IAEM Dispatch
Jun. 5, 2014

Balloon-based notification sign wins the FIRST® LEGO® League Global Innovation Award
For the past year, IAEM has been a proud Partner in Innovation sponsor of this year's FIRST® Lego® League (FLL®) challenge — Nature's Fury. The Global Innovation Award was presented on June 3 at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to a group of six nine-year-old boys, The Brain Busters. They created a balloon-based notification sign that can be used post-disaster and in other applications. During the awards presentation, The Brain Busters talked about meeting with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency while doing their research. They were among 10 teams out of more than 500 worldwide chosen by a panel of experts to receive free submission into Edison Nation's online platform where they will undergo Edison Nation's submission review process. This includes competitive landscape and initial IP review as well as considerations to development, materials, and analysis of cost/value relationship. Additionally, these ten teams will participate in a Q&A session with Edison Nation via email/questionnaire, with the Q&A results published in Inventors Digest. All ten of the submissions solve problems related to disasters (nature's fury) and may be reviewed on the event website. IAEM congratulates all of the participating teams for tackling the challenge and thanks members who assisted teams during the past year.More

Appropriations bill with NWS funding for FY 2015 approved by subcommittee
On June 3, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science approved their draft bill for FY 2015. The funding for the National Weather Service is included in this bill under NOAA. The bill text was not released but the Subcommittee released a summary of the highlights. The bill text and the Appropriations Committee Report, which will have more detail, will be released after the Full Appropriations Committee markup, scheduled for Thursday, June 5.More

No additional materials may be added in second appeal according to the Public Assistance Program Appeals Procedures Manual and Directive from FEMA
FEMA released Recovery Directorate Manual: Public Assistance Appeals Procedures that sets forth policies, procedures and responsibilities to help institute an organized, consistent and efficient system for responding to appeals within the Public Assistance (PA) Program. FEMA's PA Program provides disaster infrastructure repair or replacement assistance to qualifying state, local and tribal governments, and eligible non-profits. The new manual describes the policies, procedures and responsibilities applicable to the FEMA Public Assistance Appeals Branch (PAAB) and PA Program staff for adjudicating appeals filed by PA applicants. It is designed to create and manage a system for responding to PA Program eligibility disputes. One IAEM member has noted, "the Applicant must fully make their case in the first appeal. Except for extenuating circumstances, additional material may not be added during the second appeal. This is significant, because in the past, applicants often added information that materially changed the facts of a case at the second appeal."More

FEMA out with new flood insurance rates, reflecting March law's changes
The Times-Picayune
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending new flood insurance premiums rate sheets to insurers, reflecting changes made by Congress in the program after complaints a 2012 law was leading to exorbitant increases.More

Emergency Services Coalition issues chemical protection challenge
The Emergency Services Coalition for Medical Preparedness is hosting a challenge to design the next generation operational capacity to protect the protectors from chemical and nerve agents. $5,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the best ideas. The deadline to submit is July 10, 2014. The entry form and further details are on the Coalition's website.More

Quakes are increasing, but scientists aren't sure what it means
Los Angeles Times
No, it's not your imagination: The Los Angeles area is feeling more earthquakes this year. After a relatively quiet period of seismic activity in the Los Angeles area, the last five months have been marked by five earthquakes larger than 4.0. That hasn't occurred since 1994, the year of the destructive Northridge earthquake that produced 53 such temblors.More

Study: Americans less fearful of storms named after women
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences via NPR
A new study suggests Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names. This is a real study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012. Even after tossing out Katrina and Audrey, particularly deadly storms that would have skewed their model, they found that hurricanes with female names caused an average of 45 deaths, compared with 23 deaths from storms with male names.More

IBM helps Philippine government build disaster management center
IBM and the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology have collaborated to build a central hub for coordinating emergency response and relief efforts in the event of a natural disaster in the Philippines. The Quezon City-based Intelligent Operations Center was built through the company's impact grant program and will work to help Philippine government agencies with disaster planning and management, IBM said. More

Developers get hacking on public safety, disaster response apps
Fierce Mobile Government
Mobile app developers competing for more than $25,000 in prize money weren't the only winners at the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Hackathon, held in Washington, D.C. First responders and members of the public could soon benefit from the applications generated at the event, which attracted more than 100 developers and public safety officials. More

In emergencies, people with disabilities often an afterthought
Disability Scoop
Serious barriers continue to jeopardize the well-being of people with disabilities in the wake of disasters and in other emergency situations, a new federal report finds. Problems with emergency communications systems are rampant including everything from evacuation maps and websites that are inaccessible to alerts featuring language that is unclear for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.More

IAEM CEM®/AEM℠ Prep Courses and exam offerings are coming to a city near you
Register today for an upcoming CEM®/AEM℠ Prep Course or exam.

Candidates must register through the IAEM website to secure your space. IAEM requires a minimum of 10 registrants for the prep course. If you have any questions, feel free to contact CEM administrator Kate McClimans.More

Command and control in the era of social media
Emergency Management
Social media and the emergence of "coordinated" spontaneous volunteers is changing everything about disaster response for medium and especially large-to-catastrophic disasters. Now, with the wide-spread use of social media tools by millions of people, you no longer have the ability to effectively keep volunteers from coming to the aid of their friends, neighbors or strangers.More

The IAEM-USA Annual Conference is the premiere emergency management event to attend
See what others are saying about the IAEM Annual Conference...

View more testimonials from well renowned speakers, your peers, first and repeat long time attendees and many more! More

Detroit ranked nation's safest city — from natural disasters
While the city has seen some significant improvement in crime statistics of late, it could be a while before Detroit sheds its reputation as one of the nation's most dangerous places. But in at least one national safety ranking, Detroit tops the list in a positive way.More

Wildfire publicity lights fire under California homeowners
Insurance Journal
The recent plague of wildfires in Southern California and in neighboring states seems to have more people checking on their homeowners policies — and more people concerned about the threat of wildfires may be taking some mitigation steps insurers have been harping on for so long.More

Severe weather, potential derecho rolls through Midwest
More than 35 million people were in the path of severe weather and a potential phenomenon called a derecho recently — including people in Omaha, Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northern Kansas. The National Weather Service Omaha tweeted that "potential life threatening flash flooding ongoing across portions" of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa will be the main concerns. They warn citizens not to drive or walk in rising floodwaters.More

Hurricane Amanda recap: Record-setting May hurricane in the eastern Pacific
The Weather Channel
Hurricane Amanda remained hundreds of miles off the Mexican Pacific coast, but nevertheless was a newsworthy hurricane. It wasn't because it was the season's first hurricane, despite occurring about a month before the average date upon which the first eastern Pacific hurricane arrives. The legacy of Hurricane Amanda will be its peak intensity, in the month of May.More

MERS virus: Saudi Arabia raises death toll to 282
BBC News
Saudi Arabia says 282 people are now confirmed to have been killed by the MERS virus, almost 100 more than initially thought. The increase came after a national review of hospital data from the time the virus emerged in 2012. Cases of the virus, for which there is no known cure, have been confirmed in almost a dozen other countries. More

Sierra Leone Ebola outbreak death toll now 5
The Associated Press via ABC News
Foreign mining company personnel have left the country while others are undergoing body temperature screening at work sites, company officials said as the death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone rose to at least five victims. The new cases come after the deadly virus that causes severe bleeding was blamed for about 200 deaths in neighboring Guinea and Liberia. The Ebola disease has had a 70 percent fatality rate during the first crisis of its kind in West Africa.More

Disaster-prone Central America means business on climate laws
Thomson Reuters Foundation
In El Salvador's Chalatenango hills, hit hard by civil war in the 1980s between the army and Marxist insurgents, many trees were damaged or destroyed in the hail of bombs and bullets. After the conflict ended in 1992, the inhabitants of Montañona, a small town 98 km north of San Salvador, began mobilizing to restore the 21 hectares they owned, and to protect the surrounding forest landscape of more than 1,400 hectares. More