Number 503 • June 5, 2008 | Past Issues










1) Natural Hazards Center Extends Poster Session Deadline

The deadline for submitting abstracts for the 33rd Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop Poster Session has been extended to fill several remaining spaces.

Spaces will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Abstracts must conform to the following guidelines:

  • Abstracts must be one-page, double-spaced, 250 word maximum
  • Saved as a file compatible with Windows XP
  • Formatted for one-inch margins in 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Include poster authors, title and abstract, in that order

There is no fee to participate in the poster session.

For more information on the poster session and abstract submission, visit the workshop Web site.

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2) FEMA Earmarks $27 Million to Develop Preparedness and Protection Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has $27.2 million in grants available to develop training programs that target information sharing, regional collaboration, citizen preparedness, evacuations, infrastructure protection, and other national homeland security needs.

The money will be awarded to state, local, tribal and territorial governments; national associations, non-profits, higher education institutions, and the private sector through FEMA’s Competitive Training Grant Program. Those interested in applying for a grant must submit a proposal to before 8 p.m. EST on June 9.

For more information on the grant program, including last year’s proposals, visit the DHS Web site.

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3)Weaknesses found in Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Analysis

A National Research Council (NRC) review of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Technical Report — released in March 2008 — identified a number of “key weaknesses” in the study, according to the review summary.

Assumptions about landscape and coastal conditions, resident compliance with voluntary nonstructural programs, and lack of consideration for structural failure of levees and floodwalls are among the report problems cited by the NRC.

The NRC review, which outlines committee findings and recommendations for improvement, commended the Corps for recognizing the need for new ways to reduce risk in Coastal Louisiana and for its three-pronged approach — restoration, structural, and nonstructural — to reducing storm surge risk. The review is available online at the National Academies Press.

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4) ShakeOut Scenario Prepares California for Disaster

A 7.8 magnitude Southern Californian earthquake — about the same as the recent Sichuan, China quake — would kill 1,800 people, injure 50,000 and wreak about $200 billion in damage, according to ShakeOut Scenario, a joint study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Geological Survey.

The report, which was presented to Congress May 22, is the result of the collaboration of more than 300 scientists, engineers, and experts from other disciplines, according to a USGS statement.

To create the Scenario, geologists determined potential motion along the part of the San Andreas Fault with the greatest risk of rupture. Seismologists and computer scientists then modeled ground shaking. Engineers and building professionals used the models to estimate damage to the built environment, while social scientists evaluated emergency response, casualties, and the impact on economy and society.

The analysis is the most comprehensive look at what a major Southern California earthquake could mean and is the framework for "Golden Guardian '08" — California’s largest earthquake preparedness drill, set for November 13, 2008.

California has more than a 99 percent chance of registering a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake — and a 46 percent chance of a 7.5 or larger — within the next 30 years, according to USGS modeling study released in April. See the modeling study here.

For a copy of the full ShakeOut report, visit the ShakeOut Scenario page on the USGS Web site.

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5) EPA Grants Plug Leaks in Water Security

The Environmental Protection Agency will add New York and three other cities to a pilot program aimed at keeping water supplies safe from terrorists, according to an Associated Press report.

New York was granted $12 million to institute a program that monitors contaminants and provides for surveillance of water tanks and other supplies that could be targeted by terrorists, the report stated. The New York program, along with the three not-yet-announced cities, will be modeled after Cincinnati’s 2006 pilot.

Visit the EPA’s Water Security site for more on the program.

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6) 2008 Climate Change Booklet Now Available

The third edition of Understanding and Responding to Climate Changeis now available for download. The latest edition of the booklet contains reports and recommendations from National Academies experts on climate change and features more information on climate change impacts.   To download the booklet or order free printed copies visit the Academies' Climate Change Web site.

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7) PERI Looks to Fill Board Positions  

The Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), a nonprofit research institute focused on risk management training and education, is accepting nominations to fill two positions on its Board of Directors.  Board members and former chairs Yvonne Norton Leung and Gary Binger will step down December 2008.

The PERI board is comprised of five members — three representing the public sector, one representing nonprofits, and one representing small businesses. The positions to be filled are nonprofit and public sector representatives.

The deadline to submit names to the nominating committee is August 1, 2008. Elections will be September 25 at the quarterly board meeting in Richmond, Virginia. For more information or to submit your name for consideration, send a short bio and letter explaining why you would like to serve on the PERI board to the PERI nominating committee. To learn more about PERI, visit

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8)Call Outs: Calls for Abstracts, Papers, Proposals, and More

Call for Contributions
Disaster Recovery Resources is a new Web site created to collect, annotate, and share a selection of research results, references, links and other resources related to the long-term recovery phase of a major disaster.

The site will collect and share various forms of information that contribute to an understanding of the community recovery process after a major disaster.

Contributions from researchers, practitioners, and consultants are essential to the site’s success. To contribute, e-mail Project Manager Claire B. Rubin.

Information/Interview Search
Sara Coren, University College London

Sara Coren of University College London is working in collaboration with ImageCat Inc. to produce a comprehensive National Science Foundation report on the distribution, impact, and urban vulnerability of the 2007 Southern California wildfires. She has information on fire progression and the extent and nature of the damage and is now working to understand fire management and decision making during the event. Coren is specifically interested in information regarding response to the Witch Fire in San Diego County.

If you have any information on the Witch Fire, general fire management and decision processes during catastrophic wildfire evolution, or individuals who might be available for an interview, contact Coren by e-mail.

Request for Proposals
2009 Psychology Beyond Borders Mission Awards

Psychology Beyond Borders (PBB) is seeking project proposals for the 2009 PBB Mission Awards. PBB is an international nonprofit organization focusing on the psychosocial impacts of terror attacks, armed conflicts, and natural disasters.

Criteria for Proposals
PBB seeks research and action-oriented projects that contribute to at least two of the following five PBB mission areas:

1. Research contributing to a body of knowledge about which psychosocial strategies — in prevention, large-scale disaster preparedness and response, armed conflict, or terror attacks — are healing or harmful;

2. Psychosocial service delivery, including partnerships with response teams in communities impacted by large-scale traumatic events;

3. Education programs raising awareness about psychosocial impacts of disaster, armed conflict, or terror attacks and building community competencies in best-practice methods of preparedness and intervention;

4. Public policy recommendations assisting in community preparedness and response and recovery associated with large-scale traumatic events; and

5. Network building that enhances international collaboration, knowledge sharing and systems for prevention, preparedness and response, armed conflict, or terror attacks.

Projects will be evaluated on how they contribute to mission areas, especially research. Preference will be given to those that combine research with more than one other key area.

Project Funding and Duration
Projects of $5,000 to $15,000, with expected durations of one year, beginning January 2009, will be funded. To fund more projects, preference will be given to smaller budget projects that focus on a specific population or intervention.

Applicants must be affiliated with a university or non-profit organization. PBB encourages applications from international organizations or individuals who represent diversity.

Application Information
Application information and details are available on the PBB Web site. Applications should be received by Friday, September 12. Send applications by e-mail to or by mail to Psychology Beyond Borders, 1000 Rio Grande, Austin, TX, 78701.

Call for Abstracts
National Floodproofing Conference IV 

Abstract guidelines for the National Floodproofing Conference in New Orleans, November 16-20, 2008, are now online at Association of State Floodplain Managers Web site. Abstracts must be submitted by June 13.  

The Call for Abstracts targets engineers, architects, and representatives from all levels of government, especially local government. Building officials, floodplain managers, mitigation officers, nonprofit and volunteer organizations, floodproofing material/product suppliers and manufacturers, providers of floodproofing services, home and business owners, the public, and representatives of the banking, insurance, and real estate industries are all invited to submit abstracts for consideration.

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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]

2008 Emergency Response Guidebook

The U.S. Department of Transportation, along with Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico, has released the 2008 Emergency Response Guidebook. The guide will aid those responding to hazardous material transportation incidents in quickly identifying the specific material and protecting themselves and the public. The guide can be downloaded in PDF form or ordered in print.

CDC Environmental Health Shelter Assessment Tool

A Center for Disease Control tool to help environmental health practitioners conduct rapid assessments of shelter conditions during emergencies and disasters. The assessment form covers 14 areas of environmental health, ranging from basic food safety and water quality to pet wellness. It also allows for the documentation of immediate needs in shelters and can be modified to meet local needs.


A portal to information for users and potential users of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s HAZUS-MH software. The earthquake-, flood-, and hurricane-modeling software, which is available free to local, state and federal governments, was recently updated with new versions and tools.

Department of Homeland Security Information Sharing Strategy

This is the most recently released directive for Department of Homeland Security's information sharing policy. According to DHS, the policy's vision has been expanded and now includes external information sharing.

BC Management’s Business Continuity Compensation Report

The Seventh annual survey of professionals in business continuity, disaster recovery, emergency management and crisis management is now available. Salary information is aggregated by job, location, certifications, experience level, and a variety of other factors.

Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response

This site compiles information from the Yale New Haven Center, a Connecticut center that aims to advance healthcare planning, preparedness and response in emergencies and disasters through collaboration. This site includes community preparedness programs; training for emergency managers, first responders, healthcare workers, and others; information on pandemic flu, incident command, and NIMS compliance; and more.


This site aggregates natural hazard information and risk data both by country and by hazard. Information, including text and graphics, is uploaded by users in a wiki-type format. Blogs, links and disaster-related news also are included.

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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]

2008 World Water Week—Stockholm, Sweden: August 17-23, 2008. This annual global meeting is designed to promote capacity-building, partnership, and follow-up on the implementation of international water development processes and programs. The event promotes the exchange of views and experiences between the scientific, business, policy, and civil society communities. This year’s theme, “Progress and Prospects on Water: For a clean and Healthy World,” has an emphasis on sanitation. Over 90 different plenary sessions, workshops, seminars, and other programs will be offered.

Geological Society of America Annual Meeting: Celebrating the International Year of Planet Earth—Houston, Texas: October 5-9 2008. The vision of this conference is to highlight and stimulate discussions on areas of common interest across a diversity of disciplines and organizations. Shared involvement in energy, water resources, education, and earth systems will foster a program of thousands of scientific papers, hundreds of exhibits, and a myriad of distinguished lecturers and special events to engage students and professionals in the earth sciences and in employment sectors.

46th Annual Conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)—New Orleans, Louisiana: October 7-10, 2008. The URISA Annual Conference traditionally attracts professionals interested in management/policy discussions on information technology (IT) and geographic information systems (GIS) issues. URISA 2008 will challenge participants to better manage, analyze, plan, and implement technology for more effective and efficient government operations.

Fourth National Conference on Coastal and Estuarine Habitat Restoration—Providence, Rhode Island: October 11-15, 2008. This conference will address all aspects of coastal and estuarine habitat restoration on all scales. The five-day conference will explore the latest aspects of restoration and is comprised of field sessions, plenary sessions, expert presentations, special evening events, workshops, a poster hall, and a restoration exposition. The goal of this conference is to advance the science, scale, pace, practice, and success of habitat restoration an all scales. It brings together the entire coastal and estuarine habitat restoration community, providing a blend of people, policy, science, strategy, business, and best practices.

14th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering—Beijing, China: October 12-17, 2008. Started in 1956 and held every four years, the World Conference on Earthquake Engineering is the most influential and largest professional event in the field of earthquake engineering. This year’s meeting will serve as an international forum at which more than 3,000 specialists, government officials, and non-governmental organization representatives in earthquake engineering and related fields will exchange their latest research results and technologies. It also serves as an opportunity for related vendors to display products and services. The conference strives to promote innovation, transformative practice, and durable safety in reducing the impact of earthquakes on society and the natural environment.

IHDP Seventh Open Meeting: Social Challenges of Global Change—New Delhi, India: October 16-19, 2008. This meeting, organized by the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IDHP) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), is applicable to the South Asian region, particularly India. The conference will follow outcomes from the Open Meeting in Bonn in 2005, which tried to outline the need for a more selective scientific approach. The four core issues to be addressed are: demographic challenges; limitations of resources and ecosystem services; maintenance of social cohesion while increasing global equity; and adaptation of institutions to address global change.

Gender and Climate Change Global Congress of Women in Politics and Governance—Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines: October 19-22, 2008. Women in governance and environmental organizations, youth leaders, and media practitioners are encouraged to attend this meeting. The discussion on gender and climate change will be organized around identifying challenges to action, as well as defining appropriate responses to effectively address the impacts of climate change. Discussions will focus on defining and elaborating actions (i.e., preparedness, disaster risk reduction, adaptation, and mitigation) to cope with climate change and its impacts.

1868 Hayward Earthquake Alliance Third Conference on Earthquake Hazards in the Eastern San Francisco Bay Area—Hayward, California: October 22-24, 2008. Meeting organizers include representatives from the California Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, CSU East Bay, University of California-Berkeley, and URS Corporation. This event commemorates the 140th anniversary of the 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake. The conference represents the third of a series of workshops, the last of which was held in 1992. It offers scientific presentations, a free public forum on earthquake hazards and preparedness, teacher workshops/tutorials on earthquake science, and geology and engineering field trips in the East Bay area.

Interdisciplinary Climate Research Symposium—Saguaro Lake Ranch, Arizona: November 2-9, 2008. The Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research connects natural and social scientists engaged in research related to climate change impacts and solutions. The goal is to broaden perspectives and establish a collegial peer network addressing climate challenges at the intersection of science and society. The annual symposium brings a select group of early career scientists interested in working across traditional disciplinary boundaries together. Conference participants will provide oral and poster presentations in plenary format, hone interdisciplinary communication and team skills, and discuss emerging issues with each other, as well as established researchers invited to serve as mentors.

National Wildland/Urban Interface Fire Education Conference: Backyards and Beyond— Tampa, Florida: November 6-8, 2008 . This conference provides an opportunity to learn from those who work in the wildland/urban interface. More than 500 individuals from fire protection, mitigation, research, insurance, planning, and emergency management will gather to exchange ideas, share personal and professional experiences, and learn the latest developments in mitigation, organizing, and conducting community activities to improve safety and survival from wildfires.

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11) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

[The following job postings provided an overview of some selected openings in hazards-related fields. For more information on a particular job, please follow the links provided.]

 Health and Medical Planner
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

This position assists with the development, strategic planning, implementation, coordination, and evaluation of the preparedness program meeting health and medical needs of Philadelphia residents. Emergency Management Planners work closely with numerous city, regional, state, and the community.  

All OEM staff is required to work during non-business hours, as needed in a field environment, and during activations of the Emergency Operations Center. Staff also is on-call. Successful candidates must be city residents within six months of hire. Candidates should team-oriented and able to work in a fast-paced, professional public safety environment.

Some job duties include:
--Familiarization with stakeholders and fundamentals of emergency management
--Researching best practices for health- and medical-related issues such as healthcare facility preparedness, disease control and prevention, worker health and safety, hazardous materials, and casualty and fatality management
--Developing and enhancing preparedness messages for emergency preparedness education campaigns.
--Identifying and collecting resource information related to agencies that govern public health, medical, and environmental safety services
--Writing and updating assigned elements of citywide emergency plans

Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a college accredited in planning, management, healthcare, public administration or a related field is required. Experience working within an emergency management, public health or healthcare organization is preferred. Familiarity with health care and emergency medical services in Philadelphia also is preferred. For full job requirements, e-mail Christopher Coforio.

Emergency Preparedness Manager
John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, California

Some job duties include:
--Ensuring the Airport is prepared to respond to, mitigate, and recover from emergencies or disasters; develop and maintain emergency preparedness and recovery plans in compliance with regulations
--Planning and executing emergency preparedness
--Acting as primary liaison to the County’s Emergency Management Bureau
--Directing and maintaining Airport volunteer Emergency Response
--Maintaining the airport emergency supply

Required qualifications include:
--Bachelor’s degree from an college accredited in emergency management, business administration, public administration or other related area of study plus five or more years of progressively responsible experience
--Verifiable experience in writing emergency response plans, coordinating training, and conducting tabletop and full-scale exercises
--Extensive knowledge of all phases of disaster mitigation and principles of emergency management

Emergency management experience directly related to commercial airports and/or certification in emergency preparedness planning and management, disaster recovery or, business continuity planning is highly desirable. For full job description or to apply, click here.

Hazard Mitigation Specialists
IEM, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Some skills required include:
--Oral communication and presentation skills are essential. Demonstrated training and facilitation skills desired
--Ability to work with homeowners, many devastated by the Katrina/Rita storms, to identify critical needs and provide solutions
--Ability to meet deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment
--Ability to organize and write clear, concise technical reports

Some required qualifications are:
--Background in emergency management, grant administration, homeowner’s insurance adjustment, real estate, accounting, social services, or customer service
--Experience in the management and execution of the Hazard Mitigation Grant program preferred
--Minimum of bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
--Ability to travel for extended periods

Click here for full job description and to apply.

Public Safety Communications Manager
Gallatin County 911 Communications Office, Bozeman, Montana

This position is in the Gallatin County 911 communications office and is responsible for procurement, implementation and maintenance of the Public Safety Radio Comms systems, including trunked, vote/steered, digital and analog for Gallatin County. The position reports to the Communications Service Director and does not supervise other county personnel.

Some qualifications include:
--Basic knowledge of radio frequency equipment and systems used to diagnose, repair, or install radio communication systems
--Knowledge of FCC rules and regulations related to radio spectrum and the wireless environment, as well as pending rule changes that affect public safety communications
--An understanding and knowledge of public safety technology planning; city/county frequencies; fiscal accounting; public safety operations; theories, principles and practices of administration and the ability to implement a complex program that crosses multiple jurisdictions

A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in telecommunications, electronics, electrical engineering IT or closely related filed plus five years experience managing a large public safety radio system is required. Find a full job description here.

FEMA National Exercise Division Director

FEMA is in need of an individual to serve as Director, National Exercise Division (NED) within FEMA’s National Preparedness Directorate, National Integration Center.  This is a senior level position within the United States Government. It is not a political appointment.

Some job duties include:
--Guiding the direction of national preparedness exercises with the support of 21 full time employees
--Coordinating the National Exercise Program (NEP) to meet the goals of Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-8 and the requirements of the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act (PKEMRA) 

Some qualifications are:
--Excellent inter-agency coordination persuading exercise stakeholders to align and integrate priorities at the national level 
--Knowledge of methodology for designing, developing, conducting, and evaluating exercises, includes the ability to leverage lessons-learned repositories and tools to improve effectiveness
--Significant leadership experience beyond technical or exercise development that enables the candidate to work at the executive level facilitating collaboration, regional preparedness and support at state and local levels. 

While an operation experience is beneficial, this is not an operations position. More importance lies within the ability to translate DHS objectives into exercises that measure the effectiveness of the big picture national preparedness objectives.

For more information or to apply, e-mail your information to Mark Makary, FEMA Federal Contractor and Executive Recruiter.

Exercise/Training Specialist
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Washington D.C.

Duties include:
--Providing coordination efforts to support HSEMA's federal and state partners in developing, coordinating and delivering training assessments, emergency management training, technical assistance, exercise, and evaluation activities
--Preparing briefings, exercise plans, role players, evaluator handbooks, events lists, after action reports and corrective action plans
--Developing and updating standard operating procedures and District of Columbia training and exercise handbooks

This position provides oversight for gap analysis and needs assessment projects, serves as point-of-contact for coordination of government participants in regional training and conducts exercise delivery and evaluation with other agencies. For more information or to apply, click here.

Community Training and Exercise Specialist
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, Washington D.C.

Duties include:
--Providing coordination efforts to support HSEMA partners in developing, coordinating and delivering educational emergency preparedness planning services and products, technical assistance, exercise and evaluation activities
--Assisting in the development of strategies and approaches to enhance the readiness of D.C. residents and those of surrounding jurisdictions
--Interfacing directly with members of neighborhood-based organizations, individual citizens, government, and neighborhood officials
--Conducting and attending emergency preparedness education and awareness activities at the neighborhood level
--Providing community exercise planning assistance to community-based organizations, local jurisdictions, and state partners

For more information and to apply, click here.

Emergency Management Coordinator
Town of East Hartford, Connecticut

Duties include:
--Formulating emergency management policies and procedures
--Insuring the town follows state and federal mandates  
--Making decisions about the implementing emergency plans and operating the town emergency operations center when open

Considerable knowledge and ability in all phases of emergency planning and related state and federal guidelines is required. For complete job description and to apply, click here.

Emergency Management Coordinator
University of Minnesota Department of Emergency Management, Twins Cities, Minnesota

 This position primarily works with an assigned portfolio of campuses and units within the University of Minnesota system, assisting stakeholders at those locations in developing and implementing emergency operations plans.

Qualifications include:
--Strong organizational skills and demonstrated ability to facilitate planning
--Ability to travel 1.5 days a week, on average, to various locations across the state.
--Bachelor’s degree in business administration, emergency management, or a related field and at least one year of full-time experience working in an emergency services position. A combination of education and experience to total at least five years may be substituted for the degree.

Click here for more information or to apply.

Management Analyst
Florida Department of Emergency Management, Seminole County , Florida

Qualifications include:
--Ability to implement grant program policies, plans and procedures as governed by federal and state laws and rules
--Ability to independently conduct project eligibility reviews and manage and monitor projects for specific disasters.
--Ability to manage financial activities for disaster projects and provide budget projections
--Ability to provide technical assistance to state and local governments and other entities on mitigation projects
--Ability to conduct effective program presentations to state and local
--Ability to travel overnight and work non-traditional hours during emergency events.

Click here for more information or to apply.

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