IAEM Dispatch
Apr. 3, 2014

Participate in America's PrepareAthon! on April 30
IAEM-USA encourages all members to participate in and promote the inaugural America's PrepareAthon national day of action on Apr. 30, 2014. The America's PrepareAthon! campaign aims to support Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-8: National Preparedness, increasing emergency and disaster preparedness at the grassroots level. National days of action will be held each year in the spring and autumn. The focus of the day of action on Apr. 30 will be preparing organizations and individuals for floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires. America's PrepareAthon! is modeled on the success of The Great ShakeOut earthquake drills which have moved millions of people to practice what to do during an earthquake and improve preparedness. America’s PrepareAthon! materials include interactive tools and preparedness information, as well as support resources that describe appropriate protective actions for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and wildfires, mitigation measures and guidance for hosting a drill or discussion and more. For information about how you or your organization can participate, you can view these resources.More

Flood insurance reform signed--now to analyze and implement
On Mar. 21, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which repealed and modified certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Insurance Reform Act. FEMA's official analysis is not yet available, however the current notice is posted. In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Mar. 26, Administrator Fugate indicated that the first priority is to immediately implement removal of the trigger to full actuarial rates at the point of sale of a property. The second priority is to process the refunds for properties sold between enactment of Biggert-Waters on Jul. 6, 2012 and enactment of the new legislation on Mar. 21, 2014. The third priority will be development and publication of new premium rates. The Association of State Floodplain Managers has shared an initial analysis of key provisions of the bill. More

Letter to the editor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official responds
The March 14 article "The Only Thing Scarier than Bio-Warfare is the Anti-Dote" contains significant misleading and inaccurate statements. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is dedicated to health and to the highest standards of safety, security, ethics, and transparency in health research.More

Panel's warning on climate risk: Worst is yet to come
The New York Times
Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans, scientists reported, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct.More

10 cities most at risk of being hit by natural disasters
Business Insider
Swiss Re, a global reinsurance company, has analyzed the disaster potential for 616 of the world's largest cities. Each city is ranked according to its potential for earthquakes, storms, storm surges, tsunamis, and river floods. For each type of disaster, Swiss Re devised an extreme weather scenario in which defenses fail and the human and economic toll can be enormous. More

Call for Papers for International Research Symposium on The Global Katrina Effect
August 2015 will mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, considered to be one of the defining historic events within the emergency management field in the United States. Accordingly, this anniversary will prompt numerous reflective academic assessments of how this disaster, which struck the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coasts, changed the U.S. emergency management landscape thereafter. Less known, however, is the impact that Hurricane Katrina had on disaster management systems in other countries — over a variety of subject areas ranging from emergency preparedness to coastal management to vulnerable populations to companion animals. To highlight the global lessons drawn from Hurricane Katrina, Millersville University will host an international research symposium on Oct. 1-3, 2014 that will bring together policymakers, practitioners and academics from around the world. Academic specialists, practitioners and policymakers are invited to submit proposals addressing the symposium theme. The symposium's organizers intend to invite selected symposium papers for inclusion in an edited volume entitled: The Global Katrina Effect, 2005-2015: Hurricane Katrina's Impact on Disaster Management Systems Worldwide. The deadline for submission of symposium proposals is May 1, 2014. Learn more.More

Call for Entries: IAEM Awards Competition is open April 1-May 30, 2014
The 2014 IAEM Awards Competition opened on April 1, 2014. The purpose of the competition is to recognize and honor persons who have made special or significant contributions to the field of emergency management and have represented the profession well by their outstanding performance. You are encouraged to participate and to share your achievements with your colleagues. Award guidelines and official entry forms are posted on the IAEM website. Be sure to read the guidelines carefully and pay close attention to content requirements, format, and length specifications, before submitting your entries via email to Karen Thompson. The IAEM awards entry deadline is Friday, May 30, 2014, 5:00 p.m., EDT.More

IAEM Member Cheryl Nelson, Mrs. Virginia International, is promoting disaster preparedness
New IAEM member Cheryl Nelson, the reigning Mrs. Virginia International, will be wearing an IAEM pin on her sash when she competes in the Mrs. International pageant in July in Jacksonville, Fla. Cheryl visited IAEM Headquarters on Apr. 1, 2014, to meet with staff and members about her natural disaster preparedness platform. "If crowned Mrs. International," she states on her website, "I will promote the importance of natural disaster preparedness through education, speaking engagements, and public appearances all across the United States and the world." Cheryl's interest in promoting disaster preparedness is not new. As the reigning Mrs. Virginia International she maintains a travel schedule focused on disaster preparedness education that is herculean. She holds a bachelor of science in meteorology from Penn State University, is an elected member of the Board of Directors for Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, has served as a media planner with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and worked as an Emmy-nominated TV host, reporter and meteorologist on television for more than a decade. More

Lori Postma to appear in TV series Chicago Fire and Chicago PD
CEM® candidate Lori Postma, RN, Franciscan Healthcare-Munster, will be a "featured extra" in a two-part crossover event of the TV series Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. To catch Lori’s performance, watch or DVR the episodes, which air on Apr. 29, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. In addition to serving as emergency preparedness and bioterrorism coordinator at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster, Lori is a firefighter for Lake Township Fire Dept., Lake Village, Ind. Learn more.More

Roadmap outlines R&D path to reduce storm impacts
Homeland Security News Wire
A new measurement science research and development roadmap, prepared for the National Institute of Standards and Technology over the past two years by a private-sector group of hazard mitigation experts, provides a broad strategic approach and R&D objectives to reduce impacts from windstorms and coastal inundations, including storm surge during hurricanes and tsunamis.More

CNN plans 'Disaster Deck' studio
CNN has announced plans to create the "CNN Disaster Deck" — a studio dedicated to covering natural and manmade disasters of all types. NewscastStudio was provided exclusively with the image above of the proposed new studio. Citing its recent coverage of the so-called "Poop Cruise" and the missing Malaysian Air Flight 370, the network says the new studio will help it provide up-to-the-minute, nonstop coverage of the big stories that have brought the network ratings success in recent months. More

IAEM-USA members urgently requested to respond to survey for National Preparedness Leadership Initiative by April 4
As part of the program at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership — National Preparedness Leadership Initiative (NPLI), Maryland Director Ken Mallette and Kristin Robinson from FEMA are asking you to complete a survey, which partially addresses the applicability of the Stafford Act to so-called non-traditional events, such as cyber attacks. This survey is totally voluntary. Their final report will be made available to the emergency management community. Questions about the survey or the project should be directed to Ken Mallette or Kristin Robinson. The survey deadline is Friday, Apr. 4, 2014.More

Clusters of 'broken hearts' may be linked to massive natural disasters
Dramatic spikes in cases of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also called broken heart syndrome, were found in two states after major natural disasters, suggesting the stress of disasters as a likely trigger, according to research to be presented at the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session. Authors call for greater awareness among emergency department physicians and other first responders. More

Members value Certification Prep Courses
Dr. Nicole Gerber, a recent participant in the Prep Course in Buffalo, N.Y. provided the following comments about the CEM®/AEM℠ Prep Course, "...the comprehensive CEM® Prep Course covered the basics of emergency management in the scope of the 2007 NFPA 1600, [the instructor] discussed specific topics in depth and added practical information, reviewed many sample test questions and also was very thorough in answering questions posed by the participants. IAEM has provided great guidance on expectations of EMs and then combined that with the Prep Course. The exam was not stressful and I feel more engaged in my EM role and its responsibilities." Take advantage of one of the upcoming Prep Course/Exam offerings!

Candidates may register on the IAEM website. A minimum of 10 registrants is required for each course. Candidates with questions should contact CEM Administrator Kate McClimans.More

Tropical Cyclone Hellen: Worst case scenario avoided in Madagascar
The Weather Channel
Fears of a "worst case scenario" were narrowly avoided in Madagascar as Tropical Cyclone Hellen made landfall, having weakened rapidly just before landfall after undergoing a period of equally rapid intensification. Hellen intensified at an extraordinary rate over the Mozambique Channel as it drifted south-southeast toward the northwestern coast of Madagascar, an island nation in the southwestern Indian Ocean off the east coast of Africa.More

Massive Chile earthquake was deadly without a large tsunami
CBS News
Authorities lifted tsunami warnings for Chile's long coastline after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck the South American nation's northern coast. Six people were crushed to death or suffered fatal heart attacks, a remarkably low toll for such a powerful shift in the Earth's crust. The earthquake was so powerful, shaking was felt 300 miles away from its center in Bolivia's capital. More

Washington mudslide death toll hits 29
The number of confirmed deaths in the Washington state mudslide has increased to 29, officials said. Twenty-two of the bodies were identified as of Tuesday, up from 19 the day before. As the Snohomish County medical examiner's office worked to identify the six other victims, rescue workers continued picking through the debris field in the hopes of finding the people that are still missing.More

Another storm slams New England, extending winter of discontent
Los Angeles Times
March is supposed to come in like a lion and exit like a lamb. But like so many things in 2014's winter of our discontent, that exit thing just ain’t working out like it was supposed to. A spring storm brought fierce and challenging winds and snow across portions of Massachusetts and eastern Maine on Wednesday, hitting Cape Cod especially hard. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard also were targeted by the storm. More

For Californians, 2 quakes put preparedness back on the map
The New York Times
It has been 20 years since Southern California experienced a major earthquake, a powerful 6.7-magnitude temblor that rolled through Northridge, killing 57 people. But this stretch of seismic calm, though welcome in obvious ways, has undermined efforts to force Los Angeles to deal with what officials describe as potentially lethal deficiencies in earthquake preparation.More