science Conference: Adaptive Management for Resilient Water Resources. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 4-5, 2006. Host: University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This is the third in a series of water law, policy, and science conferences. It will explore adaptive management approaches for the water resources of the Great Plains, which are stressed from the current prolonged drought, increasing consumptive demands, and water for threatened and endangered species. International, national, and local experts will focus on a range of economic, human dimension, agricultural, legal, and adaptive management topics connected to how we perceive and use water resources. For more information, contact Jacki Loomis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources; (402) 472-7550; e-mail: jvogel2@unl.edu; http://snr.unl.edu/waterconference/.

River Network’s National River Rally 2006. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire: May 5-9, 2006. The River Rally will help grassroots groups harness the power of citizen involvement to protect rivers and build healthier communities and watersheds. The event is a training opportunity for river conservation organizations and watershed partnerships in the nation. Participants will include volunteer board members, staff members, experienced leaders, and new watershed protection enthusiasts. For more information, contact the River Network at (503) 241-3506 or Wendy Wilson; (208)345-3689; e-mail: wwilson@rivernetwork.org; http://www.rivernetwork.org/rally/.

International Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICEC-2006). Tampere, Finland: June 19-20, 2006. Conveners: Finnish Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior and the Finnish Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. The subject of ICEC-2006 is the Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations, the international treaty facilitating the use of telecommunications in international response to disasters, which entered into force in 2005. For further information, contact marjut.kurkela@hermia.fi; http://www.icec2006.com/.

Global Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Conference (GAREC-2006). Tampere, Finland: June 19-20, 2006. Organizer: International Amateur Radio Union. This conference will review the latest technological and operational developments in the application of the amateur radio service to emergency communications and the cooperation with institutional partners in emergency response and disaster relief. This is a parallel event to ICEC-2006. For further information, contact hans.zimmermann@ties.itu.int; http://www.iaru.org/emergency/.

Advances in Threat Assessment and their Application to Forest and Rangeland Management. Boulder, Colorado: July 18-20, 2006. Organizers: Eastern and Western Threat Assessment Centers of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. This conference will explore the latest information on environmental threat assessment and management. It is designed to encourage meaningful exchange among those developing new knowledge and tools for threat assessment and those responsible for managing forests and rangelands. Scientists and educators, policy makers, property owners, land managers, and students are among those invited to attend. For further information, contact John Pye; (919) 549-4013; e-mail: jpye@fs.fed.us; http://www.forestencyclopedia.net/Encyclopedia/Threats.

Second Latin-American Congress of Seismology. Bogota, Columbia: August 8-12, 2006. Organizer: Latin-American and Caribbean Geosciences Association. This meeting is concerned with the seismotectonic and volcanic behavior in the Latin American and Caribbean region, including issues related to exploration by nonconventional geophysical methods and the social impacts of seismic and volcanic hazards and how they contribute to the sustainable development of the region. For more information, contact Carlos Vargas; (+57)(1) 3165000 x16514-16506; e-mail: cavargasj@unal.edu.co or Alexander Caneva; (+57)(1) 3152997; e-mail: alexander.caneva@uan.edu.co; http://www.geoslac.org/congreso/english/.

7th Natural Hazards Management Conference 2006: Interpreting and Applying Natural Hazard Information. Christchurch, New Zealand: August 23-24, 2006. Organizer: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Limited (GNS). This conference will provide a forum to discuss the integration of hazards information into effective risk management, best practice planning, new technologies and advances in science applications, natural hazards mitigation for industry, and for creating resilient communities by integrating science into practice. The target audience is emergency managers, planners, risk assessors, asset and utility managers, and natural hazards researchers and scientists. For more information, contact GNS Science, 1 Fairway Drive, Avalon, PO Box 30-368, Lower Hutt, New Zealand; +(04) 570 1444; http://www.gns.cri.nz/news/conferences/.

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2006: Global Social Justice and Environmental Sustainability. London, United Kingdom: August 30-September 1, 2006. Host: Royal Geographic Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG). This conference will provide a forum to engage practitioners and policy makers with research agendas related to social justice and environmental sustainability. Proposed sessions include Coastal Partnerships Delivering Integrated Coastal Zone Management; Climate Change and Variability; and Disasters, Development, and Generosity, among many others. For more information contact, +020 7591 3020 or AC2006@rgs.org; http://www.rgs.org/category.php?Page=ac2006.

III International Conference on Avalanches and Related Subjects. Kirovsk, Murbansk, Russia: September 4-8, 2006. Sponsors: International Glaciological Society and Institute of Geography of Russian Academy of Sciences Glaciological Society. The objective of this conference is to sum up the results of avalanche research completed since the international avalanche conferences in 1996 and 2001 and to communicate ideas and information between Russian avalanche researchers and members of the world avalanche community. For more information, contact Pavel Chernouss; e-mail: Pchernous@apatit.com; http://www.cas.kirovsk.ru/conference.htm.

3rd International Symposium on Integrated Water Resources Management: Reducing the Vulnerability of Societies against Water Related Risks at the Basin Scale. Bochum, Germany: September 26-28, 2006. Sponsors: International Association of Hydrological Sciences and International Commission on Water Resources Systems. This symposium will address how to cope with the water-related vulnerability of societies, including environmental risks, floods, droughts, pollution, water logging, and the opportunities for creating resilience against these risks. For further information, contact A. H. Schumann, Ruhr-University Bochum; e-mail: IWRM2006@rub.de; http://conventus.de/water/.

11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Public Health Emergency Management Coordinator
Fairfax County: Fairfax, Virginia

Under the direction of the director of health, this position serves as the agency’s chief planning and emergency preparedness manager and coordinates public health emergency response planning, utilizing future-oriented directional concepts, a coordinated team approach, and open, inclusive communication in the identification of trends, data analysis, and plan changes.

The position leads the design and implementation of programs and services to counteract/mitigate the public health impact of emergencies and disasters resulting from natural and human-caused events, including terrorism; assures the currency, scope, and readiness of the agency’s emergency operations plan; provides oversight of the agency’s bioterrorism unit with direct supervision of emergency preparedness staff; and performs related work as assigned by the director or his/her designee. The position serves as the lead representative to federal, state, and regional emergency planning groups; plans and directs local emergency exercises; and takes a lead role in the planning of state and regional exercises.

Minimum qualifications include any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in public health, emergency management, or a closely related field; at least 30 semester hours of course work in the physical or biological sciences; and five years of experience in emergency planning or public health, including project and program management.

Preferred qualifications include a strong working knowledge of public health and emergency preparedness with considerable experience as an emergency manager in public health or a related field; demonstrated expertise in preparing for and managing significant emergency events; experience in planning and policy development and implementation; experience in program evaluation and coalition building; and demonstrated expertise in leading grant development, budget preparation, and contract oversight. The successful applicant must be able to demonstrate a high degree of leadership, motivation, self-direction, and initiative. Strong oral and written communication skills are a must, including experience in crisis communications.

To view the complete job description, visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/jobs/ and reference Health Department Job #06-0621. To apply, submit a resume through the AIMS System available on the Web site.

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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