Disaster Research 476

April 19, 2007

Table of Contents

  1. Natural Hazards Center to Study Disaster Preparedness among Nonprofits
  2. New National Response Plan Won’t Be Ready by Hurricane Season
  3. Many Large Cities at Risk of Flooding, Storms
  4. EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction
  5. Call for Abstracts: 2nd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction
  6. Request for Information: Parks and Disasters
  7. Some New Web Resources
  8. Conferences, Training, and Events
  9. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

1) Natural Hazards Center to Study Disaster Preparedness among Nonprofits

The Natural Hazards Center will conduct a groundbreaking study of disaster preparedness among nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area as part of a $1.3 million grant from the Fritz Institute, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the effectiveness of disaster relief operations around the world.

The services of numerous faith-based and community-based groups would be desperately needed in the event of a disaster and would include homeless shelters and free medical clinics, said Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center. These groups provide a critical social safety net for the poor, elderly, disabled, and many others.

The study will develop prototype methods of gathering information on the organizations’ needs, vulnerabilities, and ability to function during a disaster. Part of the grant will be used to hire a postdoctoral researcher and a graduate student to do field work in the Bay Area.

For more information, see http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2007/150.html.

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2) New National Response Plan Won’t Be Ready by Hurricane Season

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week sent a memo to Congress explaining that a new National Response Plan will not be ready in time for this year’s hurricane season.

FEMA officials told the Associated Press that “unexpected issues” have delayed the development of the plan. Until it is completed, a modified version of the plan used in the response to Hurricane Katrina will be followed.

Hurricane season officially begins June 1, which was also the deadline for the new response plan. FEMA has not set a new target date.

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3) Many Large Cities at Risk of Flooding, Storms

A new study published in the journal Environment and Urbanization warns that more than two-thirds of the world’s large cities are at risk of flooding and intense storms due to global warming and rising sea levels.

Written by researchers at the International Institute for Environment and Development, the report notes that 634 million people live in these threatened coastal areas, and that number will continue to increase. Among the large cities at risk are New York City; Tokyo, Japan; Mumbai, India; Shanghai, China; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Dhaka, Bangladesh. About three-quarters of the people living in these high-risk areas live in Asia.

The study does not say when these rising sea levels and intense storms will become a problem, but does recommend relocating many people, stopping migration to the coasts, and advancing the engineering of coastal structures.

“Migration away from lowest elevation coastal zones will be important, but can be costly and difficult to implement without causing severe disruptions,” reads the study. “Relatively small shifts in settlement location, out of a coastal plain onto more elevated ground, can make a major difference.”

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4) EERI/FEMA Graduate Fellowship in Earthquake Hazard Reduction

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute has 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, is designed to foster the participation of capable individuals in working toward goals and activities of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

The EERI/FEMA fellowship provides a nine-month stipend of $12,000 with an additional $8,000 for tuition, fees, and research expenses.

The deadline for applications is May 14, 2007.

For more information, and to download the application, visit http://www.eeri.org/home/fellowships_graduate.html.

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5) Call for Abstracts: 2nd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction

The 2nd International Conference on Urban Disaster Reduction (ICUDR) will convene in Taipei, Taiwan, from November 27-29, and the deadline for abstract submission has been extended to April 30, 2007. The main theme of the 2nd ICUDR is a focus on large-scale disaster management, including:

  1. Sustainable development and urban disaster reduction;
  2. Multi-hazard risk assessment;
  3. Application of early warning system by practices, implementation or policy;
  4. Advanced technology for disaster reduction;
  5. Socio-economic dimensions of urban disaster management;
  6. Communication innovation and information integration;
  7. Relief, recovery, relocation, and reconstruction after catastrophic events;
  8. Lessons learned and new directions for disaster management;
  9. Modeling and management of risk for insurance and reinsurance industry; and,
  10. Practices, projects, or collaboration of practical integration with multiple disciplines on disaster reduction.

More detailed information about the conference is available at http://www.ncdr.nat.gov.tw/2ICUDR/.

Abstracts should be submitted through this online system:

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6) Request for Information: Parks and Disasters

Dorothy Ibes is a graduate student researching the creation of parks or natural areas on post-disaster sites (both natural and technological). She is looking for cases where parks/natural areas have been developed on disaster sites, as well as situations where disasters have struck, the areas were rebuilt, and there was a recurrence of a disaster causing further loss of life and/or property. Dorothy is interested in talking to managers and developers who have set up parks in post-disaster sites. Please e-mail dorothy@txstate.edu if you have any advice or information you would be willing to share.

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7) 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/.]

Citizen Engagement in Emergency Planning for a Flu Pandemic: A Summary of the October 23, 2006 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable
This report is a summary of a discussion held at the National Academies in October regarding the roles and needs of citizens in pandemic influenza preparedness planning. The report discusses national and local preparedness, citizen education and cooperation, the importance of communication, and possible pandemic scenarios. Citizen engagement in all stages of planning and response is crucial, the report concludes.

The Next Great Earthquake
In this comment in Science, geophysicist Robert McCaffrey states that policy makers and officials should consider all tectonic boundaries to be “locked, loaded, and dangerous.” Citing the 2004 Sumatra earthquake and the fact that many believed the area was not at high risk for such a quake, McCaffrey warns that there are more than 40,000 kilometers of subduction boundaries that could easily rupture and produce a huge earthquake.

Planning for Disaster Division
This informal blog, started by a member of the American Planning Association and a self-confessed “disaster junkie,” is a forum for discussing the framework for a new APA division that would address disasters, natural hazards, and emergency management as they relate to planning at all levels.

Texas Public School Districts in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, many people were displaced into and within Texas. These displacements placed significant demands on school districts to admit students during the school year and to serve as a central point of contact between displaced students and social services. These researchers conducted a survey to assess the impact of the hurricanes and the evacuated students on Texas school districts as well as to ask general questions about emergency preparedness in these school districts. The data, summaries of the early results, and a detailed codebook are available here.

Interpol Bioterrorism Incident Pre-Planning and Response Guide
This recently released 76-page report provides important tools for the prevention of and response to a bioterrorism incident, and includes Web resources and available training opportunities. Also included are tips for dealing with the media, information on conducting a hazards assessment, a checklist for incident response, and a glossary of biological terms.

Availability and Affordability of Insurance Under Climate Change: A Growing Challenge for the U.S.
This white paperprepared by a scientist, an insurance actuary and former regulator, and a 50-year insurance veteran—explores the risks posed by extreme weather events and climate change, and explains ways in which the cost and availability of insurance may be affected in the future.

Coastal Heritage
This issue of Coastal Heritage (Volume 21, Number 3) explores the dangers of climate change and rising sea levels to coastal areas. The three articles in the issue look at the possible impacts of this global change, with one explaining the importance ofsalt marshes as storm surge buffers and another providing insight into the future of rapid sea level rise.

PM—ICMA Public Management Magazine
The current issue of the International City/County Management Association’s magazine (April 2007) explores the role of managers in disaster recovery by providing specific case studies, tips from experts, and valuable resources. The cover story explains how local government officials work together during a disaster.

Climate and Disaster Reduction
In this article, the author describes recent international initiatives that aim to curb the potential impacts of natural hazards. The need to take into account the future effects of climate change on natural disasters is also discussed, along with an explanation of the Davos Declaration, which calls for an “integrated and participatory approach in coping with disasters and risks.”

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8) 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.]

Restoration 2007: Innovation, Networks and Leadership for Post-Disaster Recovery—New Orleans, Louisiana: May 2-4, 2007. Restoration 2007 will provide educational, networking and technical assistance activities focused on building leadership, sharing innovative practices, and establishing networks among government, private sector and nonprofit organizations engaged in preparing for and recovering from disasters. This conference is designed to make lasting connections across professions and between all experts in local, state, and federal government; nonprofit groups; and the private sector to enable swift planning and implementation of effective community restoration. For more information, visit http://www.restoration2007.org.

6th UCLA Conference on Public Health and Disasters—Torrance, California: May 6-9, 2007. The public health consequences of natural and intentional disasters cut across many substantive areas. This unique multidisciplinary conference will bring together academics, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from public health, mental health, community disaster preparedness and response, social sciences, government, media, and non-governmental organizations. The conference goal is to provide an annual forum that promotes a dialogue and exchange of ideas between local health departments and others involved in improving emergency public health preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery. For more information, visit http://www.cphd.ucla.edu.

Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change—Amsterdam, Netherlands: May 24-26, 2007. This year’s conference, the seventh in a series, will address the theme of “Earth System Governance: Theories and Strategies for Sustainability.” Earth system governance is defined as the ability to generate development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This topic is emerging as an important subject of research in the social sciences, and conference attendees will discuss both research on and practical applications of this concept. See http://www.2007amsterdamconference.org.

10th World Conference on Seismic Isolation, Energy Dissipation and Active Vibrations Control of Structures— Istanbul, Turkey: May 28-31, 2007. Seismic isolation and energy dissipation of structures are fully mature technologies for mitigating seismic damage for civil structures and equipment and have proven to be reliable and cost-effective for many structures such as bridges/viaducts, civil buildings, cultural heritage, and critical facilities. This 10th forum will be billed as a “World Conference” to correctly reflect the size and importance the event has reached after 18 years. As a country affected by many strong earthquakes, Turkey in general has to make vigorous use of the seismic isolation technology. This conference will contribute to the use of innovative anti-seismic techniques in Turkey and to promote the trust in such systems. See http://www.did-tasi.org.

High Reliability Organizations: Bridging the Gap Between Theory and Practice—Normandy, France: May 29-31, 2007. A high-reliability organization is one that functions in a high-risk environment with fewer than average accidents or losses. This gathering of researchers, managers, regulators, and practitioners will focus on sharing experiences and academic expertise in risk management, particularly among high-reliability organizations. Conference participants will discuss and design bottom-up management models capable of identifying risk and solutions that involve power sharing, authority migration, and continuous problem solving to address uncertainty, danger, and time pressure faced by managers across industries. More information is available at

2007 International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) Annual Conference—Seoul, South Korea: June 2-9, 2007. This conference, with its theme of “Growth, Conservation, and Responsibility—Promoting Good Governance and Corporate Stewardship through Impact Assessment” will bring together diverse practitioners to answer a major question: How do we reconcile economic growth with conservation of the environment? Through discussion and case studies, attendees will develop valuable impact assessment skills. See http://www.iaia.org/Non_Members/Conference/conference.htm.

First North American Landslide Conference—Vail, Colorado: June 3-8, 2007. This gathering will emphasize the latest developments and practical experiences across the entire spectrum of landslide management and mitigation, including scientific, technological, engineering design, and socioeconomic aspects. Technical field trips will be conducted. For more information, visit http://www.mines.edu/academic/geology/landslidevail2007/.

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. See http://www.floods.org.

2007 Conference of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) Northeast Region—Manchester, New Hampshire: June 5-7, 2007. This educational conference is geared toward dam safety officials, engineers, and dam owners and operators in the northeastern states. More information is available at http://damsafety.org.

First Session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction—Geneva, Switzerland: June 5-7, 2007. The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction is slated to become the main global forum for all parties involved in disaster risk reduction, including governments, United Nations agencies, international financial institutions, regional bodies, civil societies, the private sector, and scientific and academic communities. This first session will place particular emphasis on topical issues of concern to policy makers and specific themes related to ensuring that disaster risk reduction is a national and local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation. See http://www.preventionweb.net/globalplatform/.

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10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Communications Project Manager
CirclePoint; Oakland, California

CirclePoint, a leading communications and environmental planning firm in San Francisco, is seeking a full-time Project Manager to work in our Oakland office at City Center.

CirclePoint provides integrated consulting services in communications, public involvement, facilitation, mediation, community relations, and environmental planning. We specialize in government agency coordination, public involvement, land use planning, and environmental processing. Our firm has a 19-year history of successful projects in water resources, land development, transportation, energy, utilities, and natural resources projects. Our Oakland Office is spearheading a communications practice in the field of risk communications and emergency management planning and response.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Developing and implementing project communication strategies; managing public education, public involvement, and consensus-building activities, primarily for San Francisco Bay Area projects; developing communications tools and products. The position requires managing overall project scope and approach, schedule, budget and deliverables; successful client relations; staff supervision, team building, mentoring and development; and marketing and business development activities such as writing proposals, scopes, and budgets. The selected candidate also would support research, assessment and planning efforts related to Bay Area emergency management capabilities under the direction of the Senior Risk Communications Manager.

REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of six years of industry-specific work experience and a minimum of three years project management experience managing communications and public outreach programs for both public and private sector clients. The position requires consulting experience with strong client management skills, as well as experience in management of public education and involvement efforts in California for projects in one or more of the following areas: emergency management, water resources, transportation, natural resources, utilities, and land use planning. Must have a degree in communications or a related field. Candidate must have excellent written and oral communications skills and be proficient in Windows, Microsoft Office Suite, and Outlook. Experience with public meeting facilitation and consensus-building strategies is highly desirable.

CirclePoint is an equal opportunity employer.

Fax cover letter and resume to 415.227.1110 or email to careers@circlepoint.com.

More information is available at http://www.circlepoint.com.

Director, Emergency Communication Center
American Red Cross in Greater New York; New York, New York

RESPONSIBILITIES: Oversees the day to day operations of the 24 hour/7 day a week Emergency Communication Center within the Disaster Response unit. Develops operational policies and procedures to ensure effective functioning of the center. Participates in developing and implementing disaster plans. Develops and manages annual Emergency Communication Center budget. Develops and implements ECC strategic goals and objectives. Manages ECC employees and volunteers.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required. A minimum of 10 years progressive experience in the field of emergency management, including managing a call center. A minimum of 5 years of supervisory experience. American Red Cross experience preferred. Experience working with volunteers strongly preferred. Excellent written and oral communication skills, good interpersonal and management skills. Excellent presentation skills. Detail oriented with an ability to work under pressure. Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. Ability to lead, motivate and train staff and volunteers. Knowledge of telecommunications systems, including ACD and PBX. Knowledge of office systems, MS-Office required. OTHER: Some day and occasional overnight travel required. May be required to work long hours and a varied schedule, including nights and weekends. Must have a valid driver’s license.

Interested candidates may send their cover letter and resume to: recruiting2@nyredcross.org - please note the title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of the e-mail. You may also fax to: 646-557-5833. Only candidates who are being considered will be contacted. The American Red Cross in Greater New York is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Emergency Management Coordinator
Lake County; Waukegan, Illinois

RESPONSIBILITIES: Lake County , Illinois is currently recruiting qualified candidates for the position of Emergency Management Coordinator. Lake County is situated between Chicago and Milwaukee on the shore of Lake Michigan. The County has a current population of over 580,000 residents and covers a land area of 470 square miles. The Emergency Management Coordinator will join a team of emergency managers and other County leaders committed to working together to progressively plan and implement emergency preparedness initiatives in Lake County. Lake County seeks an Emergency Management Professional with excellent interpersonal skills, visionary leadership abilities, a teamwork approach, project management experience and a problem solving orientation. Reporting to the Sr. Assistant County Administrator, the successful candidate will act as the countywide liaison coordinating emergency preparedness activities by planning and developing strategies for an effective emergency management program including the communications, negotiations, contracts, mutual aid agreements, grants, along with mitigation, response and recovery programs throughout the county.

QUALIFICATIONS: Bachelor degree from an accredited college or university and four to six years of progressively responsible experience in Emergency Management with governmental organization, 3 years of which were performed at a supervisory capacity or equivalent. Knowledge of all pertinent Federal, State and local laws, ordinances and regulations pertaining to Emergency Management. Ability to research, write and administer grants. Emergency Management Certification or equivalent preferred. The salary range is $67,641 - $85,080

APPLY: To be considered for this position, please submit cover letter and resume immediately to: Robert E. Slavin, President SLAVIN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS 3040 Holcomb Bridge Road; Suite A-1 Norcross, Georgia 30071 (770) 449-4656 FAX (770) 416-0848 Slavin@bellsouth.net.


Emergency Management Analyst
System Planning Corporation; Washington, D.C.

System Planning Corporation (SPC) is currently accepting resumes from emergency management professionals with 2-4 years of experience for an immediate vacancy. This position is located in Washington, D.C.

Required qualifications include:
-2-4 years of relevant experience.
-A bachelor's degree in emergency management, political science or related field.
-Working knowledge of emergency response planning, training, and exercises.
-Strong writing capabilities
-Experience in senior-level briefings.
-Previous experience working with federal or state government.

Please email your resume and cover letter, including salary requirements, to:
Megan Jones
Program Manager
National Intelligence, Security & Response Division
System Planning Corporation

Region Disaster Reduction Advisor
United Nations; New Delhi, India

Complete details at:

Director, Office of Emergency Services
Spartanburg County; Spartanburg, South Carolina

Performs difficult professional and administrative work planning, organizing, and directing the activities of the Communications/9-1-1 Department, the Emergency Preparedness Department, the Emergency Services Academy, and the Office of the Fire Marshal. Work is performed under the general supervision of the County Administrator. Supervision is exercised over all department(s) personnel.

Must have comprehensive knowledge of the methods and procedures of emergency and telecommunications services; comprehensive knowledge of the Federal and State regulations governing emergency services. Must have comprehensive knowledge of E9-1-1 systems and related technology. Must have thorough knowledge of the geography of the County and surrounding area. Must have ability to plan, direct, and evaluate the work of others; ability to operate communications equipment; ability to direct the design, installation, and maintenance of communications, computer, and telephony equipment and systems. Must have ability to conduct long range planning in regards to emergency services. Must have ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates and government officials.

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with major course work in public administration or related field and extensive, progressively responsible experience in emergency service management. Possession of or ability to obtain SLED CJICS/NCIC certification; CPR and EMD certification; must meet and maintain minimum qualifications established for the position by the County and the State of South Carolina.

Salary: Starting salary - $62,938

To Apply:

PO BOX 5666
(864) 596-2522

Corporate Business Continuity Planner
Booz Allen Hamilton; McLean, Virginia

Key Role: Work with internal offices and teams to develop plans, procedures, and tools to manage crises and help coordinate the firm’s response during actual incidents as part of a team that manages Booz Allen’s internal business continuity, crisis management, and enterprise risk management program. Develop and conduct training exercises. Monitor risks to the firm and work with offices to mitigate and manage them. Contribute to the design or selection, implementation, and maintenance of decision support, planning, and communication tools.

Basic Qualifications:
-2+ years of experience with business continuity, emergency, crisis, and risk management principles and practices
-Experience with emergency preparedness and response activities
-Experience with operational planning
-BA or BS degree

Additional Qualifications:
-Knowledge of business continuity planning software and decision support systems
-Knowledge of Microsoft Project and Access
-Knowledge of the National Incident Management System
-Possession of excellent organizational skills

Clearance: Applicants selected will be subject to a security investigation and may need to meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information.

Integrating the full range of consulting capabilities, Booz Allen is the one firm that helps clients solve their toughest problems, working by their side to help them achieve their missions. Booz Allen is committed to delivering results that endure.

Visit www.boozallen.com to submit your resume with a valid e-mail address. Apply to job number 01045341 under the “Experienced Professionals” section of the Career site.

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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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