April 6, 2006


  1. Two New Quick Response Reports from the Natural Hazards Center
  2. FEMA.gov Gets a Makeover
  3. EPA Grants Available for Hurricane-Impacted Communities
  4. EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction
  5. Undergraduate Scholarships Available from NOAA
  6. ICC Seeks Input: Draft Hazard Abatement for Existing Buildings Code
  7. Call for Papers: Rocky Mountain Disaster Mental Health Conference
  8. Reader Request: Contributions Call for Encyclopedia of Earth
  9. Some New Web Resources
  10. Conferences and Training
  11. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Two New Quick Response Reports from the Natural Hazards Center

Two new Quick Response reports are available online from the Natural Hazards Center at www.colorado.edu/hazards/qr/qrrepts.html.

QR183 Analyzing Tribal Drought Management: A Case Study of the Hualapai Tribe, by Cody Knutson, Mark Svoboda, and Michael Hayes. 2006. This research provides a specific case study of drought impacts and management on the Hualapai reservation in Arizona. The research team conducted interviews on the reservation to assess drought planning measures implemented, including the development of the Hualapai Tribe Cooperative Drought Contingency Plan; identify the barriers to implementing drought planning and response; and discuss lessons learned that could be used to improve drought management in the future. The research team also participated in a test of the Hualapai drought plan, which had recently been submitted to Congress.

QR184 Disaster Realities in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Revisiting the Looting Myth, by Lauren Barsky, Joseph Trainor, and Manuel Torres. 2006. Reports of looting were widespread in the days after Katrina swept through Louisiana, conflicting with the sociological literature on disasters that portray looting as a disaster myth. These researchers conducted interviews to examine the scope of the looting and to differentiate criminal behavior from appropriating behavior (taking items necessary for survival). Findngs indicate that there is no clear distinction between looting and appropriating behavior, media reports affected operations and citizen reponses and were not always accurate, and prosocial behavior was also exhibited.

2) FEMA.gov Gets a Makeover

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a completely reengineered www.fema.gov/ Web site. The new site has a restructured navigation system designed to make it easier for citizens, emergency personnel, businesses, and federal, state, and local government agencies to quickly find the information they need on FEMA’s disaster training, preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery efforts and services.

In developing the new site, FEMA conducted a year-long usability study of their Web site and implemented recommendations from victims of disasters and those involved in disaster response and recovery efforts. The FEMA Web site will be the first in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to roll out the department’s new Web branding.

To learn more about the development of the new FEMA.gov design, visit www.fema.gov/media/newhomepage.shtm.

3) EPA Grants Available for Hurricane-Impacted Communities

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a new grant opportunity for communities impacted by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. The new program, “Environmental Justice Grants in Support of Communities Directly Affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” will provide financial assistance to organizations with projects addressing local environmental or public health issues stemming from the hurricanes. Eligible applicants are limited to local nonprofit community-based organizations and local environmental justice networks, local universities or colleges, and local churches in Louisiana and Texas. Total funding for the project is $150,000. EPA will make awards in the amounts of $25,000 and $50,000 only.

The application deadline is April 30, 2006. For more information, visit http://epa.gov/region6/6dra/ejtribal/ej/.

4) EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) announced the availability of a graduate fellowship to support one full-time student in a discipline contributing to the science and practice of earthquake hazard mitigation.

The one-year fellowship, underwritten with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. The fellowship provides a nine-month stipend of $12,000 with an additional $8,000 for tuition, fees, and research expenses.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate degree program at an accredited U.S. college or university and must hold U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. All applications must include an academic transcript and a statement of educational and career goals. Applications, together with a letter of nomination, must be submitted to EERI by a faculty sponsor at the host institution. Two additional reference letters must be submitted directly to EERI and should evaluate the applicant’s recent academic performance and potential to contribute to the field.

The deadline to apply is May 15, 2006. Application forms are available at www.eeri.org/home/Grad_Fell_application.pdf or may be requested from EERI, 499 14th Street, Suite 320, Oakland, CA 94612; (510) 451-0905; e-mail: eeri@eeri.org. Visit www.eeri.org/ for more information.

5) Undergraduate Scholarships Available from NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting applications for the 2006 NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship Program, which will provide awards to approximately 100 college undergraduates to further their academic studies related to NOAA science, research, technology, policy, management, and educational activities and to participate in a summer internship designed to provide a hands-on, multidisciplinary training experience.

Eligible applicants must be U.S. citizens, have full-time junior academic status in fall 2006 in an accredited college or university within the United States or U.S. territories, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all completed undergraduate courses and major field of study, and be majoring in a discipline area related to oceanic, environmental, or atmospheric science, remote sensing technology, or education and supportive of NOAA’s programs and mission (e.g., biological, social, and physical sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; hydrology; geomatics; and teacher education).

The scholarship program will provide academic assistance for full-time study during 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 facility; a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship; and travel expenses to participate in a program orientation at the beginning and a conference at the end of the internship.

Applications for the Hollings Scholarship Program are available online at www.orau.gov/noaa/HollingsScholarship/. All application materials must be received by April 22, 2006, and must be sent by mail to NOAA/Hollings Scholarship, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, PO Box 117, MS 36, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117. For further information, contact NOAA Education Office; (301) 713-9437 x126; e-mail: noaa.education@noaa.gov.

6) ICC Seeks Input: Draft Hazard Abatement for Existing Buildings Code

The Hazard Abatement of Existing Buildings (HAEB) committee of the International Code Council (ICC) has developed a first draft of the HAEB Code to address hazards in existing buildings. It is intended to be presented to the code committees and membership of the ICC during the 2006/2007 code change cycle. The HAEB committee is soliciting suggestions and questions from interested parties on this first draft, which is available for viewing at www.iccsafe.org/cs/cc/haeb/. Send suggestions and questions to Ed Wirtschoreck at Ewirtschoreck@iccsafe.org by April 15, 2006.

7) Call for Papers: Rocky Mountain Disaster Mental Health Conference

The Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute is seeking presentation proposals for the Annual Disaster Mental Health Conference to be held in Casper, Wyoming, November 8-11, 2006. The general theme of the conference is “Taking Charge in Troubled Times: Response, Resilience, Recovery, and Follow-up.” For further information and to obtain a submission form, call (307) 399-4818 or e-mail rockymountain@mail2emergency.com; www.rmrinstitute.org/call2006.pdf.

8) Reader Request: Contributions Call for "Encyclopedia of Earth"

The world's experts on the environment of Earth and the interaction between society and the natural spheres of the Earth are collaborating to produce a single comprehensive and definitive electronic encyclopedia about the Earth. The Encyclopedia of Earth will be free to the public and free of advertising.

We seek all qualified editors and authors to collaboratively develop a free, searchable, trusted source of articles about the Earth; A to Z coverage of topics describing the environment of Earth that span the natural, physical, and social sciences, the arts and humanities, and the professional disciplines; an information resource that will be useful to students, educators, scholars, professionals, decision makers, and the general public; an authoring site that combines the authority of peer review with the power of Web-based collaboration; and a public reference site that is updated every 15 minutes.

The scope of the encyclopedia is the environment of the Earth, broadly-defined, with particular emphasis on the interaction between society and the natural spheres of the Earth.

For further information and to view the project’s topic areas, editorial staff, and international advisory board, visit www.earthportal.net/eoe/. If interested in contributing, e-mail eoe@earthportal.net.

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 www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/.]

UK’s New Disaster Risk Reduction Policy
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has launched a new policy titled “Reducing the Risk of Disasters,” which provides a framework for DFID to integrate disaster risk reduction measures more effectively into its own work, strengthen the international system’s capacity to manage disaster risks, and help reduce the threat that disasters pose to sustainable development and the millennium development goals. The paper Reducing the Risk of Disasters – Helping to Achieve Sustainable Poverty Reduction in a Vulnerable World: A Policy Paper and the policy’s summary implementation plan can be found here.

1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Digital Collection
This Web site is the primary portal for the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Project organized by the Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley. In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the disaster, various libraries and archives in California have collaborated to digitize thousands of images and documents related to the disaster. Major features of the Web site include an online exhibit, interactive map of San Francisco, and the presentation of a 360-degree panoramic view of the ruined city.

USGS 1906 Earthquake Centennial Activities and Projects
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has put together this site listing their activities and projects related to the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which include a virtual tour of the earthquake in Google Earth, a 1906 ShakeMap, ground motion simulations, a three-dimensional geologic and seismic velocity model of the San Francisco Bay Region, and other maps, photographs, and publications.

USGS Preliminary Earthquake Report, March 31, 2006, Western Iran
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Earthquake Information Center preliminary report on the magnitude 6.1 earthquake in western Iran on March 31, can be found here.

CRS Report FEMA’s Flood Hazard Map Modernization Initiative
This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report provides background information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) flood map modernization initiative and discusses recent related concerns, such as the recognition of flood hazard studies needed after Hurricane Katrina, the completion of timely regular updates of digital flood insurance rate maps, and the fate of the initiative under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

CRS Report Education and Training Issues Related to Major Disasters
This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report provides a general overview of the federally funded programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education and the training programs of the U.S. Department of Labor that might be used to help those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Redirecting FEMA Toward Success: Report and Legislative Solution
This report prepared by minority staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was most successful when it was led by experienced emergency preparedness managers, had a direct line to the president, and had a stated operational strategy for fulfilling its mission.

Additional Views from the House Committee on Katrina
Two U.S. representatives, who participated by invitation in the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, released the report Additional Views Presented by the Select Committee on Behalf of Representative Charlie Melancon and Representative William J. Jefferson, which calls for a bipartisan, independent commission investigating the response to Hurricane Katrina.

Federal Allocations in Response to Katrina, Rita, and Wilma
This brief from the Brookings Institute includes tables showing the program categories behind federal allocations to date for hurricane recovery activities and the chronology of legislative and executive decisions to respond to the needs of the Gulf Coast. The tables will be updated as new developments occur.

LSU Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Information Clearinghouse
This clearinghouse has been established at Louisiana State University (LSU), Baton Rouge, in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and archiving of data related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Public Health Summary of Three Katrina Reports
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials has summarized the common messages conveyed in recent Hurricane Katrina reports from the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Government Accountability Office to aid in understanding the public health implications of proposed actions following the disaster.

Federalism and Grassroots Response in Disasters
The report Learning from Disaster: The Role of Federalism and the Importance of Grassroots Response from The Heritage Foundation discusses the role of the federal government and the role that nongovernmental organizations, private sector initiatives, and individual civic deeds play during extreme emergencies.

Disasters Roundtable Workshop Summary: 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami
The summary of a workshop of the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academies held on June 21, 2005, titled “The Indian Ocean Tsunami Disaster: Implications for U.S. and Global Disaster Reduction and Preparedness” is available here.

United Nations ISDR Asia and Pacific Web Site
This new Web site of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) provides information related to regional activities, events, and publications for the Asia and Pacific region and highlights the overall achievements and progress made by regional partners and the ISDR.

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.]

Crisis Planning for Schools Training. Denver, Colorado: April 26-28, 2006, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: May 15-17, 2006. Presenter: U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The Department of Education is offering two trainings to provide schools and school districts with information and resources on crisis planning. Emphasis will be placed on crisis plan development within the framework of the four phases of crisis planning: prevention/mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Registration is limited to 125 attendees per training. The deadline for online registration is April 10 for the Denver training and April 14 for the Pittsburgh training. For further information, e-mail: michelle.sinkgraven@ed.gov, tara.hill@ed.gov, or sara.strizzi@ed.gov; www.sei2003.com/ERCM/CPNG/.

Come What May - Planning in an Age of Disaster: 16th Annual Regional Assembly of the Regional Plan Association (RPA). New York, New York: May 5, 2006. RPA’s regional assembly brings together civic, business, and public leaders to discuss a major issue affecting the prosperity and quality of life of the New York metropolitan region. This year’s event will focus on the risks that confront the region and the necessary steps to insure resiliency in the economy, redundancy of infrastructure, and equity for communities. The event will lay the foundation for a strategic assessment of the region’s vulnerabilities in relation to human, natural, and technological disasters. To learn more, contact Amanda Jones, RPA; (212) 253-2727 x317; e-mail: amanda@rpa.org; www.rpa.org/.

Disaster Forum 2006. Banff, Alberta: May 7-10, 2006. Organizer: Disaster Conferences, Inc. The theme of this conference is “Plan to Take Charge: Mitigate, Prepare, Respond, Recover.” It is targeted at management and emergency preparedness practitioners interested in emergency/disaster management and business continuity and will feature workshops and professional development sessions. For further information, contact Disaster Conferences, Inc; (780) 483-4004; www.disasterforum.ca/.

Midwest Emergency Preparedness and Response Conference. Rockford, Illinois: May 8-10, 2006. Organizer: Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee. The objectives of this conference are to educate participants about the factors that influence emergency preparedness and response; key roles and responsibilities of the Incident Command System and the National Incident Management System; the four elements of disaster planning (mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery); hazard vulnerability analysis; medical and logistical support requirements generated by disasters of any type; and considerations for weapons of mass destruction/mass casualty incident events. For further information, contact Chris Bellone, Winnebago County Local Emergency Planning Committee, PO Box 1552, Rockford, IL 61110-0052; (815) 971-6832, e-mail: cbellone@rhsnet.org; www.winn-lepc.org/conference.htm.

Joint Australasian Fire Authorities Council/International Fire Chiefs’ Association of Asia Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre Conference. Melbourne, Australia: August 10-13, 2006. The theme of this conference is “Building our Legacy.” It will share research and information on community safety, fire suppression, land management, weather, and fire fighter health and safety. Emergency management professionals from emergency services organizations; local, state, and federal governments; nongovernmental organizations; community groups; and industry from around the world are expected to attend. For further information, contact Simon Monk at sm@asnevents.net.au or Steve Robin at sr@asnevents.net.au; +61 (0)3 5983 2400; www.afac2006.org/.

6th Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society (EMS)/6th European Conference on Applied Climatology (ECAC). Ljubljana, Slovenia: September 4-6, 2006. Organizers: EMS and European Climate Support Network. This conference will consist of scientific oral and poster presentations as well as symposia and special lectures. The four primary programs are the 6th ECAC, Instrumentation and Methods of Observation, Atmosphere and the Water Cycle - A Real-Time Look, and Information Provision and Education. To learn more, contact the Copernicus Meeting Office, Max-Planck-Strasse 13, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany; +49-5556-1440; e-mail: meetings@copernicus.org; http://meetings.copernicus.org/ems2006/.

International Conference on Infrastructure Development and the Environment. Abuja, Nigeria: September 10-15, 2006. Host: International Society for Environmental Geotechnology (ISEG). This conference is the eighth in a series of sustainable development conferences initiated by ISEG. It will bring together infrastructure development experts, environmental professionals, educators, basic and applied scientists, and policy makers in economic sectors, such as mining, natural resources, petrochemicals development, agriculture, transportation, and civil/industrial construction to present new information and formulate planning and implementation strategies addressing the environmental impacts of industrial/civil activities. The deadline for submission of abstracts is April 30, 2006. For further information, contact Erin Gross; (704) 687-3233; e-mail: giees@email.uncc.edu; www.iseg.giees.uncc.edu/abuja2006/.

Fall World 2006. San Diego, California: September 17-20, 2006. Organizer: “Disaster Recovery Journal” (DRJ). This conference will focus on all aspects of disaster recovery, contingency planning, and business continuity. Attendees will gain knowledge and information through sessions, workshops, exercises, and networking opportunities. An exhibit hall will showcase the latest industry trends, products, and services. Among other things, attendees can participate in a real-time disaster simulation (limited to 200 participants). For more information, call (314) 894-0276 or e-mail: drj@drj.com; www.drj.com/conferences/sd2006/.

11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Director, National Emergency Management Agency
Cayman Islands Government: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

This position will manage the mitigation, preparation, and response related to national emergencies affecting the Cayman Islands. The National Emergency Management Agency is currently being established, and the director will play a key role in its development. The director will be required to coordinate, develop, manage, and monitor policies and strategies for each critical function area concerned with national emergency issues.

Candidates must be able to work strategically and operationally on any issue of national disasters/emergency management and should have extensive professional experience in directing effective emergency management and solutions. A university degree (preferably postgraduate), excellent interpersonal and communication skills, certification in business continuity planning or disaster recovery planning, strong project management experience, and a high level of competence in information technology are required.

Applications are due by April 14, 2006. A detailed job description and application form is available at www.gov.ky/recruitment/. Applications must be submitted with a comprehensive curriculum vitae to Recruitment Officer, Portfolio of the Civil Service, 3rd Floor, Government Administration Building, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; fax: (345) 949-0650; or e-mail: recruitment@gov.ky.

Director, Center for Emergency Preparedness
Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Boston, Massachusetts

The director is responsible for providing effective leadership in the Bioterrorism Preparedness Program, Hospital Preparedness Program, Laboratory Preparedness Program, and chemical, radiological, and weapons of mass destruction and for continuing to develop and implement center standards, evaluation (including performance management), quality improvement, and surveillance. The position will also lead interdisciplinary program planning, development, integration, linkage, and policy setting. The position is also responsible for promoting organizational effectiveness and efficiency and facilitating collaborative problem solving and decision making across center programs and operational decision making.

Applicants must have at least six years of full-time or equivalent part-time supervisory or managerial experience in business administration, business management, or public administration, of which at least three years must have been in a managerial capacity.

The deadline for application is April 12, 2006. For the complete job description, visit www.mass.gov/dph/jobop.htm and view official title “Program Manager IX,” posting ID number 9594. To apply, send cover letter and resume to Health Office of Human Resources, Dorothy White, Employment and Staffing, 600 Washington Street, 2nd floor, Boston, MA 02111; (800) 850-6968; fax: (617)348-5509.

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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