IAEM Dispatch
Feb. 26, 2015

IAEM-USA extends deadline on EMPG survey to Mar. 7, 2015, 8:00 p.m. EDT; urges local emergency managers to participate
IAEM-USA has extended the deadline on its 8th annual survey seeking U.S. local government emergency managers to provide information on Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) funding until Mar. 7, 2015, 8:00 p.m. EDT. The deadline was extended due to weather emergencies throughout the United States. If you are a U.S. local government emergency manager, your participation is requested by IAEM-USA President John "Rusty" Russell. Significant progress has been made in recent years in educating Members of Congress on the importance of building and maintaining strong emergency management programs at the local level, as well as the role of funding, particularly EMPG funding, in building such programs. This is expected to be a challenging year, and it is vital that Congress have information on what they are getting for the EMPG money. The narrative questions at the end of the survey are of particular importance, as those help paint the picture. The survey is available here.More

DHS stalemate leaves local governments hanging
If all politics is truly local, the big sleeper in Washington's fight over the Homeland Security budget could be the city and county agencies that depend on the same bill to help finance their emergency response teams. Congress is most focused now on the threat of a shutdown next week if lawmakers cannot reach an agreement before DHS's stopgap continuing resolution runs out.More

Disaster exercise to test Alberta's emergency response team
Alberta's emergency response experts will be put to the test as a simulated ice storm sweeps across the province, bringing mass casualties, derailments, collapsing buildings and power outages. "The emergency management exercise, aimed at testing the government's response to potential disasters, is held annually but this year’s will be the largest and most complex yet," said Municipal Affairs Minister Diana McQueen.More

Dutch set up expert team for flood disaster help
The Dutch foreign affairs ministry has set up a team of water management experts which can be dispatched to flood disaster zones. The team, named Dutch Surge Support, will be able to deliver help in the first phase after a major disaster, the ministry says. More

Call for applications for the 2015 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship
The National Hazards Center at University of Colorado has announced a call for applications for the 2015 Mary Fran Myers Scholarship. Applications must be received by Mar. 27, 2015, and complete details are available here. The Mary Fran Myers Scholarship recognizes outstanding individuals who share Myers' commitment to disaster research and practice and have the potential to make a lasting contribution to reducing disaster vulnerability. At least one scholarship recipient each year will receive financial support allowing them to attend the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop. Scholarships can cover part or all of transportation, meals, and workshop registration costs. Recipients are recognized at the workshop and may be asked to serve as panelists, where they can highlight their research or practical experiences with hazards and disasters.More

AGU Honors Program accepting nominations through Mar. 15, 2015
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Honors Program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the geophysical sciences, to the service of the community, and to the public's understanding of Earth and space science. From students and early-career scientists to established leaders in their fields, the Honors Program highlights the value of their contributions and impact to the geophysical sciences. Nominations for 2015 AGU Awards will be accepted until Mar. 15, 2015. Receiving an AGU Honor is an esteemed recognition for those who have made profound contributions and breakthrough achievements in the Earth and space sciences. Complete information is available here.More

Mysterious East Coast flooding caused by 'unprecedented' surge in sea level
The Washington Post
Several years ago, in 2009 and 2010, a string of unexplained floods and unusually high tides struck the East Coast. There was no easy explanation. No hurricane. No winter storm. But the waters kept spilling across the shoreline, from North Carolina's Cape Hatteras to Canada. The cause of that phenomenon may now have finally been found.More

IAEM mourns the loss of James R. Smith, CEM, EM Specialist, Rutgers University
IAEM member James R. Smith, CEM, Emergency Management Specialist, Rutgers University, unexpectedly passed away on Feb. 7, 2015. He is survived by his wife Carol and their seven children, Katie, Emily, Matthew, Melinda, Jacob, Justine, and Andrew. Jim started his career in 1980 as a firefighter in the Cranford Fire Department and worked as a paramedic at many area hospitals, including Union, RWJ Rahway and Somerset. He was IAEM-USA Region 2 Vice President and Sergeant at Arms for the New Jersey Emergency Management Association. He also worked as a FEMA instructor and was active in higher education emergency preparedness and emergency management. Condolences can be sent to Carol Smith, 224 Katie Lynn Court, Brick, NJ 08723. A memorial service will be held at New Beginnings Church, Brick, New Jersey, on Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, 6:00 p.m. A second memorial service for Jim's EMS, fire and emergency management family is being tentatively planned for Saturday, Mar. 7, 2015, 11:00 a.m. Full details will be provided when arrangements are finalized. John Grembowiec is serving as the family liaison and will provide additional information when it becomes available. He can be reached at 973-445-9082 or grembojj@uhnj.org.More

This crash-proof bouncing drone is built to find disaster victims
Drones get a bad rap. The flying robots have been used as everything from remote peeping toms to killing machines. But, as one Swiss-based upstart reminds us, they can also be used for good — as a tool for helping rescue victims in disaster areas. Drones may come in all shapes and sizes—from 36-foot-wide military models to the 2-foot variety that crashed into The White House this year — but all of them can break into smithereens when they collide with other objects or crash-land. That's where the 13-inch Gimball drone sets itself apart. More

The IAEM Annual Conference call for speakers has closed, but the EMvision Talks call for speakers will open Mar. 30, 2015
The IAEM Conference Committee is thrilled to announce an exciting new conference initiative on the plenary stage at the 63rd IAEM Annual Conference — EMvision Talks. The Talks are modeled on the well-known TED™ Talk format and are a new way to communicate thought leadership in emergency management. Speaker submissions for EMvision Talks will open Mar. 30, 2015. Check out our website for more information.More

Certification application review schedule announced: Next deadline is Feb. 28, 2015
Online certification applications received by Feb. 28, 2015, will be reviewed by the North American Application Review Commission in March and April 2015. Candidates for AEM or CEM® will be notified of the results the week of Apr. 19, 2015. The North American Application Review Commission will tentatively conduct online reviews every other month.More

Recruiting ICS research interviewees; your experience counts!
Ray Chang, AEM, a doctoral student in the University of Delaware, is currently working on his dissertation focusing on the Incident Command System (ICS). Based on his interview design, he wishes to find experienced ICS users who have served in an ICS supervisory position during a mid-sized (Type 2 or Type 3) disaster. He will conduct an interview via phone or Skype with qualified individuals, and it will last for approximately one hour. If you are interested in participating in this research and helping an IAEM member, please email Ray Chang for further information and to set up an interview date and time.More

DHS S&T Capacity Building Webinars set for Feb. 26, Mar. 5 and Mar. 12
The Department of Human Resources (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) offers a Capacity Building Webinar Series that features presentations from national leaders and field experts who share best practices on how to apply technologies and innovative solutions to strengthen homeland security capabilities. All events are free to join, and participants can earn certificates and CEU credits by completing a quiz at the end of each event. Registration links are available here for these upcoming webinars:


Cyclones Marcia and Lam barrel into Australia
The Wall Street Journal
Twin cyclones barreled into Australia, toppling houses and knocking out power to thousands of homes in parts of the Northern Territory and eastern Queensland state. Emergency services said initial assessments showed Cyclone Marcia and Cyclone Lam — two of the most powerful storms to hit the country in recent years — hadn't caused the massive destruction they first feared, although Marcia damaged dozens of homes and other buildings in the coastal city of Yeppoon.More

Official: At least 108 people killed in Afghan winter storm
The Associated Press via USA Today
Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 108 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. The avalanches buried homes across four northeast provinces, killing those beneath, said Mohammad Aslam Syas, the deputy director of the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority.More

Bolivia flooding displaces thousands in Pando province
BBC News
Flooding has forced more than 4,000 people from their homes in the town of Cobija in northern Bolivia after the river Acre burst its banks. Heavy rains have also caused the nearby river Tahuamanu to burst its banks. More

Swine flu claims 38 more lives in India, total death toll passes 800
The Hindu via Time
Swine flu has claimed 38 more lives in India, taking the total nationwide death toll to 812, according to the latest figures released by the country's health ministry on Sunday. The total number of people affected by the H1N1 virus has now crossed 13,000, Indian newspaper The Hindu reported.More

Fresh nuclear leak detected at Japan's Fukushima plant
Agence France-Presse via The Strait Times
Sensors at the Fukushima nuclear plant have detected a fresh leak of highly radioactive water to the sea, the plant's operator announced Sunday, highlighting difficulties in decommissioning the crippled plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co said the sensors, which were rigged to a gutter that pours rain and ground water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a nearby bay, detected contamination levels up to 70 times greater than the already-high radioactive status seen at the plant campus. More

Bangladesh ferry capsizes after collision
The Maritime Executive
At least 66 people died when a passenger ferry carrying more than 150 passengers and crew capsized after colliding with a trawler on a river in central Bangladesh, police said. Rescuers managed to save at least 50 passengers and were still searching for more survivors, regional police official Harun-ur Rashid told Reuters. Low-lying Bangladesh, with extensive inland waterways and slack safety standards, suffers regular ferry disasters, with deaths sometimes running into the hundreds.More

Tug owner jailed over crew death
The Maritime Executive
A tug boat owner was sentenced to eight months in jail on Friday after his crew member died trying to reattach a tow line in a violent storm. During the hearing at U.K.'s Southampton Crown Court, Martin Richley owner and skipper of 9.5m Medway tug boat Endurance pleaded guilty to serious offences under the Merchant Shipping Act.More