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Number 491 • November 29, 2007 | Past Issues


1) November Natural Hazards Observer Available Online

The November 2007 Natural Hazards Observer is now available online at

This issue’s featured articles are:

  • Social Vulnerability and Capacity by Maureen Fordham
  • Mutual Aid and State Plans are Key to Effective Emergency Management by Henry R. Renteria
  • Comments on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Evaluation Final Report by Rutherford Platt

Regular features include Washington Update, Contracts and Grants, Resources, and Conferences and Training.

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2) 2007 Hurricane Season Ends

The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to a close on November 30, and hurricane activity was much lower than expected, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The 2007 season produced a total of 14 named storms; 6 storms became hurricanes and 2 were classified as major hurricanes. In August, NOAA predicted 13 to 16 named storms, including 3 to 5 major hurricanes.

Scientists are analyzing weather patterns to determine why there were fewer storms than predicted. Stronger-than-predicted winds over the Caribbean and the western Atlantic led to strong wind shear, which in turn limits storm formation, duration, and intensity, according to NOAA.

For more information on the 2007 hurricane season, visit

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will release an official summary of the 2007 hurricane season in January.

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3) Climate Change May Lead to War

A new study finds that long-term climate change—with its resulting food shortages, population shifts, and economic instability—can lead to war and population decline.

The study, published November 19 in the early edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that as temperatures decreased centuries ago during a period called the Little Ice Age, the number of wars increased, famine occurred, and the population declined.

Peter Brecke, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a co-author of the study said that even though temperatures are increasing now, the same resulting conflicts may occur, as 80 percent of the world's wars from 1400 to 1900 were triggered by ecological disasters, like food shortages and famine caused by extreme weather.

This new study expands on previous work by Associate Professor David Zhang of the University of Hong Kong, who is also the lead author of the new study. Zhang’s previous research found that temperature changes were correlated with times of war in Eastern China between 1000 and 1911.

View the Georgia Institute of Technology’s press release here,

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4) Call for Papers: ISCRAM2008  

The 5th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM2008) will be held in Washington, DC, on May 4-7, 2008. The ISCRAM community is an active and international group of researchers, scholars, teachers, students, practitioners, and policy makers, and the conference will attract researchers and practitioners in crisis response and management from Europe, North America, and the Pacific Region.

The ISCRAM2008 conference provides an important networking opportunity where the latest research on the design, development, use, and evaluation of information systems for crisis response and management is presented and discussed. The general theme of ISCRAM2008 is “Creating Advanced Systems for Inter-organizational Information Sharing and Collaboration.”

At least 28 special sessions are being proposed for inclusion in the conference. In addition to regular research sessions, several calls for papers are focusing on contributions from practitioners. All calls for papers can be accessed at

The paper submission deadline is December 21, 2007.

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5) Final Call for Papers: 18th World Conference on Disaster Management

The Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP) is calling for presentations for the 18th World Conference on Disaster Management (WCDM). The conference will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada, from June 15-18, 2008.

WCDM is the premier annual event that addresses issues common to all aspects of disaster/emergency management. The conference program includes speakers from many parts of the world and provides excellent opportunities for training and networking among those in the fields of emergency planning/management, business continuity, emergency response, risk management, IT disaster recovery, disaster management research, emergency communications, emergency health, security, environmental, community planning, as well as for the organizations that supply and service these professions. The 2008 conference is expected to attract over 1,800 attendees from Canada, the United States, and around the globe.

Paper submissions should fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Real Events/Lessons Learned
  • Emerging Trends in Disaster Management
  • The Human Element in Disaster Management
  • Technical Issues/Threats
  • Disaster Management Principles and Practices
  • Academic//Research and Development

Presentation abstracts must be submitted by December 2, 2007.

A more detailed call for papers is available at

Questions should be directed to Adrian Gordon at (905) 331-2552 Ext: 221 or

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6) 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]

NFAOnline is a Web-based training system from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy that provides user-friendly training and materials for fire and emergency services personnel, first responders, emergency managers, and the general public. Course subjects include Community Safety Educators, Fire Service Supervision, ICS 100 and ICS 200, Emergency Response to Terrorism, and Emergency Medical Services.

Fixing the Department of Homeland Security
This 12-page report from the Progressive Policy Institute presents recommendations to improve the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which the institute calls “plagued with problems and chronic mismanagement.” The four main recommendations are to focus on border protection, make DHS responsible for integrating and sharing homeland security information with other entities, raise the pay for cybersecurity personnel, and consolidate congressional oversight of the department.

Breaking Down Digital Barriers
Expanding upon their 2005 argument that “interoperability is the first guiding principle of what it means to establish an open ecosystem in Information and Communications Technology (ICT),” this study from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Harvard Law School at the Research Center for Information Law at the University of St. Gallen concludes that private sector leadership will be much more capable of ensuring interoperable technologies than government intervention.

Hurricane Dean – 3-D Effect Visible Image Loops
The University of Wisconsin ’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies has released these images of Hurricane Dean. The images have been manipulated to show a three-dimensional effect when they are viewed with red/blue 3-D glasses.

BBC Climate Change
This BBC site serves as a portal for information and articles on climate change. The site includes the latest information on climate research, features from the BBC, video and audio clips, fact sheets, informational graphics, and much more.

Southern Rural Sociology Special Issue
This edition of Southern Rural Sociology (Volume 22, Number 2) is a special issue entitled “Rural Communities and Disasters.” Guest editors M.A. Brennan and Courtney G. Flint present seven articles centering on rural and Southern disaster mitigation, response, and recovery.

Public Health Emergency Response: A Guide for Leaders and Responders
This publication, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a guide for public officials and first responders that outlines effective public health response. The guide explains the functions of federal public health agencies during an emergency, the role of risk communication, legal and policy considerations during disaster, and much more.

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7) 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]

American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting—San Francisco, California: December 10-14, 2007. This annual meeting brings together more than 12,000 researchers, teachers, students, consultants, and media members to present and review the latest earth and space science issues. Fields included in topic sessions include seismology, volcanology, atmospheric science, hydrology, ocean sciences, planetary science, and education/outreach. Visit

The Inland Empire: Towards a More Humane Metropolis—Riverside, California: January 24, 2008. Organizers: University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Speakers and panelists from Southern California and elsewhere will examine some of the environmental and social challenges confronting the Riverside-San Bernardino region, one of the fastest growing and most hazardous metropolitan areas in the United States. The meeting is the second regional workshop based on The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st Century City, a series that began in Pittsburgh in 2007 and tentatively will continue in Baltimore later in 2008. See

Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) Annual Meeting—New Orleans, Louisiana: February 6-9, 2008. “Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Earthquake Risk Reduction” is the theme of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, to be held in New Orleans’ French Quarter. This conference is an extraordinary opportunity to capture lessons from the largest natural disaster in U.S. history: Hurricane Katrina. With close to 30 presentations over three days, the program is designed to appeal to professionals and researchers in the multidisciplinary earthquake risk reduction fields. Sessions cover topics such as restoring critical lifelines after a catastrophe, impacts on the energy sector, offshore infrastructure design, enhancing the resilience of hospitals, scenario-driven catastrophe planning, the achievements of 75 years of strong-motion seismology, and responding to and recovering from a large-scale urban event. Visit

Environmental Connection 2008—Orlando, Florida: February 18-21, 2008. Organizer: International Erosion Control Association. Billed as the world’s largest soil and water event, this conference has served as the gathering place for the erosion and sediment control community for over 30 years. Over 2,500 professionals attended last year's conference in Reno, Nevada. The event combines full-day training courses, technical sessions (case studies, technical papers, forums, workshops, and poster presentations), and more than 165 vendors. See

Cat Modeling 2008—Tampa, Florida: February 19-22, 2008. Organizer: The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA). The 2008 Catastrophe Modeling seminar explores the use of models, how their use impacts the decision-making process, and how past events impact both the primary and reinsurance markets in subsequent years. With an unbiased perspective of all catastrophe modeling applications, as well as an open forum for developing methods to confidently make modeling-based decisions, the 2008 seminar will provide attendees with a wealth of information to give them with a greater level of confidence when using modeling technology to estimate the financial impact of natural catastrophes and other extreme events. See

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8) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Emergency Management Internship
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Bentonville, Arkansas

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is currently taking applications for a summer internship in its Emergency Management Department. The ten-week program at the Wal-Mart Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas is open to rising juniors, seniors, or graduate students who are interested in Emergency Management and are majoring in a related field such as Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Meteorology, Government, Business, Systems Engineering, or any similar program. This competitive internship is designed to provide the student with exposure to Wal-Mart's leading edge private sector emergency management programs. The student will be fully integrated into all aspects of the department's efforts, including working in the emergency operations center during response and recovery efforts, developing and providing internal training, and development and implementation of emergency management policies and procedures. The student will work with a number of other emergency management and security entities, including other private sector companies, non-governmental organizations, local, state, and federal emergency management agencies, and the military. In addition, the student will complete a project that is based on their skill set, interests, and needs of the company. At the end of the internship, the student will be well-versed in the efforts that go into private sector emergency operations, the importance of integrating private sector efforts into the overall effort, and will have established numerous contacts that will be extremely beneficial in their future careers.

The deadline for application is January 15, 2008. Applications may be submitted at

Director - Emergency Management & Preparedness
BC Management, Inc.; Boston, Massachusetts

This full-time executive position, reporting directly to the Executive Vice President, has responsibility for all emergency planning and management activities. The Director will provide direction and coordination for and ongoing development, maintenance and implementation of the Comprehensive Emergency Management and Continuity of Operations Plans, provide for integration among departments and offices involved in emergency planning, manage the Emergency Operations Center during activation and in conjunction with outside agencies to coordinate emergency support activities, act as permanent chair of the BC Emergency Management Executive Team, and recommend emergency planning related policy to the Executive Vice President for approval.


The Director of Emergency Management is responsible for the development, implementation, testing and maintenance of the Emergency Preparedness, Response and Business Continuity Plans. Working closely with the departments, the Director will ensure the development of comprehensive, fully integrated response and recovery activities, including the management of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Further, the Director responsible for the continuous development, updating and improvement of emergency and business continuity plans.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

-Manages the development, implementation, testing and maintenance of the Emergency Preparedness plans and coordinates the Business Continuity Plans and attendant programs.

-Working with the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Information Technology (IT) professionals, ensures the development of business continuity plans development of recovery strategies, and off-site storage of critical information.

-Represents the organization at the system level regarding emergency preparedness and business continuity issues through attendance at meetings and as otherwise required.

-Chairs both the Emergency Management Executive Team (EMET) and Business Continuity Planning Team (BCPT) providing needed direction, planning and guidance.

-Develops and oversees the implementation of programs to educate and raise awareness of organizations personnel on Emergency Management and Business Continuity issues, guidelines, and procedures.

-Develops programs to encourage compliance with emergency planning and business continuity.

-Performs information gathering and vulnerability analysis of man-made and natural hazards.

-Performs emergency management support activities using the National Incident Management System (NIMS) model and conducts appropriate exercises to test COOP.

-Interfaces with local, state, federal agencies such as MEMA and FEMA and with counterparts at other universities to identify and implement best practices of similar processes.

-Provides presentations and reports to Senior Management on initiatives and/or projects.

-Maintains high levels of institutional confidentiality.

-Maintains a high level of awareness of Emergency Management and Business Continuity and related technologies, standards, processes and procedures.

Decision Making and Problem Solving

Describe the types of decisions made independently and recommendations made to others on an ongoing basis and provide examples (setting priorities; allocating resources; establishing or interpreting policy, practice, or procedure; authorized spending with limits).

-As Incident Commander during an emergency situation and in conjunctions with the President's Office and Executive Vice President, the Director must be able to make rapid, informed decisions about allocation of personnel and resources interrelation with public agency responders, and faculty and staff in order to minimize exposures to life safety, reduce property damage and contain then eliminate the problem.

-The Director must keep senior management and the community informed about the status of the situation and actions to resolve it.

-With responsibility for departmental business continuity planning, the Director must balance the needs for recovery with the operational and financial ability to provide it in order to ensure that critical infrastructure and services are sustained.

Minimum Qualifications

Under each of the following sub-headings, indicate the minimum qualifications required to perform the essential functions of the role.

Core Competencies

Teamwork, Customer Focus, Continuous learning, Decision Making/Problem Solving, Communication, Applying Technology, Valuing Diversity, Big Picture Perspective, Openness to Change Productivity, and People Development.

Functional and Technical Competencies

-Proven superior organizational and project management skills.

-Excellent verbal and communications skills and ease in giving presentations to diverse populations.

-The ability to negotiate effective solutions to highly sensitive and challenging problems.

-Proficiency in software such as: Microsoft Office Suite required; experience with & COOP software a plus.

-The Director must be able to interface effectively with Boston Newton, fire departments, and local, state, and federal agencies such as MEMA and DHS/FEMA and with professional organizations such as IAEM to identify and implement best practices.

Education/Training and Certification Requirements

-A Master s degree with eight or more years of experience or, a Bachelor s degree with ten or more years of experience.

-Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and/or Certified or Master Business Continuity Professional (CBCP or MBCP) preferred.

-Completion of FEMA training courses IS-1OO, IS- 8OO as a minimum.

-Pass a thorough background and security check to allow access to sensitive and confidential information.


-Three to five years experience in risk management, emergency management, DHS/FEMA, contingency planning and/or Continuity Of Operations Planning (COOP), preferably in a university setting.

Exceptional Work Schedule Demands

This job has the potential for 24x7 operations, particularly during an emergency situation affecting the campus.

To apply or learn more about the position, please contact Cheyene Haase - BC Management Inc. at 714-843-5470 or

Various Positions
Stephenson Disaster Management Institute; Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Three positions are now available at the recently initiated Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI) at Louisiana State University’s E.J. Ourso College of Business. 

The job announcements can be found at

SDMI invites applicants in disciplines related to disaster and crisis management including, but not limited to, Business Administration, Public Administration, Public Policy and Management, Political Science, Sociology, Urban Planning, Information Systems, Economics, Psychology, or Geography.

Application deadline is January 2, 2008.

Please send curriculum vitae with email address included, three letters of recommendation, and cover letter to:

Warren Eller, Ph.D.
Associate Director, SDMI
E. J. Ourso College of Business
1103 Patrick F. Taylor Hall
Louisiana State University
Ref: Log #1049
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Professor - Sustainable Water Resources
University of Washington; Seattle, Washington

The University of Washington’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in sustainable water resources, which includes but is not limited to the development of sophisticated engineering tools to understand the hydrologic cycle and its effects on water supply and quality, and of appropriate technologies to alter the quality of water to accommodate its intended use.  University of Washington faculty engage in teaching, research, and service.  The candidate should have interest in interdisciplinary problems that will draw on strengths in water quality and treatment, hydrology, water resources, and other related fields within the Department and across the University.  The position will be at the rank of assistant professor tenure eligible, but may be at the rank of associate professor or full professor depending on the qualifications of the applicant.

The candidate will have earned a Ph.D. by the September 2008 start date. Preference will be given to candidates with a Ph.D. in civil engineering or related fields who can acquire civil engineering or environmental engineering professional registration. The Department has 30 budgeted faculty, over $12 million in active research grants, and enrolls 175 graduate and 225 undergraduate students.

Applicant review will begin January 7, 2008 and continue until the position is filled.  Applicants should provide a complete resume, along with a one-page teaching philosophy statement, a one-page research philosophy statement, and contact information for three references.  All application materials should be submitted at

 The University of Washington is building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from female and minority candidates. The University of Washington is the recipient of a 2006 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Faculty Career Flexibility and a 2001 National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Award to increase the advancement of women faculty in science, engineering, and math (see The University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer and is responsive to the needs of dual-career couples.

Emergency Management Planner I
Appalachian State University; Boone, North Carolina

Minimum Qualifications:
Graduation from a four-year college or university with a major in Emergency Management, Public Administration, Planning, or a related field and two (2) years of professional planning experience in directing programs or operations; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:
This is professional analytical work at the University level in developing plans for preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation as related to University emergency and disaster events. Work may also involve responsibility for developing, implementing, and evaluating plans, policies and procedures for emergency programs and plans in the University Police Department. Under the administrative and technical supervision of the Public Safety Director this employee will research and write plans of response for specific disaster situations such as hazardous material spills, severe weather situations as well as emergency response situations such as fire, explosion or active shooter on campus.

Brief Description of Work for this Position:
Work Conditions - Most work is conducted in a typical office setting or conference room setting; however, during activation of the Emergency Operations Center, relocation or visits to emergency or disaster sites on campus may be required during response and recovery operations.

Hazards - Work may require travel to off campus locations to attend training, work shops and conferences, which may cause exposure to inclement weather and driving hazards. Involvement in response and recovery operations may also require travel to sites on campus where potential hazards vary depending upon the situation.

Salary Range : $37,074-$59,982

Closing Date: 12-12-2007

Go to to apply.

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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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