Disaster Research 474

March 22, 2007

Table of Contents

  1. Call for Abstracts: Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting
  2. It’s Flood Safety Awareness Week…and Today is Flood Insurance Day!
  3. …And It’s World Water Day!
  4. USGS to Offer $7 Million in Earthquake Research Grants
  5. Call for Applications: DISCCRS Interdisciplinary Climate Change Symposium
  6. Call for Applications: Second International Summer School on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management
  7. FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Annual Conference
  8. Some New Web Resources
  9. Conferences, Training, and Events
  10. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Call for Abstracts: Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting

The Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting, on July 11-12 in Boulder, Colorado (immediately following the 32nd Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop), is requesting submissions of scholarly research on all aspects of hazards and disaster research from all disciplinary perspectives. Please submit extended abstracts for papers electronically to HDRMeeting@gmail.com with “HDRM Abstract” in the subject line.

The submission should include the following information for each paper:

  1. Author’s (and co-authors’) name, address, telephone number, and email address. Indicate the person that will present the paper.
  2. Title of the paper.
  3. Three or more keywords that signal the topic area of the paper.
  4. An extended abstract of two pages, single-spaced, and not more than 1,000 words describing the research.
  5. Indicate whether you are willing to serve as a chairperson and/or discussant.

The deadline for abstracts is April 15, 2007, with notification of inclusion in the program by May 1, 2007. If an earlier decision is required to arrange travel, please indicate with the submission.

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2) It’s Flood Safety Awareness Week…and Today is Flood Insurance Day!

The NOAA-sponsored 2007 National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which takes place March 19-23, is intended to highlight some of the many ways floods can occur, the hazards associated with floods, and what you can do to save life and property.

Today, March 22, is Flood Insurance Day, and according to FEMA, is the perfect time to remind residents about their flood risks and how to prepare themselves.

“Flooding is the nation’s number one natural disaster, occurring both inland and on the coast. It’s important to note that flash floods, inland flooding, and seasonal storms flood every region of the country,” said David Maurstad, director of FEMA’s Mitigation Division and Federal Insurance Administrator.

More information about Flood Safety Awareness Week, including plenty of informational resources, is available at http://www.floodsafety.noaa.gov/.

More information on Flood Insurance Day specifically, and a list of steps residents can take to protect their homes and assets, is available here, http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=34892.

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3) …And It’s World Water Day!

The theme of this year’s World Water Day, sponsored by United Nations Water, is “coping with water scarcity.” Organizers hope to highlight the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient, and equitable management of scarce water resources, at international and local levels.

Visit the World Water Day Web site, http://www.worldwaterday.org/.

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4) USGS to Offer $7 Million in Earthquake Research Grants

The U.S. Geological Survey will award up to $7 million in grants and cooperative agreements for earthquake research in 2008. Interested researchers can review the priority research described in the grant announcement and apply online by May 16, 2007.

The grant announcement and information on how to apply can be found here, http://www.grants.gov/search/synopsis.do.

The USGS press release announcing the grant is available at http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1631&from=rss.

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5) Call for Applications: DISCCRS Interdisciplinary Climate Change Symposium

DISCCRS is an interdisciplinary initiative for recent PhD graduates conducting research related to climate change and its impacts. The goal is to broaden research interests and establish a collegial peer network extending across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, humanities, mathematics, engineering, and other disciplines related to climate change and its impacts.

The organization’s annual symposium will be held in Hawaii from September 10-17. Airfare and room and board are fully paid for 36 accepted candidates who completed their PhD requirements between April 1, 2004, and March 31, 2007, in any discipline related to climate change and impacts. April 30 is the deadline for applications.

More information and instructions on how to apply can be found here, http://www.disccrs.org.

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6) Call for Applications: Second International Summer School on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management

The objective of the Summer School on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) is to provide PhD students with an intense interactive learning experience on the use of Information Systems to prepare for and respond to global disasters.

This year’s summer school, which takes place June 20-27, 2007, at Tilburg University in the Netherlands, has a theme of “Information Systems for Global Disaster Risks and Humanitarian Assistance.”

Applications are invited from students in PhD programs in Information Systems, Computer Science, Organization Research, Management Science, and Operations Research, or in other fields with research interests related to crisis management.

The deadline for applications is Monday, April 9, 2007.

More information about the program, including application instructions, can be viewed here, http://iscram.org.

For additional information, contact summerschool2007@iscram.org.

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7) FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Annual Conference

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is hosting the 10th Annual Invitational Emergency Management Conference, June 4-7, 2007, for representatives of colleges and universities that (1) have an existing hazard, disaster, emergency management program in place, or (2) are attempting to develop and implement a hazard, disaster, emergency management program on their campus (e.g., a degree, certificate, minor, or concentration).

The primary goal of the invitational conference is to provide a forum for academics to discuss problems and issues surrounding hazard, disaster, and emergency management educational programs – such as program and course development; student recruitment and placement; discussing challenges setting up, maintaining and growing a new program; core curriculum; standards; certification; accreditation; international disaster management; recent survey results; and making hazard, disaster, and emergency management courses more interesting and relevant. In addition, the conference provides Higher Education Project course users a chance to meet with course developers, representatives of stakeholder organizations (federal, state, local, and private sector), and to exchange notes on teaching hazard, disaster, emergency management, and homeland security college courses.

The conference will be held on the grounds of the FEMA National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland – about 75 miles northwest of Washington, DC.

Information concerning this conference, including a draft agenda, can be found at: http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu/educonference07.asp.

If you have any questions, please contact the Higher Education Project Manager, Dr. Wayne Blanchard at wayne.blanchard@dhs.gov, (301) 447-1262, or the Higher Education Project Assistant, Barbara Johnson at Barbara.L.Johnson@dhs.gov, (301) 447-1452.

8) Some New Web Resources

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

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina and the Role for Standards and Conformity Assessment Programs
This new report from the American National Standards Institute Homeland Security Standards Panel (ANSI-HSSP) contains recommendations aimed at bolstering national preparedness, response, and recovery efforts in the event of a natural disaster. The report was developed during a series of ANSI-HSSP Workshop meetings that examined congressional, agency, and White House reports citing federal, state, and local failures during and following Hurricane Katrina.

Kids and Youth – Games, Projects, and Information about Disaster Prevention
This site, from the UN/ISDR Latin America and Caribbean contains resources for kids about disasters, including a downloadable game called “Riskland.” In this game, kids must navigate their way through a number of hazards and answer questions about prevention strategies. The site is also available in Spanish, http://www.eird.org/esp/ninos/kids.htm.

Radiological Terrorism: A Toolkit for Emergency Services Clinicians
This toolkit, compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), includes resources to help emergency services clinicians before, during, and after a radiological terrorism event. The site contains videos instructing clinicians on different radiation emergencies, a quick reference guide on how to respond to radiation events, numerous fact sheets, and other helpful resources.

This article in Emergency Management magazine describes the response to the December 20, 2006, Colorado blizzard. The article chronicles the actions of local, state, and federal emergency management teams and explains the use of a Virtual Emergency Operations Center.

Assessing the Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Persons with Disabilities
This research, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, presents information on how persons with disabilities prepared for, reacted to, and recovered from the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina. The research illuminated three significant gaps in areas affecting persons with disabilities: ineffective pre-disaster planning by centers for independent living, persons with disabilities, and emergency management; poorly developed pre- and post-disaster communication and information sharing within and between these three entities; and underdeveloped pre- and post-disaster coordination between these three entities and other elements of support within communities.

This Web site, in “blog” form, helps track scientific claims and counterclaims related to climate change. It is a commentary site written by climate scientists with an aim of providing more information about developing stories and giving needed context to stories in the mainstream media.

Avalanche Research Media Library
This site contains a large collection of videos, accident reports, photographs, maps, television shows, and audio files about avalanches. The site lists a goal of acting as a memory bank for the avalanche community on both a local and global scale. Users can browse the collection and submit their own videos and documents for the community.

Comments on the Hurricane Katrina Disaster
The February 2007 issue of the journal Social Studies of Science features a special section, "Comments on the Hurricane Katrina Disaster." The section contains short articles by scholars in the field of science and technology studies reflecting on aspects of Hurricane Katrina. Topics include cross-national comparison of coastal engineering cultures, the politics of infrastructure construction and repair, the impact of infrastructure collapse on emergency response, environmental justice in relation to debris disposal and rebuilding, and the allocation of blame and responsibility in official inquiries.

Homeland Security References and Resources
This lengthy list of homeland security and emergency management-related references and resources, which is over 40 pages long, has just been updated. The list was compiled by Paula D. Gordon, Ph.D., and contains links to government documents, task groups, newsletters, conference proceedings, and much more.

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9) Conferences, Training, and Events

[Below are some recent announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. For a comprehensive list of upcoming hazards-related meetings, visit our Web site at www.colorado.edu/hazards/resources/conferences.html.]

Estimating At-Risk Communities: A Review of the National Research Council’s Report of Mapping Vulnerable Populations— George Washington University, Washington, DC: March 28, 2007, 4:30-6:00 p.m. A challenging aspect of emergency management is identifying vulnerable segments of a population, especially before a disaster occurs or when responding to a humanitarian emergency in a remote and unfamiliar region. The National Research Council (NRC) has just completed a study of how geo-demographic data, methods, and tools can be exploited to better identify sub-national populations at risk, and this presentation will explore this new research. For more information, see http://www.gwu.edu/~icdrm/Events/2007-03-28.html.

Protecting Lives and Property at our Coastlines— Keck Center, Room 100, Washington, DC: March 28, 2007. The National Academies is holding this day-long Disasters Roundtable to discuss the increasing vulnerability of coastal residents and visitors to coastal hazards. The workshop will serve to inform stakeholders at all levels about the science and uncertainties associated with coastal vulnerability, its societal drivers, economic impacts, and how communities and the nation are preparing for the challenges involved. A briefing will then be held on Thursday, March 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2325. For more information, see http://dels.nas.edu/dr/f19.shtml.

International Symposium on Seismic Risk Reduction— Bucharest, Romania: April 26-27, 2007. Organizers: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the (Romanian) National Center for Seismic Risk Reduction (NCSRR). Virtually all topics related to seismic risk will be discussed at this gathering, from seismic ground motion and ground conditions to risk evaluation, structure rehabilitation, and the education of affected populations. The conference stems from a partnership between Japan and Romania to improve earthquake mitigation in the latter country. See http://cnrrs.utcb.ro//issrr2007/issrr2007.html.

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. See www.rims.org/Template.cfm?section=AnnualConference1.

GIS in Public Health Conference— New Orleans, Louisiana: May 20-23, 2007. Organizer: Urban and Regional Information Systems Association. This is an inaugural conference on the use of geographic information systems and spatial analysis for hazard preparedness, emergency response, disease surveillance, outbreak epidemiology, public health advocacy, and other related issues. For more information, visit www.urisa.org/conferences/health.

Risk Communication Challenge: Theory, Tools, and Practical Skills for Communicating About Risk— Boston, Massachusetts: May 21-23, 2007. Offered by: Harvard School of Public Health. Making wise choices requires understanding risks and benefits, and risk communication is a key tool for creating that understanding. This conference will demonstrate the scientific foundations for effective risk communication by featuring the latest findings on risk perception, highlighting case studies from around the world, and introducing practical tools for communication. Visit www.hsph.harvard.edu/ccpe/programs/RCC.shtml.

River Basin Management 2007— Kos, Greece: May 23-25, 2007. Organizer: Wessex Institute of Technology.The purpose of this conference is to communicate recent advances in the overall management of riverine systems, including advances in hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, environmental protection, and flood forecasting. It is designed to bring together practicing engineers, environmental managers, and academics in the field. To learn more, see www.wessex.ac.uk/conferences/2007/rm07/.

30th Annual Conference of the Association of State Floodplain Managers— Norfolk, Virginia: June 3-8, 2007. This annual meeting brings together professionals in all aspects of floodplain management from the United States and beyond. Paper presentations, roundtable discussions, workshops, training, technical field trips, and exhibits foster interaction among diverse practitioners and academics. More information is available at www.floods.org.

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10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Emergency Management Coordinator
City of Phoenix, Arizona

RESPONSIBILITIES: This position serves as the City’s liaison on emergency preparedness issues and provides direct support to the Deputy City Manager and City Manager’s office in the coordinating of actual or potential emergency response efforts. This includes coordinating training programs and emergency operation drills; assisting departments with emergency and mitigation plans; grants application and administration; and administering the submittal process for Federal and State reimbursement claims. Incumbents must demonstrate continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will have a minimum of five years of responsible experience in public administration, research and finance, including three years of emergency management experience, experience in grants application and administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in public or business administration or related field. Other combinations of experience and education that meet the minimum qualifications may be substituted.

You may visit our Web site on Friday, March 16, 2007, after 5:00 pm, to apply, http://phoenix.gov/jobs.

City of Phoenix
Fax: 602-495-5498

Director of Emergency Management
Broward County Board of County Commissioners; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

RESPONSIBILITIES: Broward County is located at the center of the Southeast Florida ‘Gold Coast,’ between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties. Broward County has a population of 1.8 million citizens. With 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach, Broward County encompasses over 1,197 square miles. The County is bounded on the west by Florida’s famed Everglades (which occupy over two-thirds of the territory) and has over 300 miles of navigable waterways. Approximately 30 municipalities are part of the County. Broward County’s Emergency Management Agency is responsible for the management of all emergency preparedness program areas within the County. The primary role of the Agency is to develop and implement comprehensive disaster and homeland security planning, mitigation, and response activities within Broward County under the provisions of Florida statutes. The Agency also develops and maintains emergency plans for all types of natural and technological hazards and provides the analysis and recommendations necessary to make decisions that will effectively save lives and protect property in such emergencies. The Emergency Management Agency is housed in a secured, state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center in central Broward County with technological resources for the coordination of innumerable federal, state, and local agencies, the Red Cross, other emergency response agencies, and Broward County internal agencies such as Mass Transit and Human Services. This coordination is critical to providing the resources necessary to prepare for, and respond to, emergency situations, including meeting the needs of Broward County’s special needs population. The Emergency Management Agency’s operations also include emergency training exercises, protocol review and revision, and emergency related grant writing and administration. Nineteen staff members are dedicated to the mission of this agency.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate will possess a four year college or university degree with major course work in emergency management or related field and experience at the director level (or assistant director of a large agency) in emergency planning and management including considerable high level supervisory and administrative experience. FPEM or CEM certification is highly desirable.

COMPENSATION: The salary range for this position is $89,813 - $147,293 with starting salary dependent upon qualifications. Broward County also offers a comprehensive array of fringe benefits.

All resumes must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16, 2007. Information must be clearly documented on the resume.

Staffing Manager, Broward County Human Resources Division
115 South Andrews Avenue, Annex B
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Phone: 954-357-6020

Entry-level Planning & Policy Specialist
ICF International; Fairfax, Virginia

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Specialist will support the spectrum of emergency management and homeland security projects. Responsibilities include research and drafting presentations; analyzing legislation; preparing correspondence and outreach documents; and supporting the development of plans and emergency preparedness exercises for clients at the national, state, and local levels. The position is located in Fairfax, Virginia.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in relevant discipline with a minimum of 3.0 GPA. Interest in domestic emergency preparedness, particularly policy development, training, and government operations. Previous exposure to emergency management, infrastructure protection, public health, public policy, preparedness planning, disaster services, or public safety (law enforcement, fire suppression, or emergency medical services) is desired. Strong command of computer applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Internet-based research. Ability to multitask and prioritize work load. Outstanding written and verbal communications skills. Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required. Flexibility for some travel required.

Colleen Sherlock
Fax: 703-934-3195

Emergency Management Coordinator
Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department; Elk Grove, California

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department is seeking a qualified person for the position of Emergency Management Coordinator. Under direct supervision, plans, develops implements and monitors a comprehensive emergency preparedness and disaster response program for the Cosumnes Community Services District; organize and provide direct training to District employees and members of the public; completes other related tasks as assigned.

QUALIFICATIONS: See this Web site for details: http://www.yourcsd.com, and click on Job Opportunities then the position title for a PDF link to view and print a complete announcement and application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: April 27, 2007, by 4:30 p.m.

Human Resources-Janna McLeod

Continuity of Operations Planner
ICF International; Fairfax, Virginia

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Continuity of Operations Planner will be responsible for the development and assessment of continuity of operations/government (COOP/COG) plans for agencies at all levels of government (Federal, state, and local), as well as the design, evaluation, and control of COOP exercises and training. Individual should be familiar with Federal emergency management and homeland security standards such as the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program methodology, the National Response Plan, and the National Incident Management System.

QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and 3 years of related experience required; or Master’s degree and course work in a directly related field of study and 1 year of related experience required. Familiarity with emergency management and/or homeland security concepts and the emergency management framework of the United States. Familiarity with COOP/COG concepts and related guidance (e.g., NFPA-1600, FPC-65, NIST-800, and FEMA COOP). Specialized experience in a particular niche field of emergency management/homeland security such as continuity of operations/government, critical infrastructure protection, intelligence/counterterrorism, exercise development, policy/program syntheses, EOC operations, public health, CBRNE. Ability to thrive working in a fast paced environment as an integral member of a diverse team. Fast learner and creative thinker. Excellent time management and interpersonal skills. Outstanding written and verbal communications skills to be able to successfully facilitate large groups and to develop carefully thought out written analysis within deadlines. Ability to obtain and maintain a security clearance is required. Flexibility for some travel is required.

Colleen Sherlock
Fax: 703-934-3195

Emergency Operations Manager
County of Sacramento; Sacramento, California

RESPONSIBILITIES: Under direction of the County Executive or designated representative, organizes and administers the Emergency Operations program; plans, coordinates, develops and implements plans and operating procedures for local emergency services activities; coordinates activities of all emergency services organizations during actual emergencies; performs a variety of activities in the area of mitigation, preparedness, emergency response and disaster recovery; manages the Emergency Operations Office.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: This single position management class administers the County’s emergency services program including project management, budget and policy development, and program evaluations. The incumbent acts as the County’s Alert Officer and Operational Area Coordinator and may serve as the Deputy Director of the Emergency Operations Center. This class differs from the lower class of Assistant Emergency Operations Coordinator in the scope and depth of responsibility for the emergency services program.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED AND EXERCISED: Receives direction from the County Executive or designated representative; manages professional, technical, and clerical staff as well as large volunteer groups.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following: Manages the County Emergency Operations Office; develops, recommends, and maintains operational plans, policies, and regulations for the County and the Sacramento Operational Area; develops coordinated response and recovery operations and emergency plans and procedures. Responsible, during disaster operations, for implementing the applicable part of the Emergency Plan and for overseeing the elements involved including evaluating resource requirements, attempting to determine duration of emergency and coordinating activities of all departments and agencies involved. Travels throughout the County for emergency preparedness activities and to inspect disaster scenes, including areas not easily accessible by vehicle and areas of rough terrain. Communicates with appropriate parties, including during emergency preparedness exercises and actual emergencies, using such communication devices as a telephone, two way radio, etc. Acts as the County’s Alert Officer for emergency notifications and activation of the County’s emergency operations plan 24 hours per day, 7 days per week unless appropriately relieved. Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with federal, state and local agencies, private organizations and county departments and agencies concerned with emergency services. Represents the County Emergency Operations Office; serves as liaison with a variety of public and private organizations, volunteer and community groups, service providers, other County agencies, state authorities, and consultants involved in emergency service projects; participates in community and professional groups and committees. Develops and directs emergency preparedness training and exercise programs (tabletop, functional, and full-scale exercises) for members of County emergency teams and other local entities; develops and directs educational and public information programs. Keeps informed on latest developments in laws, planning guidance, methods, techniques, equipment and facilities regarding emergency operations. Evaluates legislation and reference information related to federal and state emergency preparedness activities, plans, and projects. Informs County Executive or designated representative, local and state planning partners, and the public about emergency planning, capabilities, and action. Manages the administration of personnel actions such as selection, training, performance evaluations, discipline and termination within the Emergency Operations Office. Provides administrative oversight of federal grants; sets priorities for emergency management federal grant projects; acts as Signature Authority for federal grant applications for the County Emergency Operations Office and the Sacramento Operational Area. Conducts formal and informal meetings, conferences and interviews related to emergency services planning and projects. Prepares the budget for the County Emergency Operations Office for review by County Executive. Serves as the primary point of contact with the California Office of Emergency Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency and related organizations. Coordinates with the cities and other regional stakeholders to maintain the functionality of the joint Emergency Operations Center.

QUALIFICATIONS: Five (5) years of progressively responsible administrative, technical, or operational experience in a governmental emergency services or disaster response agency, emergency services provider, or closely related public health or emergency services program planning and executing emergency preparedness activities. The required experience includes developing plans, educational programs and training exercises and coordinating such activities with local, state and/or federal agencies and organizations. Two of the five years of which were in a management position involving responsibility for organization and/or management of a major program, function, or activity, including training personnel.

Please visit http://www.saccountyjobs.com to apply online and for additional information.

Employment Office

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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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