Monday, March 30, 2009

Hurricane Preparedness Week - 2009

Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2009 will be held May 24th through May 30th.

The goal of the NOAA Hurricane Preparedness Web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water. MORE INFO

If your city or region is using HAZUS-MH to help get the word out during Hurricane Preparedness Week please let know so that we can acknowledge / document your efforts...



Saturday, March 21, 2009

California's water supply vulnerable to quakes, floods

The California Department of Water Resources has just released a study that concludes there is a 40 percent chance that a major earthquake will flood 27 delta islands between now and 2030, costing billions in repairs and knocking out the water source for 25 million Californians for more than a year.

Without intervention, it is estimated that about 140 levees of California's could fail in the next century due to storms or rising seas. An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or greater could result in fatalities, flooding of islands and costs of $15 billion. In California levees have failed about 160 times in the past 109 years. READ MORE

California Department of Water Resources: Delta Risk Management Strategy - Final Phase 1 Report

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Geospatial Databases Funded by Taxpayers Are A Valuable Resource

Government agencies across the country are sitting on gigabytes of valuable digital data that could be mashed, mixed and re-organized in crafty ways by Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and public interest groups engaged in everything from government oversight, to providing practical information to Americans.

Yet, despite federal and state public records laws designed to make the data accessible, many agencies are fighting more ferociously than ever to control data created with public funds. In their battles to withhold information, bureaucrats are citing everything from copyright and trade secret privileges to privacy and national security concerns. And when they do provide data, some agencies charge exorbitant prices for it, ensuring it's only available to those with deep pockets. READ MORE

The article above refers back to a law suit that was brought in Santa Clara County California (Silicon Valley). Since this is our "backyard", has followed this since Day-1. To read more about the Santa Clara County litigation, click here...

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New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Project

The guest speaker on the Mar 25, 2009 is James M. Wilkinson Jr., Executive Director of the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). The discussion topic will be the New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Project. The goal of this initiative is to increase national readiness for a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). This multi-year, multi-agency initiative is the largest planning effort ever undertaken in United States History. MORE INFO

CUSEC New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Initiative


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Monday, March 16, 2009

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Flood Smart - National Flood Safety Awareness Week

March 15-21, 2009 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week week. Floods are America’s #1 natural disaster and can happen anytime, anywhere. In fact, 90% of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. LEARN MORE

If anybody out there is using HAZUS-MH to help get the word out about the risks of flooding please drop us an email. would like to help you publicize your mitigation/planning/education efforts.


U.N. warns about natural disaster risks

Margareta Wahlstrom, U.N. assistant secretary-general for disaster risk reduction, recently said that governments should encourage "more wise behavior" among millions of people who live in areas vulnerable to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires. Much like over-exposed banks, many countries have ignored big risks from natural hazards and must now take urgent steps to protect people from disasters. READ MORE

International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Publicly Funded Catastrophe Model Proposed...

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is ramping up plans to create a publicly funded catastrophe model by launching a $200,000 feasibility study focusing on a multi-peril model for natural catastrophe risks.

The NAIC study will initially focus on expanding the use of the Florida Public Hurricane Model, which was developed by state regulators in 2005 as a way to keep a check on rate filings. The plan is to start with Florida’s model and then build on that. READ MORE

OPINION: wonders what could be accomplished if a true public/private partnership were to be developed to apply and adapt the capabilities of HAZUS-MH for this mission.


HAZUS-MH MR4 Status Report ...

As the release date approaches and the rumors start circulating it is always a good idea to go to the source and get the facts. On Janurary 16, 2009 asked Phil Schneider the Director, Hazards Risk Assessment Program at NIBS about the status of HAZUS-MH MR4. Phil provided us a good overview of the plans at that time, HOWEVER, things have evolved.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE (Mar 11, 2009):

At the SoCalHUG meeting today we heard that
the latest plans are to release Patch 3 for the current HAZUS-MH MR-3 sometime around April 15th. MR-4 should now be expected in early June 2009. FOR MORE DETAILS, CLICK HERE


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stafford Act deserves a fresh look

An opinion piece in the New Orleans Times-Picayune concludes it is time to take a re-look at the Stafford Act, the legislation which governs DHS/FEMA actions following a major disaster.


Monday, March 9, 2009

HAZUS-MH in Action - Iowa Floods 2008

FEMA has recently released a a case history of how HAZUS-MH was used by Johnson County, Iowa Emergency Management during the floods of June 2008. Forecasts called for continued rain, painting a frightening picture for the County. HAZUS-MH ability to estimate the potential impacts of a flood provided the team with information about what would likely happen when the water reaches 28 feet. DOWNLOAD


Friday, March 6, 2009

HUG On-Line Meetings... is providing an on-line meeting site for folks who cannot attend the March 11th SoCalHUG meeting in person.

There is no software to load. We encourage folks to check out their systems before the meeting starts. To verify if you can participate, click here. would like to thank ADOBE, a Western Disaster Center / industry affiliate, for providing this demonstration ADOBE ACROBAT CONNECT PRO resource.

Meet us on-line at at 1PM on March 11th.

If your HUG wants to use this on-line meeting system contact