IAEM Dispatch
May. 7, 2015

Canadian, US ministers announce new class of tank car for the transportation of flammable liquids in North America
Canadian Underwriter
Lisa Raitt, the federal Minister of Transport and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, unveiled a new class of rail tank car for flammable liquids. This newer, stronger tank car will be used for the transportation of flammable liquids, such as crude oil and ethanol, Transport Canada said in a press statement. The new TC-117 regulation is the result of collaboration on both sides of the border, with a joint goal of strengthening the safety of the two countries' inter-connected rail networks.More

Additional steps underway to implement changes to National Flood Insurance Program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is providing information on additional steps underway to implement changes to the program as a result of provisions to the 2012 and 2014 flood insurance reform legislation. The provisions require rate changes for flood insurance coverage on business properties receiving subsidized rates. The NFIP is providing a bulletin to its private sector, Write Your Own insurance companies that provide technical guidance to support further implementation of the legislation. The program changes take place on Nov. 1, 2015. Additional information can be found in the latest bulletins provided to the NFIP's private sector Write Your Own insurance partners at www.NFIPiService.com.More

NIST releases draft guide to help communities better plan for, recover from, disasters
The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a draft guide to help U.S. communities better plan for disasters such as earthquakes, floods and sea-level rise, but also quickly recover from them. The agency is requesting public feedback on the Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure that lays out a six-step process, which starts with the establishment of a resilience team and ends with the implementation of a strategy that is updated regularly, according to a NIST press release.More

USDOT releases final rule on crude-by-rail safety, joins Transport Canada in introducing new tank-car class
The day that railroads, tank-car builders and lessors, shippers, refiners and other crude-oil supply-chain constituents long have been waiting for has arrived. The U.S Department of Transportation released its final safety rule governing the transportation of flammable liquids by rail, primarily crude and ethanol. The USDOT and Transport Canada held a press conference this morning to unveil a new class of tank car for flammable liquids. More

World's largest 'supervolcano' is even bigger than previously thought
Seismologists have discovered a massive magma reservoir beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming, that suggests its volcanic system could be more than 5.6 times larger than was previously thought. Although it was already known that Yellowstone had one magma reservoir, located about 5-16km (3-10 miles) below the surface, the new study, published in Science, has revealed another, much larger reservoir sitting directly below the first, located around 20-50km (12-30 miles) below the surface.More

Feds to require climate change plans for states seeking disaster relief
The Hill
A new Federal Emergency Management Agency policy requiring states to address climate change before they can become eligible for grant funding is drawing fire from congressional Republicans. The regulations, part of a FEMA State Mitigation Plan Review Guide, are not set to take effect until next March. But lawmakers are demanding an explanation for the rules now.More

Forest Service chief predicts above normal US wildfire season
The head of the U.S. Forest Service predicted an above normal wildfire season for vast swaths of the western and northern United States due to drought and higher-than-average temperatures. The forecast indicating large and possibly more damaging fires comes as parched portions of the U.S. West have already experienced blazes weeks before the usual start of wildland fire season in late spring.More

IAEM Awards Competition accepting entries for three more weeks
The IAEM-Global Awards & Recognition Work Group encourages you to review the award categories in the 2015 IAEM-Global Awards Competition, and nominate those people, organizations or projects that have contributed to the field of emergency management and made a difference in their communities. There are four award categories in the global competition, including: Business & Industry Award (one winner); Partners in Preparedness Award (one winner); Public Award Awards (winners in 3 divisions); and Technology & Innovation Awards (winners in 3 divisions). Entrants first compete within their Council, and the winners from each Council go on to compete at the global level. IAEM members can enter the competition at no charge, while non-members are asked to pay an entry fee. The deadline for entries is May 29, 2015, 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The guidelines and entry forms are posted at www.iaem.com/Awards. More

Congress is for hackers
Roll Call
In fewer than two days, more than 100 hackers — coders, business analysts, former congressional staffers and grass-roots advocacy specialists — developed 11 projects aimed at helping Congress function more effectively and transparently. It's the kind of efficiency the legislators who spoke to those assembled at Google's Washington, D.C., office can only dream of. The winning project was something called "Coalition Builder," which stemmed from Sen. Cory Booker's challenge to develop a program to make it easier to find potential legislative partners.More

Another electric car benefit: Useful in a disaster
Automakers and consumers alike are waking up to the bevy of benefits offered by electric vehicles, whether it be lowering operating costs, cheaper insurance, or just the fun offered by instant torque. One benefit of EVs that doesn't get nearly enough attention though is their ability to plug back into the power grid or serve as mobile battery banks in remote locations, or on the scene of a natural disaster. More

Reminder: Call for Certification Commissioners
The May IAEM Bulletin and the CEM News section of the IAEM website announces that the CEM® Commission is accepting applications for new commissioners. Please see instructions for how to apply. Deadline is June 15, 2015.More

Trying to stay ahead of earthquake disasters
The New York Times
"Earthquakes do not kill people," seismic experts often say. "Buildings do." For Brian E. Tucker, the founder and president of a nonprofit called GeoHazards International that helps developing countries better prepare for earthquake disasters, two quakes in the late 1980s provided a stark illustration. A magnitude-6.8 earthquake in December 1988 devastated Armenia, then part of the Soviet Union. The official death toll was 25,000. Unofficial estimates put the number of dead at 40,000 or higher.More

Challenges medical relief teams face after disaster
David Chesire writes: "As medical relief teams from Nepal and the rest of the world work to distribute supplies and care for survivors, it's worth understanding how health workers handle extreme emergency situations. As a trauma psychologist at the University of Florida, I provide support to people coping with catastrophic injuries. I also assist in the training of health care workers on preparing for extreme emergencies and mass casualties."More

Teen Community Emergency Response Team webinar offered on May 14
After an emergency event, schools must sometimes wait for first responders to arrive. To equip students, staff, and schools with basic response skills and emergency preparedness concepts, FEMA established the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to support high schools, which has been adapted from the adult CERT program. FEMA and the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will be hosting a webinar on May 14 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time regarding Teen CERT and how schools may use it to engage youth in school emergency management planning and promote student preparedness. The webinar will provide an overview of FEMA's Teen CERT program along with examples of how schools and districts are using Teen CERT to support their emergency preparedness and response efforts. Register today.More

Start your experience at the NAGC Communications School with advanced training workshops to help emergency communicators
The National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) 2015 Communications School experience begins with optional advanced training workshops for government communicators held on June 2, 2015. Use these sessions to elevate your community communication programs. In the morning, choose between "Integrated, Coordinated and Synchronized Communications through Strategic Communication Planning," offered by Chris O'Neil, deputy assistant commissioner, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and NAGC communications director, and "Graphic Design Techniques Transform a Blank Canvas into Artwork," presented by DaRonda McDuffie, public affairs specialist, Department of Transportation/FMCSA, Office of Communications. In the afternoon, Leslie O'Flahavan, principal, E-Write, will lead a workshop on "Feed the Content Monster: How to Write for Multiple Audiences in Multiple Channels;" and the Advanced Training Workshops are just the beginning. Download the program now and visit the NAGC Communications School home page for more details and how to register for this year's top government communications training opportunity, set for June 2-14, 2015, in Memphis, Tennessee.More

'Tornado' hits Germany, leaving extensive damage
The Guardian
The German town of Buetzow has been left extensively damaged by what residents described as a tornado that tore off roofs, overturned cars and ripped up trees, with more destruction reported in other parts of Germany. Roof tiles and debris were strewn across the streets and buildings left severely damaged when the storm struck. Dozens of cars were destroyed and people injured as trees were upturned and buildings damaged by the winds. One person in the city of Hamburg was killed by falling debris.More

Nepal earthquake: Death toll climbs to over 7,500
Rescuers were digging through thousands of tons of earth from a quake-triggered mudslide in Nepal that wiped out an entire village along a popular Himalayan trekking route and killed at least 60 people. Nine of the victims recovered in the Langtang Valley since the April 25 earthquake and mudslide were foreign trekkers, said Gautam Rimal, the top government official in the Rasuwa district. Villagers say as many as 200 people could have been killed. The still-rising death toll from the quake, Nepal's worst in more than 80 years, has reached more than 7,500.More

Around 7000 Europe-bound migrants rescued, baby girl born on Italian navy ship
Around 7,000 migrants were rescued from overcrowded boats crossing the Mediterranean to Europe, including a woman who gave birth to a baby girl on an Italian navy ship, the coast guard said. Numbers risking the journey in search of a better life have continued to rise two weeks after as many as 900 people drowned in the worst Mediterranean shipwreck in living memory.More

Tornadoes roar across the Plains
USA Today
Multiple tornadoes blasted portions of the central and southern Plains, with storms in Oklahoma shutting down highways, delaying flights and sending debris flying. Separate tornadoes hit central Kansas, central Oklahoma and Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. Tornado warnings also were issued for Southern Clay County, Bluegrove and Buffalo Springs, Texas, according to the weather agency.More

Watch: Lava lake explodes when volcano crater wall collapses in Hawaii
The Washington Post
Recently, the lava level has been rising inside the massive Halema'uma'u Crater of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. The volcano put on a spectacular show for Big Island tourists when a portion of the crater collapsed into the lava lake. As the crater wall fell into the lake of molten earth, it exploded into gas and rocks the size of a fist, which were deposited on the crater rim.More

Underwater volcano erupts off the coast of Oregon
ZME Science
An underwater volcano 300 miles off the coast of Oregon has awakened from its slumber and appears to spew out lava, triggering numerous earthquakes. There is no immediate danger, but geologists are excited to be able to study it in real time. Almost 8,000 earthquakes were observed and scientists immediately knew the source was an underwater volcano — volcanoes tend to send out different types of waves than tectonic earthquakes.More

Costa Rica's Turrialba Volcano erupts, forcing capital airport to temporarily close
The Tico Times
Turrialba Volcano is at it again. The colossus sent a tower of ash and gas 2.5 km high. Ash from the eruption is expected to reach the capital, San José, the National Emergency Commission posted on its Facebook. The ash from Turrialba Volcano has forced operators of the Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside Costa Rica’s capital city of San José, to temporarily close. More

Ash cloud from Chilean volcano to reach Uruguay
Latin American Herald Tribune
The Uruguayan Institute of Meteorology, or Inumet, has warned of an imminent arrival of ash cloud to Uruguay from the Chile's Calbuco volcano, which erupted for the third time in a week. In a special bulletin on their website, Inumet said that residual plumes linked to volcanic ash from the Calbuco eruption would be witnessed.More