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Number 481 • June 28, 2007 | Past Issues


1) Disaster Research on Summer Vacation

Due to the Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Disaster Research will not be published on July 12. The next issue will reach your inbox on Thursday, July 26.

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2) Lightning Safety Week, June 24-30

Summer is the peak season for lightning, one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena. In the United States, an average of 62 people are killed each year by lightning, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This year, the NWS is making children aware of the dangers of lightning by providing them with easy-to-remember safety tips through “ Leon the Lightning Lion.” Leon’s message is, “When thunder roars, go indoors.”

The NWS Lightning Safety Web site,, includes links to handouts, indoor safety and outdoor risk reduction tips, medical facts, history, survivor stories, photos, teacher tools, and more. The new kids’ page now includes a Leon the Lion Safety coloring sheet.

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3) Active Hurricane Seasons May be the Norm – Not the Exception

The increase in North Atlantic hurricane activity since the mid-1990s has been attributed to both human-induced climate change and natural variability, but observational data of this activity only cover the past few decades. Now, researchers have constructed a record of Atlantic hurricane frequency over the past 270 years using proxy records of vertical wind shear and sea surface temperature (which influence the formation of major hurricanes in the Atlantic region) from corals and a marine sediment core, an article in the June 7 issue of Nature reported. The record constructed during the study indicates that the average frequency of major hurricanes decreased gradually from the 1760s until the early 1990s, reaching anomalously low values during the 1970s and 1980s. The analysis also indicates that the period of enhanced hurricane activity since 1995 is not unusual compared to other periods of high hurricane activity in the record; therefore, this phase appears to represent a recovery to normal hurricane activity, rather than a direct response to increasing sea surface temperature. To read the full abstract, or to access the entire article in Nature, visit

(Nature 447, 698-701 ( 7 June 2007) | doi:10.1038/nature05895)

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4) FEMA Announces Membership of National Advisory Council

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced the 30-person membership of its newly formed National Advisory Council. According to FEMA, the council advises Administrator David Paulison on “all aspects of preparedness and emergency management in an effort to ensure close coordination with its partners across the country.” The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 called for the creation of this council, whose members are appointed by the FEMA administrator and “represent a geographic and significant cross section of officials from emergency management and law enforcement.” Members include homeland security directors; adjutants general; emergency response providers from state, local, and tribal governments; and private sector and nongovernmental organization representatives.

The council will focus its attention on the development and revision of the national preparedness goal, the national preparedness system, the National Incident Management System, the National Response Plan, and other related plans and strategies.

The list of members can be found at

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5) Additional Federal Assistance Made Available to States Impacted by the 2005 Hurricane Season

Under legislation signed by President Bush, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will deliver additional federal disaster assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. The bill allows for additional funding to states specifically under the Agency's Public Assistance and Other Needs Assistance programs.

The increase in federal assistance is being made available to Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama to cover costs in connection with Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, Dennis, and Rita.

To view the complete press release, visit

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6) EERI Earthquake Hazards Reduction Professional Fellowship

 Under a cooperative agreement established with FEMA, the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) offers the Professional Fellowship to provide an opportunity for a practicing professional to gain greater skills and broader expertise in earthquake hazards reduction, either by enhancing knowledge in the applicant's own field or by broadening his or her knowledge in a related but unfamiliar discipline.

This unique fellowship is aimed at the career professional and is designed to bring together an experienced practitioner with professionals conducting significant research, providing an opportunity to enrich the applicant's knowledge and skills and broaden the research base with challenges faced in practice. The Professional Fellowship is not intended to fund work towards a degree.

The fellowship provides a stipend of $30,000, commencing in January 2008, to cover tuition, fees, relocation and living expenses for a six month period.

For more information, including specific requirements and the application, visit

The deadline for the receipt of all application materials is September 4, 2007, with announcement of the award on October 15, 2007.

7) International Summer Research Opportunity for Undergraduates

The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response is offering a summer research opportunity for undergraduate students to provide hands-on research training and mentoring for a number of international projects.

All undergraduate students are invited to apply. Middle Eastern and Homeland Security study majors, as well as students with a multiple language base, are particularly encouraged to apply. The application deadline is August 1, 2007, and students will be notified of their acceptance into the program by August 15, 2007.

If you wish to be considered, please forward your resume to the attention of "Internship" and identify your skill sets and interests. The resume will then be forwarded to the appropriate project managers for their review and consideration.

Program details, guidelines, and application materials can be acquired by sending your resume and contacting The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response at More information is also available at

8) Call for Papers: Performance under Stress: Managing Emergencies and Disasters

Journal editors are seeking manuscripts for a symposium on “Performance under Stress: Managing Emergencies and Disasters,” to be published in the Public Performance and Management Review.

This symposium will focus on performance in dealing with disasters, including catastrophic disasters. Catastrophic disasters are characterized by unexpected or unusual size, disruptions to the communication and decision making capabilities of the emergency response system, and an initial breakdown in coordination and communication. High performance in dealing with disasters requires an ability to assess and adapt capacity rapidly, restore or enhance disrupted or inadequate communications, utilize uncharacteristically flexible decision-making, and expand coordination and trust of emergency response agencies.

Editors are soliciting articles that analyze a range of issues related to performance management in managing disasters, such as the meaning of responsiveness in managing disaster networks, efficiency and timeliness, the factors that affect public organizations’ level of responsiveness, and best practices of improving disaster management performance.

The deadline for manuscript submission is September 30, 2007.

All submissions will be refereed. Please send manuscripts or proposals for manuscripts to The mailing address is: Dr. Naim Kapucu, Department of Public Administration, HPA II 238M, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816.

9) 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]

SPIDER Network
The Science and Policy Interfaces for Disaster Reduction (SPIDER) Network is composed of six UK-based academic departments from different universities and promotes the work of new researchers in the disaster field. The network lists a goal of re-examining the role of scientific knowledge for disaster risk reduction.

Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide
Developed by Operation HOPE, a national organization that intends to empower underserved U.S. communities, this easy-to-use guide allows users to fill in important information, including emergency contacts, phone numbers, necessary medications, and meeting locations. The site then turns that information into a convenient “Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide” to be readily accessible during and after disaster.

First Responder’s Guide to Satellite Communications
Produced by the Satellite Industry Association, this guide is a comprehensive overview and tutorial of satellite technology and its role in the response to natural and human-induced disasters. Included in the guide is a glossary of terms, an overview of satellite capabilities, and easy-to-follow steps for using satellite data.

Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Army Planning and Operations
The efforts undertaken by civilian and military organizations in response to Hurricane Katrina were historically unprecedented, but problems did arise in the military response that contributed to delays in accomplishing evacuations and relief operations across the storm-ravaged areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, particularly in New Orleans. This report from the RAND Corporation recommends a number of steps to be taken to enhance future military disaster-response efforts, including giving the National Guard the federal mission to conduct homeland security activities, making each National Guard unit capable of rapid deployment, preparing governors to call up Guard units to state active duty for out-of-state emergencies, and designing a regional approach in the National Guard.

Legislation Would Combat Terrorism, Natural Disasters
This article, published in The Hill and written by Sen. Joe Lieberman, addresses the Improving America’s Security Act of 2007 and explains its implications. According to Senator Lieberman, the bill will implement most of the unfinished recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and represents another important step in the long path toward making all Americans as safe as possible.

Review of the U.S. Climate Science Program's Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate
This National Research Council (NRC) report reviews a draft of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3, Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate, the third in a series of 21 CCSP products addressing important topics related to climate change. The NRC report finds that the draft provides a good and thorough assessment of the important issues regarding extreme events in North America and how they may change in the context of a changing climate. The committee finds that the scope, content, and scientific rigor of the current draft provide a solid basis for the final version of Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3.

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
The American Medical Association has unveiled its newest publication, Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. The new quarterly, peer-reviewed journal is the first comprehensive publication emphasizing public health preparedness and disaster response for all health care professionals.

Surveillance for Waterborne Disease and Outbreaks Associated with Recreational Water—United States, 2003-2004
This report summarizes data from the Waterborne Disease and Outbreak (WBDO) Surveillance System, which tracks the occurrences and causes of waterborne diseases and outbreaks associated with recreational water. Since 1971, the CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists have collaboratively maintained the Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System for collecting and reporting waterborne disease and outbreak-related data.

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10) 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]

The New Madrid Fault Zone: Geology, Engineering and Emergency Management to Reduce Earthquake Risks—Washington, D.C.: June 29, 2007. The New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones are areas of active earthquakes that lie beneath six states —Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Arkansas. A series of very large magnitude earthquakes occurred in the New Madrid zone in 1811 and 1812. The events changed the course of the Mississippi River, destroyed lakes, created new lakes, destroyed large areas of forests, and “swallowed” houses in New Madrid, Missouri—one of the few populated areas during that time. Today, about 200 small earthquakes occur along this fault zone each year, although most are not noticeable. The probability of a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake occurring in this seismic zone within the next 50 years is estimated to be between 25 and 50 percent. An earthquake this size or larger would be expected to cause widespread damage in a seven- to eight-state area and could affect more than 12 million people. This briefing will discuss efforts to understand the geology, monitor the seismicity, enhance the earthquake engineering, and prepare for a possible damaging natural event. The briefing will take place from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in Room 2325 Rayburn.

17th World Conference on Disaster Management—Toronto, Canada: July 8-11, 2007. Organized by the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP), the theme of this conference is “Emergency Management and Business Continuity Working Together.” It will feature speakers from many parts of the world and provide opportunities for both training and networking with experts and practitioners in all areas of emergency and risk management. For more information, visit

StormCon 07: The North American Surface Water Quality Conference and Exposition—Phoenix, Arizona: August 20-23, 2007. StormCon is the world’s largest stormwater pollution prevention conference and the leading source for NPDES Phase II training in all aspects of stormwater management for municipalities, consultants, highway and heavy construction contractors, developers, regulated industries, and special sites. Sessions at the sixth annual conference will offer more than 100 presentations on topics including structural Best Management Practices, stormwater program management, and water quality monitoring. See

7th Emergency Management Conference: Essential Services & Infrastructure— Melbourne, Australia: August 21-22, 2007. This annual conference, organized by the Emergency Services Foundation, unites emergency management professionals from emergency services organizations; local, state, and federal governments; community groups; and industry. This year’s focus will be on essential services and infrastructure. Visit

International Disaster Reduction Conference (IDRC 2007)—Harbin, China: August 21–25, 2007. The International Disaster Reduction Conference (IDRC 2007) is a follow-up to the IDRC 2006 Conference in Davos, Switzerland, which brought a growing consensus that to achieve risk-resilient, sustainable societies, the management of unexpected events such as natural hazards, disease, man-made hazards, or terrorism, must take an integrated approach. IDRC Harbin 2007 will review the progress made since IDRC Davos 2006, provide a platform for in-depth, strategic discussions, and focus on understanding what is needed to implement integrated risk management. IDRC Harbin 2007 will also host an exhibition for international and national organizations and for companies with products and services for emergency and rescue operations. More information is available at

International Conference on Lightning and Static Electricity—Paris, France: August 28-31. Organizer: Université Pierre et Marie Curie. The conference will address all aspects of lightning, lightning interactions, and protection of ground, air, and sea systems and human beings. Among many other topics, conference attendees will discuss the protection of buildings from lightning, lightning detection, and warning modeling and simulation. See

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11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Emergency Management Faculty – Tenure Track
Jacksonville State University; Jacksonville, Alabama

The Institute for Emergency Preparedness at Jacksonville State University is accepting applications for a tenure track position in Emergency Management to begin August 2007 or January 2008.

Duties: Primary teaching duties include graduate and undergraduate level courses in the Emergency Management. Principle non-teaching duties include curriculum and program development, advisement, professional development activities, and grant writing within the emergency management area.

Qualifications: Earned Doctorate in appropriate area. Appropriate experience preferred.

Rank and Salary: Rank and salary are contingent upon qualifications, experience and needs of the university.

In the event that this tenure-track position is not filled as tenure-track, applicants may be considered for a temporary or visiting position for one year.

Application: Send application (available on our Web site at, resume, copies of transcripts, and names/addresses/phone numbers of at least three references to:

Jacksonville State University
Human Resources
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, Alabama 36265.

Applicants selected for an interview will be required to supply official transcripts and current letters of reference.

Senior Lecturer in Disaster Management/Emergency Planning
Coventry University; West Midlands; United Kingdom

We are looking for an enthusiastic and committed individual who can contribute to our teaching and research activities and particularly our plans to generate income through applied research and consultancy.

You will have academic expertise in Disaster Management or Emergency Planning. The Department offers a range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and you will be expected to contribute to these and to teach on professional diplomas and CPD courses.

With a Master's degree in an appropriate subject, you should have substantial teaching experience or a proven track record of delivering presentations or training, and a flare for teaching. In addition you should have a growing research profile, be proficient in the use of ICT and its application to teaching and have the ability to relate to students with diverse backgrounds, ages and experience.

A flexible approach to work is essential as you may be required to teach in the evenings and participate in occasional weekend activities.

Salary: £30,387 - £39,030 per annum

For further details and an application form please telephone Human Resources on 024 7688 8120 or 024 7688 8130 e-mail or visit

Closing date: June 21, 2007

Regional Education Specialist
San Mateo Medical Center; San Mateo, California

Use your talent in this unique opportunity to support the efforts of the Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop and implement Train-the-Trainer programs designed to qualify healthcare facility trainers in emergency management and terrorism preparedness. Deliver the courses and coordinate the delivery of the related emergency management and terrorism preparedness training programs to a variety of locations.

Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills as well as proven experience working with clinicians, healthcare entities and other instructors are essential.

Bachelor’s degree preferred. Minimum of three-five years experience in training/education with work experience in education administration, program development, and instructor training. Expertise in working with various types of healthcare professionals in different settings such as hospital, community and government. Effective communication, administration, teaching, and personnel management skills. Demonstrated ability to organize, support, and motivate staff. Demonstrated ability to set and implement priorities, manage multiple tasks and programs, and evaluate performance. Other important skills include computer literacy and organization time management.

Experience in educating and training to health related personnel. Develop and maintain working relationships with hospital and healthcare entities in order to keep up-to-date on current education and training issues. Work collaboratively with all hospitals and other healthcare professionals as well as representatives from federal and state government.

Understanding of education and training curriculum development, and delivery methodologies. Familiarity with distance learning technologies.

Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Travel is required.

This position is coterminous with the grant.

For the complete job description, click here.

Social Scientist
Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary for Science and Technology; Washington, D.C.

View the complete job description here.

Medical Reserve Corps Program Associate
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; New York City, New York

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is looking for new members for our growing Bureau of Emergency Management. We take pride in having employees from diverse backgrounds and believe that is essential for our success. We are looking for an individual with experience and skills that they can leverage to recruit, train and retain volunteer health professionals.

Position opening for a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program Associate in Manhattan. We are looking for a candidate with:
- Strong Interpersonal and Communication Skills.
- Familiarity with marketing, training, volunteer management, event coordination, and/or related activities.
- Interest in working in Public Health Preparedness.

- Liaise with partner organizations and volunteers.
- Respond to general program inquiries and fulfill recruitment information requests.
- Oversee volunteer credentialing.
- With the Program Manager, coordinate volunteer trainings and events including development of materials and event management.
- With the Program Manager, manage volunteer and partner relationships.
- Research health professional volunteer recruitment opportunities.
- Oversee quarterly emergency notification systems tests for volunteers.
- Oversee continuing education accreditation for trainings.
- With the Program Manager, develop strategic goals, strategy and direction, and analyze critical recruiting data.
- Be part of a dynamic public health preparedness team and learn about emergency management.
- Work non-business hours during public health emergencies and preplanned events.


1. A master's degree from an accredited college in economics, finance, accounting, business or public administration, human resources management, management science, operations research, organizational behavior, industrial psychology, statistics, personnel administration, labor relations, psychology, sociology, human resources development, political science, urban studies or a closely related field, and one year of satisfactory full-time professional experience in one or a combination of the following: working with the budget of a large public or private concern in budget administration, accounting, economic or financial administration or fiscal or economic research; in management or methods analysis, operations research, organizational research or program evaluation; in personnel or public administration, recruitment, position classification, personnel relations, employee benefits, staff development, employment program planning/administration, labor market research, economic planning, social services program planning/evaluation, fiscal management, or in a related area.

2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college and three years of satisfactory full-time professional experience in the areas described in 1 above.




Prior experience working with volunteers and managing associated volunteer program components. Very strong attention to detail. Solid interpersonal and communications skills needed for interaction with internal DOHMH departments, as well as health professional organization partners and volunteers. Public speaking experience. Proficiency in using MS Office software, especially Excel.

To apply for this position, visit Search for NYC DOHMH - MRC Program Associate- 0093. We accept online applications only.

AmeriCorps VISTA Members and Team Leaders
The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives; Montgomery, Alabama

The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is currently accepting applications for eight (8) AmeriCorps VISTA members and one (1) VISTA leader. If you would like to help the citizens and communities impacted by 2004-2005 hurricanes as well as helping Alabama prepare for future disasters, you may be interested in these VISTA opportunities. Candidates must be available to serve in Montgomery, Alabama for a one-year term of service. The VISTA program is a full immersion program, therefore no outside employment or educational opportunities are permitted during the member’s term of service. The GFBCI is a highly demanding, professional work environment.

Positions are available in Citizen Preparedness and the Interfaith Disaster Network.

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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

University of Colorado at Boulder

Natural Hazards Center
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