Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Congressional Hazards Caucus Alliance Invites You to a Public Briefing: Faults in the East

Faults in the East - New Madrid Fault Zone and Recent Virginia Earthquake - Understanding Risks

The New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones affect 8 states – Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama. A series of very large magnitude earthquakes and hundreds of aftershocks occurred in the New Madrid region in 1811 and 1812, causing havoc for the small population of the time. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone in August of 2011 shook Mineral, Virginia and was felt over much of the Eastern United States. The earthquake shutdown the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant and caused damage in Virginia, Washington DC and beyond. Seismic zones in the East can generate significant earthquakes and tend to surprise people who are not accustomed to earthquakes. The briefing will discuss efforts to understand earthquakes in the East and to reduce risks to life, property and infrastructure.

Thursday, March 29 2012
2253 Rayburn
10:00 to 11:00 AM

Click here for Meeting Flyer (.pdf) ...


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Global Earthquake Model - GEM

On Wednesday / March 7th, Dr. Ross Stein, a senior scientist with the Earthquake Science Center in Menlo Park, will visit the USGS Advanced Systems Center in Reston, VA. At 10:00 AM he will give a talk about the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), an international public-private partnership building a seismic hazard and risk model for the world, in which USGS scientists are deeply involved.

GEM <> manages a collaborative effort aimed at developing and deploying tools and resources for earthquake risk assessment worldwide. It aims to create global standards for seismic hazard and risk assessment, and to attack the problems that no risk models exist for many vulnerable parts of the world, and even where models do exist, they are often inaccessible. Under GEM, hundreds of organizations and individual experts, professionals and practitioners are working together on uniform global databases, methodologies, tools and open-source software.

GEM grew out of a $30K USGS Venture Cap grant in 2006, and now has pledges of $30M for its five-year program. Ross was a founding member of GEM, and now chairs its Scientific Advisory Board. The United States recently became a member nation of GEM, represented by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which provides funding to GEM.

The talk will be given in room 3A409 (aka Chief Geologist's Conference Room), at 10:00 AM tomorrow.


Thursday, February 16, 2012


HAZUS-MH 2.1 is shipping !

It's official as of 2/21/2012 @ 07:39AM ... received the email from FEMA that the long awaited 32/64 bit HAZUS-MH 2.1 is now shipping! also confirmed that the FEMA on-line order system reflects the availability of HAZUS-MH 2.1 ...

Other parts of the FEMA HAZUS web pages are not reflecting the availability of HAZUS-MH 2.1 but they will no doubt soon catch up.

The 2.1 release includes improvements to the usability and functionality of the software, including:

> HAZUS-MH 2.1 is now compatible with Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) Service Pack 1, and Windows XP Service Pack 3.

> HAZUS-MH 2.1 is now compatible with ArcGIS 10.0 Service Pack 2. Hazus-MH 2.1 runs under Service Pack 3 but is not 100% certified.

> The underlying database engine has been upgraded to SQL Server Express 2008 R2.

> Menu options in the user interface of the three modules in HAZUS-MH (Earthquake,
Flood & Hurricane) have been adjusted to provide greater consistency.

> IMPLAN default data is no longer provided with HAZUS-MH. Users should supply their own data for Indirect Economic Analyses.

> New damage and loss of use functions have been developed for hospitals, schools, and fire stations in the Essential Facilities portion of the Hurricane Module.

> The windfields for several category 4 and 5 historical storms have been re-analyzed and updated in the Hurricane Module.

> In recognition of the uncertainties inherent in hurricane forecasts, the Coastal Surge analysis capability has been disabled for forecast/advisories issued more than 24 hours before the expected time of landfall.

> The Flood Module Average Annualized Loss (AAL) analysis has been reactivated with the following changes:

~The 2 and 5 year return period extrapolations have been removed from the methodology.

~ The 200 year return period has been replaced by a 25 year return period in the methodology.

~ Refer to the HAZUS –MH 2.1 Flood Technical Manual for complete details on the Flood AAL methodology.

> A riverine level 1 study region automation feature has been added to the Flood Module.

> The Flood Module is now processing Manning’s roughness coefficients dynamically based on a LULC grid as part of the Develop Stream Network process.

> The Flood Module Hydraulics process has been optimized for scenarios where a suite of return periods is being analyzed.

> Occupancy Mapping Schemes have been updated for the Earthquake Module.

> The Earthquake Ground Motion Module has been updated to use the latest USGS Next Generation Attenuation (NGA) functions.

> The Earthquake Module now includes a feature to analyze study regions greater than the 8 GB limit of SQL Server Express. Link


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flood Risk Perception

The folks at the (Congressional) Hazards Caucus Alliance recently diostributed an interesting paper ... "Flood risk perception in lands ‘‘protected’’ by 100-year levees"... MORE INFO

The discussion in the paper on the perceptions of the folks living behind levees in the California Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta was most interesting.

FYI ... Stefan Zink who was then at Michael Baker Jr., Imc. presented a paper at the March 4, 2008 meeting of the Bay Area HAZUS User Group that might also be of interested to the flood community. This paper addresses some of the problems in trying to use HAZUS-MH to model levee related flooding in the Sacramento region.

Behind Levee Scenarios in HAZUS: Exploring Possibilities with Different Data Sources, DOWNLOAD


The Geospatial Desktop - Open Source GIS & Mapping

The Geospatial Desktop provides a foundational level of knowledge for understanding GIS and the open source desktop mapping applications that are available for use, for free, today. Special sections include focused learning on the Quantum GIS and GRASS GIS software platforms but other packages are also introduced. MORE INFO at


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HAZ-I Tools to Internationalize Hazus-MH

This presentation discusses a simplified approach (4 steps) to create a HAZUS study region for international applications.



Monday, January 2, 2012

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute HAZUS Training for 2012

E170Hazus-MH for Hurricanes EnrollJan 9- 12, 2012

E172 Hazus-MH for Flood Enroll Jul 16-19, 2012

E174 Hazus-MH for Earthquake Enroll Dec 19- 21, 2011

E176Hazus-MH for Floodplain Managers EnrollApr 23- 26, 2012

E179Application of Hazus-MH for Disaster Operations EnrollFeb 13- 16, 2012

E190ArcGIS for Emergency Managers EnrollApr 30- May 3, 2012

E296 Application of Hazus-MH for Risk Assessment Enroll Jan 16- 19, 2012
Sep 17-20, 2012

E313 Basic Hazus-MH Enroll Apr 2-5, 2012
E317 Comprehensive Data Management for Hazus-MH Enroll Jun 18-21, 2012