IAEM Dispatch
Apr. 2, 2015

New plan aims to halve Tokyo quake deaths, damage
The Japan Times
The government said the estimated death toll from a predicted major earthquake directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area could be halved from 23,000 if authorities adopt a new 10-year risk management plan. Officials said they also aim to reduce by 50 percent the 610,000 buildings that could be destroyed. Adopted by the Cabinet, the revised basic program updates mitigation strategies from an original March 2014 plan.More

Canada's national emergency alert system launches
Broadcaster Magazine
Disaster can strike with little to no notice and Alert Ready, Canada's new national emergency alert system, aims to benefit all Canadians by notifying them immediately to potentially life-threatening events. Governments and broadcasters will now have the ability to bring more alerts to more Canadians, faster, enabling them to take action and stay safe. Alert Ready's distribution infrastructure is operated by Pelmorex Media Inc., the parent company of The Weather Network and MétéoMédia, and developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment Canada and the broadcast industry.More

National VOAD Awards process now open
The nominations process for this year's National VOAD Award has opened. The awards will be announced at the 2015 National VOAD Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, May 11-15, 2015. If you know an individual or organization that has made a positive impact in the VOAD movement, nominate them for an award. The following awards will be given: National Member of the Year, State/Territory VOAD of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, VOAD Spirit Award, Innovative Program of the Year, and National VOAD Partner of the Year Award. Nominations are due by midnight, Apr. 13, 2015. Learn more.More

FEMA seeks feedback on National Preparedness Goal
The National Preparedness Goal (the Goal) sets the vision for preparedness nationwide and identifies the core capabilities necessary to achieve that vision across the five mission areas: prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The first edition of the National Preparedness Goal, released in 2011, sets the vision for preparedness, "a secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk," and identifies the core capabilities necessary to achieve the Goal. Building on the work from the past several years, FEMA is coordinating the refresh of the first edition of the National Preparedness Goal. FEMA requests feedback on the first edition of the National Preparedness Goal. The comment period closes Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Please visit the FEMA website to review proposed updates to the Goal, and download the feedback matrix. All comments should be submitted via email using the provided matrix.More

National Flood Insurance Program rate changes effective April 1
As part of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) and Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), FEMA continues to take important steps to implement changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as called upon by the 2012 and 2014 flood insurance reform legislation. These reforms slow some flood insurance rate increases and offer relief to some policyholders who experienced steep flood insurance premium increases in 2013 and early 2014. In October 2014, the NFIP's flood insurance rate structure and business practices were further revised to implement certain provisions of the new reforms and take effect for new business and renewals beginning on and after Apr. 1, 2015. For detailed information on program changes, please see the Apr. 1, 2015, Program Changes Fact Sheet.More

Nationwide 'emergency alert' test causes panic, confusion
A test of the national "Emergency Alert System" which was seen by television viewers in states across the country prompted panic and confusion, with many taking to Twitter to express their concerns. The test began at around 11 a.m. EST and was broadcast in Washington D.C., Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The emergency alert contained no details and merely listed the states it affected and said the alert would run from 11 a.m. until midnight.More

Bipartisan FEMA efficiency bill introduced
A bipartisan bill that would improve the efficiency of disaster-assistance operations conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency was introduced recently. The FEMA Disaster Assistance Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1471) would give the agency the authority to implement assistance programs to ensure reduction of damage and loss of life. It also stipulates that the agency analyze disaster-loss trends and assess recommendations to save on costs.More

Debate on shipping crude by rail heats up in Washington
The Bakken
The safety of shipping crude by rail became a hot topic in Washington, D.C., with the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Senate and the release of a report on oil properties by the U.S. Department of Energy. U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Patty Murray D-Wash., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced legislation setting new safety standards for trains hauling volatile crude oil, which they said would "better protect American communities along the tracks."More

Call for entries: IAEM Awards Competition is open Apr. 1-May 29, 2015
The 2015 IAEM Awards Competition opened on April 1, 2015. 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 at www.iaem.com/Awards. 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 29, 2015, 5:00 p.m., EDT.More

FEMA Student Identification numbers to be used for IS final exams
FEMA EMI recently posted that on Apr. 1, 2015, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) will begin to use the FEMA Student Identification (SID) number when submitting Independent Study (IS) final exams. All individuals (U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries) may register for a FEMA SID at https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid.More

Attention recertification applicants: new requirements in effect
As announced, the new recertification requirements were implemented in January 2015 for candidates scheduled to recertify in 2015. If you are a recertification candidate who started an online recertification application prior to Jan. 5, 2015, please note that your application is tied to the old recertification requirements. To take advantage of the new recertification, candidates should add and complete a new recertification application, which will incorporate the new sliding scale of requirements. Recertification candidates should save any information from the old recertification application and delete the old recertification application prior to beginning the new application.More

National 911 Progress Report released
The National 911 Program recently announced the release of the "2014 National 911 Progress Report," which provides detailed reporting and analysis of the most recent collection of 911 statistics from more than 39 states. Available at 911.gov, the report collates the data gathered from the participating states with the support of the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA). Because the data are available in both aggregated and state-by-state formats, this is the first data collection effort that allows for the comparison of data to understand how states are similar in terms of call volume, governance and other demographics. This segmented 911 system data will allow state 911 leaders to compare information and consider more effective program modifications based on the models implemented in other states. Also, access to state-by-state information will help answer the questions of legislators and policy makers about how a particular state compares with others. Plans are underway for 2014 data collection to begin in May 2015.More

State Mitigation Plan Review Guide Factsheet now available
FEMA has announced the release of the State Mitigation Plan Review Guide. The Guide will be FEMA's official policy on the natural hazard mitigation planning requirements at Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 201, and FEMA's interpretation of federal regulations for state hazard mitigation plans, inclusive of the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The Guide is available from the FEMA library. State, local, and tribal governments engage in the mitigation planning process to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters and establish a long-term strategy for protecting people and property in future hazards events. State mitigation plans are one of the conditions of eligibility for certain FEMA assistance, such as Public Assistance Categories C-G and Hazard Mitigation Assistance mitigation project grants. States are required to update the state mitigation plan every five years.More

Third edition of FEMA's publication, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms, now available
FEMA's Building Science Branch presents the recently updated FEMA P-361, Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms. FEMA P-361 provides the most current, up-to-date guidance on constructing a safe room that provides near-absolute protection from the deadly winds and windborne debris associated with extreme-wind events for its occupants. The information presented in FEMA P-361 is the culmination of many years of post-disaster investigations into the performance of safe rooms and storm shelters during tornadoes and hurricanes.More

IAEM seeks individuals to serve as IAEM Ambassadors during 63rd Annual Conference
Do you like networking and meeting new people? Are you an IAEM member in good standing? Have you been to an IAEM Annual Conference in the past? If you answered yes to all three questions, then joining the IAEM Ambassador program is for you. Back by popular demand, the IAEM-USA Conference Committee is delighted to bring the IAEM Ambassador program to Clark County, Nevada for the 63rd IAEM Annual Conference and EMEX. Throughout the week, IAEM members will serve as ambassadors to help attendees tailor their conference experience, answer questions, as well as guide others to interesting conference events. Ambassadors will be easily be identified by their "Ambassador" buttons. If you are interested in becoming an ambassador for the conference, learn more by viewing the online orientation presentation, and complete the online survey. Volunteers will be contacted prior to the conference. Serving as an ambassador is a great way to network at a higher level during the conference, while assisting your fellow attendees.More

PHMSA soliciting for its Technical Assistance Grants Program
PHMSA's Office of Pipeline Safety is soliciting applications for its Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) program. These grants are made available to public and private entities to support a wide range of pipeline safety activities. The details can also be found by using the "SEARCH GRANTS" tab at Grants.gov. Search by Funding Opportunity Number: DTPH5615SN0002. The closing date for applications is Apr. 22, 2015.More

BC Management requests your input to its 13th Annual BCM Compensation Study by Apr. 15
BC Management's 13th Annual Business Continuity Management Compensation Study is now underway, and BCM professionals are invited to participate. There are three categories to choose from (permanently employed; contractor/consultant; or unemployed professional), and the deadline to complete the study survey is Apr. 15, 2015. Contact information is not required, and your personal or company information will not be shared. Study participants will receive a complimentary copy of the report. The scope of the study is worldwide, and the study is available in English, Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese. Information on initial findings is available here. In addition to collecting data on compensation, the study will address skill sets within the BCM profession, breakout of certifications, what is in demand by employers, and forecasting future trends.More

Margolis Healy seeks input to its 2015 Campus Safety Survey
Margolis Healy has launched its annual Campus Safety Survey and seeks input. The purpose of the survey is to identify trends and lessons learned during the past 18-24 months. Input is welcomed on a variety of campus safety, security and regulatory compliance topics impacting institutions of higher education and K-12 schools today. The survey will take approximately 10 minutes and all responses will remain anonymous. Take the survey.More

Apr.7 deadline looms for FEMA's National Training, Education, and Exercise Symposium
FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is preparing for the 2015 National Training and Exercise (NT&E) Symposium. The symposium, which takes place May 19-21, 2015, at EMI in Emmitsburg, Maryland, provides federal, state, tribal, and territorial training and exercise officials the opportunity to discuss current and future training and exercise programs and to share case studies, lessons-learned, and smart practices. Applications for registration must be received by Apr. 7, 2015.More

Hurricane-strength winds pummel Europe, 4 killed
At least four people were killed when hurricane-force winds lashed northern Europe in one of the most severe storms in years, forcing flights to be cancelled and disrupting road, train and marine traffic. The Dutch meteorological office issued a red warning for the northern and coastal provinces of the low-lying Netherlands, as gusts of up to 120 kph (75 mph) caused damage estimated at several million euros.More

Pacific Super Typhoon Maysak among strongest on record so early in the season
The Washington Post
An unusually strong spring super typhoon is sweeping across the western Pacific, its eyes set on the northern Philippines. The super typhoon, named Maysak, packs maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. Maysak achieved super typhoon intensity with winds of at least 150 mph, while undergoing rapid strengthening. It is currently the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane.More

Small tsunami generated in Pacific after earthquake
The Associated Press via ABC News
A powerful earthquake rattled the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea, generating a small tsunami and frightening locals near the epicenter, but prompting no reports of damage or injuries. A tsunami of half a meter (1.5 feet) was measured in the harbor of Rabaul, a town near the epicenter of the magnitude-7.7 earthquake, said Martin Mose, acting director for Papua New Guinea's National Disaster Center.More

Chile floods leave 17 dead, 20 missing and communities pleading for help
The Guardian
Chile's government said that 17 people have been killed and 20 are still missing after torrential rains caused flooding in a northern desert region. The heavy rains last week swelled rivers and led to flash-flooding that also caused power outages and blocked roads. President Michelle Bachelet's spokesman announced that the government will provide nearly $10m to the flood-hit areas.More

Oklahoma cleans up from twisters that killed 1, injured 2 dozen
Cleanup crews started assessing the damage caused by storms that slashed across Oklahoma, killing one person and injuring about two dozen others across the state. A reported tornado ravaged a mobile home park, destroying dozens of trailers just west of Tulsa in the suburb of Sand Springs. Authorities said the man who died at the River Oaks Mobile Home Park had been trying to help his father, who was injured, according to CNN affiliate KJRH. More

Death toll rises to 14 in Mexico gas tanker explosion
The Associated Press via ABC News
The death toll in a gasoline tanker truck explosion in southeastern Mexico rose to 14, the result of an attempted theft of fuel in an area that authorities say has a long reputation for roadside thefts. Tabasco state prosecutor Fernando Valenzuela Pernas said that while investigators had found no evidence someone intentionally ignited the gasoline after the truck crashed, people did break through the police perimeter and then chased off firefighters so they could steal gasoline. More