Disaster Research 467

December 1, 2006

Table of Contents

  1. The Natural Hazards Center announces its 40th Special Publication!
  2. Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina
  3. Prime Minister Singh Announces "Paradigm Shift" at the First India Disaster Management Congress
  4. 2007 LSAMP-MCEER Bridge Diversity Fellowship
  5. Call for Applications: 2007 Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability
  6. Call for Workshops and Presentations: 15th Annual VOAD Conference
  7. Call for Papers: 2007 International Symposium on Technology and Society
  8. Some New Web Resources
  9. Conferences, Training, and Events
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) The Natural Hazards Center announces its 40th Special Publication!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of Special Publication #40 Learning from Catastrophe: Quick Response Research in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. This peer-reviewed collection of research consists of 18 chapters from 39 researchers, who conducted social science research during or immediately after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in September of 2005. At that time, research teams were deployed under the Center's own Quick Response program, the National Science Foundation's Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) effort, or through support of other various academic institutions.

The chapters are organized by theme into four major parts: the making of a disaster, the culture of disaster and social vulnerability, the issues in disaster response, and the individual and collective experience. They address a variety of topics, including ethnicity and race, organizational and collective behavior, differently situated groups affected by the catastrophe, vulnerability, diversity, and the social-structural sources of disaster victimization.

Copies of this 472-page book are available from the Hazards Center for $25.00 plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The complete text of the book will be available on-line in PDF format in early 2007. To order, contact Diane Smith at (303)492-6818 or via email at diane.smith@colorado.edu. Additional information and a copy of the table of contents are available online at www.colorado.edu/hazards/publications/katrina.html.

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2) Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) recently published a new report on Federal Emergency Management Policy Changes After Hurricane Katrina: A Summary of Statutory Provisions. The report summarizes the recent legislation and the impact on FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. Reports issued by committees of the 109th Congress, the White House, federal offices of Inspector General, and the Government Accountability Office (GAO), among others, concluded that the losses caused by Hurricane Katrina and other disasters were due, in part, to deficiencies such as questionable leadership decisions and capabilities, organizational failures, overwhelmed preparation and communication systems, and inadequate statutory authorities. From these conclusions, the 109th Congress revised federal emergency management policies vested in the President; reorganized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and enhanced and clarified the mission, functions, and authorities of the agency, as well as those of its parent, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Six statutes enacted by the 109th Congress are notable in that they contain changes that apply to future federal emergency management actions. Most of these statutes contain relatively few changes to federal authorities related to emergencies and disasters. The Post-Katrina Act, however, contains many changes that will have long-term consequences for FEMA and other federal entities. That statute reorganizes FEMA, expands its statutory authority, and imposes new conditions and requirements on the operations of the agency.

This report can be downloaded at: www.tisp.org/lib/inc/inc_redirect.cfm?prmCODE=new&prmID=1184&prm URL=1.

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3) Prime Minister Singh Announces "Paradigm Shift" at the First India Disaster Management Congress

Inaugurating the first, two-day (November 29-30, 2006) India Disaster Management Congress in New Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that it is time for a "paradigm shift" in disaster management from a "relief-centric" and "post-event" response to a regime that laid greater emphasis on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.

"Such an approach should place emphasis on improving early warning systems, ensuring the reach and efficacy of dissemination, creating awareness and building capacities at all levels of administration. I am happy that the draft National Policy on Disaster Management places greater emphasis on efficient management of disasters, rather than focussing on immediate response to disasters," Dr. Singh said.

Emphasizing that disaster management administration was an integral part of overall administration, Dr. Singh said the quality of disaster management could not be improved upon in isolation. "Nor should we create parallel structures at the cost of regular administration. An improvement in disaster management has to be an integral part of the improvement in governance at all levels, especially in district administration. What we need are better support structures, which can make our responses to disasters more efficient, more rapid and more effective."

For more information about this press release, visit: www.hindu.com/2006/11/30/stories/2006113001471300.htm.

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4) 2007 LSAMP-MCEER Bridge Diversity Fellowship

This program sponsors outstanding graduate students in civil engineering to pursue a Ph.D. program and individual research projects in earthquake studies at NSF-funded MCEER-affiliated earthquake research universities. Fellowship awardees will be paired with a MCEER diversity faculty advisor and will join the faculty member's resarch team. Each fellow will work on an individual research project, chosen during the course of his/her Ph.D. program.

GPA of 3.0 or higher; US citizenship or permanent resident status; must be a graduate from Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP) or Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP). Applicant must meet the graduate admission requirements at the MCEER-affiliated institution chosen by the applicant.

Each fellowship award will be $25,000 per year and is renewable for 2 additional years, provided acceptable academic progress has been made toward the Ph.D. degree.

Application Deadline: December 31, 2006

For more information, visit: mceer.buffalo.edu/education/Diversity_Fellowship/default.asp.

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5) Call for Applications: 2007 Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability

The 2007 Summer Academy provides around twenty outstanding PhD candidates from all over the world a platform to present and discuss their research with leading international experts and scholars in social vulnerability, as well as senior scientists from the United Nations University and Munich Re Foundation. The summer academy is designed to advance the science of social vulnerability by discussing "state of the art", research needs and strategies to address academic, policy and practical challenges and knowledge gaps.

Megacities provide the space for work, shelter, daily life, and exchange of ideas and cultural values for the millions of people that reside in these urban environments. Cities have long been the scene for the realization of human aspirations. Basic needs and human security, however, have been denied for large proportions of city dwellers. The year 2007 marks the year when an estimated one half of the world s population will live in urban areas, an important shift that makes the discussion of social vulnerability in megacities more relevant and timely than ever.

Keynote lectures by leading academics and practitioners, poster sessions, PhD presentation sessions, working groups, conceptual exercises, role play, and informal discussion at the 2007 Summer Academy are designed to maximize the interaction and innovative problem-solving among participants. Participants will present their work in poster format and orally, and receive feedback from peers and more advanced researchers. Participants will also be part of working groups and role plays to develop solutions to some of the major challenges in social vulnerability in megacities. Participants will discuss related topics, explore different research approaches to social vulnerability and identify practical resilience building strategies for people in megacities.

Complete applications must be received before, but no later than, 15 January 2007. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Notifications will be made mid-March 2007. The working language for the Summer Academy is English. To apply for the 2007 Summer Academy, please send the information listed below, in English, to:

Dr. Koko Warner
Institute of Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
United Nations University
UN Campus
Hermann-Ehlers-Str. 10
53113 BONN Germany
Fax: 0049 228 422 855 99
E-mail: warner@ehs.unu.edu
For more information, visit: www.ehs.unu.edu and www.munichre-foundation.org.

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6) Call for Workshops and Presentations: 15th Annual VOAD Conference

The 15th Annual VOAD Conference (AVC) will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 17-20, 2007. At this conference, you may choose beginning, intermediate or advanced levels of knowledge in any of the following four areas: preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. All workshops are 90 minutes in length. To promote a great diversity of workshop topics, the following criteria will be used to select presentations: the spirit of coordination, collaboration, cooperation, and communication; content of presentation; emerging trends; and conference theme.

Proposals are due by December 8, 2006. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by January 30, 2007.

If you have any questions regarding your request for proposals please contact Bev Hoover at 603-488-5445 or 703-362-3911.

For more information, visit www.nvoad.org/annualconf1.php.

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7) Call for Papers: 2007 International Symposium on Technology and Society

The 2007 International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)will take place on June 1-2, 2007 at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The theme is "Risk, Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Technology and Society" with the following subthemes:

  • Risk, technology and the nuclear weapons legacy (old weapons, new weapons, testing)
  • Risk, technology and the nuclear present and future (new construction, waste disposal)
  • Gaming technology and society (surveillance, computing, internet gaming, gambling addictions)
  • Tourism and public health vulnerability (food and water safety, infectious disease prevention and containment, large scale evacuation and crowd management)
  • Infrastructure vulnerability (water, energy, transportation; natural and human caused hazards)
  • Managing uncertainty (statistics, modeling, communication)
  • Financial risk and insurance (global warming, extreme events)
  • They also welcome submissions on other traditional ISTAS topics including environmental, health and safety implications of technology; engineering ethics and professional responsibility; history of technology; technical expertise and public policy; peace technology; and social issues related to energy, information technology and telecommunications.

    Abstracts deadline: January 15, 2007
    Send abstracts and questions to Dr. David M. Hassenzahl, ISTAS 2007
    Conference Chair, at david.hassenzahl@unlv.edu
    (please put "ISTAS abstract" in the subject line)

    For more information, visit: www.unlv.edu/faculty/dmh/ISTAS2007.

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

    National Incident Management System: Guide for County Officials
    This 10-page NIMS Guide for County Officials explains the key points of NIMS and how it applies to county governments in the following core areas: local NIMS adoption, NIMS implementation, training, disaster and emergency response planning, exercises to test capability to respond to disasters and emergencies, resource management, and communication and information management for emergency response.

    Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) 2005 Hurricane Season After Action Report
    The transcript for the EIIP Virtual Forum http://www.emforum.org on November 8, 2006 on the topic of the 2005 EMAC After Action Report is now available. The report is the culmination of nearly 10 months of intensive review and focuses on activities related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that accounted for 97.3 percent of the 2005 missions and 99.6 percent of the personnel deployed during 2005. The report identifies the compact's major accomplishments as well as areas needing improvement.

    Free Webinar: Ensuring Business Continuity
    This 60-minute webcast from Disaster Recovery Journal shows how companies impacted by Hurricane Katrina and Wilma were able to provide business continuity to their users through centralized application management. Registration required.

    A Networked Approach to Improvements in Emergency Management
    The paper describes why changes are needed and offers specific recommendations for improvements in our intergovernmental system. Building on lessons learned from recent disaster experiences, it lays out an ambitious new approach that is based on a network of partnerships among cities and counties and is supported by state governments and a sophisticated database. The purpose of these ideas is to promote coordinated action, changes in policies, and improvements in our emergency management system.

    Social Science Research on Race - Special Issue devoted to Katrina
    The Du Bois Review, a scholarly journal devoted to race that is edited by Lawrence Bobo and Michael Dawson, has an issue devoted to Katrina. It is currently available for free online, although the journal normally requires a subscription to access.

    Mount Rainier After the Flood of 2006 Images
    The National Park Service has created a photo essay of the flood damage to Mount Rainier National Park. On November 6 and 7, 2006, Mount Rainier National Park received 18 inches of rain in 36 hours. This presentation summarizes the extensive flood damage that occurred throughout the park.

    WHO Guidelines for Investigation of Human Cases of Avian Influenza A(H5N1)
    This document provides a framework and approach for public health authorities and investigators at all levels, to plan for and conduct investigations of human cases of A(H5N1) (or other avian influenza viruses of pandemic potential). The document focuses on the key steps that should be undertaken in an investigation.

    Providing Mass Medical Care With Scarce Resources: A Community Planning Guide
    The Department of Health and Human Services released this Planning Guide that provides community planners, as well as planners at the institutional, state and federal levels, with valuable information that will help their efforts to plan for and respond to a mass casualty event (MCE). This planning guide examines MCE response and preparedness challenges across a wide range of health care settings and provides recommendations for planners in specific areas.

    The Vacation Lane Group
    The Vacation Lane Group is incorporated under Virginia Law as a nonprofit corporation but is not tax exempt. The VLG was established to assist in formulating policy, practices, and provide information to others generally for no fee on emergency management, homeland security, and crisis management and response in democracies.

    Nursing Homes: Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness And Response During Recent Hurricanes
    The objectives of this study was to determine the national and Gulf State incidence of nursing home deficiencies for lack of emergency preparedness, to examine the experiences of selected Gulf State nursing homes during recent hurricanes, and to review the emergency preparedness plans of selected Gulf State nursing homes and evaluate nursing home use of plans.

    Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast: Mitigation Assessment Team Report, Building Performance Observations, Recommendations, and Technical Guidance
    In response to Hurricane Katrina, FEMA deployed a Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) to evaluate and assess damage from the hurricane and provide observations, conclusions, and recommendations on the performance of buildings and other structures impacted by wind and flood forces. The conclusions and recommendations of the report provide decision-makers with information and technical guidance that can be used to reduce future hurricane damage.

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    9) Conferences, Trainings, and Events

    [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.]

    2007 Race, Gender, and Class (RGC) Annual Conference—New Orleans, Louisiana: February 1-4, 2007. Organizers: SUNO RGC Project, UNO RGC Studies, American Sociological Section (Sociologist for Women in Society, SWS) and the Asia Baptist Church at New Orleans. The meeting will be held at the University of New Orleans Conference Center located in the Hampton Inn, Downtown/French Quarter Area. The meeting will have plenaries that will focus on natural and social disasters across borders. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina uncovered human-made disasters of equal magnitude. The economic, political, and social systems of the US were exposed and amid this chaos glaring questions about racial, class, and gender inequalities became evident. This Conference will address both the inequalities and the solidarities that emerged to address them. For more information, contact organizers: Jean Ait Belkhir, (SUNO) RGC: jbelkhir@suno.edu Ph: (504) 280-5468; Manisha Desai (UIUC): SWS: mkdesai@uiuc.edu Ph: (217) 244-7942; Rachel Luft (UNO): Local community organizations: rluft@uno.edu Ph: (504) 280-6479 and Rev. K.G. Thibodeaux, The Asia Baptist Church: kthiday@aol.com Ph: 504.394.4345.

    EERI Annual Meeting—Los Angeles, California: February 7-10, 2007. Organizer: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). The objective of EERI is to reduce earthquake risk by advancing the science and practice of earthquake engineering; improving understanding of the impact of earthquakes on the physical, social, economic, political, and cultural environment; and advocating comprehensive and realistic measures for reducing the harmful effects of earthquakes. EERI fulfills this role by fostering a sense of shared commitment among the diverse communities dedicated to earthquake risk management; promoting research; facilitating the exchange of information among members and others; and forging a consensus and speaking with a common voice to public forums and legislative bodies on behalf of the diverse risk management community. The EERI annual meeting addresses all of these goals. For more information, visit: www.1906eqconf.org/.

    SAR (Search and Rescue) 2007—Washington, DC: April 2-3, 2007. Organizer: The Shephard Group. Saving lives in today's extremely diverse and demanding environments requires the very best in search, rescue, and recovery technology. At the same time, a key factor in the success of any SAR mission is the personal dedication, ingenuity, and commitment of the men and women whose goal is to save lives in peril. SAR 2007 will bring together world leaders in search and rescue to help fulfill both these needs. The conference will provide delegates the opportunity to learn new techniques for saving lives and ensuring rescue mission success. It will also address the problems of joint and multi-national operations and showcase actual successes in search and rescue. For more information, visit: www.shephard.co.uk/Events.aspx?Action=318025241&ID=c4fa9869-df3b-4519-82f1-46b2a683f523.

    Analyzing Risk: Science, Assessment, and Management—Boston, Massachusetts: April 10-13, 2007. Organizers: Harvard School of Public Health, Division of Continuing Professional Education and Center for Risk Analysis. Risk analysis plays an important role in environmental and public health decision making, and recent executive orders and regulatory guidelines ensure that it will have increasing prominence in upcoming years. This program provides education about current risk analysis methods, how risk analysis is interpreted, and how it influences regulatory decision making. It is designed for industrial, regulatory, and public health professionals responsible for managing, conducting, or evaluating risk assessments associated with occupational, food-borne, or environmental hazards. For more information, visit: www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/RISK.shtml .

    RIMS 2007—New Orleans, Louisiana: April 29-May 3, 2007. Organizer: Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. RIMS 2007 will offer an opportunity for participants to gain valuable knowledge and insights regarding hazards and risk management; discover innovative ideas for maximizing risk management strategies; identify the next generation of challenges for the industry; develop plans for coping with those problems; and strengthen relationships with others in the profession. The conference program includes several sessions that address natural hazards and disasters. For more information, visit: www.rims.org/Template.cfm?section=AnnualConference1.

    2007 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress—Tampa, Florida: May 15-19, 2007. Organizer: ASCE World Headquarters. This congress has become an important annual opportunity for work in water and environmental fields to convene and focus on topics of the day. In this era shifting coastlines, urban sprawl, raging storms, and extreme acts by humans and nature, it is imperative that those working on the front line - at the environmental/water nexus - share insights from research and case studies in the field, to generate best practices for the future. This 2007 Congress will focus on Habitat Restoration with a dozen technical tracks covering issues from coast to coast and around the globe. For more information, visit: content.asce.org/conferences/ewri2007/index.html.

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    10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    Useful Job Sites:

    International Association of Emergency Managers

    National Emergency Management Association



    The Chronicle of Higher Education

    PublicServiceCareers.org - NEW!!

    Environmental Economist for Natural Hazards
    Hamilton or Wellington, New Zealand

    NIWA is a leading environmental research and consultancy institute and a key provider of atmospheric, freshwater and marine research in New Zealand. NIWA's natural hazard research and consultancy work focuses on assessing and understanding exposure to climate, meteorological, coastal and other related natural hazard events. An increasing focus of this work is in understanding the economic consequences of such hazard events on the human, built and natural environments at local, regional and national scales.

    This is an exciting opportunity to undertake applied research on the economic consequences of natural hazard events, primarily relating to weather, climate and coastal related hazards. It will involve leading, developing and integrating a broad range of economic analytical techniques within our natural hazard research programme and consultancy work, and where required in other environmental areas within NIWA, such as related to climate change and energy, resource use and management, and environment impact assessment.

    NIWA is looking for an Economist with at least 5 years research and consultancy experience in at least one or more of the following areas: risk analysis; loss modelling; cost/benefit analysis; non-market valuation; environmental, natural resources or agricultural economics. Knowledge of the New Zealand economic sectors and the insurance and re-insurance industry would be beneficial. You must have the ability to work within, and project manage a multi-disciplinary team, have clear and concise communication skills, be conscientious and have the ability to interact and communicate positively with a wide range of people.

    Applications close at 5pm on Friday, December 15, 2006.

    For more information, visit: www.niwa.co.nz/jobs/view?&job_id=06100SC277.

    Emergency and/or Security Management Faculty Positions
    John Jay College of Criminal Justice

    John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the City University of New York, is recruiting for two new faculty positions related to emergency management. One position is for Emergency and/or Security Management. The second position is more specialized, Inspection and Oversight in Emergency and Security Management. The first position is to teach in our master degree graduate program in protection management. The second program is to teach in two graduate programs, protection management and the MPA in Inspection and Oversight. These are excellent positions for candidates with doctoral degrees (or who are working on their degrees) who want to pursue research interests as well as teach. The City University of New York reduces the teaching load for 5 years to help new faculty pursue their research interests. John Jay College is located in mid-town Manhattan and offers unlimited opportunities for research and professional development. For more information, please see the announcement posted in the EM Faculty Positions section of the FEMA EM/Higher Education website or contact Norman Groner at ngroner@jjay.cuny.edu. The applications are due by December 6th.


    If you or your organization would like to add a job posting here in the DR, please feel free to email the information to hazctr@colorado.edu.

    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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