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Emergency Management and Social Intelligence

Providing a framework for mitigating the effect of a disaster using social intelligence.

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Fujitsu deploys smartphone-based, participatory disaster information-sharing system for Jakarta, Indonesia
Fujitsu announced that it has built a participatory disaster information-sharing system for Jakarta's Regional Disaster Management Agency, BPBD DKI Jakarta, that lets residents share disaster information by using a smartphone app. BPBD DKI Jakarta this month commences operation and provision of the smartphone app to the city's 10 million residents.
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MPs report: 1 in 6 UK homes at risk from flooding
The Guardian
England's ability to sustain current levels of flood protection for homes and businesses faces "major risks," MPs have warned. Some five million properties across the country, or around one in six, are at risk of flooding from coastal, river and surface water, and climate change is increasing the risks of extreme weather and floods, a report by the public accounts committee said.
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FEMA Disaster Reform Act introduced — next action scheduled for Apr.15
The FEMA Disaster Reform Act, HR 1472, a bipartisan bill by the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure was introduced on March 19 and is scheduled to be marked-up by the Committee on Apr. 15, 2015. Some of the key policies changes are:
  • Raising the public assistance small projects threshold to $1 million to reduce administrative costs, expedite assistance, and help communities recover more quickly;
  • Establishing rates to reimburse states and local governments for the administrative costs incurred to implement disaster recovery projects, providing a fixed cap to avoid uncontrolled administrative costs;
  • Reinstating a three-year statute of limitations on FEMA's ability to reclaim funds, based on a change in policy determination, after an applicant has spent the funds on previously determined eligible projects and when there is no evidence of fraud, waste or abuse; and
  • Clarifying mitigation activities related to wildfires and earthquakes.
  • The bill also clarifies liabilities and compensation for the Urban Search and Rescue Response System, reauthorizes the Emergency Management Assistance Compact Grants, and commissions an assessment of trends in disaster losses and recommendations to reduce losses and increase cost savings. The committee has provided additional summary and background information.

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    NOAA chronicles land cover changes across the US
    Government Security News
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a series of reports detailing land cover changes across the U.S. from 1996 to 2010. The Coastal Change Analysis Program reports focus on the Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Northeast, Southeast and West Coast. The five regional studies show that between 1996 and 2010, 64,967 square miles in coastal regions — an area the size of Florida — experienced changes in land cover, including a decline in wetlands and forest cover, with development a major contributing factor.
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    Call for Speakers opens Monday, March 30 for IAEM presents EMvision Talks
    This is your chance for five minutes of fame on the plenary stage, Nov. 17, 2015, at the IAEM 63rd Annual Conference. Modeled on the well-known TED™ Talk format, IAEM presents EMvision Talks are a new way to communicate thought leadership in emergency management. View the Speaker Guidance for more information and get ready to be a part of this exciting new conference addition. To be considered for participation upload your EMvision Talk submission starting Monday, March 30, 2015.
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    Scientists: Wild animals can help 'predict' earthquakes
    NBC News
    Wild animals can "predict" earthquakes several weeks before they strike, and motion-activated cameras that track their movements could be adopted in quake-prone countries as an affordable early warning system, scientists said. A series of cameras placed in an Amazon region of Peru recorded changes in animal behavior three weeks before a 7.0 magnitude quake hit the area in 2011, according to a study published in the journal Physics and Chemistry of the Earth.
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    Cost to earthquake-proof L.A.'s crumbling pipe system? $15 billion
    Los Angeles Times
    Mayor Eric Garcetti's call to strengthen Los Angeles' water system — one pillar of his ambitious plan to ready the city for a major earthquake — would cost as much as $15 billion and require decades of work, Department of Water and Power engineers estimate. The previously undisclosed cost projection, contained in an internal DWP report reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, could mean sharply higher water bills for those who live and work in L.A. It also underscores the financial uncertainty surrounding a key element of the mayor's first-term agenda.
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    IAEM Editorial Work Group seeks articles on 'Social Media & Emergency Management' — article submission deadline is April 10, 2015
    The IAEM-Global Editorial Work Group and the IAEM-USA Emerging Technology Caucus (ETC) are partnering on the upcoming IAEM Bulletin special focus issue on the topic of "Social Media & Emergency Management." ETC members will provide a technical review focusing on accuracy and best practices included in articles that are submitted for the issue. In order to allow time for this collaboration, the article submission deadline for the issue has been changed to April 10, 2015. Examples of articles could include, but are not limited to: how to reach out to businesses, schools and other groups who don't normally get involved in EM ideas and concepts; lessons learned: what marketing techniques worked for your program and what didn't work; how and with whom you coordinated your marketing program; and methods for integrating or collaborating with stakeholders. Please read the Author's Guidelines before submitting your article to Editor Karen Thompson.
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    Pay for fighting wildfires like natural disasters
    The Sacramento Bee
    An out-of-control wildfire is just as much a natural disaster as a hurricane or flood. Just ask Californians who fled for their lives or saw their homes burn down in recent years. But that's not how wildfires are handled in the federal budget, and it's taking money away from worthwhile programs in our national forests and parks. This has to change.
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    IAEM Member Richard Flinn, CEM, is new leader of PA Emergency Management Agency
    IAEM member Richard Flinn, CEM, is the new leader of Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency. On Jan. 15, Governor Wolf tapped Richard Flinn, then deputy director of the Operations Division for FEMA, to join his administration. Flinn, who has accumulated more than 35 years of military experience, earned his Bachelor of Science in Health Planning and Administration from Penn State. He later earned his Master's Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to working in the public sector, Flinn worked as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, a non-profit organization that advised the Secretary of Health on all matters involving emergency health services. Before joining FEMA in 2010, he served as the deputy director for operations for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. As the head of Pennsylvania's Emergency Management Agency, Flinn will carry out and further develop operating procedures in line with FEMA standards to ensure that Pennsylvania is ready to handle various crises that may arise.
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    Prepare now for next round of certification application reviews — submit by April 30
    Online certification applications (CEM® or AEM) received by Apr. 30, 2015, will be reviewed in May and June 2015. Candidates will be notified of the results during the week of June 21, 2015. Submit any questions to Kate McClimans, IOM, QAS, CVEP.
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    Elevate Your Emergency Management Career

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    Plane crash kills 150 people in French Alps; black box found
    The Associated Press via The New York Times
    A black box recovered from the scene and pulverized pieces of debris strewn across Alpine mountainsides held clues to what caused a German jetliner to take an unexplained eight-minute dive midway through a flight from Spain to Germany, apparently killing all 150 people on board. The victims included two babies, two opera singers and 16 German high school students and their teachers returning from an exchange trip to Spain. It was the deadliest crash in France in decades.
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    New England at risk for floods after snowy winter
    USA Today
    New England's snowy winter has set the stage for what could be a flood-marred spring. Rivers in eastern New England have the greatest risk of spring flooding, in part because of heavy snowpack coupled with possible rain, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's spring outlook.
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    Gorman-Redlich Weather Receiver with Signboard Support
    Stay safe with the Gorman-Redlich CRW-S NOAA Weather Radio receiver, which includes SAME decoding and interfaces with digital signage, emergency lighting, PA systems and more. MORE
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    Disaster Response Solutions, Inc. was founded to help meet the growing needs of the emergency response community for quality, affordable mass casualty response trailers. MORE

    Is El Nino behind our record-slow start to tornado season?
    The Washington Post
    Not that we're complaining, but it's been a really slow start to this year's severe weather season in the United States. More than really slow — record slow. Slow enough for the Storm Prediction Center to call it "uncharted territory." But just four years ago, in 2011, we were dealing with uncharted territory on the other end of the spectrum. If you're wondering why this year has been so slow, when just a few years ago the central U.S. saw one of the most devastating tornado seasons in decades, then you’re not alone.
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    With Ebola waning, new case in Liberia concerns officials
    Liberian officials have confirmed a new case of Ebola in the country, dashing hopes that the deadly epidemic of the disease that began last year had finally been extinguished. Authorities in the West African nation, which has borne the brunt of the deaths in the current outbreak — 4,200 of the approximately 10,000 who have died in the region —had hoped that a patient discharged on March 5 would be the last. If the country had been able to go 42 days without another case, the World Health Organization would declared it Ebola-free. No such luck.
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    'Extremely resilient' Vanuatu rebuilds after Cyclone Pam, as island nation moves forward
    The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
    A week after the cyclone tore through the South Pacific archipelago with winds of 270 kilometers (168 miles) per hour, people are focused on the task of rebuilding. The signs of progress are everywhere but the task remains enormous. Many of the outlying islands still don't have any way to communicate with the outside world, while tourism, vital to the economy, has taken a huge hit, with many operators fielding call after call to cancel bookings. Throughout Vanuatu, many people remain worried about the most basic necessities: water, shelter and food.
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    Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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