IAEM Dispatch
Oct. 1, 2015

Register for the Oct. 7 IAEM Think Tank on the Integrated Public Alert Warning System
The subject of the next IAEM Think Tank, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015, 12:30-2:00 p.m. EDT, is the Integrated Public Alert Warning System. IPAWS is the United States solution for effectively communicating emergency alerts and warnings, and is available for use by Local, State, Territorial, Tribal, and Federal public alerting authorities to send emergency messages to the public in the geographic area of their jurisdiction. IPAWS provides authenticated emergency alert and warning messaging from emergency officials to the public through: radio and television via the Emergency Alert System (EAS); cellular phones via Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA); NOAA All Hazards National Weather Radio (NWR) via IPAWS-NOAA gateway; Internet applications and websites via the IPAWS All-Hazards Information Feed; Unique systems (e.g. sirens, digital road signs, text-to-Braille translators, subscription mass notification systems, etc.); and emerging technologies that adhere to the Common Alerting Protocol Standards. Presenters will include: Ben Krakauer and Henry Jackson, New York City Office of Emergency Management; Dean Flener, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency; Paul Lupe, Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management; and Lillian McDonald, ECHO Minnesota/Twin Cities Public Television. See speaker bios, and register online here.More

Register today for the Emergency Management & Business Contingency Summit in Dubai
IAEM members have the opportunity to attend an extraordinary event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates — the Emergency Management & Business Contingency Summit, Oct. 7-8, 2015, at the Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa. The International Quality & Productivity Centre (IQPC) and IAEM are the hosts of the summit. The summit will present attendees with the information they need to meet the new challenges that lie ahead and an opportunity to network with their peers participating at all levels. The summit features a panel of experts presenting a variety of topics from national security, critical infrastructure protection, emergency response, enterprise risk management, fire safety, and civil defense contingency planning. Download the agenda to find out more, and visit the event site for details and registration.More

Save $100 until Oct. 13 on IAEM Annual Conference registration fees
The early bird discount on IAEM Annual Conference registration ends Oct. 13, 2015. Take advantage of a $100 cost savings by registering now for the IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX in Clark County, Nevada, Nov. 13-18, 2015. For a breakdown of registration fees, visit our conference website. Even if your budget isn't approved yet, lock in your rate today and indicate pay by check on your registration form. Do you need more discounts? If so, work your registration fee off by registering as conference staff. The detailed conference program is available online.More

The IAEM Annual Conference offers the opportunity to maximize your emergency management training
Arrive early and stay late at the IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX to obtain additional emergency management training. In addition to attending the three main days of the IAEM Annual Conference, which is packed with dynamic sessions and speakers, you will find many opportunities to learn both before and after the conference. There is limited space left in the following training sessions: L0290 Basic Public Information Officer; L0948 Situational Awareness and Common Operating Picture; L0205 Recovery from Disaster, the Local Government Role; L0146 Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program Training Course; L0197 Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Planning; L0235 Emergency Planning, Maximizing Your Disaster Cost Recovery; Universities and Colleges Emergency Managers Practitioners Symposium; 2015 Leadership Symposium: Strategic Leadership and Opportunities; L0387 Joint Information System/Center Planning for Tribal, State, and Local Public Information Officers; Persuade! A course on presenting for emergency managers; CEM®/AEM Certification Offerings; and the EMAP Training Course. Find out more and register today!More

Indonesia: President says at least 3 years needed to tackle deadly haze
Yahoo News UK
In worrisome revelations Indonesia President Joko Widodo has said that it would take almost three more years to end the massive annual forest fires causing the perilous haze in the south-east Asian region. The preceding smog has led to unprecedented levels of haze intensified by smoke in the past few weeks. Widodo told BBC, "We've been dealing with this problem for quite some time now. But this isn't a problem you can solve so quickly. It requires a lot of physical ground work on the land tracts which will take time."More

Earthquake, tsunami in Chile: Response action plan approved
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has approved use of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund, as requested by the Chilean Red Cross. The targeted use of the DREF is provide humanitarian aid to 450 families affected by the recent earthquake and tsunami throughout the provinces of Choapa, Elqui and Limari, communities of Canela, Illapel, Coquimbo, and Monte Patria, and the towns of Canela Baja, Illapel, Gabriela, Baquedano, Peñuela and Tulahuen.More

Nuclear emergency response? A new FEMA NIMS-type position can help: your feedback is needed!
During radiological and nuclear emergencies, routine decisions and operations for state and local response agencies become increasingly complex. These actions require radiation experts to safeguard the public and responders. Through the creation of a new position called the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS), the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Energy (DOE) want to train and certify radiation experts to integrate with the incident command system during a radiological response. These ROSS positions will directly support the incident commander, emergency managers, agency decision makers, and elected officials. The ROSS will be a technical specialist under the National Incident Management Systems (NIMS). FEMA needs your help to determine the appropriate skills, knowledge, and abilities as well as the training and tools necessary for the ROSS position to succeed. Please download additional materials and provide feedback.More

FEMA seeks comments on proposed Stafford Act Section 705 policy
FEMA seeks public comments from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, private non-profit organizations, and interested members of the public regarding the agency's proposed policy describing guidelines FEMA will follow when implementing Section 705 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). The proposed policy applies to all potential recoveries of payments made to state, Indian tribal government, or local government recipients and details how FEMA will determine whether Stafford Act Section 705 bars FEMA from recovering assistance payments. Comments are due Nov. 2, 2015, and should be submitted online.More

FirstNet reports recent activities and upcoming meetings of interest
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board will convene several open meetings on Oct. 1-2, 2015, with details posted here. The agenda and materials are being finalized for the upcoming Single Points of Contact (SPOC) meeting on Oct. 7-8, 2015, in Westminster, Colorado, with more than 125 attendees from 50 states and territories registered to attend. This week, FirstNet participated in the Arizona and Virginia initial consultation meetings, the association staff briefing, the PSAC EC meeting, the FirstNet Committee and Board meetings, Regional Broadband Summit, the annual West Virginia Statewide Interoperability Conference, a coordination meeting with Health and Human Services (HHS), an International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) webinar, and the South and North Dakota Combined Law Enforcement Conference. To date, FirstNet has held 50 initial state consultation meetings, involving more than 3,400 public safety representatives. Future consultations are confirmed for: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Oct. 20), Guam (Oct. 22), and Oklahoma (Oct. 28). An updated schedule can be viewed on the website tracker. Download the FirstNet weekly update here.More

A city crowdsources disaster response expertise
Cotopaxi is currently spewing ash. The last large-scale eruption was in 1877, and it is believed that another one is now inevitable. If it erupts, some communities will have less than half an hour to evacuate. The scale of the challenge is overwhelming. City Officials have to plan for large-scale evacuation. Yet there are those with expertise in behavioral insights — so-called "nudges" — who have proven advice to share about how to communicate to avoid mass panic. With too much to do and not enough time to prepare, the City of Quito, Ecuador wants to use the Internet to crowdsource expertise from around the world.More

How human stampedes, like the one near Mecca, turn deadly*
The Washington Post
A stampede near the holy city of Mecca left more than 700 people dead, with hundreds more injured and the death toll still rising. The stampede, which occurred during the peak of the annual hajj pilgrimage, is just the latest in a regular string of such events at the site — but it's the deadliest one in 25 years. It's hard to imagine how a crowd — especially one gathered for a peaceful religious rite — can turn so deadly. But the phenomenon is so common that experts in crowd management are consulted for most highly trafficked events.More

How games are changing federal disaster response
For more than a year, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has been refining its open-source disaster mapping system, GeoQ. The system lets first responders document damage — tornado wreckage, for instance — and upload geo-tagged images to an open, crowdsourced, searchable map, helping to ensure responders aren't duplicating their clean-up and rescue efforts. More

Engineering for disaster
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
A new NCAR-facilitated group aims to develop the know-how and tools for building resilient systems that can recover smoothly when catastrophic weather and climate events strike. The group, the Engineering for Climate Extremes Partnership, is building relationships with experts from a broad array of sectors, from engineering to business, government, academia, and American Indian tribal and community leadership. The common thread is concern for the mounting toll taken by extreme weather events, which is expected to worsen with climate change.More

Behind hurricane forecasts: Computer models and climate patterns
The Wall Street Journal
More than two months remain in this year's hurricane season, but with the most treacherous weeks behind us, it looks like the storm forecasters who predicted a mild year got it right. Such a forecast is noteworthy because since 1995 only three other seasons have been below normal. Predicting the number of hurricanes months in advance is tough under any circumstances. Forecasters must assess critical weather patterns that suppress or encourage storms, and some patterns may not have emerged early in the year when hurricane experts put out their first seasonal forecasts.More

Certification review packet notifications will be released this month
Online applications received at IAEM Headquarters by Aug. 31, 2015 are in the process of being reviewed by the CEM® Commission. Candidates will be notified of the results through the online system during the week of Oct. 18, 2015.More

IAEM website hosts Document Exchange for sharing documents with members
IAEM members are invited to upload documents that they wish to share with other members through the IAEM Document Exchange. Share documents you have created that would help other members, such as: exercise plans, training curricula, incident action plans, preparedness and community outreach materials, and EOC design plans. You can search for documents here. To upload documents, select the area that most closely reflects the type of document: Exercises, EOCs, Training; Incident Action; and Other. One of the greatest benefits of joining IAEM is that our association is the largest network of top emergency management experts who can offer solutions, guidance and assistance. One way that active IAEM members can contribute to this network is to share documents through the IAEM Document Exchange.More

Massachusetts Department of Public Health publishes 'Access and Functional Needs Resource Guide'
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management on Sept. 24 released its "Access and Functional Needs Resource Guide," a compilation of resources to assist in public health preparedness planning for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. The guide, which will be updated quarterly, can be downloaded here. More

American Humane Association names Randy Collins, CEM, as national director of Red Star Rescue for Animals
IAEM member Randy Collins, CEM, has been named as the new national director of Red Star Rescue for Animals, a program of the American Humane Association that since 1916 has led hundreds of domestic and international emergency aid efforts to animals following disasters, during wartime, and in other significant events challenging local community resources. Collins' history in emergency management includes work with DHS, FEMA, incident management, law enforcement, and the armed forces. He has served as EM specialist for Southern California Edison; is president of the All Hazards Incident Management Teams Association; and is a former K-9 law enforcement officer. During his tenure as an executive with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, he established the Indiana Incident Management Program and commanded the state's Incident Management Assistance Team. He previously served as deputy director of preparedness and operations, and was a police office in the Town of Mooresville. Collins served in the U.S. Marine Corps for six years on active duty and six years in the reserves. Learn more.More

HHS/ASPR launches resources system to improve disaster preparedness
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR) on Sept. 30 announced the Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) has been implemented. Health and emergency preparedness professionals now have access to the nation's first and most comprehensive system of resources designed specifically to help communities better prepare for and manage the health impacts of disasters. TRACIE features resource materials, a help line, just-in-time suggestions, and tools to share information gleaned from real-life experiences in preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters. ASPR developed TRACIE with a network of experts nationwide to address needs identified by stakeholders charged with preparing for public health and health care system emergencies. Users can get advice, including just-in-time advice, from hundreds of health care, disaster medicine, public health and public safety professionals, through ASPR TRACIE. TRACIE's free registration allows users to rate the usefulness of the technical resources, assistance center, and information exchange.More

500-year-floods to inundate NYC every 24 years
U.S. News & World Report
Get ready for Hurricane Sandy's sequels. Severe floods — the kind likely to occur only every 500 years — may now strike every 24.4 years in the New York City area thanks to climate change, according to a new study. As glaciers and polar ice have melted — sending sea levels higher — the average flood height has risen by about 4 feet in the area, the study says. Meanwhile, strong tropical storms have only gotten more frequent and more intense, blowing the higher waters inland and producing devastating storm surges more often.More

Report: Asia hit hardest by natural disasters in 2014
Asia was the continent hit hardest by natural disasters in 2014, with China getting the worst of it with 58 million people affected, according to an annual report released in Geneva. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in its 2015 World Disasters Report that while there were 317 natural disasters reported worldwide in 2014, it was actually the lowest number of the decade. Disasters caused 8,186 deaths worldwide in 2014, but that mortality rate is the lowest since 1986 (7,303), and 90 percent lower than the decade average. More

Conditions ripe for explosive wildfire season in Southern California
Los Angeles Times
With thousands of homes burned and at least a half-dozen people dead, 2015 is already shaping up to be one of California's most challenging fire seasons. But so far, much of the action has been in Northern California, where several destructive fires have marched through large swaths of drought-parched lands. Now, the fire season moves to Southern California, which tends to have its biggest fires in the fall as Santa Ana winds kick up. While the drought has gotten much attention as a cause of recent fires, a new study documents how the dry, fierce "devil winds" have been the real destructive factor in the region.More

SDG Summit: Curbing disaster risk key for aid*
Disaster risk reduction needs to be included squarely in humanitarian aid programmes and development policies, given its power to save lives and money, delegates at the United Nations sustainable development summit heard. In a wide-ranging debate on how to ensure that aid has a sustainable impact, a string of speakers said that curbing the risks posed by natural hazards such as drought and man-made factors including violence was an essential piece of the puzzle, and made far more sense than picking up the pieces after a disaster. More

2016 Nice Global Forum on Homeland Security & Crisis Management to be held Feb. 2-5
The 2016 Nice Global Forum on Homeland Security & Crisis Management (NGF 2016), set for Feb. 2-5, 2016, in Nice, France, offers a unique opportunity to share views, experiences and knowledge in the fields of homeland security threats and natural disasters, with 30+ international premier speakers, key opinion leaders from the industry, government and academia, and a distinguished committee led by Prof. Boaz Ganor, Alain Bauer, Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, and Prof. Brian Michael Jenkins. The event features special networking events, such as lunch with mayors from more than 30 countries (optional), in addition to an opening keynote address from the French government, 12 practical workshops led by world experts, and interactive panel sessions. View the preliminary program and learn more about Nice Global Forum 2016.

DHS will hold a public roundtable and listening session on Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards Appendix A on Oct. 27
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, is hosting a public roundtable and listening session on Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Appendix A, which is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., with the listening session set to begin at 1:00 p.m. The event will take place at the National Training Center, 1310 North Courthouse Road, Suite 600, Arlington, Virginia. DHS previously invited public comment on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for potential revisions to the CFATS regulations 6 CFR Part 27 docket number DHS-2014-0016. The comment period closed on October 17, 2014. As part of an ongoing effort to strengthen the CFATS program, DHS is inviting members of the public to provide additional comments on Appendix A, "Chemicals of Interest." Appendix A contains a list of chemicals that, if possessed in greater than a designated threshold amount, indicate a facility is potentially high-risk. This meeting will provide DHS with an opportunity to hear recommendations for possible changes from interested members of the public. Those who wish to submit comments may do so by one of the following methods: provide verbal comments during the afternoon listening session; submit comments online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal; or mail comments to DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, 245 Murray Lane, Mail Stop 0610, Arlington, Virginia 20528-0610. Registration is free of charge at this link, beginning in late September, on a space available basis. For those who cannot attend in person, information on how to register for a webinar and teleconference line will be available prior to the event. More information will be available here. Please contact CFATS@hq.dhs.gov with any questions. More

Save the date for the 18th Annual EM Higher Education Symposium, June 6-9, 2016
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced that the 18th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium will be held June 6-9, 2016, at the Emergency Management Institute, National Emergency Training Center, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Details will be posted here when available.More

Joaquin becomes Category 1 hurricane
Joaquin strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic, poised to pound the central Bahamas with heavy rain and dangerous storm surges. Whether it will hit the eastern United States is an open question, but it eventually could at least send rain to a mid-Atlantic region already dealing with flooding concerns. Joaquin strengthened from a tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph). Its center churned 245 miles (395 kilometers) east-northeast of the central Bahamas.More

Alabama and Florida hit by floods after historic Gulf Coast downpour
NBC News
Historic rainfall along the Gulf Coast turned roads into canals and parking lots into lakes — and no letup was expected Monday. Mobile, Alabama, saw its 10th wettest day since records began in 1871, according to Weather Channel lead meteorologist Kevin Roth. The city was drenched by more than 7.5 inches of rain Sunday. The deluge was still going strong early Monday, also soaking areas of the Florida Panhandle, while a separate system of heavy rain was hitting parts of Louisiana and Texas.More

Tornado damages homes in South Carolina
USA Today
A tornado near Charleston, S.C., caused severe damage in the West Ashley and Johns Island areas, according to reports. Charleston County Sheriff's Office said there was "significant property damage" on Johns Island, but that no injuries were as yet reported. National Weather Service Meteorologist Douglas Berry said radar and damage reports indicated a tornado probably touched down in Charleston County. Siding was ripped off homes and trees were downed.More

Super typhoon kills 3, injures hundreds in Taiwan
Agence France-Presse via Gulf News
Super typhoon Dujuan has killed three people and left more than 300 injured in Taiwan, authorities said after it swept across the island before making landfall in eastern China. Many of those injured in Taiwan were hit by flying debris or involved in traffic accidents, the Emergency Operation Centre said, putting the death toll at three and the number of injured at 346.More

India, Pakistan say some 1100 killed in Saudi hajj disaster
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Saudi Arabia has given foreign diplomats some 1,100 photographs of the dead from the recent hajj crush and stampede, Indian and Pakistani authorities said, an indication of a significantly higher death toll than previously offered by the kingdom. Saudi officials could not be immediately reached for comment about the discrepancy in the toll of the disaster in Mina. The Saudi Health Ministry's latest figures put the toll at 769 people killed and 934 injured.More

Thousands left without power after 10,000 lightning strikes hit Brisbane as a vicious thunderstorm crashes through Queensland's south-east
Daily Mail
More than 4,500 homes in Brisbane have been left without power after a severe storm hit the Queensland capital. Properties were without power after 10,000 lightning strikes hit the city of Brisbane. Flights at Brisbane Airport were also delayed in the chaos, while reports of road accidents were recorded in the Chermside, Greenslopes and Auchenflower area, reported 9news. More