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Number 637 • November 20, 2014 | Past Issues













A Tip of the Santa Hat as DR Takes a Holiday

‘Tis the season for taking a break—even from DR. Although we hate to take our leave, we know how busy things get this time of year, so the newsletter will be on a hiatus during the holiday season.

With that in mind, you’ll find this issue light reading—just a few Center notices and a some jobs, conferences, and Web sites we had to get to you before 2015. You can look for us to return with DR 638 on January 13.

Don’t worry though, we’re not settling down to a long winter’s nap. While we’re away we’ll be working on some exciting things—welcoming a new editor for the Natural Hazards Observer, finalizing our Workshop schedule, and creating new DR features, to name a few.

We’ll fill you in on all of that at the start the new year, when we’ll be back with the same great disaster news you can use. Until then, happy holidays!

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Got Something to Say? We Want You at the Workshop

The 40th Annual Natural Hazards Workshop will be held July 19-22, 2015 and this year we’ll be doing things a little differently.

Instead of soliciting session proposals, we’d like you to tell us what you want to talk about. If you’re interested in being a panelist, just fill out this form with your contact information and a brief description of what you would contribute.

Although we’ll be organizing our sessions differently this year, some things will remain the same. As you prepare your submission, keep the following in mind: 

--In most sessions, panelists are not permitted to present slides, video, or papers. Instead, they will respond to a moderator's framing questions.

--We are most interested in emerging questions, new perspectives, and topics of broad interest and applicability.

--Workshop sessions consist of lively interaction between various members of the hazards community—academics, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders. Consider how your expertise will contribute to a larger conversation about issues surrounding hazards and disasters.

The submission window will close on December 15. If you make a complete submission using the Web form linked here, we will notify you whether or not it has been accepted by January 31.

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If You're Not Already Booked, We're Looking for Reviewers

If you like a good disaster read, our Natural Hazards Center library is overflowing with books in need of review. We’re looking for a few volunteers to curl up with a good book and give us their take. Reviews will be posted online and the best ones will make it into our publications with a byline. E-mail librarian Wanda Headley for more information.

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

Call for Applications
Department of Homeland Security Graduate Student Fellowship
Coastal Hazards Center
Deadline: November 30, 2014

The Coastal Hazards Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accepting applications for a graduate fellowship in coastal hazards. Eligible applicants should be interested in pursuing a master’s or PhD with a focus on coastal hazards modeling. Fellows will complete two paid summer internships, attend the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Summit, and receive an annual stipend of $25,000. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Coastal Hazards Center Web site.


Call for Applications
Post Graduate Internship Program
Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Deadline: November 30, 2014

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute is accepting applications for participants in its Post Graduate Internship program. Post-graduate interns will gain experience in earthquake engineering, policy, and planning and contribute to EERI initiatives such as the World Housing Encyclopedia and the Learning from Earthquakes Program. Interns receive a $1,500 monthly stipend. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the EERI Web site.


Call for Proposals
Interdisciplinary Research in Hazards and Disasters (Hazards SEES)
National Science Foundation
Deadline: December 3, 2014
The National Science Foundation is seeking multidisciplinary research proposals for its Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability Program, which promotes research that contributes to a hazard-resilient society. Proposals should focus on understanding processes related to natural hazards, the impacts of hazards on society as a whole, and the capacity to respond to and recover from disasters. For more information on proposal requirements and guidelines, visit the National Science Foundation Web site.

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Some New Web Resources

Facebook Safety Check
Emergencies often send people scurrying to social media feeds to see how their friends are faring. Now, Facebook has made that even easier with Safety Check. The new feature uses your most recent Facebook location to update your status after a disaster. If a disaster strikes in your area, you’ll receive a notification asking if you’re safe and your news feed will automatically be updated with the info. Want to see the new feature in action? Watch this video for more info.


Stormproofing the City
Is New York City ready for future natural disasters? That’s the question posed in this series by The Guardian, where experts share their knowledge of what the City is doing to prepare for natural disasters since the Hurricane Sandy. The series will interview scientists, emergency practitioners, and others in an effort to paint a complete picture of the many people working to prep the Big Apple for coming storms.


Monster Guard
We all know that disasters can be monstrous. Now kids can be disaster-fighting monsters, thanks to this free app developed by the Red Cross. Monster Guard lets children ages 7-11 attend Monster Guard Academy where, as the monster character of their choice, they bone up on ways to prepare for a variety of hazards. After all the lessons are learned, the kids graduate to a world where disasters are a little less scary. Check it out at the link above or text MONSTER to 90999 to receive a link for download.


Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository
Want to be a “LEEDIR” in emergency response? Then this new Web site is for you. The Large Emergency Event Digital Information Repository, or LEEDIR, allows law enforcement and relief agencies to quickly issue a call for on-the-ground evidence in the wake of an emergency. The public then submits videos and photos to the site, allowing emergency personnel to easily collect and analyze crucial data.


Critical Issues in Disaster Science and Management: A Dialogue Between Researchers and Practitioners
There are plenty of publications that discuss the many issues that plague disaster management, but this e-book, available from the Federal Emergency Management, has the unique advantage of looking at problems from the viewpoint of academics and practitioners, as well as from a synthesis of the two perspectives. When it comes to bridging the gap between research and practice, this read is invaluable.

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Conferences 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]

November 28, 2014
Disasters, Mental Wellbeing, and Disability—Promoting Resilience for All
United Nations University
Tokyo, Japan
Cost and Registration: Free, open until filled

This forum will focus on integrating mental health and disabilities into disaster risk management and how the post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction could address issues of mental wellbeing. Topics include challenges to human security, the mental state of people in disaster-affected areas, disaster policy, and experiences from Typhoon Haiyan, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and public health in Africa.


December 10-11, 2014
Safe Cities
IIR Telecoms and Technology
Madrid, Spain
Cost and Registration: $3,022, open until filled

This conference will communicate best practices for building safer cities, including enabling interagency collaboration, handling of emergencies in police command and control rooms, and data management. Topics include safe city case studies, physical security information management deployment, terrorism in an urban environment, disaster planning, video surveillance and analytics evolutions, and transportation networks.


February 23, 2014
International LiDAR Mapping Forum
The Imaging and Geospatial Information Society
Denver, Colorado
Cost and Registration: $575 before December 19, open until filled
This conference will communicate new technologies and purposes for LiDAR, a technology that examines the surface of the earth using remote sensors. Topics include coastal zone mapping and lessons learned, modern hydrographic techniques, single photon LiDAR, mapping the Oso landslide, and implementing LiDAR in transportation.


February 25-27, 2015
Eighth Annual Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum
New York, New York
Cost and Registration: $695 before January 2, open until filled

This conference will discuss the challenges of building sustainable and resilient infrastructure and offer solutions and strategies. Topics include optimizing the electric grid, urban mass transit projects, water and wastewater projects, and New York City as a global hub for infrastructure.


January 20, 2015
Global Treaties—Are They Destined to Fail?
Munich Re Foundation
Munich, Germany
Cost and Registration: Not listed, opens December 1
This conference will examine the effectiveness of global treaties and international conferences. Topics include redrafting agreements such as Millennium Development Goals and the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy, how the World Climate Summit will guide climate protection, the United Nation’s ability to achieve its goals, and the role of the private sector in global treaties.

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Risk and Resilience Advisor
Save the Children
London, England
Salary: $56,312 to $62,568
Deadline: November 26, 2014

This position will integrate disaster risk reduction into strategy and strengthen relationships with key partners. Duties include developing program publications on risk and resilience policy that affects children, enhancing Save the Children’s reputation for mitigation and management of risks, developing resource materials and training on risk management. A postgraduate level of education relating to development or a similar field, and experience in integrating risk reduction on an international platform are required.


Supervisory Program Specialist, GS-14
Federal Emergency Management Agency
New York, New York
Salary: $110,112 to $143,141
Deadline: November 28, 2014

This position is responsible for developing and implementing the Regional Public Assistance Program. Duties include meeting with the region II Public Assistance Branch regularly, researching and analyzing policy reports, and serving as an expert on recently introduced legislation. One year of specialized experience at the GS-13 level and expert experience in interpreting policies for public assistance grants programs are required.


Disaster Risk Assessment and Monitoring Department Head
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center
Bangkok, Thailand
Salary: Not listed
Deadline: November 30, 2014

This position is responsible for department management and will serve as a member of the executive committee of the ADPC. Duties include project management, strategy development, staff administration, capacity building training, and program quality control. A master’s degree in civil engineering, urban planning, or a related field and at least five years experience in hazard, vulnerability, and risk assessment are required.


Director of Emergency Management
Vanguard Resources
Dallas, Texas
Salary: Not listed
Deadline: Open until filled

This position will manage the integration and application of emergency management programs to corporate and site programs across multiple hospitals. Duties include assessing emergency management programs according to well-known industry standards, designing and implementing hospital emergency operations plans, conducting disaster drills, and maintaining hospital operation documents. A bachelor’s degree in public health or related field, certification in Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional, and at least five years of experience is required.

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Webinars, Training, and Education

Climate Information for Managing Risks in Water Resources
December 3, 2015, 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Cost and Registration: Free, register in advance
This webinar will present research evaluating the relationship between climate, water, and drought data and focus on developing a tool for using water research data to make decisions. Way that the research contributed to management decisions in the Klamath Basin in Oregon and California will also be covered.



Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning
March 3-4, 2015
Emergency Management Institute
Cost and Registration: Free, register before January 6
This course will train emergency planners how to include disability—and functional needs--inclusive practices in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery plans. Lessons will define disabilities and access and functional needs, identify resources to assist in planning for adults and children with disabilities, and raise awareness of the importance of inclusive practices. Continuing health education credits are available.

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Contributions of jobs, conferences, and other content to this newsletter can be sent to Please include “for Disaster Research” in the subject line.

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