IAEM Dispatch
Sep. 25, 2014

FEMA announces 'National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education'
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Sept. 24 announced a new strategy to educate young people about disaster prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. The National Strategy for Youth Preparedness Education: Empowering, Educating and Building Resilience couples attention on emergency and disaster preparedness with community action that focuses specifically on youth readiness for disasters and related events. The National Strategy was developed in partnership with the American Red Cross and the U.S. Department of Education, and 26 public and private organizations — including IAEM — have affirmed their support. "Children who learn about emergency preparedness experience less anxiety during an actual emergency or disaster," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "This National Strategy will encourage communities to give children and their families the information they need to prepare for disasters." Complete details are available here.More

FEMA senior leadership changes announced in Office of Response and Recovery
The Senate confirmation of Joe Nimmich as FEMA deputy administrator created a vacancy with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Office of Response and Recovery (ORR). FEMA Chief of Staff Michael Coen, Jr., on Sept. 23 announced the appointment of Elizabeth Zimmerman as acting associate administrator and Robert Fenton as acting deputy associate administrator. In 2009, Zimmerman joined FEMA, serving as the deputy and principal advisor to the ORR associate administrator. In addition, she has years of state-level emergency management experience, including service to the States of Arizona and Utah. Most recently the assistant administrator of response, Fenton previously served as the director of disaster assistance and acting director of disaster operations with the FEMA Region IX Office. James Kish, who will serve as acting assistant administrator for response during Fenton's detail, has served as deputy assistant administrator for Response.More

Letter to the editor: Department of Homeland Security has steady, able leadership
The Washington Post
The Sept. 22 front-page article "Turnover at the top has DHS unsettled" disregarded the present. In the past nine months, there have been 12 presidential appointments to senior-level positions in the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, 90 percent of all positions at the senior, executive-service level and above across this 240,000-person department are filled.More

Register for the IAEM 2014 Middle East Resilience Conference, Dec. 10-11, Dubai, UAE
As the first-ever IAEM event in the Middle East, the IAEM 2014 Middle East Resilience Conference will be held Dec. 10-11, 2014, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This unique event is being launched to address the need to better prepare company personnel, civilians and other officials throughout the Gulf for potential emergencies and disasters, both natural and man-made. This annual IAEM event will aim to arm emergency management, security, police, fire, and other safety officials and managers with both theoretical and practical experiences, including best practices and lessons learned case studies from events around the world. Key opinion leaders and experts will facilitate conference sessions, which will target a mixed corporate, government, business continuity, and public health audience. Complete details are available here.More

SICUR-Latinoamérica 2014 offers training as well as exhibit opportunities
In its second year after a successful inaugural event in 2013, SICUR-Latinoamérica 2014 will be held Oct. 14-17, 2014, in Santiago, Chile, offering information and products in three security cornerstones: safety and occupational health; security and prevention (public and private), and emergency and disaster safety. The parallel International Congress of Integral Security, "Safety: Old Threats and New Challenges," features a business roundtable that will promote a face-to-face business meeting between supply and demand, and also will offer technical and commercial talks, workshops, and demonstration exercises. IAEM is partnering with SICUR-Latinoamérica as its exclusive North American representative for exhibitors from the United States and throughout North America. Learn more here.More

How technology is changing disaster relief
BBC News
When the British government delivered emergency aid to people fleeing Islamic militants in northern Iraq, one of its primary concerns was how the refugees might charge their mobile phones. Alongside tents and drinking water, RAF planes dropped more than 1,000 solar-powered lanterns attached to chargers for all types of mobile handsets to the stranded members of the Yazidi religious community below. It is the first time the lanterns have been airdropped in such a relief effort, but humanitarian workers say it is part of growing efforts to develop technology designed to make a difference in disaster zones.More

New CEM®/AEM℠ exam to be released in January 2015
The new 100-question multiple choice CEM®/AEM℠ exam will be released in January 2015. A revised study guide with recommended study materials will be available in November on the IAEM website. Certification candidates who are preparing for the exam using the current study guide should make the necessary arrangements to sit for the test by December 2014. Information about making arrangements for the exam with an approved proctor can be found on page 4-5 of the Study Guide. Questions should be directed to CEM® Administrator Kate McClimans.More

Notice on CEM®/AEM℠ diploma presentations at IAEM Annual Conference
CEM®/AEM℠ candidates in the class of 2014 who are interested in receiving their diploma at the IAEM-USA Annual Conference during the awards ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 19 in San Antonio, Texas, must have their CEM®/AEM℠ credential application already approved and must take and return their completed exam to IAEM Headquarters by Oct. 10, 2014.More

LLIS.gov wraps up research on the cybersecurity core capability
The Department of Homeland Security's Lessons Learned Information Sharing team (LLIS.gov) is now offering many new resources from its ongoing core capability research on cybersecurity. The team recently posted several new documents and webinars that capture information from emergency managers throughout the United States to help the emergency management community improve its cyber preparedness. A summary of all the documents and webinars produced by the LLIS.gov team can be found on the Cybersecurity Core Capability page. Included are resources in the areas of planning, coordination, incident response, prevention, and exercises.More

NASA tech finds disaster survivors
Each time your heart beats, your entire body moves — even if you're unconscious and pinned under a pile of rubble. The vibrations are small, invisible to the human eye, and might just save your life after a major disaster. Researchers at NASA have developed a device that picks up these subtle movements through up to 40 feet of debris. Called FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response), the tool was developed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help rescue crews find survivors quickly in a major disaster.More

Reserve your seat at the Oct. 8 IAEM members-only webinar on 'Navigating the IAEM Annual Conference'
The IAEM-USA Conference Committee is hosting an IAEM members-only webinar on "Navigating the IAEM Annual Conference," Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, 1:00-2:15 p.m. EDT. Space is limited, so interested IAEM members should register today. This year's conference has a lot going on and you will want to make sure you get the most out of it. How will you know where things are? What types of events are taking place? Is there anything you should attend on Saturday or Sunday? Will activities be planned for your friend or spouse, while you're attending plenary or breakout sessions? You will get answers to all of your questions in this webinar, making you better prepared to join IAEM members at the 2014 IAEM Annual Conference & EMEX, Nov. 14-19, in San Antonio, Texas.More

Take a closer look at training courses available in conjunction with the IAEM 2014 Annual Conference
Are you looking for that hard-to-find training course? Come to the IAEM 62nd Annual Conference & EMEX, Nov. 14-19, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. Maximize your benefits at the IAEM Annual Conference by considering the many courses we are offering in conjunction with the conference on various topics of importance to all emergency managers. Training courses range from DHS/FEMA offerings (such as continuity of operations planning, situational awareness, and homeland security exercise and evaluation programs) to the IAEM-USA Universities & Colleges Emergency Managers Practitioners Symposium and the 2014 Leadership Symposium: Strategic Leadership & Opportunities (Naval Post Graduate School). Take a course on presenting for emergency managers, pediatric disaster response and emergency preparedness, maximizing disaster cost recovery, or National Response Team (NRT) Joint Information Center training. For complete details, view our online program.More

Top-level turnover makes it harder for DHS to stay on top of evolving threats
The Washington Post
An exodus of top-level officials from the Department of Homeland Security is undercutting the agency's ability to stay ahead of a range of emerging threats, including potential terrorist strikes and cyberattacks, according to interviews with current and former officials. Over the past four years, employees have left DHS at a rate nearly twice as fast as in the federal government overall, and the trend is accelerating, according to a review of a federal database.More

CDC: Ebola cases could reach 1.4 million within 4 months
The New York Times
Yet another set of ominous projections about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was released, in a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that gave worst- and best-case estimates for Liberia and Sierra Leone based on computer modeling. In the worst-case scenario, the two countries could have a total of 21,000 cases of Ebola by Sept. 30 and 1.4 million cases by Jan. 20 if the disease keeps spreading without effective methods to contain it. These figures take into account the fact that many cases go undetected, and estimate that there are actually 2.5 times as many as reported.More

Report: Ebola cases could cross 20,000 by November
The Washington Post
The number of Ebola cases in West Africa could quadruple to more than 20,000 by early November in the absence of monumental efforts to slow the rate of transmission, according to a team of researchers working for the World Health Organization. The report, outlined in the New England Journal of Medicine, also argues that if the disease isn't adequately contained, it could become endemic among the populations in countries hardest hit by the outbreak — Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.More

Researchers study ways to protect power grid from solar storms
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Nobody knew what to call it in 1859, when the most dramatic solar storm on record shocked telegraph operators, set their paper ablaze and lit up the horizon with brilliant auroras. Sky watchers now know the sun can belch out dozens of solar flares and related eruptions every year, including one that put electricity grid monitors on alert this month.More

USGS software visualizes evacuation scenarios
The spate of recent natural disasters, from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan, to this year's mudslides in Oso, Washington, have raised concerns — and the odds — that more people will need to evacuate a disaster zone at some point in their future. Beyond the direct physical threats posed by such catastrophic events, their shifting, unstable geographies present serious challenges for public safety officials directing evacuees to safety. A path to safety can turn into a barricade — or worse — in an instant.More

Danger lurks underground from aging gas pipes
USA Today via Detroit Free Press
About every other day the past decade, a gas leak in the United States has destroyed property, hurt someone or killed someone, a USA Today investigation finds. The most destructive blasts have killed at least 135 people, injured 600 and caused $2 billion in damages since 2004.More

Is TV coverage of climate change too focused on disaster?
TV news bulletins also gave much less air time to other potential focuses — the uncertainty surrounding climate change, the opportunities it presents and the explicit risks it presents, says the study published by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. Similarities and differences were examined between the six countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India and the U.K. The researchers found that references to disaster appeared prominently in both the story and in the headlines. Even though the IPCC had strongly emphasized "risk management" in its communication efforts, risk was hardly mentioned. More

Could earthquake warnings come from water?
The Weather Channel
Could the chemistry of your water predict an earthquake? An international team of researchers thinks so. Their study in the journal Nature Geoscience examines the proportion of stable isotopes from a well in Húsavík, Iceland. Assistants gathered samples from the well every week for five years. The scientists also looked at which elements were concentrated in that water.More

National Weather Service to offer Oct. 28 webinar on 'NWSChat 101 for Emergency Managers'
The National Weather Service (NWS) has scheduled a webinar on Oct. 28, 2014, 1:00-2:00 EDT, on "NWSChat 101 for Emergency Managers." NWSChat is an instant messaging system that allows the National Weather Service to share critical weather information with emergency managers and other partners. With immediate and direct access to NWS during significant weather events, you can get clarification and information to assist you in your operations, and get your local information quickly and easily to your local NWS office. This webinar will introduce you to the basics of NWSChat, from requesting an account to using it in your daily operations. The webinar will also serve as a refresher for those who already have an account. Details and registration are available here.More

Fung-Wong storm: 200,000 displaced in Philippines
BBC News
Tropical storm Fung-Wong has brought flooding, heavy rains and high winds to the Philippines, forcing some 200,000 people from their homes. Five people were also killed in the storm, two of them electrocuted while wading through flood waters, an emergency official said. Manila and the northern provinces were worst hit, with residents being rescued from the roofs of flooded homes.More

Hurricane Odile: Power outages still widespread in Los Cabos; 5 dead
The Weather Channel
Nine days after Hurricane Odile slammed Mexico's Baja peninsula, the tourists may be gone, but the aftermath of the devastating storm remains. Only 19 percent of customers in Los Cabos, one of the areas Odile hit hardest, have seen their power restored. Nearly 27,000 people — mostly tourists ​— were airlifted out of the area on more than 200 special flights over the past week, but the heavily damaged Los Cabos International Airport will be closed until Oct. 8, the Tourism Department said.More

Death toll mounts to 43 in India's flood-hit northeast
Thomson Reuters Foundation
At least 43 people have died and many are missing in floods and landslides caused by heavy rains that lashed India's remote northeast, officials said, in the second flood tragedy to strike the subcontinent this month. Officials in the mountainous state of Meghalaya said at least 25 people had been drowned or died in landslides, with 24 more reported missing in the Garo Hills district of the state.More

Floods swamp parts of Texas, New Mexico
Heavy rain has pelted much of western Texas and southeastern New Mexico over the past few days. Cities such as El Paso, Roswell and Carlsbad have seen some of the worst of the rain and flooding. A cluster of heavy rain parked over the north side of the El Paso metro area triggered deadly flash flooding, the Weather Channel's Jon Erdman reported. One drowning was confirmed by El Paso police.More

Forest Service thinks California's drought caused a massive mudslide
Los Angeles Times
Jonathan Dove was patrolling Mt. Shasta on a clear, warm afternoon when a group of backpackers asked him if Mud Creek Canyon on the Northern California peak always flowed so heavily. The U.S. Forest Service climbing ranger scrambled up a ridge to investigate. He peered into the canyon below and found a small creek flowing like a brown river. There was a loud roar, and then a wave of boulders, mud and water 4 feet high.More

Scientists capture stunning lava footage from Iceland's volcanic eruptions
The Washington Post
For the last month, scientists have been closely observing Iceland's volcanic activity, with the Bardarbunga volcano continually spewing lava and sending tremors across the island. According to the Iceland Review, at least 40 earthquakes were recorded from Vatnajökull glacier since Sept. 15. The strongest earthquake took place in August, recording a measured magnitude of 5.7. There was even an eruption that was beautifully framed underneath the Aurora Borealis.More