September 8, 2006


  1. Executive Order: Improving Assistance for Disaster Victims
  2. Natural Hazards Center: Call for Quick Response Proposals
  3. Natural Hazards Center: Call for 2007 Workshop Session Topics
  4. Natural Hazards Center Web Site Gets Makeover
  5. National Academies Fellowships
  6. Call for Papers: Race, Place, and the Environment after Katrina
  7. Call for Papers: Confronting Catastrophe
  8. Call for Papers: Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment
  9. Call for Proposals: Phoenix of New Orleans Neighborhood Association
  10. Some New Web Resources
  11. Conferences and Training
  12. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Executive Order: Improving Assistance for Disaster Victims

In an Executive Order issued in late August, the president called for further actions to improve the delivery of federal disaster assistance. Specifically, the order charges the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with heading up a Task Force on Disaster Assistance Coordination to develop and implement a plan to streamline and otherwise improve the delivery of federal disaster assistance. Heads of other departments and agencies are instructed to provide assistance and information to the secretary of DHS as pertains to the implementation of the order. The secretary of DHS is required to submit the plan to the president not later than March 1, 2007. Executive Order 13411 is in the September 6, 2006, “Federal Register,” Vol. 71, No. 172, pp. 52727-52731, which can be found in any federal depository library and online at www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/, and at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/20060829-9.html.

2) Natural Hazards Center: Call for Quick Response Proposals

Each September, the Natural Hazards Center solicits proposals for the next round of Quick Response (QR) grants. These small grants are intended to enable social and behavioral science researchers from the United States to conduct short-term studies immediately following a disaster. Grants average between $1,000 and $3,500 and are intended to cover food, travel, and lodging expenses.

If, during the course of the next year, a disaster matching an applicant’s preapproved proposal occurs, the grant is activated and the researcher is able to immediately travel to the site. Grantees are required to submit a report of their findings to be shared with the hazards community. Reports are published by the Natural Hazards Center and are available free online. Proposals for natural, technological, and human-induced events are considered for funding. Physical science- and engineering-based proposals are not eligible.

To learn more about the program and to find out how to apply, visit www.colorado.edu/hazards/research/qr/, or request a program announcement from Greg Guibert at (303) 492-2149 or greg.guibert@colorado.edu. The deadline for proposal submission is October 20, 2006. Only complete proposals that meet all of the criteria outlined in the 2007 announcement will be considered.

3) Natural Hazards Center: Call for 2007 Workshop Session Topics

The Natural Hazards Center invites proposals for session topics for the 2007 Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Proposed topics will provide guidance to the Center as we plan and prepare the workshop’s program. Session ideas may be modified, combined, or otherwise altered by the Center and submission of a topic does not guarantee inclusion on the program. Guidelines on how to submit suggestions and the submission form are available online at www.colorado.edu/hazards/workshop/session_proposal.html. Please submit ideas by October 20, 2006, for consideration.

4) Natural Hazards Center Web Site Gets Makeover

The Natural Hazards Center has redesigned its Web site to achieve two mutually supporting goals: improve user navigation and searchability of the site and reorganize the resources to better reflect recent changes in the hazards and disasters community. Check out the new site at www.colorado.edu/hazards/.

5) National Academies Fellowships

The application period is open for the following National Academies fellowships:

The Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program is designed to engage graduate and postdoctoral students in science and technology policy and to familiarize them with the interactions among science, technology, and government. As a result, students in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, veterinary medicine, business, and law develop essential skills different from those attained in academia that will help them make the transition from being a graduate student to a professional. The application deadline is November 1 for the winter program, March 1 for the summer program, and June 1 for the fall program. For more information, call (202) 334-2455 or e-mail policyfellows@nas.edu; http://national-academies.org/policyfellows/.

The Jefferson Science Fellows program at the U.S. Department of State was created to establish a new model for engaging the U.S. academic science, technology, and engineering communities in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. The pilot program is administered by the National Academies and supported through a partnership between American philanthropic foundations; the U.S. science, technology, and engineering academic community; professional scientific societies; and the U.S. Department of State. Tenured academic scientists and engineers from U.S. institutions of higher learning are eligible for selection to be fellows. Each fellow will spend one year at the U.S. Department of State for an assignment in Washington, DC, that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions. Following the fellowship year, fellows return to their academic careers, but remain available to the U.S. Department of State for short-term projects over the following five years. Application packages are due by December 15, 2006. More information is available at http://national-academies.org/fellowships/Jefferson_Science_Fellows.html.

6) Call for Papers: Race, Place, and the Environment after Katrina

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans is sponsoring a national symposium on Race, Place, and the Environment after Katrina: Looking Back to Look Forward October 19-21, 2006, in New Orleans. A main objective of the symposium will be to examine the impacts of this disaster through an environmental justice lens with an emphasis on race and geography of vulnerability. The symposium will explore racial disparities in disaster preparedness, response, cleanup, debris management, recovery, rebuilding, reconstruction, and repopulation. The intent is to bring together scholars, professionals, experts, government officials, and community leaders to discuss how race impacts natural disaster survivors’ ability to rebuild, replace infrastructure, obtain loans, locate temporary and permanent housing, and return to and rebuild their homes, neighborhoods, institutions, and businesses in a safe and sustainable way.

Symposium organizers are currently seeking abstracts and papers in the areas of health and environmental justice, the built environment, the natural and physical environment, and the social, economic, and cultural environment. These topics will be interdisciplinary in nature as successful submissions will explore the racial and societal implications for the given area. Abstracts are due September 15, 2006. For more information, contact Mary Williams; (225) 201-1662; mivorywill@aol.com; www.dscej.org/symposium/symposium.htm.

7) Call for Papers: Confronting Catastrophe

This is a call for papers for a session on “Confronting Catastrophe: New Directions in Disaster Research and Policy” to be held at the joint meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society and the North Central Sociological Association in Chicago, Illinois, April 4-7, 2007. Papers will be considered that examine any topic concerning the preparedness for, response to, or recovery from natural, technological, or human-initiated hazards and disasters. Both U.S. and international cross-cultural research are welcome.

All interested persons should submit inquiries, detailed abstracts, or papers directly to the session organizers, William Lovekamp (welovekamp@eiu.edu) and Lori Peek (lori.peek@colostate.edu). Submissions must be received by October 31, 2006. Additional information about sessions and the annual meeting is available from the Midwest Sociological Society Web site at www.themss.org/.

8) Call for Papers: Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment

The Technical Program Committee for the 32nd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment is seeking papers for the symposium, which is scheduled for June 25-29, 2006, in San José, Costa Rica. The committee will consider and evaluate all abstracts submitted that focus on one of the following topics/subtopics or related issues:

  • Reducing loss of life and property from natural and human-induced disasters
  • Understanding environmental factors affecting human health and well-being
  • Improving management of energy resources
  • Understanding, assessing, predicting, mitigating, and adapting to climate variability and change
  • Improving water resource management through better understanding of the water cycle
  • Improving weather information, forecasting, and warning
  • Improving the management and protection of terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems
  • Supporting sustainable agriculture and combating desertification
  • Understanding, monitoring, and conserving biodiversity
  • Earth observation advances: Instrumentation, data management, capacity building, and education

Abstracts are due no later than November 15, 2006. Find out more at www.cenat.ac.cr/simposio/callforpapers.htm and www.cenat.ac.cr/simposio/submission.htm.

9) Call for Proposals: Phoenix of New Orleans Neighborhood Association

The Phoenix of New Orleans Neighborhood Association (PNOLA) is accepting proposals from researchers on developing a strategy to transition PNOLA from a post-Katrina volunteer-based organization to one controlled by the community’s pre-Katrina residents. This could be a funded or volunteer project.

PNOLA is based in one of the poorest flood-damaged African American neighborhoods in New Orleans (Tulane/Gravier). It seeks to rebuild the area and help the neighborhood’s residents who have had little support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the city government. The vast majority (about 80 percent) rented their homes, which were lost to flooding, and only about 15 percent have returned to Tulane/Gravier.

PNOLA is seeking a researcher or research group to study the organization and neighborhood and develop a transition plan. The researcher will be responsible for finding funding for the project and PNOLA will cooperate in all phases of grant writing. This may also be undertaken as a volunteer project by a faculty person and his/her class or a department in a higher education institution.

Submit queries or proposal concept letters to Meredith Bethune at so-inst@tulane.edu.

10) Some New Web Resources

[Below are some new or updated Internet resources we've discovered. For an extensive list of useful Internet sites dealing with hazards, see www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/.]

American Red Cross: Disaster Victim Safe and Well Registry
In July, the American Red Cross launched this Safe and Well Web site to provide families with a tool to exchange welfare information with loved ones and friends in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The site allows a disaster victim to select and post standard messages for friends and family that indicate the victim is safe and well and will make contact when they are able. Those worried about the safety of a victim can access the site, enter either the name and telephone number or name and complete address of the person in question, and view their “safe and well” messages.

Regional Disaster Resilience: A Guide for Developing an Action Plan
This guide (44 pp.) developed by the Infrastructure Security Partnership and published by the American Society of Civil Engineers provides a strategy to develop the necessary level of preparedness for communities to manage major disasters. It provides key definitions and a set of common assumptions that underpin regional disaster resilience with the goal of providing users with the ability to examine and leverage existing approaches, tools, and technologies and to foster standardization across interdependent infrastructures and regions.

State and Regional Responses to Disasters: Solving the 72-Hour Problem
In this Heritage Foundation “Backgrounder” (8 pp.), authors Jill D. Rhodes and James Jay Carafano argue that better planning at a regional level could prevent shortfalls in disaster response and that such efforts should take the form of state-based regional programs that ensure that states are prepared to sustain themselves and that facilitate cooperation among federal, state, and local efforts.

Natural Disaster Risk for U.S. Cities
As part of its annual Sustainable U.S. City Ranking, SustainLane.com, a resource for healthy and sustainable living, measured the natural disaster risk to America’s 50 largest cities. This press release features the ranking, based on primary research and data from Risk Management Solutions, which places Mesa, Arizona, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at #1 (tied) for lowest risk and Miami, Florida, at #50 with the greatest.

Disaster Education, Preparedness, Planning, and Mitigation Library
Florida’s Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross compiled this online library of disaster education, preparedness, planning, and mitigation articles, brochures, fact sheets, checklists, and publications. Materials come from a wide variety of sources to support preparedness, planning, and mitigation activities in the home, neighborhood, workplace, school, and community.

Transcripts and Presentations: Working Conference on Emergency Management and Individuals with Disabilities and the Elderly
Transcripts and presentations from June’s Working Conference on Emergency Management and Individuals with Disabilities and the Elderly are available here.

Weathering Corruption
This working paper (30 pp.) published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and authored by Peter Leeson and Russell Sobel investigates the hypothesis that bad weather could be responsible for U.S. corruption by exploring the effect of disaster relief provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on public corruption.

NFPA Firewise ArcView Lessons Learned Research Project
This report (43 pp.) from the Fire Protection Research Foundation, an independent affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), details the goals, growth, and outcomes of a cooperative effort between the national Firewise Communities program and ESRI to introduce GIS mapping as a community planning tool to help mitigate the wildland fire hazard.

The 1976 Great Tangshan Earthquake: 30-Year Retrospective
Risk Management Solutions published this report (20 pp.) to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Tangshan Earthquake (the deadliest earthquake in modern times with an official death count of approximately 242,400), to remind us of the event so that lessons from the tragedy continue to be learned, and to emphasize the continuing need for worldwide collaboration in research on earthquake engineering.

National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is the federal government’s program to reduce the risks to life and property from earthquakes. The NEHRP Web site includes information about the program and the participating agencies; related news, events, and activities; publications and testimonies; and other earthquake links.

100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference Video Highlights
This Web page features video highlights from the 100th Anniversary Earthquake Conference Commemorating the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

Earthquake Information: Java, Indonesia, July 17, 2006
EQNET has compiled this list of resources pertaining to the July 17, 2006, Java, Indonesia, Earthquake and Tsunami.

Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Project
In the fall of 2005, the U.S. Congress directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District, in partnership with the State of Louisiana, to undertake the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) Project to identify, describe, and propose a full range of flood control, coastal restoration, and hurricane protection measures for South Louisiana. Information about the project and related activities can be found here.

The Race to Rebuild: The Color of Opportunity and the Future of New Orleans
This report (52 pp.) from the Center for Social Inclusion analyzes existing data on the progress of rebuilding New Orleans’ communities. It also examines existing rebuilding policies to show that current policies are insufficient to help black New Orleanians return or rebuild their lives. A recovery report card on indicators such as housing, health care, education, and utilities is included and will be updated monthly.

Big, Easy Money: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast
According to this report (43 pp.) from the nonprofit CorpWatch, Disaster profiteers make millions while local companies and laborers in New Orleans and the rest of the Katrina-devastated Gulf Coast region are being left behind.

2006 Hazardous Materials Team Leaders Roundtable
In April, the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Hazardous Materials Committee convened a Hazardous Materials Team Leaders Roundtable with 40 of the nation’s leading authorities on hazardous materials response to review the current state of the hazardous materials response community and recommend future strategies. This report (12 pp.) establishes the direction for action and discussion by the community.

CRS Report: The Public Health and Medical Response to Disasters: Federal Authority and Funding
This report (32 pp.) from the Congressional Research Service examines (1) the statutory authorities and coordinating mechanisms of the president (acting through the secretary of homeland security) and the secretary of health and human services in providing routine assistance and in providing assistance pursuant to emergency or major disaster declarations and/or public health emergency determinations; (2) mechanisms to assure a coordinated federal response to public health and medical emergencies, and overlaps or gaps in agency responsibilities; and (3) existing mechanisms and potential gaps in financing the costs of a response to public health and medical emergencies.

Clinical Guidelines for Physicians Treating Adults Exposed to the World Trade Center Disaster
This issue of “City Health Information” (13 pp.) contains guidelines to help physicians treating adults exposed to the World Trade Center disaster suspect, diagnose, treat, and, if necessary, refer patients for additional evaluation and treatment.

Preparing for a Pandemic Influenza: A Primer for Governors and Senior State Officials
This document (32 pp.) offers an overview of issues governors and state officials must consider as they develop plans to respond to pandemic influenza or other disease outbreaks. It focuses on state policies and responsibilities and is intended to complement the federal guidance issued by the White House Homeland Security Council, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Local Health Department Guide to Pandemic Influenza Planning
Published by the National Association of City and County Health Officials, this guide (60 pp.) is intended for use by local health departments as part of a multisector effort to coordinate planning for and response to a pandemic influenza outbreak.

11) 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: www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/conferences.html.]

6th Annual Business Continuity Management (BCM) Conference - Singapore: October 10-12, 2006. Presenter: Business Continuity Planning Asia. Themed “FUEL for your BCM,” this conference and workshop is specially designed for vice presidents, directors, and senior-level executives from various industries around Asia. It will delve into issues concerning the business continuity industry, such as pandemic flu, global BCM standards, exercise and testing, caring for employees during a crisis, and more. To learn more, contact Business Continuity Planning Asia; (65) 6325 2080 ( Singapore); enquiry@bcpasia.com; www.bcmconference.com/.

Meeting the Challenges in a New Era of Disaster Response - Ashburn, Virginia: October 11, 2006. Organizer: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The purpose of this workshop is to examine ways to improve the family assistance aspect of disaster response in the 21st century. Topics will include disaster planning, crisis communications, victim identification, and mass fatality issues. To learn more, contact the NTSB; (571) 223-3900; academy@ntsb.gov; www.ntsb.gov/Academy/CourseInfo/TDA701_2006.htm.

Achieving Joint Rapid Response - Brussels, Belgium: October 17-18, 2006. Presenter: StrategicFora Global Information Services. This forum will focus on the importance of joint, multinational, and interagency efforts in responding to a variety of threats, crises, and conflicts as well as the challenges of cooperation in interagency operations. Experts from across the globe representing military and civil policing organizations and academia and industry will offer insights on the policies, standards, operations, and equipment required for successful joint rapid reaction maneuvers. To learn more, contact StrategicFora Global Information Services; (514) 472-0061; info@strategicforaonline.com; www.strategicforaonline.com/.

NFPA Conference: Fire Safety - Lisbon, Portugal: October 19-20, 2006. Organizers: Instalfogo, Grundfos, Sinalux, and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The main objective of this conference is the diffusion of NFPA standards to increase awareness about the safety of people and assets. It is designed for individuals and entities whose activities are related to urban and industrial fire safety, from the conception and production of systems and equipment to their respective installation and maintenance, as well for entities that deal with norms and legislation. To learn more, e-mail Meeting Point; meetingpoint@netcabo.pt; www.nfpaportugalconference.com/.

Race, Place, and the Environment after Katrina: Looking Back to Look Forward - New Orleans, Louisiana: October 19-21, 2006. Sponsor: Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University. This symposium will examine the impacts of the Katrina disaster through an environmental justice lens with an emphasis on race and geography of vulnerability and explore racial disparities in disaster preparedness, response, cleanup, debris management, recovery, rebuilding, reconstruction, and repopulation. It aims to bring together scholars, professionals, experts, government officials, and community leaders to discuss how race impacts natural disaster survivors’ ability to rebuild, replace infrastructure, obtain loans, locate temporary and permanent housing, and return to and rebuild their homes, neighborhoods, institutions, and businesses in a safe and sustainable way. To learn more, contact Mary Williams; (225) 201-1662; mivorywill@aol.com; www.dscej.org/symposium/symposium.htm.

International Workshop on Snow Avalanches - Vancouver, British Columbia: October 30-November 2, 2006. Hosts: Environment Canada and Simon Fraser University. This workshop will bring together avalanche researchers and practitioners to discuss strategies for overcoming knowledge gaps in snow avalanche processes, forecasting, and information dissemination. Speakers will include representatives from Switzerland, France, India, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. Topics will include avalanche forecasting, complex terrain snowpack modeling, and public communication of avalanche risks. For more information, contact Ken Kwok, Environment Canada; (604) 713-9518; www.sfu.ca/cnhr/avalanche/.

Business Continuity Planning and Emergency Preparedness: Best Strategies for Emergency Planning to Optimize Response and Recovery Success - San Francisco, California: November 14-15, 2006. Organizer: Management IQ. Discussions at this continuity event will include preparing for a pandemic, incorporating lessons learned from past disasters into revised plans, incorporating human impact into the planning process, educating and communicating with employees to increase their awareness, leveraging executive and management buy-ins, merging private and public sector standards to enhance emergency preparedness, enhancing communication techniques during disasters, and more. Speakers will represent organizations such as Microsoft, Keyspan Energy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Comcast. To learn more, visit www.iqpc.com/cgi-bin/templates/genevent.html?topic=235&event=11102.

2006 Australian Earthquake Engineering Society (AEES) Conference - Canberra, Australia: November 24-26, 2006. Anyone involved in earthquake engineering, engineering seismology, blast engineering, critical infrastructure protection, and tsunami research in Australasia is encouraged to participate in this conference. Sessions will include earthquake engineering toward code development and implementation, next generation earthquake hazard models, earthquake emergency management response, status of earthquake engineering in Australia, and status of earthquake seismology in Australia. To learn more, contact Kevin McCue; 02 6251 1291 ( Australia); mccue.kevin@gmail.com; www.aees.org.au/.

Women in Homeland Security: A Learning Conference - Deerfield Beach, Florida: December 5-7, 2006. Presenters: Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County and Broward Sheriff’s Office Institute for Criminal Justice Studies. This seminar, designed specially for women whose careers may expose them to situations affecting homeland security, offers insights into terrorist bombings and explosive devices, weapons of mass destruction, the Muslim culture, and physical, emotional, and spiritual preparation. Mock exercises and a presentation by a former Federal Bureau of Investigations special agent who witnessed the attack on the World Trade Center highlight the event. To learn more, contact Robin Larson; (954) 831-8186; robin_larson@sheriff.org; www.sheriff.org/seminars/whs/.

AMS 87th Annual Meeting - San Antonio, Texas: January 14—18, 2007. Organizer: American Meteorological Society (AMS). This annual event is for the entire atmospheric and related sciences community. It brings together the leaders in the field from all sectors: academia, the federal government, and the private sector. For more information, visit www.ametsoc.org/meet/annual/.

American Water Resources Association (AWRA) Third National Water Resources Policy Dialogue - Arlington, Virginia: January 22-23, 2007. The First and Second National Water Resources Policy Dialogues brought together water resources experts from around the United States to focus on the policy needs of the nation. This meeting will build on the results of the previous events to provide decision makers with guidance in the formulation and development of water resources policies attuned to societal needs and preferences and that address issues such as water supply, distribution, and disaster preparation and recovery. To learn more, contact Dick Engberg, AWRA; (540) 687-8390; dick@awra.org; http://awra.org/meetings/DC2007/.

Fire-Rescue East 2007 - Jacksonville, Florida: January 24-27, 2007. Sponsors: Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation, Florida Society of Fire Service Instructors, and Florida State Fire College. This conference will provide education and training for fire and emergency services professionals. For more information, contact the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association; (386) 676-2744; info@ffca.org; www.firerescueeast.org/.

15th World Conference in Disasters and Emergency Management - Amsterdam: The Netherlands: May 13-16, 2007. Organizer: World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. This congress aims to catalyze thought processes and to come up with very clear products to better prepare experts, organizations, and governments for the next disaster or crisis. The central themes will be preparedness, knowledge, training, and networks. Attendees will include policy makers, researchers, clinicians, responders, planners, administrators, and other experts from around the world who have interest in the most urgent medical and humanitarian problems of the 21st century. To learn more, contact the congress office; +31 (0)20 444 8444 (The Netherlands); paog@vumc.nl; www.wcdem2007.org/.

12) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

No jobs this week.

Useful Job Sites:

International Association of Emergency Managers

National Emergency Management Association


The Chronicle of Higher Education

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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