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Volume XXXI • Number 5 May 2007 | Past Issues


Natural Hazards Center News

New Quick Response Reports Natural Hazards Review: Call for Papers 2006 PERISHIP Fellows Announced Major Gift to Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund Help Us Help the Hazards Community

New Quick Response Reports

With funds from the National Science Foundation, the Natural Hazards Center offers social scientists small grants to travel to the site of a disaster soon after it occurs to gather valuable information concerning immediate impact and response. Grant recipients are then required to submit reports of their findings, which the Center posts online. Two new Quick Response reports are now available at

QR189 The Emergency Management Response to Hurricane Katrina: As Told by the First Responders—A Case Study of What Went Wrong and Recommendations for the Future, by Henry W. Fischer, Kathryn Gregoire, John Scala, Lynn Letukas, Joseph Mellon, Scott Romine, and Danielle Turner. 2006. This research team interviewed scores of first responders involved in the recovery of Hurricane Katrina. They concluded that the inadequate response to the storm shows that lessons from previous disasters remain unlearned. In this report, the researchers also catalog many conditions that, according to the emergency management professionals, stymied the response (e.g., a fear of getting hurt, the influx of untrained volunteers, a lack of planning for pets, and poor intergovernmental coordination). To deal with these recurring problems, the researchers propose the adoption of a uniform disaster scale, which would prepare practitioners to successfully mitigate the challenges most likely to be faced based on the disaster category encountered.

QR190 Community Impacts of Hurricane Ivan: A Case Study of Orange Beach, Alabama, by J. Steven Picou and Cecelia M. Formichella. 2006. This research documents the economic, social, and psychosocial impacts of Hurricane Ivan on the community of Orange Beach, Alabama. The team found that eight months after the hurricane’s landfall, residents of Orange Beach still exhibited a high level of psychosocial distress, and social problems within the community were still significant. The social impacts witnessed include, among others, the feelings that the community would “never be the same,” a loss of trust in others, and increased family conflict.

Natural Hazards Review: Call for Papers

The Natural Hazards Review is currently seeking manuscripts for publication in upcoming issues. The journal publishes original, peer-reviewed papers on all aspects of natural hazards loss reduction. Articles containing detailed case studies are complemented by those reporting original research findings to describe both practical projects and the latest cutting-edge knowledge on significant hazards issues.

Manuscript submissions, editorial inquiries, comments, or suggestions may be sent to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Journals Production Department, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Additional information, including complete manuscript preparation instructions, is available online at

2006 PERISHIP Fellows Announced

The Natural Hazards Center, the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI), and Swiss Re are pleased to announce the 2006 PERIShip Fellows in Hazards, Risk, and Disasters. The PERIShip program was designed to foster the advancement of knowledge in the interdisciplinary field of hazards, which relies on a continuous influx of young scholars committed simultaneously to their own disciplines and to the more practical, applied aspects of the field. The program recognizes this unusual combination and encourages pursuit of these interests by providing financial support that enables scholarly work that will ultimately serve to advance knowledge in the hazards field.
A rigorous review process resulted in eight recipients across six disciplines and eight universities. The 2006 PERIShip Fellows, along with their disciplines, affiliations, and dissertation titles, follow.

Jong-Wha Bai
Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University
Seismic Fragility Analysis and Loss Estimation for Concrete Structures

Kapil Khandelwal
Structural Engineering, University of Michigan
Progressive Collapse Mitigation in Steel Structures

Anuradha Mukherji
Architecture, University of California, Berkeley
Negotiating Housing Recovery in Post-Earthquake Urban Kutch, India

JiYoung Park
Economics, University of Southern California
Development of Demand and Supply-Driven Multiregional I/O Models: The National Interstate Economic Model (NIEMO)

Scott Somers
Public Administration, Arizona State University
Building Resilience Potential: Toward a New Paradigm in Disaster Planning

Anna Versluis
Geography, Clark University
We All Live Downstream: Flood Hazard and Land Change in Southeast Haiti

Sarah Vogel
Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University
Uncertainty and Risk in the Plastics Age: A History of the Science and Politics of Bisphenol A

Tamara Wall
Geography, University of Montana
Residents’ Perceptions of Place and Wildfire Hazards and Risks in Southwestern Montana

Major Gift to Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund

As noted in the previous edition of the Observer (March 2007), the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) has agreed to match up to $10,000 in contributions made to the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund before July 1, 2007, and the Natural Hazards Center has asked all members of the hazards community to consider contributing to the Fund. In response to this request, a major contribution was made in memory of Harold Enarson, which will help increase international participation in the Annual Hazards Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, and will facilitate the attendance of the annual Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disasters Award recipient. As a husband and the father of three daughters, Harold Enarson was committed to women’s education. He was also a strong proponent of international education and had great faith in the potential of actively engaged scholars to help build a safer world. It was during Enarson’s tenure as president of the Ohio State University that the institution increased its enrollment of women and minorities and also supported the first Disaster Research Center, now based at the University of Delaware.

To help meet the goal of raising $10,000 prior to July 1, please send your check made payable to the Mary Fran Myers Scholarship Fund to the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado, 482 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0482, USA.

Help Us Help the Hazards Community

For over 30 years, the library at the Natural Hazards Center has been a valued resource not only for scholars and practitioners who are studying hazards and disasters, but also for anyone interested in increasing their knowledge and understanding of catastrophic events. To continue providing the hazards community with quality disaster-related social science literature, we are asking you to help us build on our unique collection by donating items from Simply go to to view the list and select any items you would like to purchase and donate to the library. will handle the rest.
All contributions will be made available to the community through the HazLit database. We sincerely thank you for helping us help you!

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