Saturday, May 30, 2009 expects to be on the exhibit floor at least one day during the ESRI International User Conference. ESRI Conference Info ...

Anybody interested in organizing an informal gathering of HAZUS users...


Expensive hurricanes insurance leaving consumers exposed

As the 2009 hurricane season arrives, many homeowners are finding insurance is either more expensive, or harder to get as insurance carriers try to limit their exposure in high-risk areas. READ MORE

OPINION: believes this is an area that HAZUS-MH could be used to develop community wide risk assessments to help better educate the public.

Too often home owner insurance decisions are based on a poor understanding of the risk (a function of potential loss and probability of occurrence) and more on short term economics or fear based on media hype.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's Hurricane Prepardness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 24 - 30, 2009 ... MORE INFO

Hurricane Hazards: SURGE
Hurricane Hazards: WIND
Hurricane Hazards: INLAND FLOOD

NOAA 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, Issued; 21 May 2009: MORE INFO

Tropical Meteorology Project Extended Range Forecast of Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity and U.S. Landfall Strike Probability for 2009; 7 April 2009: MORE INFO


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Technology's Role in Disaster Mitigation


Well the title sounded interesting ... An article posted in Government Technology Emergency Management News summarized the address of Lt. Gen. Russel Honore the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina responsible for coordinating military relief efforts across areas of the Gulf Coast impacted by Hurricane Katrina, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Stakeholders East 2009 Conference in Washington, D.C. Lt. Gen. Honore faced many challenges that could have been made considerably easier if people had been prepared with the help of technology. READ MORE

However after reviewing the article I must conclude that even though Lt. Gen. Honore does not really understand to grasp what technology has to offer to the disaster/emergency management community and seems to be focusing on the widgets the technologists are trying to sell rather than what is really needed. For example the General discussed that people tracking was a major problem. He said that during Katrina children were evacuated via medical helicopters and aircraft carriers and rescued from the tops of houses and had to be separated from their parents. Later, reuniting those children with their parents took as long as 30 days. Smart cards, bracelets and necklaces would speed up that process. It would appear the General had recently received a sales briefing from a smart card technology company rather than talking with technologists concerning a true solution using a geospatial information system. A perfect smart card is useless if it can't determination the location of those lost and those loooking for the lost.

I'm looking for a complete text of Lt. Gen. Honore's remarks to see if I'm not being too harsh but I wonder how can you discuss technologies role in disaster preparation, mitigation, response and recovery without even commenting on how geospatial technologies can be better applied?


Friday, May 22, 2009

GOOGLE Grabbing More Geo Data

At the recent Where 2.0 Conference Google announced that it would open its servers to geographic data belonging to anyone. This means that developers can now quickly build a location-based Web service without the need of establishing and hosting their own data server. The benefit to Google is that the location data will be integrated into Google's search index, making it searchable and, ultimately, capable of generating advertising revenue. MORE INFO

Those in the disaster/emergency management field need to use caution concerning privacy, data sensitivities and reliability when using capabilities like this.


Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 - Global Assessment Report

Development efforts are increasingly at risk. A faltering global economy, food and energy insecurity, conflict, global climate change, declining ecosystems, extreme poverty, and the threat of epidemics seriously challenge progress towards improving social welfare and economic growth in many developing countries. The Report is the first biennial global assessment of disaster risk reduction prepared in the context of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). MORE INFO

RELATED: 2008 saw a marked increase in the number of deaths and economic losses compared to the 2000-2007 yearly average. MORE INFO


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ArcGIS offerred at significant discount to nonprofits ...

ESRI has teamed with TechSoup Stock to make its ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) software available to U.S. nonprofits and public libraries. Also included in this donation are an eight-module online training course and two textbooks. The processing fee for ArcView 9.3 is $175 - including training and reference books! MORE INFO


TechSoup Stock and and ESRI are now offering ArcGIS 3D Analyst Software and Training and ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Software and Training.

ArcGIS 3D Analyst Software and Training: This extension expands on the capabilities of the core product with advanced visualization, analysis, and surface generation tools. With these capabilities you will be able to see trends and patterns that may not be recognized in a two-dimensional mapping view. Admin Fee: $195.00 MORE INFO

ArcGIS Spatial Analyst Software and Training: This extension expands on the capabilities of the core product with spatial modeling and analysis tools. These features allow you to employ a wide range of data formats to combine data sets, interpret new data, and perform complex raster operations such as terrain analysis, surface modeling, surface interpolation, hydrologic analysis, and statistical analysis. Admin Fee: $195.00 MORE INFO is one of the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit technology assistance agencies, offers nonprofits a one-stop resource for technology needs by providing free information, resources, and support. The Western Disaster Center, the managing activity for, has been using TechSoup for over ten years and recommends it highly for discounted software and hardware.


Association of State Floodplain Managers 33rd Annual National Conference

Ken Leep from the CA Emergency Management Agency will be moderating a "HAZUS panel discussion" during the upcoming ASFPM Annual Conference ... session G4-A on Thursday, June 11th.



HAZUS-MH Update Status Report ...

May 19, 2009

The latest word on the status of HAZUS-MH updates ... compliments of Phil Schneider, Director, Hazards Risk Assessment Program at NIBS.

HAZUS-MH MR3 Patch 3 should be available on the FEMA website any day now.

HAZUS-MH MR4 is expected to be delivered to FEMA in the latter half of June. Patch 1 for MR4 is planned for late August.

CDMS 2.5 is planned for a late June or early July delivery.

There are no plans to further develop MR2 as it has been superseded by MR3.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

HAZUS in the news ... Scientists model local impacts on towns and tidal environments

HAZUS-MH software models indicate that a category 3 hurricane, like the 1938's Long Island Express that hit 70 years ago, could cause $160 billion worth of property damage in Long Island. Scientists are considering how climate change might exacerbate this. READ MORE