IAEM Dispatch
Mar. 27, 2014

British Columbians at risk if catastrophic earthquake occurs
Auditor General Russ Jones’ latest report, Catastrophic Earthquake Preparedness, which was released on Mar. 25, 2014, states that British Columbians are at significant risk if a catastrophic earthquake were to occur today. The audit found that Emergency Management BC (EMBC), the organization tasked with preparing government's response to such an event, is not adequately prepared for a catastrophic earthquake. The audit also found that neither the Province nor EMBC has made preparing for one a priority. Download press release and report.More

New IAEM-Asia Council Officers Announced
IAEM-Asia members elected Qunhong Wu, supervisor and professor, College of Health Management, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China, as the council's vice president. Since the outbreak of SARS in 2003 in China, she has been involved in research on Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM) and has published about 50 academic papers, two research monographs, and a textbook on PHEM. She has organized four international seminars in the areas of PHEM in China, which have greatly facilitated academic exchanges among policy makers, researchers and experts. IAEM-Asia President Victor Bai, CEM, also announces the appointment of two new IAEM-Asia Council officers for the term of 2014-2015. Netty E. Komattu, MBA, BSc, executive director, Alliance Safety Management Services, Malaysia, has been named as IAEM-Asia Council secretary. Previously, he worked in the occupational safety, health and environment field, in charge of a training and business development unit with a consulting company to promote safety and health among employers for the Southern and Central states of Malaysia. Lortin Lin, EMBA, MSc, consultant at Chinese Disaster Mitigation & Consultant Co., Ltd., Tapei, Taiwan, has been named as IAEM-Asia Council treasurer. Previously, she was development director, Great China, BELFOR (Asia) PTE LTD, a subsidiary of a German-based global disaster recovery service provider with jurisdictions in China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. To learn more about these new officers, please visit the IAEM-Asia Council News web page.More

No easy fix on flood insurance, but options exist
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
There's no easy fix for the National Flood Insurance Program, now drowning in a $24 billion sea of red ink. But experts and advocates say Congress does have some options that could make the troubled program financially stable, more affordable and more effective at motivating change in communities built too close to the water.More

At Cold War missile factory, elite rescuers drill for disaster
A large-scale disaster drill, unfolding this week in rural Georgia, is being staged at a 830-acre training site that was a missile factory during the Cold War. The campus, known as The Guardian Centers, is nestled between a grove of pecan trees and a rural stretch of interstate and is designed to meet the growing needs of disaster rescue, police and military teams.More

Disaster film about jet crash at sea put on hold
The Associated Press via ABC News
A disaster movie about a jet that crashes into the ocean on its way to Beijing has been put on hold because of its similarities to the missing Malaysian plane. Arclight Films, the company behind "Deep Water," said that pre-production has been halted for the time being. "We're delaying it out of respect for what's going on," Managing Director Gary Hamilton said.More

Insurance industry disaster claims fell to $45 billion in 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek
Swiss Re Ltd., the world's second-biggest reinsurer, said losses for the global insurance industry from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters fell 44 percent last year amid a quiet Atlantic hurricane season. Insured losses fell to $45 billion from $81 billion in 2012, the Zurich-based reinsurer said in a statement today. The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which ran from June through November, was the first since 1994 with no major storms.More

Japan's Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Architecture Prize
Chicago Tribune
Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who has used high-strength cardboard tubes to make temporary housing for victims of natural disasters and refugees fleeing conflicts, on Monday was named the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the field's highest honor. Sponsored by Chicago's billionaire Pritzker family, the annual award recognizes "consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."More

Want to take the certification exam but can't make one of the current dates, then use a proctor
Candidates working toward their CEM®/AEM℠ certification can take the exam with an approved proctor at their convenience. Proctors can be an IAEM staff member, board member, CEM Commissioner, a training officer at a military installation or faculty at your local high school, community college or university. Once candidates have found an approved proctor to administer the exam, requests can be sent to IAEM HQ including the proctor's name, title, mailing address, email address and exam date, giving at least 10 - 14 business days' notices to process the request and mail the exam. Instructions will be mailed to the proctor after candidates have paid the certification fee.More

IAEM Bulletin call for articles on 'Resilience: Practical Applications'
The IAEM Editorial Work Group seeks articles for its third special focus issue of 2014, "Resilience: Practical Applications." Possible articles might include: what we can do to improve resilience in our communities; how your jurisdiction makes your community or work place more resilient; what steps you have taken to improve community resilience; what unique plans you have written that may be useful to others; practical applications of resilience; or a program that you recommend to other communities. Please read the IAEM Bulletin Author's Guidelines, and keep your articles at no more than 750 words. E-mail article submissions by May 10, 2014 to Karen Thompson, editor.More

Renewing the Chempack listening session
There are 62 CDC preparedness grantees, and all of them are at threat from chemical and nerve agent exposures. In Jan. 2014 the Emergency Services Coalition for Medical Preparedness drafted recommendations for renewing and replenishing the Chempack program. These recommendations have been widely distributed and vigorously debated among preparedness professionals. The Public Health Summit provides an opportunity for the public health community to provide its own collective voice on the need for and ways for the Chempack program to be updated. On Apr. 3 from 8:00-11:00 a.m., during the Public Health Summit, at the Marriott Marquis, in Atlanta, Ga., join the Emergency Services Coalition for Medical Preparedness for a complimentary breakfast and help build the next 10 years of community security from chemical agents. Interested participants must register online no later than March 31, 2014. Attendees will receive a confirmation email immediately upon registering. Registration is limited so secure your space soon.More

DHS releases Emergency Services Sector Roadmap to Secure Voice and Data Systems
The Dept. of Homeland Security Emergency Services Sector (ESS) on Mar. 24 released the Emergency Services Sector Roadmap to Secure Voice and Data Systems. The Roadmap contains several mitigation measures that can be used to address the risks identified in the previously published ESS-Cyber Risk Assessment. The Roadmap is intended to serve as a guide and reference document for ESS personnel, as they adapt to the growing prevalence of and reliance upon digital technologies and other cyber-infrastructure in the sector.More

BC city: Cyclists will play vital role in disaster response
New Westminster Police, Fire and City officials will hold an event that is part bike rally and part emergency response drill. The Amazing Disaster Rally will take cyclists through a 25-kilometres course that includes emergency-related challenges and checkpoints. The New Westminster Police Department's Insp. Phillip Eastwood says the event will help demonstrate the role cyclists can play in emergency response. "In a large-scale disaster when the roads may be compromised, one of the best ways of getting around, transporting equipment and medical supplies, and even messages, would be by bicycle," said Eastwood. More

Woven disaster shelters are powered with sun-absorbing fabric
Innovative disaster shelters have run the gamut of materials like recyclable plastic, to flat pack wonders, to affordable bamboo homes that float when it floods. Jordanian-Canadian designer Abeer Seikaly turns to solar-absorbing fabric as his material of choice in creating woven shelters that are powered by the sun and inspired by nomadic culture.More

Death toll looks set to rise after Washington State mudslide
The death toll from a landslide in Washington State looked set to rise but officials say some of the scores of people listed as missing may have been double-counted or slow to alert family of their whereabouts. As many as 176 people are listed as missing five days after a rain-soaked hillside collapsed, tumbling over a river, across a road and into a rural residential area where it buried dozens of homes near the town of Oso.More

Uganda Lake Albert boat disaster: 107 bodies found
BBC News
Rescue workers in Uganda have so far recovered 107 bodies, including those of 57 children, after a boat capsized on Lake Albert, a government minister has said. The boat was taking refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo back to their home country when it capsized. It had a capacity to carry only 80 passengers, but up to 250 people were on board, officials said.More