Natural Hazards Observer - January 2003

Internet Pages

Below are new or updated Internet resources that Natural Hazards Center staff have found informative and useful. For a more complete list of some of the better sites dealing with hazards and disasters, see

All Hazards
ReliefWeb, a United Nations organization serving the needs of the humanitarian and relief community, has launched a new, searchable library of humanitarian documents, aiming to provide a central point of access to publications addressing a wide range of humanitarian issues. The more than 300 documents from 105 sources presently available include analyses, annual reports, conference reports, program and project evaluations, manuals, and program guidelines.
The COMET Program, which was created by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research to support and enhance scientific knowledge about the weather, has made available web-based training materials on weather and weather-related hazards for emergency managers. This page provides links to interactive, self-paced multimedia learning modules on such topics as wildfire behavior, hazardous weather, hurricanes, and flooding. Other COMET modules, which are primarily designed for weather forecasters, can be found at
Among the first group of environmental information portals available as part of the globally distributed United Nations Environment Program’s UNEP.Net information network, the European portal is up and running. It is possible to make a variety of searches using portals such as climate change, freshwater resources, mountains, etc. Regional updates will be added as they are complete.
The Partnership for Public Warning (PPW) announces the first edition of its new on-line newsletter. The newsletter provides current information about PPW activities and other items of interest to the public warning community. All feedback and comments are welcome. Sections in the first issue include “on the scene,” “tales from the front line,” and news about PPW.
The National Center on Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities (NCEP) web site is focused on ensuring that all individuals are included in the development of plans for protection from both natural and human-made emergencies. In almost all cases, emergency planning has not taken into consideration the communication, transportation, and medical needs of persons with disabilities and other special populations. The National Center on Emergency Planning for People with Disabilities, in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, the National Organization on Disability, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, and the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers, is working to assist those responsible for emergency planning and management for people with disabilities. The site includes training resources and related links.
The Disability Resources Monthly guide to resources on the Internet includes a section on disaster preparedness for people with disabilities that has a list of resources for disaster preparedness, emergency plans and procedures, fire safety, and other topics that impact the physically and mentally challenged during disasters.
This web site presents basic information on a proposed new project, “Geoscience for Andean Communities” (GAC), which is currently in the second phase of development. GAC focuses on geological hazards in participating Andean Countries. Project specifics, along with a monthly newsletter in English and Spanish, are available on this site.
This new Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) web site integrates terrorism into hazard mitigation programs. Titled, “Hazard Mitigation: It’s Not Just for Natural Disasters Any More,” the site is a companion to FEMA’s how-to guide “Integrating Human-Caused Hazards into Mitigation Planning,” and is an information library for hazards professionals working to incorporate human-caused hazards into hazard mitigation efforts. The site includes reference publications, frequently asked questions, and a variety of relevant links. (See the Electronic Fare section in this Observer for information about CD-ROM versions of the hazard mitigation guides.)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency launched a pilot version of an information portal designed to provide one-stop information for emergency preparedness and response information. The portal will support more than four million members of the first responder community, including firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians. It will pull together several systems, simplify services, and eliminate duplication.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an innovative pilot information tool that provides the public direct access to the current environmental compliance records of more than 800,000 regulated facilities nationwide. The Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) was developed in partnership with the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), a national association representing state and territorial environmental commissioners.
A variety of reports and publications that may be of interest to Observer readers are listed at this web site–the Urban Catastrophic Research Page of the Taub Urban Research Center at New York University. The center explores issues affecting cities and metropolitan regions, issues reports, and conducts forums with participants from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and the academic community.

This medical and public health law site, maintained by law professor Edward P. Richards III at Louisiana State University, recently included a section on terrorism and bioterrorism resources. This section contains a variety of links to articles and web sites dealing with state laws, government publications, and public health and safety.
This web site grew out of recommendations made by the Counter-Terrorism Training Coordination Working Group, convened by the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs to examine the counter-terrorism tools available to law enforcement and first responder communities. This site serves as a single point of access to counter-terrorism training opportunities and related materials available across the federal government and from private and nonprofit organizations. These resources will help law enforcement decision makers develop strategic plans for professional training and local emergency response.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has launched a newly renovated web site about its Global Volcanism Program. The site has information about more than 1,500 holocene volcanoes and more than 8,500 eruptions, and features both weekly and monthly reports concerning current activity. Much of the data, photos, and first-hand accounts have never before been available to the public.

Participants from the Consortium of Organizations for Strong-Motion Observation Systems (COSMOS)/Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) Lifeline project have created a new web site at the first URL to disseminate information and receive feedback about the project, the goal of which is to develop a virtual data center linking a variety of seismic data sets. The second URL contains an on-line survey to assess how practitioners and researchers currently generate, store, and disseminate geotechnical information. The survey, which takes about 30 minutes to complete, will provide a baseline of current practices for future developments. Researches request that interested individuals go to the web site to answer survey questions.

Floods and Drought
The National Flood Determination Society (NFDA), representing a number of flood determination companies, has unveiled its new web site. NFDA serves as a collective industry voice on legislative and regulatory issues related to floods, and the site contains information on their certification program.
The National Drought Mitigation Center web site has a new look and organization. The web site’s information has been streamlined and reorganized into sections dealing with the following: an overview of drought, monitoring, planning, risk and impact assessment, and mitigation. Site development will continue with planned additions about water conservation and state drought plans.

Next Page

Table of Contents for This Issue of the Natural Hazards Observer

Index of Past Issues of the Natural Hazards Observer

Natural Hazards Center's Main Page