Monday, December 29, 2008

Natural disasters 'killed over 220,000' in 2008

The annual assessment by Germany-based Munich Re reports that over 220,000 lost there lives as a result of natural disasters during 2008.

Munich Re Press Release
The Ten Largest Disasters in 2008
World Map - Disasters in 2008


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2009 HAZUS-MH Classes at FEMA's Emergency Management Training Institute

2009 HAZUS-MH EMI Course Schedule

Applications are now being accepted - MORE INFO

E170 HAZUS-MH for Hurricanes / Feb 2-5, 2009
E172 HAZUS.MH for Flood / Jan 12-15, 2009 / Jul 27-30, 2009
E174 HAZUS-MH for Earthquake / Apr 27-30, 2009
E179 Application of HAZUS-MH for Disaster Operations / Apr 20-23, 2009
E190 Introduction to ArchGIS / FEB 23-23, 2009
E296 HAZUS-MH / DMA 2000 Risk Management / Jul 13-16, 2009
E313 Basic HAZUS-MH / Apr 6-9, 2009 / Jul 13-16, 2009
E317 Comprehensive Data Management / Mar 16-19, 2009 / Sep 14-17, 2009


Monday, December 22, 2008

Missouri Releases Earthquake Task Force Findings - Recommends Proficiency with HAZUS

The Missouri Earthquake Insurance Task Force has released the findings of a task force report which studied the potential effects of an earthquake in the state of Missouri. READ MORE

The key task force conclusions are:(1) The earthquake threat is real, as documented through historical evidence and on-going research. (2) The earthquake threat to Missouri is significant. (3) Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) should acquire proficiency with FEMA's HAZUS computer model,. (4) DIFP’s collection of earthquake insurance data should be improved in a few key areas.

To download the report, CLICK HERE

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Project Impact Initiative to Create Disaster-Resistant Communities Demonstrates Worth in Kansas Years Later

Emergency Management News has a recent article on Project Impact, a short-lived FEMA initiative that worked to create disaster-resistant communities, showed that teamwork by different government levels and the private and nonprofit sectors can do amazing things when they're working in close partnership with one another. The article docyuments how past experiences can provide a guide for future adaptation. READ MORE

Did you know that and the concept for a nation-wide network of HAZUS User Groups evolved from a Project Impact initiative? In 1998 FEMA funded an initiative called the Development of HAZUS Earthquake Risk Assessment Capabilities for the San Francisco Bay Area, California. At the first organizing meeting for this initiative the Western Disaster Center stepped up to provide an informational web site, Later FEMA Region IX funded the initial expansion of to support HAZUS User Groups throughout FEMA Region IX.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

San Francisco. 'soft-story' buildings at risk in quake

An on-going seismic study concludes that without a costly seismic retrofit, 80 percent of San Francisco's weakest wood-frame buildings are expected to collapse or to suffer damage beyond repair in the large earthquake scientists say is likely to occur in the region within decades. READ MORE

This is not an issue unique to San Francisco or northern California. The risks associated with "soft-story" construction were evident following both the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994 Northridge earthquakes. MORE


Sunday, December 7, 2008

34th Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop

Tuesday / July 14th through Friday/ July 17th, 2009 MORE

The Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop is designed to bring members of the research and applications communities together for face-to-face networking and discussion of current issues related to hazards and disasters and society’s efforts to deal with them. The Workshop provides a dynamic forum to share diverse perspectives and opinions.

The Natural Hazards Center invites you to propose a session topic for the 2009 Workshop. Proposed session topics will provide guidance to Center staff as we plan next year’s program. Deadline for suggestions is December 31, 2008. How about a HAZUS-MH session! MORE


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Philippines: Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS)

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology is developing the Rapid Earthquake Damage Assessment System (REDAS) for earthquake mitigation and risk assessment and response. MORE is looking for more info on REDAS and how/if it can be integrated with HAZUS.MH.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Atlantic Hurricane Season Sets Records

November 30, 2008 marked the "official" end of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season. NOAA reports that the season produced a record number of consecutive storms to strike the United States and ranks as one of the more active seasons in the 64 years since comprehensive records began. READ MORE


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

National Catastrophe Insurance: Disaster experts warn that U.S. needs national catastrophe insurance

The Homeowners Defense Act has been stalled in the Senate since late 2007. This legislation would create state catastrophe funds that would then support a federal reinsurance program., a coalition of over 300 organizations,including, say the problem of catastrophe insurance requires a national program instead of a piecemeal, state-by-state approach. READ MORE