Wednesday, September 29, 2010

USGS Global Earthquake Alerts to Include Economic Loss and Casualty Information

Estimated economic loss and casualty information will now be included in earthquake alerts sent out by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) following significant earthquakes around the world.

The USGS automated system, PAGER (Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response), rapidly assesses earthquake impacts by estimating the shaking distribution, the number of people and settlements exposed to severe shaking, and the range of possible fatalities and economic losses. The estimated losses trigger the appropriate color-coded alert, which determines levels of response: no response needed (green); local or regional (yellow), national (orange) or international (red).

USGS Press Release...


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Feedback wanted for socio-economic GEM earthquake mpact model

The Global Earthquake Model initiative has released an online review within the scope of its Socio-Economic Impact module, to obtain feedback from experts, decision-makers and others with an interest in social and economic consequences of earthquakes.

The review will be open to all from 15 September - 15 November 2010.

Click here to access the review page and submit your comments!


Friday, September 17, 2010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's capabilities to assess potential national threats, with the exception of natural disasters, need improvements to adequately support DHS decision making because their validity and reliability are untested, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. The report recommends DHS strengthen its scientific practices, including documentation, validation, and peer review. Download Report


U.S. Tsunami Detection Improved, But Coastal Communities Still Vulnerable

The nation's ability to detect and forecast tsunamis has enhanced since 2004, but efforts are insufficient to meet challenges posed by tsunamis generated near land that leave little time for warning, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council. The report calls for a national assessment of tsunami risk and improved communication and coordination among the two federal Tsunami Warning Centers, emergency managers, media, and the public. MORE INFO


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NOAA Coastal Services Center

The NOAA Coastal Services Center works with various branches of NOAA and other federal agencies to bring information, services, and technology to the nation's coastal resource managers. The Center is a partner in over 100 ongoing projects geared to site specific coastal issues.

NOAA Coastal Services Center Web Site...

The NOAA Coastal Services Center Digital Coast provides the tools, training, and information needed to turn these data into the information most needed by coastal resource management professionals.

Digital Coast Web Site...

HAZUS-MH on the Digital Coast Web Site...

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Using social media for better emergency response

A recent Red Cross survey, Social Media in Disasters and Emergencies, reports that more people are now use social media tools to report emergencies or call for help, and they expect government response agencies to be actively engaged in using the technology, too.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

2011-2012 HAZUS-MH Classes at the Emergency Management Institute

EMI has published the schedule of courses for 2011-2012 at the Emergency Management Institute, including the HAZUS-MH curriculum.

Download the catalog ...

On-line course schedule ...

California Hospitals Using HAZUS-MH - UPDATE

California has had a long running program requiring hospitals to seismically upgrade so that they can survive the inevitable earthquake. The state has prepared a list of vulnerable hospital buildings, based on construction, that were required to be upgraded/replaced.

Starting in 2004 California began using HAZUS-MH to let hospitals determine a specific building’s danger of collapse ... this allowed the state and hospitals to narrow in and allow people to put the focus on the buildings most at-risk.



Friday, September 3, 2010

HAZUS Coastal Surge Model

The recent Building Science Newsletter from NIBS provides some insight into the developing HAZUS Coastal Surge Model.

The HAZUS hurricane wind field model will be coupled with SWAN, an ocean and near shore wave model, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) SLOSH model. The HAZUS-MH wind-only and flood-only loss estimates will be combined into an overall estimate of combined coastal wind and flood losses for a single hurricane event while avoiding double counting of damages.

Work remains on the Coastal Surge Model for overland waves, flood-only damage functions in V zones, and damage/loss matrices for building classes other than residential. Data from either Hurricane Ivan or Hurricane Gustav will be used to create a spreadsheet of prototype Coastal Surge Model loss results that will be validated with actual losses to be obtained from FEMA. It is anticipated that the Coastal Surge Model will be incorporated into HAZUS-MH MR6, tentatively scheduled to be released in late winter 2011.


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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WARNING Issued For Hurricane Earl...

Check out the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center web site for the latest info on Hurricane Earl. WARNINGS and WATCHES for the U.S. east coast have been issued.

National Hurricane Center