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Number 505• July 3, 2008 | Past Issues











1) Cecilia Castro García: 2008 Mary Fran Myers Award Winner

The Natural Hazards Center and Gender and Disaster Network have named Cecilia Castro Garcia as the 2008 Mary Fran Myers Award winner.

The Mary Fran Myers Award was established in 2002 to recognize disaster professionals who continue Myers’ goal of promoting research on gender issues, disasters, emergency management, and higher education.

Castro García is an independent researcher and consultant who has dedicated her work to enabling practices to mainstream approaches of gender equity and integrate disaster risk management in community activities, government programs, urban and social development policies, and institutes advancing women’s issues. She has worked on the theories of comprehensive disaster risk management and environmental management as part of a more just and sustainable approach to development. She holds a bachelor’s in human settlement design (urban and regional planning) and is a specialist in gender studies and has doctoral studies in social sciences.

See Castro Garcia’s full bio on the Natural Hazards Web site.

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2) July Natural Hazards Observer Available Online

The July 2008 Natural Hazards Observer is now available online.

This issue’s featured articles are:

  • New Developments and Shifting Focus in Mass Evacuation
  • From "Problem" to " Opportunity" in Water Management and Flood Mitigation
  • Texas Hurricane Evacuees Must Prove Citizenship
  • New Madrid Seismic Zone Alive and Shaking

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

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3) Disaster Research Takes a Break

As the Natural Hazards Center gears up for its 33rd Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Disaster Research will take a two-week hiatus. While we hate to make you wait for your next dose of DR, we’ll be too busy making disaster research news to compile it.

Look for Disaster Research 506 to return July 31 with updates on Workshop happenings and all the same great news items, resources, conferences and job postings.

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4)Homeland Security Committee Bills Aim to Enhance National Preparedness and Response

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the June introduction of the following three bills, which are aimed at enhancing national preparedness and response capabilities.

H.R. 6425—The Homeland Security Relief Corps Act of 2008. This bill establishes a Relief Corps within the Department of Homeland Security to respond to disasters whether natural or human-induced.

H.R. 6392—The Alerting Lives Through Effective and Reliable Technological Systems Act of 2008 (or the ALERTS Act of 2008). This bill expands the emergency alert and warning system within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide Americans information before and during critical emergencies.

H.R. 6395—The Department of Homeland Security Preparedness, Research, and Education Program Act of 2008 (or the DHS PREP Act of 2008). This bill establishes a DHS fellowship program to conduct research and subsequently develop best practices for disaster response and recovery.

For more information on the introduction of these bills, visit the committee Web site.

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5) FEMA Announces $48 Million in Interoperable Communication Grants

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in June announced the availability of $48 million in grant money to improve interoperable emergency communications capabilities across states, territories, local governments, and tribal areas.

States and territories can apply for the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) funds through their State Administrative Agency.

Grants awarded this fiscal year will provide funding that focuses on establishing formal governance for interoperable emergency communications and common planning and operation protocols, as well as enhancing emergency responder skills through training and exercises.

All 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico will receive a minimum allocation of 0.50 percent of the total allocated funds. American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive a minimum allocation of 0.08 percent. 

FEMA expects to award funds by September 2008.

For more information on IECGP, please visit FEMA grant page.

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6) Hodgepodge Levee System Contributed to Flood Damage

Midwestern flood damage could have been limited if a patchwork of levees along the Mississippi River had been more uniformly managed—a recommendation made 15 years ago in an expert report prompted by the 1993 flooding.

Gerald E. Galloway Jr., former Army Corps of Engineer brigadier General and chairman of the report committee, said last week damage could have been minimized if the levees—which are aging, differ in material and construction, and maintained by various groups, government agencies, and individuals—were centrally managed, according to a report in the New York Times.

“We told them there were going to be more floods like this,” Galloway told the Times. “Everybody likes to go out and shake hands on the levee now and offer sandbags, but that’s not helpful. This shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

Galloway, now Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering and Affiliate Professor of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, will give a keynote speech titled “Working with Aging and Unknown Levees: Who Has the Ball?” at the 33rd Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop next week.

Read the full text of the Times article online.

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

Call for Articles
Special Gender Issue of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters

The International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters is marking the 10-year anniversary of its first special gender issue with a second issue focusing on gender, to run March 2009.

Those interested in submitting an article for this special issue can e-mail Rosalind Houghton at Victoria University of Wellington at or David Johnston at Massey University/GNS Science at Please respond by early August.


Call for Submissions
2008 EERI Annual Graphics Competitions

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Younger Members Committee is seeking submission for its Annual Graphics Competition encouraging innovative thinking in earthquake-related research.

Examples of artwork include but are not limited to pictures, design graphs, mathematical concepts and formulae in graphical formats, logos, computer animations and simulations, and conceptual design. Submitted artwork must be related to earthquake science and engineering, earthquake causes, and consequences of earthquakes.

Submission deadline is August 31. For more information and instructions on how to submit your electronic artwork, click here.

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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]

Report on Special Needs Assessment for Katrina Evacuees (SNAKE) Project

This report from the National Organization on Disability (NOD) confirms “traditional response and recovery systems” in the United States are ill-equipped to handle the needs of the disabled, elderly, and medically dependent. Using Hurricane Katrina as a case study, the NOD paints a picture of what it was like for the 23.2 percent of the New Orleans population that is disabled. The report also gives numerous recommendations to improve disaster response and recovery in special needs populations.

Bradford Disaster Research Unit

In the mid 1970s, the Project Planning Centre for Developing Countries at England’s University of Bradford developed a Disaster Research Unit to address, among other things, human response to disasters, an assessment of the impact of tropical cyclones in Fiji, and a Bahamas-based field study on pre-disaster planning. Bradford researchers published a series of “Occasional Papers” on topics ranging from precautionary planning and disaster management to disaster definitions that set the stage for modern day disaster reduction research. Fourteen of the papers are now available on the above Web site.

The National Interagency Fire Center—Incident Management Situation Report

The Incident Management Situation Report provides up-to-date information on fire activity across the country, including the number of new fires, large fires, and uncontained large fires. The report also tracks the spread of these fires and lists areas where blazes might damage facilities, residences, power lines and communication towers, as well as active evacuations. To access this information, click on Incident Management Situation Report link on the above Web site.

Carbon Emissions Calculator

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) now gives passengers a simple way to estimate carbon dioxide levels emitted during air travel. With only a small amount of information entered by the user, the calculator factors in variables such as aircraft types, air traffic routes, and passenger and cargo loads and gives giving travelers the CO2 emission information they need to select trips offsetting their impact on climate change. The Carbon Emissions Calculator supports the United Nations Climate Neutral Initiative which urges all agencies and units within the UN system to measure carbon emission totals.

WMO El Niño/La Niña Update

This press release from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) presents a forecast for El Niño and La Niña activity through the rest of this year. El Niño and La Niña are responsible for numerous natural hazards, including drought and monsoon flooding. The WMO predicts that the effects of El Niño and La Niña in the upcoming months will be very mild.

“Why More Men Die in Floods

This TIME Magazine article by Amanda Ripley explores gender differences in fatalities from this summer’s extreme Midwest flooding. According to the article, men are more likely than women to die in floods or other storms and natural disasters. Experts believe men have a higher risk of fatality in many storms because they are more likely to work outside. But the high number of deaths also can be attributed to men’s increased willingness to take risks.

Natural Security: Protected Areas and Hazard Mitigation

This report is the fifth volume in a series of reports developed as part of the “ Arguments for Protection” project, which aims to widen and strengthen support for park creation by presenting evidence on the social and economic benefits of protected areas. The report explores the increasing number and severity of natural disasters, reviews how environmental degradation is contributing to this trend, looks at how conservation through protection is mitigating the impacts of hazards and disasters, and discusses options for further developing the role of protected areas in disaster prevention and mitigation strategies. The World Wildlife Fund for Nature and the UK-based consulting firm Equilibrium created this report.

Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition

The Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) is dedicated to providing first responders with information on hazmat situations involving renewable fuels. The Web site features information on EERC, research on ethanol spills and fires, and training resources for those responding to ethanol incidents.

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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]

Fifth Annual Homeland Security Conference — Alexandria, Virginia: July 8-9, 2008. Delegates attending the DGC NYC, Inc. National Homeland Security event will receive thought-provoking information that provides insight into their professional responsibilities. The program allows delegates to learn from and interact with strategic and brilliant minds in the homeland security field, as well as giving attendees an opportunity to network with top companies in the industry.

Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosives (CBRN-E): Prepare to Respond— Prague: July 15-16, 2008. This two-day international seminar includes specialist workshops designed to help prepare and advise agencies, organizations, and individuals who might be called on to respond or assist in a CBRN-E threat.

New Madrid Seismic Zone Conference: Preparing for a Significant Earthquake— Rolla, Missouri: August 12-14, 2008. The goal of this conference is to provide a regional forum for the presentation and exchange of ideas, as well as potential solutions for preparing for a significant earthquake in the central United States. The conference opens communication between academia, government, non-government agencies, and the private sector to address existing and forecasted needs of the response and recovery community.

Fifth European Workshop on the Seismic Behavior of Irregular and Complex Structures— Catania, Italy: September 16-17, 2008 . This workshop provides an opportunity for exchanges among seismic engineers, a forum for discussions, and a convivial atmosphere in which to make new contacts and renew old friendships.

Deep Foundations Institute Annual Conference— New York City, New York: October 14-17, 2008. Industry leaders from around the globe will provide a broad perspective on deep foundation practice in the urban environment and the challenges associated with it. Case histories on projects including innovative uses of the deep foundations construction systems covered by DFI technical committees will be presented.

U.S. EPA Region III Emergency Preparedness and Prevention and Hazmat Spills Conference— Richmond, Virginia: October 26-29, 2008. This four-day all-hazards conference for government and industry officials includes educational workshops, training sessions, and networking opportunities. The exhibit gives attendees a chance to meet and mingle with key decision makers in the emergency preparedness and prevention fields.

Altered Standards of Care and Surge Capacity Conference: Mass Casualty Management in Times of Crisis— Washington D.C.: Oct. 27-28, 2008. This conference will bring together influential medical and public health leaders to teach preparedness planners at the federal, state, regional, and community levels how to plan for and support surge capacity in healthcare systems. Planners also will learn how to develop altered standards of care to meet mass casualty needs during all-hazard and hazard-specific emergencies. The conference will highlight best practices for preparedness in disasters, terrorism attacks, and pandemic diseases.

35th Annual Conference on Ecosystems Restoration and Creation: Assessment of Wetland Mitigation and Mitigation Banks— Plant City, Florida: November 6-8, 2008. This conference provides a broad forum to exchange the latest research and experiences in restoration, creation, and management of ecosystems. The theme of this year’s conference is “Assessment of Wetland Mitigation and Mitigation Banks.” In addition to the presentation of research results, the conference will feature national and international guest speakers, panel discussions, and a tour of mitigation case studies.

The Emergency Services Show 2008— Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, England: November 19-20, 2008. An effective response to civil emergencies ranging from terrorist attacks to floods, fires and road traffic accidents relies on a close working relationship between industry services and organizations. Now in its third year, the Emergency Services Show is the definitive event for promoting multi-agency collaboration in UK emergency services. The 2008 event combines an extensive industry exhibition with a comprehensive conference.

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10) 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.]

Assistant/Associate Professor of Disaster Mitigation Planning
University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies, Louisiana

The Department of Planning and Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans seeks applications for an Associate or Assistant Professor in disaster mitigation planning, effective January 2009.

Some job requirements:

--PhD in urban planning or a related field
--Professional experience in the area of disaster mitigation planning is highly desirable --Individuals with research interests and experience in communities’ capacities to reduce disaster impacts; sustainability in light of environmental hazards; and, environmental justice in disaster mitigation are especially desired

Job duties include:

--Teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in an interdisciplinary disaster mitigation planning specialization and maintaining an active sponsored research agenda in this area

General information:

The multi-disciplinary UNO Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART) facilitates research collaboration on topics related to mitigation. Applications will be reviewed beginning August 1, 2008 and will continue until the position is filled.

The University of New Orleans, a member of the Louisiana State University system, has a post-Katrina enrollment of over 11,000 students and offers a broad range of academic programs, nearly one-quarter of which are at the master’s or doctoral level.

UNO is an SREB Four-Year 2 institution, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University-Intensive, and a COC/SACS Level VI institution. The Department of Planning and Urban Studies offers three graduate degrees: the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP); the Master of Science in Urban Studies; and the PhD in Urban Studies as well as a bachelor’s in Urban Studies and Planning. The department’s MURP program is currently the only accredited professional planning program within the three states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Department faculty and students have been actively engaged in post-Katrina rebuilding efforts.

Contact Information:

Candidates should send statement of interest, vita, and list of three references to: Jane S. Brooks, Department Chair, Dept. of Planning & Urban Studies, Math Bldg. 308, UNO, 2000 Lakeshore Drive, New Orleans, LA 70148 or e-mail: Visit for a profile of the department and course descriptions. For complete job description or to apply please see,


Senior Emergency Management Consultant
Beck Disaster Recovery, Inc., Indiana, Illinois, or Missouri

Some job duties:

--To effectively manage multiple emergency management projects and their budgets
--Candidates for this position must demonstrate a thorough understanding of prevailing industry standards and State/Local regulations

Some job requirements:

--Serve as project manager implementing multiple projects in the emergency management field
--Manage teams and concurrent projects from concept to close out, including scoping, pricing, staffing, product and service delivery, and records management while ensuring compliance with associated state/local laws and regulations
--Coach and mentor junior staff
--Serve as technical contact for clients

Some job qualifications:

--Bachelor’s degree or equivalent industry experience and three to eight years of related work experience
--Direct experience in emergency management and homeland security programs, including experience in planning, training and exercises, response implementation (program or field), after-action assessments, risk and threat assessment, COOP, evacuation planning, etc.
--Must have experience in marketing and developing projects and making oral presentations
--Must be able to scope and manage projects, contracts, and task orders under state and local government guidelines

For complete job description or to apply please see,


Emergency Management Director
Glynn County Board Of Commissioners, Brunswick, Georgia

Some job duties:

--Develop plans and procedures, and coordinate activities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and emergencies affecting county citizens

Some job qualifications:

--A bachelor’s degree in emergency management, fire science, management, or closely related field is required; along with three years previous experience and/or training including emergency management operations, emergency/disaster planning, public safety, program management, budget administration, and public relations

For a complete job description or to apply please see,


Disaster Housing Plan Manager
Department of Planning and Preparedness/Human Services, Brooklyn, New York

Some job duties:

--Lead post-disaster housing recovery planning for the City of New York
--Provide strategy and operation protocols, coordinate temporary housing models, and lead a coalition of city, state, federal, nonprofit, and private agency partners for housing recovery planning
--Create an all-encompassing plan of long-term solutions for post-disaster housing that address the needs of disaster victims, while providing mitigation measures that limit damage from future disasters 
--Coordinate the writing of plan sections by government, non-profit, public, and private agencies
--Communicate with the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department to oversee the Provisional Housing Project  

Job qualifications include:

-- A master’s degree from an accredited college in emergency management, public administration, urban planning, engineering, economics, political science, physical science, or related field
--One year of satisfactory full-time professional experience emergency management, fire or police services, public safety, public health, public administration, urban planning, engineering, or other related areas

Some skills needed:

--Experience and knowledge in New York City Housing; specifically existing housing programs, rental and mortgage assistance, and basic understanding of effects of disasters on housing stock
--Experience managing multiple projects in a high pressure work environment
--Experience in coalition building or neighborhood organizing
--Familiarity with human services disaster issues

For a complete job description or to apply please see,


Junior Emergency Management Specialist
Pipeline SRA International, Inc., Arlington, Virginia

 Job duties include:

--Design and implement support of emergency management programs, exercises, and related efforts
--Provide support for COOP and emergency planning projects

Some job qualifications:

--Coursework in emergency management or related analytical fields

For complete job description or to apply please see,


Hazard Mitigation Specialists
Innovative Emergency Management , New Orleans and Lake Charles, Louisiana

Some skills needed:

--Ability to work in a difficult environment identifying critical needs and providing the best possible solutions to homeowners
--Ability to meet deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment
--Ability to master new concepts and deliver quality results at an accelerated pace
--Background in one or more of the following areas: emergency management, grant Administration, homeowner’s insurance adjustment, real estate, accounting, social services, customer service
--Experience in the management and execution of the Hazard Mitigation Grant program will receive preference
--Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
--Ability to travel for extended periods

For complete job description or to apply please see,


Director, Office of Wildland Fire Coordination
Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Job duties include:

--Overseeing and coordinating the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) wildland fire management program in its entirety and ensuring coordination with other federal agencies, particularly the USDA Forest Service, state foresters, tribes, the National Association of Counties, and other stakeholders
--Developing, implementing, and coordinating the Department’s wildland fire management policy and programs, including those for firefighter safety, fuels treatment to reduce hazards and restore ecosystems, biomass utilization, smoke management, emergency stabilization and rehabilitation, suppression, rural fire, and community assistance, and education
--Providing departmental leadership and project coordination, management and implementation of the National Fire Plan among the four land-managing bureaus (Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs) and the Geological Survey

Some job qualifications:

--Knowledge of National Fire Plan and related goals, objectives, and programs
--Knowledge of policies, methods, and practices related to fire suppression, prescribed fire and post-fire rehabilitation as they relate to resources management.
--Demonstrated knowledge of Department of the Interior fire management policies and operations

To be considered, all of the above technical qualifications must be met.  Unless you now serve under a career Senior Executive Service appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into the Senior Executive Service, or have successfully completed a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program and been certified by OPM, you must submit a narrative statement covering each of the executive core qualifications.

For complete job description or to apply please see,


Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
The Architect of the Capitol, Washington, D.C.

 Job duties include:

--Developing, planning, coordinating, and evaluating the emergency preparedness procedures, guidelines, and drills
--Reviewing and evaluating planning programs for effectiveness and integration with Congressional and Regional plans
--Reviewing recent literature, research, or professional studies to determine state-of-the-art methods and techniques for program implementation
--Designing program requirements that accommodate The Architect of the Capitol priorities

Some job qualifications:

--Knowledge of legislation, policies, directives, regulations, and operating procedures of emergency preparedness and response planning
--Ability to perform program management and oversight functions
--Ability to analyze current or projected operating programs
--Knowledge of contract management and cooperative agreements required to manage or work with external resources

For complete job description or to apply please see,


Director, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division
National Protection and Programs Directorate, Washington, D.C.

 Job duties include:

--Providing strategic vision, guidance, and direction to ensure the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the information to understand and share risk and information about terrorist threats and other hazards to the nation’s critical infrastructure
--Providing managerial leadership in planning, allocating resources, and developing long-range goals and milestones
--Negotiating cooperation among the critical infrastructure sectors, state and local governments, law enforcement, and intelligence officials

Mandatory technical skills include:

--Long-range planning, resource management, and program execution for government or non-government enterprise, including management of a government regulatory/compliance enforcement program
--Ability to deal with complex homeland security-related issues with senior officials from all branches and levels of government and other critical infrastructure/key resource owners, operators, and other stakeholders
--Ability, gained through exact experience, to direct and support national-level critical infrastructure/key resource risk management, preparedness, and protection programs, or equivalent programs of significant complexity and importance in Federal, regional, state, or business enterprises

For complete job description or to apply please see,

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