IAEM Dispatch
Dec. 11, 2014

IAEM is providing members and others the opportunity to join LegalShield
Do you have an Emergency Response Plan? Likely you do for your jurisdiction or company but what about personally and for your family. A current and legally executed Will is really the most important personal Emergency Plan we can have in our lives, yet less than 30 percent of North Americans do. The brief survey done with delegates attending this year's IAEM Conference and EMEX confirmed these numbers. The main reason given for not having a Will is the cost. IAEM-USA is glad to provide you, your family and your colleagues with LegalShield's Legal Services and Identity Theft Protection Plans. For just more than $1 a day, you can have lawyer-created/executed Wills for you and your partner/spouse, have 24/7 access to legal advice, and have documents reviewed (leases, mortgage renewals, etc.), plus have all elements of your ID monitored and if ever compromised, restored back to pre-theft levels. With these supports in place, it allows you and your family to worry less and live more. To learn more and to enroll through IAEM-USA, please visit our website. If interested in protecting your LLC with a small business legal plan, please use the contact link on the webpage for pricing and details.More

FEMA seeks Tribal subject matter expert for Technical Mapping Advisory Council
The Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) is requesting that individuals, who have experience with tribal governments or associations and have knowledge of the National Flood Insurance Program and flood hazard mapping, submit their resumes for consideration to serve as a subject matter expert to the TMAC. Qualified applicants who have experience in floodplain management, professional flood mapping and surveying, engineering, and mitigation should submit their resumes to the TMAC at fema-tmac@fema.dhs.gov. Resumes will be accepted until Dec. 19, 2014. Please note that the subject matter expert will not serve as a member of the TMAC and therefore will not vote on recommendations offered by council members. The TMAC will meet in person throughout the year in addition to regularly scheduled subcommittee meeting conference calls to support the development of their reports and recommendations. Subject matter experts will not be compensated by FEMA, but may be reimbursed for travel and lodging expenses when travel is required. More information on the TMAC is available here. More

FEMA agrees to reforms to help Hurricane Sandy victims get benefits, lawmakers announce
After meeting with the Federal Emergency Management Agency over complaints about flood damage claims from homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy, several U.S. lawmakers said agreed-to reforms should help victims resolve issues and get the benefits they need.More

Center for Homeland Defense and Security Association launches website
The CHDS Association is now online. Alumni and other supporters of homeland security education can visit the association at www.chdsa.org. The association was established earlier this year by alumni of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security to support the advancement of the homeland security enterprise and public safety through educational and professional activities. It partners with CHDS on activities like the annual APEX workshop to promote the development of a productive alumni network for attendees of CHDS programs. The association is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization not affiliated with any government entity. Visitors can learn more about the organization's mission, make online tax deductible contributions, and order clothing and accessories with the NPS CHDS alumni logo.More

Los Angeles mayor calls for mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed the most ambitious seismic safety regulations in California history that would require owners to retrofit thousands of building most at risk of collapse during a major earthquake. Garcetti's recommendations target two of the riskiest types of buildings in LA built before 1980: concrete buildings and wooden structures built atop weak first floors, such as those on top of carports and garages and supported by slender columns. More

Revised health preparedness index grades US at 7.4 out of 10
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
The second annual edition of a national public health preparedness assessment, developed by a large coalition of groups and stocked with new and updated content, awards the United States a respectable overall grade for readiness to protect people during a health emergency or disaster.More

Evacuation effort credited with minimizing typhoon casualties in Philippines
Los Angeles Times
Government officials and aid workers credited a major evacuation effort for helping to avert more severe casualties as Typhoon Hagupit, now downgraded to a tropical storm, barreled through the Philippines, collapsing houses, uprooting trees and triggering landslides and flash floods. More

CSIRO: Poor planning leaves Australia exposed to climate change and massive damage bills
ABC Online
As Sydney and Brisbane clean up from severe storms and the planet heads towards its hottest year on record, the CSIRO is warning the damage caused by extreme weather could cost Australia more than $1 trillion. The ABC has obtained advice from the nation's premier science agency warning climate change and poor planning were leaving the nation increasingly exposed to natural disasters.More

Governor's Hurricane Conference announces 2015 student conference scholarship program
All students interested in emergency management in Florida are invited to apply for a student scholarship to attend the 29th Annual Governor’s Hurricane Conference, May 10-15, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. Students currently enrolled in a public or private institution of higher education, at the graduate or undergraduate level, and who have taken or are taking emergency management related courses as part of their academic program, are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted for students outside Florida. Additional specific requirements are posted here. The program provides complimentary conference registration, but does not cover all other expenses related to conference attendance. Apply online between Jan. 19 and Feb. 27, 2015, and learn more about the scholarship program here.More

Calling all IAEM student members worldwide: Have you voted on the proposed amendments to the IAEM-Global Student Council Bylaws?
Only 40 IAEM Student members have voted so far on the proposed IAEM-Global Student Council (GSC) Bylaws amendments. The voting area is open to learn about the changes recommended by the IAEM GSC Board, which completed a comprehensive review of the bylaws this year. While the majority of the review has been to address issues with consistency, redundancy and clarity, the IAEM GSC Board has proposed a modification to the election of council officers (e.g., president, vice president, treasurer and secretary). Online voting began on Nov. 26, 2014, and will end on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern time. All current IAEM Student Members are eligible to vote. Enter the voting area here, and make your wishes known.More

DOE launches mobile app for energy emergencies
The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a mobile app called Lantern Live to help users quickly find critical information about nearby gas stations and power outages during energy emergencies. Lantern Live allows users to report the operational status of local gas stations, find fuel, and look up power outage maps from local utilities, while also accessing useful tips and guidelines. With the launch of this app, DOE is testing the power of crowdsourcing and open data in disaster and recovery. Lantern Live's code will also be open source, allowing technology innovators and entrepreneurs to reuse the code in their own apps, explore new opportunities for other sectors and applications, and further leverage the power of open data. Lantern Live is available free for Android devices through Google Play. More

IAEM online certification application tip for everyone
Candidates must pay the certification fee or recertification fee through the IAEM website prior to submitting the certification application through the online system. IAEM's system requires 24 hours to process the payment after it has been submitted. Candidates then are required to log into the online application and hit the blue "Submit Application" button to submit the application to IAEM HQ. Applications are not successfully received at IAEM Headquarters through the online system until candidates hit the blue "Submit Application" button. All candidates receive a confirmation email acknowledging receipt of the application. More

Need to take the certification exam — plan in advance
Keep in mind that certification candidates must request the exam at least 14 business days in advance, and no exam requests will be processed between Dec. 16, 2014 and Jan. 4, 2015. Request an exam now, if you want to take it in the next few weeks.More

When disaster strikes, count on tweets and data
Al Jazeera
Contrary to what seems to be the norm in Hollywood movies, people don't run in circles screaming and shouting when facing an emergency situation. The immediate, widespread, and ineffective mayhem so often portrayed in disaster movies is to a large extent a plot device, not very different from typical scenes in horror films in which people irrationally split and run straight into danger.More

Dutch reject MH17 relatives' request for UN-led crash inquiry
The Dutch government rejected a proposal from relatives of victims of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 to let the United Nations take charge of its criminal investigation into the disaster. A request to appoint a special U.N. envoy to take over the inquiry was sent on Friday by a law firm representing 20 relatives, who have accused the Netherlands of failing to build a legal case to prosecute those responsible.More

Magnitude-6.6 earthquake rocks Central America
A major earthquake struck just off Panama's coast near its border with Costa Rica. The 6.6-magnitude temblor was centered 12 miles east-southeast of Punta de Burica, Panama, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage from the region, La Prensa Panama reported on its Twitter feed, citing government officials.More

Oil spill Israel's 'biggest ecological disaster'
A pipeline leak in southern Israel last week has caused the country's biggest environmental disaster, an energy expert said, after estimates of the size of the spillage were raised. The spill occurred just north of the Red Sea resort city of Eilat and was quickly stopped, but not before at least a million liters of oil — the equivalent of 40 tanker trucks — gushed out in an area that is a protected nature reserve. More

Study says the current California drought is the worst in 1200 years
Business Insider
Recent storms may have brought a much-needed dose of rain to southern California, but the region still continues to suffer under devastating drought conditions. These conditions are so bad, according to researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Minnesota, that they now constitute California's worst drought in 1,200 years.More