Natural Hazards Observer

January 2005
Volume XXIX | Number 3

Next Page | Table of Contents

Below are the most recent conference announcements received by the Natural Hazards Center. A comprehensive list of hazards/disaster meetings is posted on our web site:

9th Suppression and Detection Research Application Symposium: Responding to New Century Challenges. Sponsors: Fire Protection Research Foundation, Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Orlando, Florida: January 26-28, 2005. Technical papers from current research initiatives in fire suppression and detection will be presented by fire protection engineers, fire prevention officers, code writers, and researchers at this symposium. The theme is “bridging the gap” between practitioners and researchers and between detection and suppression innovations. For more information, contact Eric Peterson, Fire Protection Research Foundation, 1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02269; (617) 984-7281; e-mail:;

Firehouse World Conference and Exposition. Sponsor: Cygnus Public Safety Group. San Diego, California: January 31-February 4, 2005. The largest fire, rescue, and EMS event on the West Coast, this conference covers a wide variety of fire-related and emergency response topics and features hands-on training, classroom sessions, and networking opportunities. For more information, contact Firehouse World Conference and Exposition, 801 Cliff Road East, Suite 201, Burnsville, MN 55337; (800) 827-8009; e-mail:;

Engineering for Extreme Winds: 2005. Sponsors: The Wind Science and Engineering Research Center, Extended Studies at Texas Tech University. Lubbock, Texas: February 2-4, 2005. This short course is designed for engineers, building officials, architects, and other professionals who are involved in the design of buildings to resist extreme wind events, including tornadoes and hurricanes. For more information, contact Texas Tech University, Extended Studies, Box 42191, Lubbock, TX 79409; (806) 742-7200, (800) 692-6877;

Searching for Solutions: 2005 PARMA Conference. Sponsor: Public Agency Risk Managers Association (PARMA). Anaheim, California: February 6-9, 2005. This year’s theme, “Searching for Solutions,” underlines PARMA’s objective to help with finding solutions to risk management issues. The scope of sessions ranges from beginning to advanced and from benefits to benchmarking. For more information, contact Brenda Reisinger, PARMA, PO Box 6810, San Jose, CA 95150; (888) 907-2762; e-mail:;

Fire Rescue East 2005: Strategic Partnerships...Fire Service in Transition. Sponsors: Florida Fire and Emergency Services Foundation, Florida Society Fire Service Instructors, Florida State Fire College. Jacksonville, Florida: February 10-13, 2005. For more information, contact the Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association, 821 North US 1, Suite B, Ormond Beach, FL 32174; (386) 676-2744;

Hurricane Symposium: Impact of the 2004 Hurricanes on the Built Environment; Initial Observations, Lessons Learned and Unmet Research Needs. Sponsors: International Code Council (ICC), Building Officials Association of Florida, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Community Affairs/Florida Building Commission, Institute for Business & Home Safety, Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Orlando, Florida: February 11–13, 2005. This symposium aims to enhance base knowledge about building and structure performance in regions impacted by hurricanes. It will examine the effects of four unprecedented, consecutive hurricanes; present a forum to discuss initial lessons, observations, and unmet research needs; examine how wind, water, and other environmental loads impacted buildings and structures; and examine how the storms impacted hurricane preparedness and response. For more information, contact David Bowman, ICC Chicago District Office; (800) 214-4321; e-mail:;

The 2005 NEMA Mid-Year Conference. Sponsor: National Emergency Managers Association (NEMA). Washington, DC: February 12-16, 2005. This conference provides an opportunity for emergency managers to come together to discuss the many challenges that they face today, share solutions, grow professionally, and network with peers. During the conference, participants will hear from those involved in shaping the future of homeland security and emergency management, strengthen relationships with partner organizations, and share NEMA’s views on all-hazards emergency preparedness with the leadership in Washington. For more information, contact NEMA, PO Box 11910, Lexington, KY 40578; (859) 244-8000;

Wildland Fire 2005: Partnering to Protect Our Communities. Sponsor: International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Albuquerque, New Mexico: February 16-18, 2005. This conference will bring together fire service leaders at the local, state, and federal levels to address the critical problem of the wildland/urban interface to better provide firefighters with the tools and skills they need to protect themselves and the communities they serve. Attendees will include fire chiefs, company officers, firefighters, land use planners, federal and state agency employees, and military personnel. For more information, contact the IAFC, 4025 Fair Ridge Drive, Fairfax, VA 22033; (703) 273-0911; e-mail:;

Medical Aspects of Consequence Management: Managing the Unthinkable in the Era of Asymmetrical Threats; Preparing Healthcare Professionals for New Challenges in the Medical Arena. Sponsor: Homeland Defense Journal. Washington, DC: February 24-25, 2005. Presented through plenary sessions and three separate tracks, this conference will bring together the leading experts in the field of medical planning and consequence management to help federal, state, local, and private stakeholders become better informed, and ultimately help shape their organizations’ roles in the medical consequence management mission. For more information, contact Pamela Greenstein, Market Access International, 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1003, Arlington, VA 22203; (703) 807-2744; e-mail:;

Managing the Unexpected in Prescribed Fire and Wildland Fire Use Operations: A Second Workshop on High Reliability Organizing. Sponsor: Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center. Jacksonville, Florida: February 28-March 3, 2005. The purpose of this workshop is to explore “high reliability organizing” principles and immunity to change activities to help improve wildland fire use and prescribed fire programs. It is part of an organized effort to decrease prescribed fire escapes and increase replication of successes. For more information, see

A Conference on America’s Beaches: Current Issues in Beach Management, Tourism, and the Coastal Environment. Sponsor: International Hurricane Research Center (HRC). Miami, Florida: March 2-4, 2005. This conference will focus on overlapping contemporary social and scientific issues facing beach managers. Topics include beach management and tourism, beach management in the face of coastal disasters, and beach management and the environment. For more information, contact the HRC, Florida International University, University Park Campus, MARC 360, Miami, FL 33199; (305) 348-1339; e-mail:;

SAR—The Americas 2005. Sponsor: The Shephard Group. Miami, Florida: March 8-10, 2005. This search and rescue (SAR) event will present a broad range of perspectives and issues, providing critical information and insight into the business of lifesaving, both today and in the future. Leading questions in policy, vision, and development strategies will be discussed and debated by leaders in this critical humanitarian mission. For more information, contact the Shephard Group, 111 High Street, Burnham, SL1 7JZ, UK: +44 (0) 1628 604311; e-mail:;

The First International Symposium on Geoinformation for Disaster Management. Sponsors: Intergraph, Bentley Education Network, ESRI. Delft, The Netherlands: March 21-23, 2005. This symposium will focus on the response and relief phases of disaster management, encouraging discussion on systems and requirements for use of geoinformation under time and stress constraints and unfamiliar situations, environments, and circumstances. It will address these challenges by bringing together technology developers, disaster managers, information providers, developers of standards, and users. For more information, contact Elfriede M. Fendel, PO Box 5030 2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands; +31152784548; e-mail:;

Mass Fatalities Incident Response Planning. Sponsor: National Mass Fatalities Institute. Kansas City, Missouri: April 4-8, 2005. This course addresses the essential elements of planning for response to a mass fatalities event. It is designed to help planning-level officials from various governmental jurisdictions, public service, private sector business, and voluntary organizations understand the concepts of a multifaceted, integrated response plan. For more information, contact the National Mass Fatalities Institute, 6301 Kirkwood Boulevard SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404; (319) 398-7122, (866) 623-6634; e-mail:;

Coastal Engineering 2005. Organizers: Wessex Institute of Technology, University of Coimbra. Algarve, Portugal: April 13-15, 2005. Scientists and engineers involved in the study and use of computational methods for coastal engineering problems are invited to attend this conference, which will address the study of seas and coastal regions under normal and extreme conditions, emphasizing the practical applications. Discussions will also take place on environmental problems of coastal areas, which are frequently densely populated or sites of industrial development. Abstracts are due as soon as possible. For more information, contact Rachel Green, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO407AA, UK; +44 (0) 238 029 3223; e-mail:;

2005 APWA North American Snow Conference. Sponsor: American Public Works Association (APWA). Kansas, City, Missouri: April 17-20, 2005. More than 30 education and technical sessions and roundtables at this conference will address a variety of topics including snow plowing procedures, new salt applications, anti-icing and de-icing, AVL/GPS/GIS, fleet responsibilities in a disaster, new technologies, snow removal, winter vehicle maintenance, and more. For more information, contact the APWA, PO Box 802-296, Kansas City, MO 64180; (816) 472-6100, (800) 848-APWA; e-mail:;

Postgraduate Training Course in Study and Management of Geological Risks, CERG 2005. Sponsor: Université de Genève, Centre d’Etude des Risques Géologiques. Geneva, Switzerland: April 18-June 9, 2005. The objective of this course is for students to develop expertise in the field of natural risk mitigation by integrating it into the planning of sustainable development. It offers a multidisciplinary approach in the search for solutions for a society confronted with natural risks and aims to develop experts who can advise the public and private sectors to take preventive measures to reduce the impact of natural disasters. The training is intended for geologists, geographers, geotechnicians, civil engineers, and land planners with an interest in humanitarian relief. For more information, contact Françoise Grondahl, Université de Genève, CERG-Secretariat, Departement de Minéralogie, 13 rue des Maraîchers, CH-1205 Geneva, Switzerland; 0041 22 379 66 02; e-mail:;

ASDSO 2005 West Regional Conference. Sponsor: Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). Santa Fe, New Mexico: April 24-26, 2005. This regional conference will be geared toward dam safety engineers and dam owners/operators in the western states. Both technical and nontechnical topics will be included on the agenda. Abstracts are due by January 20, 2005. For more information, contact ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, Floor 2, Lexington, KY 40507; (859) 257-5140; e-mail:;

European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2005. Sponsor: European Geosciences Union (EGU). Vienna, Austria: April 24-29, 2005. Open to scientists of all nations, this assembly will include union symposia, oral and poster sessions on disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics covering the full spectrum of the geosciences and space and planetary sciences, short courses and workshops, keynote and medal lectures, and town hall and splinter meetings. Abstracts are due January 21, 2005. For more information, contact the EGU Office, Max-Planck-Strasse 13,37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany; +49-5556-1440; e-mail:;

2005 NDMS Disaster Response Conference: Catastrophic Care for the Nation. Sponsors: National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), Chesapeake Health Education Program (CHEP). Orlando, Florida: April 30-May 4, 2005. The purpose of this conference is to promote interaction between local, state, and federal public health practitioners and policy makers. Experts from a host of agencies and volunteer and academic entities will present on key topics such as counter-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, clinical medicine, mental health, response teams, and international coordination. For more information, contact CHEP, Building 82H–1st Floor, Perry Point, MD 21902; (410) 642-1857;

Disaster Resistant California (DRC) 2005. Sponsors: California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, The Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation at San Jose State University. Sacramento, California: May 15-18, 2005. This multidisciplinary conference is designed to bring together emergency management professionals; local, state, and federal government representatives; academicians; and private business partners to share ideas, technology, and resources and to promote partnerships as a means of reducing the vulnerability of individual communities to natural and human-caused disasters. For more information, contact Jessica Tran, Collaborative for Disaster Mitigation, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192; (408) 924-3596; e-mail:;

ASDSO 2005 Northeast Regional Conference. Sponsors: Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), Northeast Regional Council for Safe Dams. Cape May, New Jersey: May 16-18, 2005. This biennial conference will be geared toward dam safety engineers and dam owners/operators in the northeast states. Both technical and nontechnical topics will be included on the agenda. Abstracts are due by January 21, 2005. For more information, contact ASDSO, 450 Old Vine Street, Floor 2, Lexington, KY 40507; (859) 257-5140; e-mail:;

The Fifth International Conference on Earthquake Resistant Engineering Structures (ERES 2005). Organizers: Wessex Institute of Technology, University of Patras, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, National Technical University of Athens. Skiathos, Greece: May 30-June 1, 2005. This meeting provides a unique forum for the discussion of basic and applied research in the various fields of earthquake engineering relevant to the design of structures. Discussion will focus on the state of the art in structures subjected to earthquakes, including the geophysical aspects, the behavior of historical buildings, seismic isolation, retrofitting, base isolation and energy absorption systems, and a range of applications and case studies. For more information, contact Katie Banham, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO407AA, UK; +44 (0) 238 029 3223; e-mail:;

IAIA’05: Ethics and Quality in Impact Assessment. Sponsor: International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA). Boston, Massachusetts: May 31-June 3, 2005. IAIA’05 affords impact assessors an opportunity to examine and debate issues of ethical conduct and standards of quality in impact assessment and consider what the hallmarks of good assessment and ethical practice might be. Abstracts are due January 31, 2005. For more information, contact the IAIA International Headquarters, 1330 23rd Street South, Suite C, Fargo, ND 58103; (701) 297-7908; e-mail:;

Tenth Americas Conference on Wind Engineering (10ACWE). Sponsors: American Association for Wind Engineering, Louisiana State University (LSU) Hurricane Center. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: May 31-June 4, 2005. This conference seeks to facilitate the exchange of the latest scientific and technical information between academics, researchers, engineering and architecture practitioners, and students on the many aspects of wind engineering. In addition to traditional oral presentations of papers, the conference will include technical poster sessions, exhibitor booths, tours of the LSU Wind Tunnel Lab and other campus research facilities, and continuing professional development seminars and short courses designed for practitioners. For more information, contact Marc Levitan, 10ACWE, c/o LSU Hurricane Center, Suite 3221 CEBA Building, Baton Rouge, LA 70803; (225) 578-4813; e-mail:;

SAFE 2005: First International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering. Organizers: Wessex Institute of Technology, University of Rome “La Sapienza,” National Fire Department, Italy. Rome, Italy: June 13-15, 2005. This conference will provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of recent developments in the theoretical and practical aspects of safety and security engineering, covering issues such as crisis management, security engineering, natural disasters and emergencies, terrorism, IT security, human-induced hazards, and mitigation. Abstracts are due as soon as possible. For more information, contact Rachel Green, Wessex Institute of Technology, Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton, SO407AA, UK; +44 (0) 238 029 3223; e-mail:;

The 9th European Conference on Traumatic Stress (ECOTS). Sponsor: The Swedish National Association for Mental Health (SFPH). Stockholm, Sweden: June 18-21, 2005. This interdisciplinary conference welcomes anyone with an interest in psychotraumatology. Among the many main themes are effects of disasters and terrorism, helping the helpers, media and disaster, and community programs and intervention. For more information, contact the SFPH, Box 3445, SE-103 69 Stockholm, Sweden; +46 (0)8 34 70 65; e-mail:;

31st International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment (ISRSE): Global Monitoring for Sustainability and Security. Sponsor: International Center on Remote Sensing of the Environment. Saint Petersburg, Russia: June 20-24, 2005. The overall theme of this symposium is the use of Earth observation systems in monitoring, understanding, and managing the environment with particular emphasis on global change, security, and sustainability. For more information, contact the Secretariat for ISRSE, 1955 East Sixth Street, Suite 208D, Tucson, AZ 85719; e-mail:;

Survey Reveals Gaps in Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

A nationwide survey commissioned by the National Organization on Disability (NOD) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was conducted to determine the degree to which jurisdictions take into account the needs of people with disabilities in their emergency planning and included people with disabilities themselves in the planning process. The survey of 197 state and local emergency managers across the nation found that 69 percent of the respondents incorporated the needs of people with disabilities into their emergency plans. An additional 22 percent had a plan under development. In other words, planning is underway and the emergency preparedness community recognizes that America’s 54 million citizens with disabilities require special planning and attention.

Nevertheless, the survey also found that among those who currently have a preparedness plan in place or under development:

  • 46 percent did not have plans to deal with schools for students with disabilities,
  • 50 percent did not have a special needs registry that includes people with disabilities,
  • 59 percent did not have plans for pediatric populations, and
  • 76 percent did not have a paid expert to deal with emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

Among all respondents:

  • 39 percent had not purchased specialized equipment,
  • 36 percent had not been offered special training,
  • 73 percent had not received funding to address emergency planning for people with disabilities, and
  • 42 percent had a public awareness campaign directed at providing emergency information to people with disabilities.

The final report of the NOD Emergency Preparedness Survey is available at For more information, contact Tim Sullivan, NOD, 910 Sixteenth Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006; (202) 293-5960; e-mail:;

Next Page | Table of Contents