All hazards

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 1 July 2004



(2004), "All hazards", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 13 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

All hazards

All hazards

Michigan Tech University and the US Peace Corps Tech University and the US Peace Corps have announced an opportunity for students who want to work abroad and are interested in the mitigation of geological hazards. The program offers field-based experience through a Peace Corps assignment. It initially targets Central American countries facing significant challenges in geological hazards. For details, contact: William Rose, Michigan Tech University, Houghton, MI 49931; Tel: (906) 487-2367; E-mail:

Health Library for Disasters 2003 edition of the Health Library for Disasters, an on-line collection of information resources on public health in disasters and complex emergencies, has just been released by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization. The library is fully searchable with a variety of key terms.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has unveiled an interactive Web-based board game for children as part of its commitment to educating young people about disaster preparedness and risk reduction. The board game is called “Disaster Discovery”. URL is a link to a newly revised gender and disasters bibliography. this URL, FEMA offers a community-based pre-disaster mitigation curriculum designed to involve emergency management and community and faith-based organizations (CBOs/FBOs) in pre-disaster mitigation at the local level.

Also through FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is introducing a new course to raise awareness for the need to reduce the consequences of disasters on small businesses. Small- to medium-sized businesses, which provide nearly 80 per cent of the jobs in an average community, are at great risk for failure after a disaster. To help prevent business losses, this course, offered by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI), brings together state and local officials, economic development leaders, emergency managers, and other stakeholders to develop business loss prevention strategies, share concerns, and raise awareness of each other’s priorities. Information about these classes, along with many others offered through EMI, can be found at’s Higher Education Program, a division of EMI, mentioned above, has begun posting emergency management faculty vacancies on the Higher Education Web site.

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) January 2002, there has been nearly a 100 per cent increase in the number of states where Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is available. The Connection newsletter, comprising articles written by the people from around the country who are involved in community preparedness on a daily basis, is seeking contributions. Suggested topics include emergency responses in which CERT teams were involved, schools and preparedness training, innovative CERT ideas, and how CERTs are maintaining skills and motivation. Complete guidelines for article submission can be found at

National Mass Fatalities Institute (NMFI) National Mass Fatalities Institute (NMFI), an organization established to help communities, businesses, industries, government, and disaster response agencies effectively plan for, respond to, and recover from a mass fatalities incident, now offers an on-line newsletter, which will be sent out periodically to provide updated news, information, and event listings to help communities and organizations prepare for mass fatality incidents. To sign up for this free newsletter, send an e-mail to relationships between geospatial data, geographic information systems, and risk analysis for natural disasters, technological accidents, terrorist attacks, and regional conflicts are explored in this column at, a resource for geospatial information.

“North Carolina: Mitigation in Action” FEMA Web site recently featured a series of three articles entitled “North Carolina: Mitigation in Action” that describe measures taken to alleviate flood and hurricane damage. In particular, they look at steps taken after recent devastating storms, such as hurricanes Fran in 1996 and Bonnie in 1998, and show how those measures prevented further damage last summer when Hurricane Isabel came ashore. The articles offer numerous examples and tips that could be adopted elsewhere.

Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS) Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS) has posted presentations from insurance company representatives, emergency management officials, academics, government officials, and others, who participated in the 2003 IBHS congress.

The International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS) has unveiled a new and updated Web site that provides access to proceedings and papers from past TIEMS conferences.

Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its latest Web-based training tool on the Incident Command System (ICS). This Web course highlights planning, preparation, and implementation of an ICS system, and includes a section outlining OSHA standards that affect ICS workers, along with additional guidance applicable to emergency response safety and health.

Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) its Web site, the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) has posted abstracts of the articles in the volume Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-disaster Research, published by the Natural Hazards Center

These articles were authored by researchers who studied the immediate effects of 11 September 2001, in the days, weeks, and months following the disaster.

Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), provided by the Office of the Manager, National Communications System (OMNCS), supports federal, state, and local government, industry, and nonprofit organization personnel in performing national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) missions. GETS provides emergency access and priority processing in the local and long distance segments of the Public Switched Network (PSN). It is intended to be used during an emergency or crisis when the probability of completing a call over normal or alternate telecommunication means is low.

Texas Association of Regional Councils Local Citizens Corps Councils Texas Association of Regional Councils local Citizens Corps Councils Web page includes an overview of the state’s Comprehensive Citizen Corps program in Power Point format from a recent presentation given at the Volunteers in Homeland Security Conference in November. The presentation covers state-wide program goals, structure, funding, and activities.

EarthScope is an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation to launch observatory systems to monitor the physical elements of earth EarthScope components include: USArray (US Seismic Array), SAFOD (San Andreas Fault Observatory at Depth), PBO (Plate Boundary Observatory), and InSAR (Interferometic Synthetic Aperature Radar). The program is a partnership among the US Geological Survey, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, and many universities, seismic networks, and states.

Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently unveiled this on-line, independent study course that can serve as either an introduction to those joining Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) or as a refresher for current volunteer team members.

PERI (the Public Entity Risk Institute) (the Public Entity Risk Institute) is now posting FEMA case studies of state and local government disaster mitigation initiatives on its Web site. The examples currently showcased examine the state of Oklahoma Safe Room Initiative; the Smith County Texas 911 communications and emergency operations center-a hardened first responder facility; the state of Kansas School Tornado Shelter Initiative; and the City of Kinston-Lenoir, North Carolina’s response to repeated flooding following hurricanes Fran, Dennis, and Floyd.

Disaster Resistance and Resilience Oregon Showcase State Program – Partners for Disaster Resistance and Resilience – offers an on-line newsletter, Partnerships in Action, that contains articles about successful mitigation programs.

United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Web site of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) has been recently revised and many new features have been added, including links to numerous publications on disaster mitigation by ISDR and others.

National Aid and Resources Management Initiative National Aid and Resources Management Initiative, undertaken by FEMA, is designed to support and enhance interstate and intrastate mutual aid agreements so that emergency managers can acquire resources necessary to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any emergency. This Web site describes the initiative and provides a glossary of mutual aid terms and definitions.

Partnership for Disaster Reduction – Southeast Asia (PDR-SEA) Partnership for Disaster Reduction – Southeast Asia (PDR-SEA) team of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) has launched an on-line monthly newsletter, Echoes, that contains articles, resources, and information relevant to the community of disaster management practitioners in Southeast Asia.

University of Western Ontario Web site, compiled by a PhD student in political science at the University of Western Ontario, provides a listing (from a Canadian perspective) of a collection of some of the year’s disaster-related headlines.

CBS News site, maintained by Dan Dubno of CBS News, contains a very comprehensive list of hazards-related Web sites.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights the agency’s disaster efforts, including its epidemiology program, a series of publications on extreme weather, and other disaster-related activities.

Munich Reinsurance (MunichRe) Reinsurance (MunichRe) has issued a press release that presents an interactive overview of its analysis of natural catastrophes in 2003. The year was marked by a series of severe natural hazard events, and the number of fatalities far exceeded the long-term average. More than 50,000 people were killed worldwide, almost five times as many as in the previous year (11,000). By far, the most devastating natural catastrophes were December’s Bam earthquake in Iran and the summer heat wave that crippled Europe. Each event led to over 20,000 deaths.

MunichRe’s analysis indicates that economic and insured losses (over $60 billion and $15 billion, respectively) continued the marked increase that had become apparent in recent years. The bulk of the insured losses were due to wind-related events. The company also notes that weather extremes are becoming more and more common-strongly suggesting that climate change is indeed occurring – and that more events like the European heat wave can be anticipated in the future. Although that event was considered an almost 500-year occurrence, the company states that similar heat waves are now sufficiently likely that they may become 20-year events by the middle of the twenty-first century.

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