Friday, November 28, 2008

California Prepares for Potential Flooding

Due to the potential for flooding, mud flows and debris in and around recent wildfire fire burn areas, the Governor in California has directed his Office of Emergency Services (OES) to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and prepare to help local agencies if assistance from the state is needed for expected rains. READ MORE

OPINION has it doubts if CA OES, the CA Department of Water Resources and CA local agencies are making the best use of HAZUS-MH to assess flood mitigation strategies and to be prepared for response activities when flooding does occur.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As our foray into Web 2.0 continues, has added a HAZUS Twitter channel. Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length. MORE

Frankly we are not sure yet how this can or will be used but it is now available.

Everybody is encourged to become a "follower" of the HAZUS Twitter ...


Monday, November 24, 2008

Flooding Risk Calculations Dangerously Underestimated

Robert Criss in a recent article in the Government Technology Emergency Management News has a good article addressing how underestimated flood risk leads to increased floodplain development and encourages projects that shouldn't be allowed. What is remarkable is that Mr. Criss does not even mention how HAZUS-MH could be used to improve things. READ MORE


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Study Looks at Impact of 7.7 Magnitude New Madrid Earthquake

A study conducted for FEMA by the Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center at the University of Illinois in partnership with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and George Washington University’s Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.

The study, the first of its kind to be conducted on such a large scale, is part of FEMA’s NMSZ Catastrophic Earthquake Disaster Response Planning Initiative. It is primarily intended to provide scientific data upon which to base response and recovery planning for the devastating earthquakes that have long been predicted for the New Madrid region, which includes areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.



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HAZUS-MH presentations at the 2008 Joint Annual Meeting

Several papers presented analysis based on HAZUS-MH capabilities at the recent 2008 Joint Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Studies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM.

Adapting HAZUS-MH to Assess Sea Level Rise

Thanks to Richard Butgereit of the FLHUG who altered us to this paper and who forwarded on several other links of other articles on this important subject, MORE.

Also at this same conference ...

Earthquake Preparation for Charleston County: A HAZUS-MH Earthquake Impact Study - PAPER ABSTRACT


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GIS Day 2008

GIS Day 2008 - the 10th Anniversary of GIS Day - is November 19, 2008. wants to help document any activities on GIS Day that were built around HAZUS ... help us help you to get the word out ...

GIS Day Flyer, DOWNLOAD hosted “The USGS Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT) - A Program Observing GIS Day 2008” on November 19, 2008. To see the archive of this presentation visit the EMForum web site.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The "BIG ONE" ...

The Great Southern California ShakeOut / Golden Guardian 2008

At 10 AM on November 13, 2008 millions of Southern Californians will participate in The Great Southern California ShakeOut ... the largest earthquake prepardness exercise in U.S. history.

Visit The Great Southern California ShakeOut web site for a schedule of events and to see how you can participate, click here...

The nation’s largest state sponsored emergency exercise will take place November 13-18. Golden Guardian 2008. This exercise will test California’s capability to respond and recover during a major catastrophic earthquake, to go to the CA OES Golden Guardian 2008 web site, click here...

Folks from all the CA HAZUS User Groups are participating in this exercise ... BAHUG, SoCalHUG, CAValleyHUG and the developing San Diego HUG ...

Initial HAZUS Model Results
(This was posted at about 3PM / Nov 13th on the CA Post Earthquake Information Clearinghouse web site: ):

Coordinated CA Governor's Office of Emergency Services HAZUS loss modeling combined with the USGS ShakeMap product indicates the following:
  • Approximately 11,000 injuries with about 500 requiring hospital care
  • Approximately 500 deaths.
  • Over 40,000 people in need of shelter of 91,000 displaced households
  • Capital stock losses of over 40,000 million $. This includes structural, non-structural, contents, and inventory damage.

Although loss modeling has significant uncertainties, these HAZUS estimates include significant improvements to the building inventory information and should be considered the authoritative results. HAZUS and ShakeMap based loss modeling can provide a quick assessment of potential damage and is especially useful in larger earthquakes where communications and observations from the field are limited. For example, economic losses associated with the 1994 Northridge earthquake took almost 3 years to compile.


Development of the Golden Guardian 2008 ShakeOut Scenario


Look behind the scenes and see how the Golden Guardian 2008 ShakeOut Scenario was developed. This multi-day exercise and public outreach is the largest earthquake preparedness event in U.S. history!

Larry Collins from the LA County Fire Department and a member of the SoCalHUG has a great article in the September 2008 issue of Fire Engineering on the development of the Golden Guardian 2008 ShakeOut Scenario (.pdf) , DOWNLOAD

The Great Southern California Shakeout Web Site

CA OES Golden Guardian Web Site


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jasper county, IN uses HAZUS for hazard mitigation planning ...

The Jasper County Indiana Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee is hosting a strategy planning session November 20th. The Steering Committee asked the Polis Center to model potential hzards in HAZUS-MH, the GIS based risk mitigation tool developed by FEMA. READ MORE


Sunday, November 9, 2008

HAZUS Taining at FEMA's Emergency Management Institute

FEMA offers several free HAZUS classes at the Emergency Management Institute (EMI).

EMI 1st semester course schedule - Oct'08 - Mar'09, DOWNLOAD
EMI 2nd semester course schedule - Apr'09 - Sep'09, DOWNLOAD

Applications for course vacancies must be received at least 6 weeks before the course start date for the applicant to be considered for the course. Vacancies within 6 weeks of the course start date shall only be filled from the established waitlist (if one exists), so it’s important to apply early!

There are still vacancies for the HAZUS courses in the EMI 1st semester, MORE INFO


Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Untapped Potential: Evaluating State Emergency Management Web Sites 2008"

A recent study study by the University of Kansas analyzed 51 state emergency management agency Web sites, as well as the results of an online survey of state EMA public information officers. The 13 findings of the research and made six recommendations to the nation's emergency managers. Hopefully this report will spark serious discussions nationwide about the role of Internet communication before, during and following crisis situations.

The report concluded that Web designers, not emergency managers, typically have the most input as far as site content ... "designers are more into the whistles and bells, and not necessarily the content". READ MORE



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Florida Creates Plan for Statewide Coordination of Geospatial Data

Geographic information systems (GIS) technology has been used for years across Florida. The unprecedented hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 brought to light the unequal access to and usage of this technology. Those events also accentuated many of the quality, interoperability,
and accessibility issues associated with Florida’s geographic data. These include inconsistency from location to location, duplication across many levels of government, and lack of availability when needed. To address these issues a consortium of Florida state, local, and federal GIS managers have developed Florida’s Strategic Plan for Statewide Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordination. READ MORE


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