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Number 477 • May 3, 2007 | Past Issues


1) Call for Abstracts: Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting

The deadline to submit abstracts for the Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting has been extended to May 15, 2007.

The meeting, immediately following the 32nd Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, on July 11-12, 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 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 e-mail 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 now May 15, 2007, with notification of inclusion in the program by June 1, 2007. If an earlier decision is required to arrange travel, please indicate with the submission.

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2) National PERISHIP Awards: Dissertation Fellowships in Hazards, Risk, and Disasters

The Natural Hazards Center and the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), in partnership with the National Science Foundation and Swiss Reinsurance Company (Swiss Re), will be awarding PhD dissertation fellowships to support research on any aspect of natural and human-induced hazards, risks, and disasters. The goal of the program is to foster the development of the next generation of interdisciplinary hazards scholars who can offer wide-ranging contributions to the body of knowledge in hazards research. As a relatively small subset of many different disciplines, the interdisciplinary hazards field relies to an unusual extent on an influx of young scholars committed simultaneously to their own disciplines and to the more practical, applied aspects of the field. This combination can be difficult to achieve in today’s traditional academic climate, and thus this program helps solidify student interest in and commitment to hazards via financial support.

Applications for this third round of PERISHIP Awards are due September 1, 2007. Complete program information, including deadlines, eligibility, and application requirements, is available at

Specific questions can be directed to Audre Hoffman, (703) 352-1846,

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3) New Quick Response Reports from the Natural Hazards Center

With funds from the National Science Foundation, the Natural Hazards Center offers social scientists small grants to travel to the site of a disaster soon after it occurs to gather valuable information concerning immediate impact and response. Grant recipients are then required to submit reports of their findings, which the Center posts online. Three new Quick Response reports are now available at

QR189 The Emergency Management Response to Hurricane Katrina: As Told by the First Responders—A Case Study of What Went Wrong and Recommendations for the Future, by Henry W. Fischer, Kathryn Gregoire, John Scala, Lynn Letukas, Joseph Mellon, Scott Romine, and Danielle Turner. 2006. This research team interviewed scores of first responders involved in the recovery of Hurricane Katrina. They concluded that the inadequate response to the storm shows that lessons from previous disasters remain unlearned. In this report, the researchers also catalog many conditions that, according to the emergency management professionals, stymied the response (e.g., a fear of getting hurt, the influx of untrained volunteers, a lack of planning for pets, and poor intergovernmental coordination). To deal with these recurring problems, the researchers propose the adoption of a uniform disaster scale, which would prepare practitioners to successfully mitigate the challenges most likely to be seen based on the disaster category encountered.

QR190 Community Impacts of Hurricane Ivan: A Case Study of Orange Beach, Alabama, by J. Steven Picou and Cecelia M. Formichella. 2006. This research documents the economic, social, and psychosocial impacts of Hurricane Ivan on the community of Orange Beach, Alabama. The team found that eight months after the hurricane’s landfall, residents of Orange Beach still exhibited a high level of psychosocial distress, and social problems within the community were still significant. The social impacts witnessed include, among others, the feelings that the community would “never be the same,” a loss of trust in others, and increased family conflict.

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4) DHS Announces the Availability of $24 Million for Nonprofits

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that nonprofit organizations in the 46 designated Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) cities are eligible to apply for more than $24 million in grants to strengthen their security.

Eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that are deemed high-risk for a potential terrorist attack may be awarded up to $100,000 for “target-hardening” activities (e.g., training, physical security enhancements, or inspection and screening systems).

Nonprofit organizations should submit applications through their State Administrative Agency online at by June 22, 2007.

For more information, visit

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5) FEMA, Not Red Cross, to Coordinate the Provision of Disaster Aid

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will replace the American Red Cross in administering the coordination of aid to disaster victims, according to The Washington Post.

According to David Garrett, FEMA’s acting director of recovery, the Red Cross was the only private organization assigned a lead role in the National Response Plan, which federal officials are currently revising. The Red Cross would be unable to carry out the duties assigned in the upcoming new version of the plan, Garrett told The Washington Post.

FEMA’s new role as administrator will not affect the Red Cross’s traditional disaster relief operations (i.e., opening shelters, providing food, and raising money).

The change in leadership comes after a June 2006 Government Accountability Office report that stated FEMA and the Red Cross had trouble coordinating aid for the millions of 2005 Gulf Coast storm victims.

The Washington Post article is available here.

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6) Call for Papers: International Geological Congress Outreach Session

The 33rd International Geological Congress (IGC), to be held in Oslo, Norway, on August 6-14, 2008, will convene a special session on education and outreach titled Community Service by Geoscientists: Think Globally, Act Locally. Educational outreach programs have become an integral and effective part of the geosciences, and many research projects have produced the tools and data required for a safer world and a sustainable environment. However, by aiming high at global problems, many scientists have forgotten what is perhaps the most effective venue for applying their expertise—our own communities. Effective communication at the community level requires geoscientists to adapt their traditional methods of communicating scientific results to user needs. Scientists also need to understand the structure and decision-making processes at work within their communities if their scientific results are to effectively influence policy decisions.

This symposium invites speakers who have transmitted the excitement and utility of the geosciences to the residents of their community through service and education. Abstracts must be submitted by February 1, 2008. For more information, contact Grant Heiken at, or David Liverman at

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7) Call for Papers: The Role of Psychology in Disaster Mitigation

A one day workshop, titled The Role of Psychology in Disaster Mitigation: Meeting the human challenges of risk communication, preparedness, and response to disaster through a scientific approach, is being held in conjunction with the International Disaster Reduction Conference 2007 in Harbin, China, in August 2007. This workshop examines the role behavioral science research can play in developing more effective preparedness and warning strategies.

Short position papers on one of the workshop topics are invited and should be submitted by May 21, 2007. Papers not selected for presentation, but deemed appropriate to the topic, will be included with the workshop proceedings and Web published.

Workshop topics include:

  • Role of behavioral science research to improve preparedness
  • Psychology and risk Communication for all hazards
  • Cross cultural issues in disaster psychology
  • Role of human factors psychology to improve warning systems
  • Preventing trauma through a culture of preparedness
  • Research to support the needs of vulnerable populations including those with disabilities
  • Psychology in the aftermath of disaster

Other topics related to the workshop theme are welcome.

For more information regarding the workshop and call for participation, visit:

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]

Disaster Pain Pills
This Federal Computer Week article lists six technologies that government agencies can use to ensure continuity of operations after disaster, including remote data replications, server virtualization, virtual private networks, and mass-notification systems. The need to include information technology in continuity plans is becoming increasingly critical, and the plummeting costs of these technologies is putting them within reach of most agencies.

Vulnerability of Concentrated Critical Infrastructure: Background and Policy Options
Congress should eliminate policies that encourage geographical concentration of critical infrastructure while also enacting policy options that ensure recovery capabilities of these crucial systems and assets, this Congressional Research Service report concludes. The geographic concentration of so much critical infrastructure in the United States makes it vulnerable to natural disasters, epidemics, and terrorist attacks.

Lessons Learned Information Sharing
Lessons Learned Information Sharing has created a dedicated resource center for the FY07 Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP), which serves as a repository of guidance, forms, templates, and general information on the HSGP's Urban Areas Security Initiative, state homeland security, law enforcement terrorism prevention, Metropolitan Medical Response System, and Citizen Corps programs. The site also features practices and guidelines from the Enhancing Grants Management Technical Assistance program and contains more than 150 documents.

CRED Crunch
The March 2007 issue of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters newsletter presents data on 2006 natural disasters and their human and economic impacts. There were 426 reported natural disasters that killed more than 23,000 people, affected 142 million others, and caused upwards of $34.6 billion in damage. Asia saw the two largest disasters, an earthquake in Indonesia and a typhoon in the Philippines, and remains the most affected continent.

Riding the Storm – Landslide Danger in the San Francisco Bay Area
In 1982, a rainstorm triggered 18,000 landslides in the Bay Area, which killed 25 people and caused $66 million in damage. This video, available for download, presents U.S. Geological Survey findings on landslide dynamics and shares stories of Bay Area residents affected by landslides. Copies of the film in DVD format will be available this summer.

Country Reports on Terrorism 2006
This report, which the Secretary of State provides Congress annually, covers developments in countries where acts of terrorism occurred, countries that are state sponsors of terrorism, and countries determined by the Secretary to be of particular interest in the global war on terror. The report reviews major developments in bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism cooperation and provides information on terrorist groups responsible for the death, kidnapping, or injury of Americans; any umbrella groups to which they might belong; and groups financed by state sponsors of terrorism.

Disaster Management Canada
The inaugural issue of the official magazine of the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness presents articles on all aspects of emergency management in Canada, including an update on tsunami warning systems and information on business continuity and insurance. The magazine, which replaces Emergency Management Canada, is published quarterly and available free online.

Modeling Community Containment for Pandemic Influenza: A Letter Report
Using computer models to simulate different potential actions for reducing the spread of pandemic flu infection, this Institute of Medicine report states that community-wide intervention (e.g., quarantines and containment, closing down schools, etc.) could help control illness but may not be wholly effective. Because negative consequences also arise from such measures, officials must be careful in their implementation, the report also states.

10 Tips to Boost Your Home’s Wildfire Defense
Summer is coming, and for residents in many areas, that means a rise in wildfire threat. The Institute for Business and Home Safety has provided this list of 10 steps to lower the threat of fire damage. Eliminating fuel sources (e.g., dry landscaping, woodpiles, and decks), pruning trees, regularly mowing the lawn, and moving firewood 50 feet away from the home are just a few of the tips.

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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]

International Conference on Landslides and Climate Change—Ventnor, United Kingdom: May 21-24, 2007. The purpose of this Conference is to examine the evidence of historical and potential climate change causing an increase in natural hazards and risk both at the coast and inland. The conference lists an aim of exchanging ideas, solutions and good practices for proactive planning, management and risk mitigation. For more information, see

Business Continuity, Security, and Crisis Management Strategies to Limit Risk, Control Damage, Sustain Operations, and Effect Recovery—New York City, New York: May 22-23, 2007. This conference will examine key issues of risk, business continuity, crisis preparedness, and response. Conference participants will explore strategic and tactical perspectives of emergency management. Visit for more information.

First International Summit on Hurricanes and Climate Change—Crete, Greece: May 27-June 1, 2007. This summit on hurricanes and global warming will bring together leading academics and researchers on both sides of the scientific debate as to whether climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. The goal is to frame the debate and address what research is needed to advance the science of hurricane climate. More information is available at

NFPA World Safety Conference and Exposition—Boston, Massachusetts: June 3-7, 2007. This conference will present 156 educational sessions on the latest in fire safety, dozens of case studies and code update examples, and more than 250 exhibitors. It is geared toward professionals in fire and life safety, electrical, building design and management, loss control, and fire services. For more information, see

10th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Conference— Emmitsburg, Maryland: June 4-7, 2007. This annual conference encourages and supports dialogue on a variety of issues and problems related to hazard, disaster, and emergency management higher education. It brings together academics representing colleges and universities that have a hazard, disaster, emergency management, or homeland security program in place or are considering establishing one. Visit

14th Annual Conference of the International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS)—Trogir, Croatia: June 5-8, 2007. Founded in 1993, TIEMS is a nonprofit society dedicated to developing modern emergency management tools and bringing their benefits to society. This conference, “Disaster Recovery and Relief: Current & Future Approaches,” will address numerous issues and developments in emergency management, including GIS, terrorism, the media, health emergencies, business continuity, and more. For more information, see

7th Hydrologic Warning Conference—Savannah, Georgia: June 11-14, 2007. This conference is the largest in the United States devoted specifically to real-time hydrologic warning systems and how this technology assists local officials with storm readiness, emergency response, and disaster recovery. More information is available at

2007 Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR/NIWR) Annual Conference: Hazards in Water Resources—Boise, Idaho: June 24-26, 2007. UCOWR is an organization of universities, non-academic institutions, and international affiliates leading in water resources education, research, and public service. The National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) are the 54 university-based centers that were established by the federal Water Resources Research Act. This year’s conference will focus on hazards facing water resources, including major events like tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, drought, and flooding. Presentation topics will range from the damages of catastrophic events to the response plans set in place by agencies and governments. Visit

Australasian Natural Hazards Management Conference 2007: From Warnings to Response and Recovery—Brisbane, Australia: July 3-4, 2007. For emergency managers, planners, risk assessors, asset and utility managers, natural hazards researchers, and scientists, this conference offers a forum to discuss the integration of hazard information into effective risk management. The conference emphasizes the application of recent scientific research and other hazard information to create best practices, develop effective warning systems, improve disaster response and recovery, and build resilient communities. See

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10) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs is an online career center for individuals and organizations in the fields of emergency management, business continuity, IT disaster recovery, risk management, and security. Free for job seekers, the site is sponsored by the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness. Visit the site here.

Instructor or Assistant Professor
Shaw University; Raleigh, North Carolina

Shaw University is seeking to hire a full-time instructor or assistant professor to teach in and coordinate its emergency management program. The position is a nine-month position, and the salary range, depending on qualifications and experience, is $45,000-$60,000. The preferred credentials are a doctoral degree in emergency management and experience in teaching courses online. Persons with online teaching experience who hold a doctoral degree in public administration and have at least 18 graduate semester hours in emergency management will also be considered.

Certification and experience related to the discipline are also desirable. Please send letter of application, curriculum vitae, and transcript(s) to: Dr. Mma Kalu, Chair, Department of Business and Public Administration, Shaw University, 118 East South Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

Adjunct Faculty
Capella University; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Capella University's School of Human Services Public Safety program is hiring OFFSITE adjunct faculty in the Emergency Management specialization:

Responsibilities: Adjunct faculty teach core and specialization graduate courses that reflect their areas of expertise and academic preparation, mentor doctoral students through the advanced research process associated with comprehensives and dissertation, and participate as residency faculty at doctoral academic residencies. They serve on School and program committees and participate in curriculum development activities. With members of the full-time core faculty, adjunct faculty are responsible for assuring the student's educational experiences are consistent with the standards of practice in the School of Human Services and at Capella University. Adjunct faculty are part-time faculty who serve as independent contractors in the School of Human Services.

Qualifications: Required Qualifications -- PhD from a regionally accredited institution required. Not considering ABD at this time. College level teaching experience of 3 years or more.

Preferred Qualifications: Interest in and commitment to teaching in an online environment. Proficient in the use of Internet tools. Emergency Management practitioner experience.

Capella University provides high caliber education that moves you forward without compromise. We are looking for individuals who want to do the same. Headquartered in downtown Minneapolis, Capella rewards creative, intelligent, and highly motivated professionals willing to accept, encourage, and initiate change. We look for enterprising individuals with integrity who are accustomed to attaining results. Our employees enjoy a competitive salary and benefits package, including 100% education reimbursement.

Send your resume/curriculum vitae and letter of interest including a statement describing your commitment to and experiences with diversity via e-mail to:

Capella University
Human Resources
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Capella is committed to the development of a multicultural environment. We seek greater diversity in our faculty and staff to broaden our academic experience and to reflect the diversity within our learner community. We value the input of multiple viewpoints and perspectives across the university and our corporate offices. Our goal is to create academic and business communities that are rich with cultural, social and intellectual diversity. Capella is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. For additional information, please visit our website at

Emergency Program Manager
British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch; Vancouver, British Columbia

You love to solve problems before they begin. Whereas some are dismayed when they encounter a dilemma, you are energized by it. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. You also possess both the talent and expertise in managing both business continuity and providing emergency response during high stress emergencies and disasters.

BC Liquor Distribution Branch is one of the largest distributors and retailers of beverage alcohol in North America with more than 200 stores across the province. We offer exciting professional challenges, great benefits, as well as a strong commitment to a positive work-life balance with our 35 hour work week.

The Emergency Program Manager provides expertise and strategic leadership and direction to and on behalf of the Branch for emergency preparedness, business continuity and disaster recovery management functions. The successful candidate manages all planning, developing, training and implementation of the Branch's Provincial emergency preparedness in cooperation and collaboration with other government agencies and private sector groups/organizations.

Qualifications: We are seeking a candidate with a minimum 3 years related experience, preferably gained, in a corporate head-office retail or government and post-secondary certificate/diploma/degree and/or formal coursework in a discipline related to emergency management, business continuity, or a related field and/or equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Preferred: Professional certification or in progress, Associate Business Continuity Planner designation (ABCP).

You are available 24/7 during emergencies and disasters, and may be required to travel extensively throughout BC and other parts of Canada. This position is required to work within a classified environment and you must be capable of obtaining and maintaining a security clearance from the RCMP.

Prior to submitting your resume, please review the job description for a complete list of duties and qualifications. Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume clearly identifying how they meet the qualifications necessary for this position.

In addition, all applicants must complete and submit the Application Questionnaire with their cover letter and resume in order to be considered for this position. Applications received without a completed Applicant Questionnaire attached will not be considered.

If you are unable to access any of the document links below, please contact 604-252-3240.

Qualified applicants are requested to submit their application, along with their completed applicant Questionnaire, by regular post, fax or via the online application process by the stated deadline. Applicants wishing to confirm the receipt of their application (in the absence of an autoreply via email) may contact 604-252-3240. Please do not submit duplicate applications using more than one submission method. Please include the competition number (indicated below) on all correspondence.

The complete job description is available here.

Emergency Management Director
Otsego County; Gaylord, Michigan

Responsibilities: Responsible for County Emergency Management Services to plan, direct and coordinate a comprehensive management program to included E-911 Dispatch Communications and Emergency Management Services for the County to minimize effects of major events or disasters. Coordinates emergency service programs with area agencies, state and federal agencies and area citizens. With staff assistance, the Director is also responsible for the 911 emergency telephone system and centralized emergency dispatch center responsible for dispatching all police, fire and ambulance services within the County. Responsible for all administrative functions of the department including financial and personnel management, supervision of dispatch personnel and preparation and administration of the budget.

Qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree Criminal Justice, Business Administration or related field with specialized training in emergency management services. Five + years of progressively responsible related experience in emergency management services.

Otsego County offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefit package. Visit for a complete job description.

Interested applicants should submit a resume, employment application, and three (3) professional letters of reference to Otsego County Human Resources 225 W. Main Street, #203, Gaylord, MI 49735. FAX (989) 731-7529. Otsego County is an equal opportunity employer.

Deputy Assistant Administrator, Disaster Operations
Federal Emergency Management Agency; Washington, D.C.

View the complete job description here.

CirclePoint; San Francisco Bay Area

The management team of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Urban Area Security Initiative (SUASI) will soon have the support of eleven regional planners to assist them in communicating, coordinating and facilitating the participation of the ten Bay Area counties and their stakeholders, as well as the California Office of Emergency Services Region II, in regional planning projects designed to enhance the ability of the Bay Area to respond effectively to disasters of regional scale. The management team has selected CirclePoint to hire the regional planners and assist in building an effective regional planning team.

Upload your resume online at . Please indicate which position you are applying for and copy your cover letter into the “Please contact me in regards to” section. Your resume and cover letter may also be faxed to 415-227-1110.

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If you or your organization would like to add a job posting here in the DR, please feel free to e-mail the information to

Questions for the readership and contributions to this e-newsletter are encouraged. Questions and messages should be indicated as such and sent to

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Natural Hazards Center
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