IAEM Dispatch
Jul. 18, 2013

National Automobile Museum provides exciting location for annual welcome reception
Every year we kick-off IAEM's Annual Conference with a welcome reception, usually held at the hotel. This year, we are pleased to announce that the welcome reception for the 2013 IAEM Annual Conference and EMEX will be held at the National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nev., just a short walk from the Silver Legacy Hotel. The museum offers ample space for networking and dining, and the evolution of the automobile is a great introduction to our conference theme of "a changing world." A visit to this inspiring museum is a great way to begin your conference week. For more information about the museum, check out its website. Don't forget to add the welcome reception to your registration when arranging your conference schedule. We look forward to seeing all of you this fall.More

US Senate Appropriations Subcommittee acts on DHS FY 2014 appropriations
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on July 16 marked up the FY 2014 appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The full Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the bill on July 18, and amendments are expected at the full Committee session. An IAEM-USA memo is available on the highlights of the FEMA portion of the bill as agreed to by the subcommittee. The committee report, which will include much more detail and the bill language, will be available after the full committee markup and will be posted on the IAEM-USA website as soon as it is available. The subcommittee's 10-page press release with highlights of all sections of the subcommittee bill is available here.More

IAEM-USA student members invited to enter the IAEM-USA Student Academic Research Paper Presentation Award Competition
IAEM-USA student members still have the opportunity to showcase their research, and have it judged by experts in the field of emergency management. The competition is open only to IAEM-USA student members, who will compete in one of two categories, undergraduate and postgraduate. Download the guidelines, and submit your entry no later than Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013, 5:00 p.m. EDT.More

Nominations period for IAEM-USA Council officers open until August 16
IAEM-USA will elect new officers at the IAEM 61st Annual Conference & EMEX 2013, set for Oct. 25-30, in Reno, Nev. Candidates for IAEM-USA Second Vice President and IAEM-USA Treasurer must submit credentials by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, to IAEM Headquarters. Learn more. More

EPA requests comments on protective action guide
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public comments on a proposed revision of the current PAG Manual. The update, "PAG Manual: Protective Action Guides and Planning Guidance for Radiological Incidents," includes new science, expands the document's relevancy to more than just nuclear power plants, and incorporates recent guidance on re-entry, cleanup and waste disposal. The comment period has been extended to Sept. 16, 2013. Learn more. More

Director of Oklahoma Dept. of Emergency Management testifies on how social media is transforming preparedness, response and recovery
Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, on July 9, 2013, testified on behalf of the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) on how social media is transforming preparedness, response and recovery. His input was specific to his utilization of this technology during the recent response to the tornadoes as well as the survey NEMA conducted with the Center for Naval Analysis. This testimony was presented before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications. Other panelists were Shayne Adamski, senior manager of digital engagement, FEMA; Suzanne C. DeFrancis, chief public affairs officer, American Red Cross; and Sergeant W. Greg Kierce, director, Jersey City Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Witness statements are available on the hearing website. More

Register today for upcoming CEM®/AEM℠ Prep Courses and Exams
If you've been thinking about going for the Certified Emergency Manager or the Associate Emergency Manager designation, now is the perfect time to commit! We're offering the following prep courses and group exam offerings for your convenience. Please note that a minimum of 10 registrations is required for each prep course offering to proceed. Register today.

Are you interested in having a CEM®/AEM℠ Prep Course and/or exam scheduled in your area? Email Kate Walker to discuss possibilities.More

Serval Mesh founders aim to create disaster-proof mobile network
The Huffington Post
Several Australian telecommunications researchers have started taking steps to build a disaster-proof mobile network and are looking for more funding to expand their cause. They developed free software, called The Serval Mesh, which enables Android phones to send and receive information using built-in Wi-Fi without depending on established cellular networks. Co-founder Paul Gardner Stephen, who is part of the nonprofit Serval Project based in Australia, decided to develop the software after grappling with Haiti's infrastructure failures in the wake of the country's 2010 earthquake.More

Stand-alone emergency rooms popping up
USA Today
Nationally, the number of stand-alone emergency rooms centers has doubled to more than 400 in the past four years, according to data from the American Hospital Association and state health agencies. Several hospital chains are driving the boom and they regard the facilities as a way to expand into new markets, generate admissions to their hospitals and reduce crowding at their hospital-based ERs.More

Meet DARPA's 6'2" disaster-response robot
At six-foot-two and 330 pounds, this hulking first responder has all the qualities you'd want in the field after a disaster: strength, endurance and calm under pressure. Better yet, it has two sets of hands, 28 hydraulic joints, stereo cameras in its head and an onboard computer. The ATLAS humanoid robot, which looks vaguely like something from the "Terminator" movies, was created by Boston Dynamics for DARPA, a research arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. It will compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition that invites engineers to create a remotely controlled robot that can respond to natural or man-made disasters.More

FEMA announces Memorandum of Agreement with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
On July 12, 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Benjamin Jealous signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) at the NAACP's 104th Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. The agreement will expand outreach to traditionally underserved communities through the NAACP network of more than 300,000 members. Through the MOA, FEMA and the NAACP will work to ensure that the needs of underrepresented communities are more fully incorporated into disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation-related activities. The two agencies also will share information, such as lessons learned, best practices and training resources, to improve community resilience.More

Janet Napolitano resignation widens Homeland Security leadership gap
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
The leadership vacancy created by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's resignation is the latest and greatest blow to a department where one-third of the heads of key agencies and divisions have been filled with acting officials or remained vacant for months.More

Study: Elderly, children sidelined in emergency response
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Humanitarian agencies are not paying enough attention to the aid needs of older people and young children when responding to emergencies, a study of U.N.-backed appeals said. In the 2012 Consolidated Appeal Process, which covers both U.N. and NGO relief activities, about 2 percent of project proposals targeted older people, and about 4 percent were specifically aimed at children under five, said the report by HelpAge International, an aid group that supports the elderly in crises. Only around 55 percent of these projects were actually funded.More

Analysis: 911 calls highlight emergency response challenges in Asiana crash
Tapes of 911 emergency calls made moments after an Asiana Airlines jet crashed at San Francisco airport reveal panic and confusion, and highlight some possible problems as emergency services raced to the scene. The tapes appear to confirm witness accounts that several people were left unattended near the end of the runway as emergency crews focused on the main crash site.More

NARR to Host Webinar on Communication During Radiological Disasters
The National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR) is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT to discuss ways to communicate with the public during a radiological disaster. The presentation will be Leeanna Allen, MPH, MSCHES a Health Education Specialist with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education who has been working with the CDC Radiation Studies Branch on radiological and nuclear terrorism preparedness communication and training initiatives. Learn more and register for the webinar on the NARR clearinghouse.More

EPA schedules webinars on protective action and planning guidance for radiological incidents
The EPA has scheduled two webinars on Aug. 5 and 7, 2013. The one-hour webinars are aimed at emergency management professionals who use protective action guides for radiological emergency preparedness plans and who are looking for a short overview. A multi-agency team will discuss key changes in the 2013 proposed update to the "PAG Manual: Protective Action Guides and Planning Guidance for Radiological Incidents," which is out for public review and comment now. Learn more and register via the webinar website.More

India's flood missing at 5,748 in worst disaster since tsunami
Indian authorities said more than 5,000 people are missing following the recent flash floods in the north in what could be the country's worst natural disaster since the Indian Ocean tsunami almost a decade ago. Vijay Bahuguna, the chief minister of Uttarakhand province, said 5,748 people remain unaccounted for while refusing to officially declare them dead. The death toll in Uttarakhand currently stands at 580 people.More

1st glimpse at Canada disaster site shows scale of devastation
Street lights melted and heavy rail lines buckled into a 5-foot arch after the explosion of a runaway train in the little Quebec town of Lac-Megantic, where police gave outsiders a first, closely monitored look at the edges of the devastation. The epicenter of the blast, the "red zone" of 1.4 square kilometers, or about half a square mile, is still considered too dangerous for all but investigators and emergency workers.More

FDA grants emergency approval for test to detect MERS
Fox News
The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for a diagnostic test to detect the presence of the Middle East coronavirus at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The emergency approval follows the Health and Human Services secretary's determination that the virus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, which has killed at least 40 people, poses a potential public health threat.More

UN emergency fund allocates $72 million for life-saving aid in neglected crises
UN News Centre
The United Nations humanitarian chief today announced the allocation of some $72 million from an emergency fund to assist people in neglected crises in 12 countries around the world. "Millions of people around the world are in dire need but we don't always see or hear of their plight," said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos. "This money will save lives by ensuring that humanitarian organizations can continue to support the most vulnerable men, women and children caught in the midst of devastating disasters and conflicts."More