IAEM Dispatch
Apr. 30, 2015

How past disasters will aid relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Nepal
The Globe and Mail
The rush is on to help survivors of the Nepal earthquake with food, water, shelter and medical help. Eight million people, or a quarter of the population, have been affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that has killed more than 5,000 people. The death toll is expected to climb. Once again, the international disaster response system goes in to high gear and faces a test: getting aid on to the ground and distributing it to more remote parts of the country, and helping put Nepal on the path to post-disaster recovery.More

Coming next week: National Planning Framework Update
The five Frameworks, as part of a Presidential Policy Directive – 8 refresher, are being updated and will be presented for public comment the week of May 4. The National Planning Frameworks, one for each preparedness mission area, describe how the whole community works together to achieve the National Preparedness Goal and foster a shared understanding of our roles and responsibilities from the firehouse to the White House. The public comment period will last only three weeks from date of promulgation. A link to the updates for review will be posted on the IAEM website as soon as it is available.More

'Explosive' wildfires are already out of control months before fire season
"Wildfire season" seems to be a thing of the past for drought-stricken California, with fires now raging throughout the year. There have already been nearly 850 wildfires this year — 70 percent above the average, according to CAL FIRE data. High temperatures and low precipitation, both related to climate change, have dried out forests and scrublands across the western United States, allowing fires to spread faster and farther than usual, any time during the year.More

IAEM now accepting 2015 scholarship applications; deadline to apply is June 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m. (midnight) EDT
IAEM is now accepting applications for the 2015 IAEM Scholarships. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2015, 12:00 a.m. (midnight) EDT. The 2015 Scholarship Application forms are available for download here, with separate forms for undergraduate and graduate students. IAEM scholarships are awarded through a competitive process to full-time students pursuing an associate or diploma baccalaureate, or graduate degree in emergency management, disaster management, or a closely related field. The IAEM Scholarship Program was established to nurture, promote and develop disaster preparedness and resistance by furthering the education of students studying the field of emergency management, disaster management or a closely related program. The purpose of the program is to assist the profession by identifying and developing students with the intellect and technical skills to advance emergency management.More

Why does IAEM hold an awards competition?
The IAEM Annual Awards Competition has always been about recognizing and honoring those who have made special or significant contributions to the field of emergency management and who have represented the profession well by their outstanding performance. The IAEM Awards entry period began on Apr. 1, 2015, and will end on Friday, May 29, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. The period of performance for which work on award-winning activities is judged is the previous calendar year (Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2014). The IAEM Awards Committee, in cooperation with respective IAEM Caucuses, Regions, and Councils, administers all IAEM awards. There will be no separate calls for entries for any other 2015 awards. Remember, you can't win if you don't enter! Go to www.iaem.com/Awards to download award guidelines and official entry forms. 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.More

Measuring earthquakes with more than just 1 scale
When Nepal's earthquake hit, the first number everyone turned to was that awful magnitude number: 7.8. But INFORM, which provides global risk assessment with sponsorship from the European Commission, has developed its own scale, calculating just how vulnerable 191 countries are when it comes to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and other disasters.More

Win a free registration to the IAEM 2016 Annual Conference & EMEX
Are you passionate about emergency management? Are you a good storyteller? This is your chance to present your story live on the plenary session stage for the IAEM presents EMvision Talks at the Annual Conference in Clark County, Nevada, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. The Talks are modeled on the well-known TED™ Talk format and are limited to five minutes. The top five to seven selected speakers will be part of a live contest, where the audience will vote for the top speaker who will win a complimentary registration to the IAEM 64th Annual Conference & EMEX in Savannah, Georgia, Oct. 14-19, 2016. To submit your presentation, you must copy and paste the link to the high-quality recording of the unlisted YouTube video of your proposed Talk. View the Speaker Guidance for more information.More

GAO releases report on budgeting for disasters
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Apr. 27 released GAO-15-424, "Budgeting in Disasters: Approaches to Budgeting for Disasters in States." In recent years, natural and human-made disasters have increased in the United States in terms of both numbers and severity. For presidentially declared disasters, the federal government generally pays 75 percent of disaster costs and states cover the rest. As a result of this trend, governments at all levels have incurred increased costs for disaster response and recovery. Understanding the approaches states take to budget for disaster costs can help inform congressional consideration of the balance between federal and state roles in funding disaster assistance. GAO was asked to examine how states typically budget for costs associated with disasters and any changes to those budget approaches during the past decade. This report reviewed (1) the approaches selected states use to budget for and fund state-level disaster costs; and (2) how, if at all, state disaster budgeting approaches have changed over time. Download the full report.More

NLM launches emergency access initiative, granting free access to books and journals for healthcare professionals responding to earthquake in Nepal
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) has been activated to support healthcare professionals working on the response to the earthquake in Nepal. If you know of a library or organization involved in healthcare efforts in response to the earthquake in Nepal, please let them know of this service. The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from more than 650 biomedical journals and more than 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters and medical personnel responding to specified disasters. EAI was activated four times in the past, including following the earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Other NLM resources helpful for those working in disaster response include: Disaster Information Management Research Center (for first responders, healthcare professionals and the public); Earthquakes (for the general public); and International Health (for the general public).More

America's PrepareAthon! social media toolkit now available
The America's PrepareAthon! Spring 2015 social media toolkit is now available for download. The toolkit includes sample messages that can be shared on social media to encourage preparedness. For more information about America's PrepareAthon!, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.More

Certification application review begins May 1
The next CEM®/AEM application review will begin May 1 for all application submitted by close of business on Apr. 30, 2015. Candidates will be notified of the results during the week of June 21. Are you still thinking about getting certified? Check out our Getting Started page on the IAEM website to learn more about the process and find helpful resources.More

Tech giants help track Nepal earthquake survivors as communications are hit
The Wall Street Journal
Global technology firms are pitching in on earthquake rescue efforts in Nepal with services such as free calls to and from the country to functions that track survivors and relay the news to worried relatives and friends overseas. Search giant Google Inc. launched its Person Finder service, which allows users to post and search for information about missing friends and loved ones. The feature, which Google created in response to the destructive 2010 earthquake in Haiti, showed it was tracking about 6,300 records. Facebook Inc. activated Safety Check, which allows users in areas affected by the earthquake to select a notification alerting friends on the social network that they are OK.More

AAS, AMS and IAEM to host extreme precipitation 'Google Hangout On Air,' May 1
The American Astronautical Society (AAS), American Meteorological Society (AMS) and International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) will co-host an "Extreme Precipitation Hangout On Air" this Friday, May 1, 2015, at 12:30 pm EDT, to discuss just how extreme precipitation events are defined and forecast as well as how communities everywhere can better prepare and respond. Presented by Northrop Grumman, the one-hour digital event will also support America's PrepareAthon, a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience. The conversation during the Hangout will be devoted to discussing the impacts and mitigation of heavy precipitation events to help create a Weather-Ready Nation. The audience will hear from some of the top voices in weather from government, private industry, media and academia as they discuss what it takes to serve communities dealing with all kinds of extreme precipitation: hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and winter storms. Follow the Hangout at northropgrumman.com/ExtremePrecipitation. Join the Conversation on Twitter and send us your extreme weather questions by using #ExtremeWx.More

FEMA announces fourth meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council
FEMA announced the fourth public meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC), scheduled for May 12-13, 2015, in Reston, Virginia. The public meeting will be held at the United States Geological Survey Headquarters Main Auditorium on May 12 from 8:00 am-5:45 pm and May 13 from 8:00 am-5:15 pm EDT located at 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Virginia, 20192. The TMAC will discuss topics to include progress from the three TMAC subcommittees (Future Conditions; Flood Hazard Risk Generation and Dissemination; and Operations, Coordination, and Leveraging) regarding data and recommendations; voting on topics for inclusion in the Future Conditions Report and Annual Report, which are to be delivered in October 2015; and next steps for TMAC discussions and report development. Invited subject matter experts will brief TMAC members on FEMA's mapping process, reviewing detail of the process for map production from start to finish, discuss the status of FEMA’s transition to all-digital map display, and hear from experts in the lending and insurance industries to hear how maps are used to inform their efforts. A public comment period will be held during on May 12 from 5:15-5:45 pm and May 13 from 3:15-3:45 pm EDT. Those interested in speaking during the public comment period must contact FEMA by email at FEMA-TMAC@fema.dhs.gov or by calling 202-646-3432 to register as a speaker by May 7, 2015. Those not attending and wish to submit written comments can do so via the online Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by email to FEMA-RULES@fema.dhs.gov and a copy to FEMA-TMAC@fema.dhs.gov. All submissions received must include the words "Federal Emergency Management Agency" and docket number, FEMA-2014-0022. Comments received will be posted without alteration at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided.More

Nepal quake death toll surpasses 5000 as aid reaches epicenter area
Fox News
Aid reached a hilly district near the epicenter of Nepal's earthquake for the first time, four days after the quake struck and as the death toll from the disaster passed the 5,000 mark. But it will still take time for the food and other supplies to reach survivors in remote communities who have been cut off by landslides, warned Geoff Pinnock, a World Food Program emergencies officer.More

Forest fire in Ukraine approaches Chernobyl disaster site
The Wall Street Journal
A forest fire raged about 12 miles from the remains of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, officials said. Zoryan Shkiryak, acting head of Ukraine's emergency services, said 200 firefighters were at the scene trying to put out the fire but the situation was otherwise "fully under control." The fire was likely caused by arson or a permitted fire that "got out of hand," the statement said. Ukrainian officials assured the public that a fire so close to the scene of the 1986 nuclear disaster didn't present a major health hazard. More

Kenya floods: Scores feared dead as torrential rain turns roads into rivers
Capital FM News via International Business Times
Scores of people in western Kenya were feared dead Wednesday after heavy rainfall turned roads and streets into raging rivers overnight. At least 15 bodies were recovered from floods in a town west of Nairobi and dozens more were still missing, local media reports said. "It's difficult to say what the true extent of the damage is, given there is a lot of debris to sort through," Michael Aiyabei of a Kenya Red Cross team told Capital FM News in Narok.More

NSW floods: About 2,000 people still cut off by water in two Hunter communities
The Guardian
Recovery efforts are set to be ramped up with about 2,000 people still cut off by floodwaters after deadly storms in New South Wales. State emergency service teams are ferrying food and medical supplies to more than 1,800 people in the Hunter communities of Hinton and Gillieston Heights. Four people died in the floods.More

Chile's Calbuco volcano triggers fresh evacuation
BBC News
There have been fresh evacuations in the area surrounding the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile after it started spewing ash again on Tuesday. The volcano erupted twice last week prompting the evacuation of more than 6,000 people. On Tuesday, residents who had returned to Rio Blanco, to the south of the volcano, were asked to leave again. Calbuco, which before last week had not erupted for 42 years, is one of around 90 active volcanoes in Chile. More

Baltimore deploys National Guard as riots erupt
Agence France-Presse via Yahoo News
Thousands of police and National Guard troopers were ordered to back up beleaguered officers in Baltimore after riots triggered by anger over the death of a black man in police custody. After an evening of violence, officials said calm appeared to be returning to the city. At least 27 people were arrested and 15 police injured as stone and brick-throwing mobs, many of them high school students, clashed with law enforcement and attacked local businesses. The state of Maryland declared a state of emergency after furious rioters looted businesses, ransacking shops and stealing armloads of merchandise, and torched cars.More

Coast Guard IDs 3rd victim in deadly sailboat disaster
The Associated Press via ABC News
Authorities have identified the third person killed when a powerful storm struck a sailboat race on the Alabama coast. The U.S. Coast Guard said that the body of 67-year-old William Glenn Massey of Daphne was found near a gas platform in Mobile Bay. An angler spotted the body and notified officials. Massey is the third person confirmed dead since the boating disaster. The search continues in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waters for three others who remain missing.More