Disaster Research 251

March 12, 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Seeking Information on How People Determine Safe Havens During Disaster
  2. Seeking Information on State Laws Regarding Hazard Disclosure
  3. Seeking Information on Hurricane Debris Removal
  4. Seeking Information on Response to Mass Fatality Attacks
  5. Introducing EPC's NHEMATIS Project
  6. IDNDR Secretariat Seeking Videos
  7. The United Nations 1998 World Disaster Reduction Campaign
  8. A Few More Web Sites
  9. Upcoming Shows from EENET
  10. Conferences and Training

Seeking Information on How People Determine
Safe Havens During Disaster

I am about to begin a research project following the Quebec, Eastern Ontario, Ice Storm - "Safe at Home: Locating Safety in the Built Environment" - to examine besides the obvious, how we "construct" safety. Where do I feel safe? Whom do I trust to guide me to safety? How does a natural disaster alter the "safe" place, literally and metaphorically? What actions could I, would I, have I taken to preserve safety in my home/community?

Perhaps you have some research of your own which you would share on these ideas. I'd welcome any ideas!


Kate White
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
E-mail: kwhite@ccs.carleton.ca
(613) 224-8228; Fax: (613) 225-0054

Seeking Information on State Laws Regarding Hazard Disclosure

I have been receiving your weekly emailings for some time now and I just realized that I may be able to obtain information via your email list regarding a subject I am researching for the company. We are a private company in California, JCP Geologists Inc. owned by EQE International (www.eqe.com), that provides certain natural hazards information to clients. I need to research the subject of natural hazards law on the state level relative to disclosure during the real estate transaction, lending process or at any other point of need. I would appreciate any assistance.

Jim Prendergast
E-mail: Jim_Prendergast@JCP-Inc.com; jim@eqe.com

Seeking Information on Hurricane Debris Removal

As the Program Manager for Hurricane Response Preparedness in the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia, I am interested in all information available regarding the flow of debris following a hurricane.

In particular, I am interested in the schedule/timing of debris being brought to the curbside by private citizens, for collection and disposal. In what order are the various categories of debris (clean woody, haz/industrial materials, and C&D debris) made available by citizens for collection by the local jurisdiction?

I am interested in this information to gain an understanding of just how debris management programs are operated. In Virginia Beach, we have pre-positioned contracts for damage assessment and debris management services, and I am interested in the impact that the schedule of debris will have on contract operations.

Thank you for your assistance in this research.

Tim Berkhimer
E-mail: TBERKHIM@city.virginia-beach.va.us
Tel: (757) 563-1470.

Seeking Information on Response to Mass Fatality Attacks

I am CPT Frank Holinaty, US Army, stationed here in Korea. I have been tasked to develop a plan to respond to a mass fatality biological or chemical agent terrorist/wartime attack.

I have the Army doctrine on how to decontaminate contaminated remains. I am inquiring to see if there have been any civilian sector papers or studies done on this issue that would aid in my effort.

Your assistance is appreciated.

CPT Frank Holinaty
Field Services Officer
Programs & Reconstitution Branch
E-mail: HolinatyF@USFK.Korea.Army.Mil
DSN: 723-4412

Introducing EPC's NHEMATIS Project

Over the last few years, Emergency Preparedness Canada (EPC), in cooperation with several public- and private-sector partners, has been conducting extensive research on risk assessment and vulnerability as they pertain to natural hazards in Canada. Because this is the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, the Office of the Senior Scientific Advisor of EPC has embarked on a series of projects to be completed by the end of the decade. One such project, the Natural Hazards Electronic Map and Assessment Tools Information System (NHEMATIS), is a centralized, automated facility for the collection, representation, and analysis of natural hazard information for Canada. NHEMATIS is being combined with data about population and infrastructure in order to carry out diverse risk and vulnerability analyses.

NHEMATIS is intended to provide a number of significant benefits, including shared knowledge among hazard experts and national, provincial, and local organizations concerned about emergency preparedness. It will also be a means of integrating the knowledge of professionals from complementary disciplines to support research.

NHEMATIS is currently in the third year of a four-year development process being conducted by a consortium of private companies and federal agencies. NHEMATIS integrates an expert system rule base, geographic information system (GIS), relational database(s), and quantitative models. The system will integrate information on all natural hazard types, capture location-specific information, provide multi-layer analysis, and permit hazard-impact assessment modeling on selected areas of interest and hazard types.

Some of the features incorporated in the current version of NHEMATIS include:

Future development of NHEMATIS will focus on working with potential end users and further refining both the system and the understanding of how it can best be packaged and used.

For further information contact:
Chris Tucker, Ph.D.
Senior Scientific Advisor
Emergency Preparedness Canada
Second Floor, Jackson Building
122 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0W6
Tel: (613) 991-7071
Fax: (613) 996-0995
E-mail: deval1@fox.nstn.ca; Or visit the Emergency Preparedness Canada Web site: http://hoshi.cic.sfu.ca/epc/index.html or the NHEMATIS Web site: http://www.essa.com/nhematis/index.html

IDNDR Secretariat Seeking Videos

The IDNDR Secretariat is organizing a special session on tele- communications for disaster prevention at the forthcoming Inter- governmental Conference on Emergency Telecommunications (ICET 98) to be held in Tampere, Finland, June 16-18, 1998. To open this session, the secretariat intends to prepare a 3-5 minute video on tele- communications applications for disaster prevention (including hazard assessment and disaster mitigation). To produce this video, we urgently need already existing professional-quality video footage showing telecommunication practices, products, or services involved with the protection of human lives, property, or other resources from natural disasters. While emergency relief assistance footage is abundant, it is more difficult to obtain footage showing the use of telecommunications in hazard awareness/disaster prevention. GIS applications, data transmission, regional planning/floodplain improvement, or the protection of telecommunications hardware from loss due to natural disasters are some examples of possible contributions.

If you can identify, or possibly supply, appropriate video segments for our opening video, please notify me by March 24.

Any video footage loaned to IDNDR can be returned after copying. Clearly, we hope that necessary copyright or other permission to use the footage would be granted. We can provide assurance that the finished product, the ownership of which will remain with the United Nations, will not be used for commercial purposes. In addition, the sources of footage used will be acknowledged.

Thanks for your help,
Terry Jeggle
IDNDR Secretariat
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Fax: (41-22) 733 8695 or (41-22) 788 0391
E-mail: Terry.Jeggle@dha.unicc.org

[For more information about ICET 98, on the World Wide Web, see http://www.itu.int/newsroom/projects/ICET/index.html]

The United Nations 1998 World Disaster Reduction Campaign
Natural Disaster Prevention and the Media
"Prevention Begins With Information"

The United Nations World Disaster Reduction Campaigns, organized by the U.N. International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR) Secretariat, are designed to make people aware, world-wide and across all social sectors, of what they can do to protect their communities from natural hazards. Campaign events are designed to build local capacity and wide commitment to reducing the impact of natural disasters. Each campaign culminates on U.N. World Disaster Reduction Day, the second Wednesday of October (in 1998, October 14).

This year's theme is "Natural Disaster Prevention and the Media." Recognizing that accurate, efficiently delivered information is critical for dealing with all phases of disaster, the aim is to enlist the media as working partners in promoting natural disaster prevention. This year's activities organized by the IDNDR Secretariat will include a virtual conference on the Internet to be held this fall, a photo contest, and the production of background materials supporting World Disaster Reduction Day activities around the world.

For more information - including details about any of these activities, guidelines for developing local events, and suggestions for other sources of information - contact Madeleine Moulin-Acevedo, Head, Promotion and Public Awareness Unit, IDNDR Secretariat, Palais des Nations, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland; tel: (41 22) 798 6894; fax: (41 22) 733 8695; e-mail: madeleine.moulin-acevedo@dha.unicc.org.

A Few More Web Sites

These are some more of the latest Internet resources we've discovered. For a list of selected Internet/Web sites dealing with disaster management, see http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/sites/sites.html.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Volcano Hazards Program site encompasses pages entitled "Hazards Posed by Volcanoes" (What They Are, Where They Are, Their Effects); "About the Volcano Hazards Program" (Monitoring Volcanoes, Reducing Volcanic Risk, Highlights, USGS Volcano Observatories); "Volcanoes of the United States" (Current Activity, Historic Eruptions); and "Products, Services, and Information" (Photoglossary, Warning Schemes, Selected Products, Frequently Asked Questions). In addition, each of the volcano observatory sites (Alaska, Cascades, Hawaii, and Long Valley) offers additional information both about the volcanic hazards of their specific region and about volcanoes generally.

For persons wanting to teach or learn the basics about volcanoes, the USGS also offers this "Volcanoes in the Learning Web" site, which includes basic information about volcanoes, volcano lesson plans and teaching activities, and links to several Internet-based activities, including a virtual reality model of Mt. St. Helens.

The full-text of the National Research Council volume "The Unpredictable Certainty" - a look at the nation's future information infrastructure - is now available on-line. The book includes a white paper by Lois Clark McCoy, Douglas Gillies, and John Harrald entitled "Architecture for an Emergency Lane on the NII: Crisis Information Management." The paper was written in 1995 at the request of the National Research Council's Computer Science and Telecommunications Board.

The RiskINFO Web site provides "Resources for Risk Management, Safety, and Insurance Professionals." It comprises many different materials, including current and back issues of the "Risk Management Reports" newsletter, as well as links to a lot of other useful risk management sites (for example, www.disasterplan.com, which offers, among other things, sample contingency and response plans for various hazards).

Besides much information about the organization, a catalog of its publications, and information on upcoming meetings, the home page of the International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior (IASPEI) offers a full meeting report with complete session summaries from the IASPEI General Assembly held in Thessaloniki, Greece in August 1997.

Upcoming Shows from EENET

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Education Network (EENET) has several interesting upcoming programs:

MARCH 19, 12:45 -1:45 p.m. Eastern Time


This broadcast will be the first in a series of quarterly programs entitled, "Partnering for Excellence in Emergency Management." They will focus on results of the FY 1997 State Capability Assessment for Readiness (CAR), on exemplary emergency management practices, and on building disaster resistant communities through FEMA's "Project Impact" Program. The segments will feature state and local communities that are implementing and using creative or innovative emergency management practices that can be replicated in other communities. This particular program will promote partnership building and will feature segments on donated goods and services and on animal care in disasters.

MARCH 26, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time


This is the fourth broadcast in the DOT/OPS series, and it will be divided into three program segments: 1) OPS staff will provide an update on the project; 2) federal and state government panelists will discuss perspectives on the project and the effect on their agencies; and, 3) interested public-sector representatives will discuss their community perspectives and make suggestions on how to enhance public involvement. Live call-in opportunities will be scheduled throughout the program, and the broadcast also will be available via the Internet.

APRIL 2, 2:15 - 4:15 p.m. Eastern Time

The Emergency Management Operations Course (EMOC) for local governments is a new hand-off package for state emergency management offices. It is designed for use by state training managers and exercise officers to provide exercise-based training for smaller communities. The EMOC is patterned after FEMA's Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC). This two-hour broadcast will provide an advanced look at the components of the EMOC package, and provide guidance on establishing EMOC as part of a state's exercise program. The final EMOC materials will be available in June 1998.

Additional broadcasts are being planned and updated schedules will be provided periodically. For the most current schedule information, see the FEMA EENET Home Page: http://www.fema.gov/emi/eenet.htm.

To be placed on the EENET mailing list or for additional information, please call 1-800-500-5164 or (301) 447-1068; or e-mail: eenet@fema.gov

Conferences and Training

Below are recent conference announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of upcoming disaster-related meetings and training is available from our World Wide Web site: http://www.colorado.edu/hazards/conf.html

Seismic Design and Performance of Building Structures. Memphis, Tennessee: March 26-27, 1998; Oakland, California: April 3-4, 1998. Contact: American Society of Civil Engineers, Continuing Education Services, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4440; 1-800-548- 2723, (703) 295-6300; fax: (703) 295-6144; e-mail: conted@asce.org

Planning for the Next Drought: A National Drought Mitigation Center Workshop. Sponsors: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the National Governors' Association.
Southeast: Columbia, South Carolina: March 31-April 2, 1998
Great Plains: Rapid City, South Dakota: May 6-8, 1998
Midwest and Northeast: Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky: May 12-14, 1998
Contact: National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, P.O. Box 830749, Lincoln, NE 68583-0749; (402) 472-6707; fax: (402) 472-6614; e-mail: ndmc@enso.unl.edu; WWW: http://enso.unl.edu/ndmc/.

Improving Local Emergency Management. Offered by: Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Madison, Wisconsin: April 6, 1998. Contact: Katie Peterson, Department of Engineering Professional Development, University of Wisconsin- Madison, 432 North Lake Street, Madison, WI 53706; 1-800-462-0876; fax: (608) 263-3160; e-mail: custserv@epd.engr.wisc.edu; WWW: http://epdwww.engr.wisc.edu/.

Second Annual Emergency Response in the Marine Environment Conference. Stanton, Delaware: April 14-19, 1998. Sponsors: Delaware River and Bay Marine Fire Fighting Task Force and Tri-State Search and Rescue. Contact: U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, Philadelphia Planning Department; (215) 271-4991.

National Weather Service, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Customer Workshop. Silver Spring, Maryland: April 14-15, 1998. Contact: Scott Kiser, National Weather Service, NOAA, attn: W/OM11, Room 14364, 1325 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3283; (301) 713-0090, ext. 121; fax: (301) 713-1598; e-mail: scott.kiser@noaa.gov.

National Weather Service Office of Meteorology (OM) Customer Workshop. Silver Spring, Maryland: April 16, 1998. Contact: Scott Kiser, National Weather Service, NOAA, attn: W/OM11, Room 14364, 1325 East- West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910-3283; (301) 713-0990, ext. 121; fax: (301) 713-1598; e-mail: scott.kiser@noaa.gov.

Seismic Design and Stabilization Methods. Charleston, South Carolina: April 23-24, 1998. Contact: American Society of Civil Engineers, Continuing Education Services, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191-4440; 1-800-548-2723, (703) 295-6300; fax: (703) 295-6144; e-mail: conted@asce.org

SRA Forum: Risk of Extreme and Rare Events. Sponsor: Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). Charlottesville, Virginia: April 27-28, 1998. Contact: SRA, 1313 Dolley Madison Boulevard, Suite 402, McLean, VA 22101; (703) 790-1745; fax: (703) 790-2672; e-mail: sra@burkinc.com; WWW: http://www.sra.org.

Introduction to the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program. Sponsor: American Society of Civil Engineers.
Portland, Oregon: April 29-May 1, 1998
Boston, Massachusetts: May 12-14, 1998
San Francisco, California: May 26-28, 1998
Denver, Colorado: June 10-12, 1998
Cleveland, Ohio: September 9-11, 1998
These workshops are held in conjunction with ASCE workshops that are introductions to HEC-HMS (Hydrologic Modeling System) and HEC-RAS (River Analysis System). The workshops can be taken separately or together. Contact: ASCE, Continuing Education, P.O. Box 830, Somerset, NJ 08875-0830; 1-800-548-2723, (703) 295-6300; fax: (703) 295-6144; e-mail: conted@asce.org

15th Annual Conference of the ALERT (Automated Local Evaluation in Real Time) Users Group. Palm Springs, California: May 26-29, 1998. Contact: Dennis Gibbs, President, ALERT Users Group, c/o Santa Barbara County Water Agency, 123 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101; (805) 568-3543.

Eighth World Conference on Disaster Management: "Real Events . . . Real Leaders . . . Real Solutions". Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: June 14-17, 1998. Contact: Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, P.O. Box 2911, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3R5; 1-800-965-4608, (905) 546-3911; e-mail: ccep@netaccess.on.ca; WWW: http://www.nas.net/~ccep/8thwcdm/index.html

1998 Association of Contingency Planners International Symposium. Breckenridge, Colorado: August 24-26, 1998. Contact: Linda Haag, 1998 ACP Symposium, P.O. Box 3943, Englewood, CO 80155-3943; (303) 768- 4369; fax: (303) 768-3191; WWW: http://www.acp-international.com.

First National Meeting of Earth Sciences. Mexico City, Mexico: September 21-25, 1988. Held concurrently with the Mexican Geological Society, the Mexican Mineralogical Society, and the National Institute of Geochemistry Annual Congress. Includes sessions on natural hazards. See: http://www.fiu.edu/~longoria/mexico/sgm/reunion.htm.

1998 Wisconsin Governor's Conference on Emergency Management. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: September 29-30, 1998. Contact: Diane Kleiboer, Wisconsin Emergency Management, P.O. Box 7865, Madison, WI 53707-7865; (608) 242-3200.

1998 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Section, Seismological Society of America. Millersville, Pennsylvania: October 19-20, 1998. Contact: Charles K. Scharnberger, Department of Earth Sciences, Millersville University, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302; (717) 872- 3289; fax: (717) 872-3985; e-mail: cscharnb@uorander.millersv.edu; WWW: http://seismosoc.org/ssa/.

CPM '99: Contingency Planning and Management 1999 Annual Conference: Sponsor: Contingency Planning and Management Magazine. New Orleans, Louisiana: April 21-23, 1999. Contact: CPM '99, WPC Expositions, 84 Park Avenue, Flemington, NJ 08822; (908) 788-0343, ext. 135; fax: (908) 788-9381; e-mail: CPM99@witterpublishing.com; WWW: http://www.contingencyplanexpo.com.

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