Tuesday, August 27, 2013

September is National Preparedness Month....Join the community.

September is National Preparedness Month and FEMA invites you to join the National Preparedness Community and download the 2013 National Preparedness Month Toolkit.

The National Preparedness Community is where more than 29,000 people connect and collaborate on emergency preparedness. You can use the community and the Toolkit to empower yourself to prepare and coordinate preparedness activities with your family, neighbors, and those with whom you worship during National Preparedness Month.
Here are the top 5 reasons to join:
·         Download the 2013 National Preparedness Month Toolkit
·         Get access to preparedness resources
·         Promote your national preparedness event on the calendar
·         Connect and build relationships with emergency management personnel
·         Share and compare preparedness plans

Join the National Preparedness Community Now!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Community resilience updates, resources, and events from RAND | view in browser
RAND Corporation: Focus on Community Resilience
August 2013

Periodic updates on community resilience work at RAND

Building Resilient Communities: An Online Training

holding hands in a circle
Emergency preparedness can get a community through the first few days following a disaster. But how does a community bounce back over the long term?
With disasters becoming more common and costly, and with some areas enduring overlapping disasters, the importance of building community resilience has never been greater.
As a business, nonprofit, faith-based organization, or other community organization, you bring valuable assets to supporting overall community recovery.
RAND's new easy-to-use, self-guided online training can help your community strengthen its resilience. Your organization can use the training to build its own resilience, too.
Resilience means:
·         mitigating and withstanding the stress of manmade and natural disasters
·         recovering in a way that restores normal functioning
·         applying lessons learned from past responses to better withstand future incidents.
When your organization or community completes this training, you will have a real action plan that will help build resilience, bolstering capacity to respond to and recover from disaster.
Launch the Training

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kentucky Emergency Management director resigns after audit finds wasteful agency spending



Gov. Steve Beshear accepted Brigadier Gen. John Heltzel’s resignation Thursday morning

By Kevin Wheatley Published: 
Brig. Gen. John Heltzel resigned as director of Kentucky Emergency Management in light of an audit showing the agency misspent thousands on conferences, altered documents to conceal suspect expenditures and threatened staff who cooperated with auditors.
Gov. Steve Beshear said he accepted Heltzel’s resignation Thursday morning.“The findings in the recent Auditor’s report made it clear that new leadership was needed in the agency, given the numerous questions and grave concerns it raised about the proper handling of funds, reliable and transparent accounting, and appropriate work environment under the general’s direction,” Beshear said in a statement.
“… The public’s trust is a sacred investment that we all must safeguard, and this change in leadership will help to restore accountability and transparency to this critical agency.”
Mike Jones, executive director of the Office of Management and Administration for the Kentucky Department for Military Affairs, has been named acting director of Kentucky Emergency Management.
Jones’ first task as head of the agency will be implementing a plan to correct matters that were raised in the audit, which showed Kentucky Emergency Management “nurtured a culture of waste and abuse,” Beshear said.
Auditor Adam Edelen, who released his findings Tuesday, welcomed the change in leadership, saying Heltzel’s resignation was “the proper course of action.”
“Today’s action begins a process of renewal,” Edelen said in a statement. “It is my hope that these incidents of waste and abuse do not tarnish the reputations of the vast majority of public employees who conduct the peoples’ business with integrity and commitment.”
Kentucky Emergency Management deferred a request for comment to Beshear’s office.
Edelen’s audit was triggered by prior financial statement audits conducted between fiscal years 2007 and 2012 that revealed nearly $5.6 million in questionable expenses by the agency.
The audit details $122,386 in excessive spending related to the Governor’s Emergency Management Workshop at the Galt House Hotel and Suites in Louisville from 2010 through 2012.
Edelen said Tuesday the agency collected vendor and registration fees and deposited them into the state treasury, but spent more on the conferences than the amount deposited. The report details thousands of tax dollars spent on receptions, alcohol, meals, gifts and door prizes.
The report further questioned $113,497 spent on working lunches at Capital Plaza Hotel from 2009 through 2013 and $69,875 paid to a software company Heltzel had worked with numerous times as the Kentucky National Guard’s chief information officer.
The audit also uncovered invoices doctored to hide the questionable expenditures. In one instance, a 2010 invoice listed 63 New York strip steak dinners at $15 each when the price was actually $41 per meal — $26 per person higher than the state per diem limit.
A number of employees at Kentucky Emergency Management were reluctant to speak with auditors during the examination, fearing their phone calls and emails were being monitored, Edelen said Tuesday. In a staff meeting, Heltzel and others in administrative roles threatened those who shared information with auditors, Edelen said.
Kentucky Emergency Management disputed many of the auditor’s findings in its response to the report.
The report was forwarded to Attorney General Jack Conway, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Branch Ethics Commission.
Beshear appointed Heltzel to the leadership post in 2008. He earned $79,527 annually.
Edelen’s report prompted the Kentucky Emergency Management Association to call for Heltzel’s immediate dismissal. 
Steve Robertson, chairman of the Kentucky Republican Party, said Beshear should have fired Heltzel as soon as the audit’s findings were released.
“Gov. Beshear pledged in his 2007 inaugural address to ‘strengthen protections for whistleblowers,’” Robertson said in a statement. “I hope he will send a clear message to the employees of (Kentucky Emergency Management) that they have no fear whatsoever of retaliation by any of his political appointees who remain in that office.”

Thursday, August 8, 2013

September 9th-12th 2013. Washington, DC. US Paralympic Introductory Sport Camp for Disabled Service Members and Veterans

Sport Clinics Include: Boccia, Archery, Cycling & Rowing

If interested please contact the POC below. Registration closes August 26, 2013

Participation in the camp is free

Contact information
Leslie Winckler, leslie.winckler@usoc.org or

U.S. Olympic Committee, Paralympic Sport Outreach & Development
1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909

**Registration Deadline: August 26, 2013**

2013 U.S. Paralympics Introductory Camp Registration Form

September 9-12, 2013 @  Landover, Maryland
Prince Georges Learning & Sports Complex
Travel Date: September 9th & 12th
* required fields
Please submit this form via e-mail or fax to Leslie Winckler.  
or 719-866-2029 (f)
Name, as appears on ID
       Male          Female
*Last 4 digits of SSN:

P.O. Box:
ZIP Code:
*Primary Email:
*Mobile Phone:
Secondary Phone:
Disability (circle):           A/K Amputee       B/K Amputee       Traumatic Brain Injury        
Spinal Cord Injury (region?)            A/E Amputation                     B/E Amputation
Wheelchair User?        Y         N                                             Do you use a power chair?            Y       N   
Do you need assistance when transferring?       Y         N         Do you require a shower chair?      Y       N
*Do you require travel assistance or care giver?                                 Y        N
Departure Airport (home airport):                       
Return Airport (if different from departure airport):

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Food Security: Guests Bug Out at the Dutch Embassy

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.             (http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-fs/en/)


Guests Bug Out at the Dutch Embassy

by Kylee Zabel

Cicadas, grasshoppers and other bugs tend to, well, bug a lot of people. But for others, those pesky critters are mouth-watering treats.
The growing hype over eating insects as tasty, ecologically friendly snack alternatives prompted the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington to host a discussion on the trend, featuring speeches from three experts in entomophagy (the study of the human consumption of insects) and entomology on June 26.
The talk was capped off not by the usual embassy fare of bite-size sandwiches or salmon crostinis, but by mealworms, crickets and cicadas — including the Brood II cicadas making all that noise in the Washington area this summer.

Photos: Kylee Zabel
The Dutch Embassy in Washington recently held a discussion on insects as a sustainable food source for people.
According to Marcel Dicke, chair of the Department of the Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University, consuming insects could, in some ways, replace meat consumption. He said some edible insects have more omega-3s than meat products such as chicken, pork and beef and are generally higher in calcium, iron and zinc.

“We’ve always been told that we should not be involved with ‘creepy crawlies,’” said Dicke, “but eating insects offers many advantages.”

Professor Michael Raupp of the University of Maryland removes wings from cicadas before consumption.
One of the main ones is the environment: Raising insects doesn’t require large swaths of land, unlike traditional livestock farming. The land-clearing process that is often used to expand production is minimal and insects require considerably less farm feed than large mammals. Insects also emit fewer greenhouse gases than livestock, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The chance of contracting diseases from eating insects is significantly less than with meat consumption, added Dicke. That’s because insects are not as closely related to humans as are warm-blooded mammals, so the probability of disease transmission is low.

Guests at the Dutch Embassy snacked on a few bug bites, including cicadas.
Insect farming may sound like a bizarre pastime, but soon it may become a modern-day necessity. According to Dicke, 70 percent of agriculture land is being used for livestock, with the demand continually increasing and space shrinking.

Enter insect farming.

Insects enjoy being together in greater densities than livestock do, and farmers can produce more insects than livestock at a faster rate. As a result, Dicke and the other experts believe it is an industry with definite possibilities.

Daniella Martin of GirlMeetsBug.com prepares the asparagus to be paired with the sautéed cicadas.
“As the world’s population continues to grow and our natural resources and land available for farming decrease, we must find alternative food sources,” said Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink. “Insects could provide a nutritional alternative for people without the massive use of natural resources."

They may be good for the earth, but do bugs actually taste good? Of course, it depends on the person eating them, but plenty of people around the world see insects not only as a sustainable food source, but a delectable one as well.

Alida Maandag, left, prepares the guacamole to be paired with crickets as her husband, entomologist Marcel Dicke, empties chopped mealworms into pancake batter.
Daniella Martin, bug blogger for the Huffington Post and host of the insect cooking and travel website GirlMeetsBug.com, was first attracted to entomophagy during anthropological studies in Mexico, where she purchased a bag of chapulines, or fried grasshoppers, from a street vendor.
“All of the sudden a bunch of kids surrounded my table and started grabbing the grasshoppers out of the bag and eating them,” she recalled.

While Martin said she was exactly bowled over by the taste of the chapulines, the kids obviously liked them. And thus her fascination with insect cuisine began.

“This just isn’t some weird, antiquated practice,” said Martin.

To prove that point, guests got to sample the insects for themselves. Mealworms, crickets and cicadas were on the menu, along with a raisin-mealworm pancake.

Michael Raupp, professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, suggested that guests who were new to insect snacking start with the mealworms.

“Mealworms are the best starter bug because they have a nice, nutty flavor,” he said.

Crickets are paired with guacamole.
However, the experts warned that you shouldn’t just go willy-nilly eating any bug that flies (or crawls) your way.

Though Raupp prefers to eat cicadas uncooked, he cautioned that not all bugs are edible. For those interested in cooking up a few insects at the next family barbecue, Dicke has co-written an insect cookbook called “Het Insectenkookboek,” the English version of which is scheduled to be released in spring 2014.

So if eating insects is good for the planet and for you — and actually tastes (relatively) good — why has the trend not taken off in the United States as it has in other countries
Dicke attributes this lack of insect popularity to a class stigma, as people with high living standards typically don’t rely on alternative food sources such as insects and therefore equate eating insects to barbarism.

Alida Maandag samples a tortilla chip topped with guacamole and a cricket.
But now, societies are eating insects simply because they like the taste — not because bugs are survival necessities. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 2 billion people make roughly 1,900 different insect species parts of their daily diets.

And the trend is slowly creeping its way to the United States. Chapul Edible Insect Bars, founded by native Coloradoan Pat Crowley, offer cricket protein bars in three varieties, each of which was featured at the embassy discussion.

Still not convinced? Well, you may be consuming insects without even knowing it. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration allows specified insect and insect-part amounts to be in your orange juice, canned fruits, peanut butter and noodle products, just to name a few products. Each person consumes about 500 grams of insects per year, said Dicke.

Kylee Zabel is an editorial intern for the Diplomatic Pouch.

UN Prevention Web: Jamaicans need to be more aware of climate change


Jamaicans need to be more aware of climate change - Minister

Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, has emphasised the need to increase climate change awareness among Jamaicans, noting that the issue is “everybody’s business. ”

Mr. Pickersgill said tackling the effects of climate change on Jamaica will require a communal approach, “as we will all be affected. ”

The Minister was speaking at the launch of a special video feature entitled: ‘Climate Change and its Impact on Jamaican Farmers’, held at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), in Kingston, on July 31.

“(This approach) must entail co-operation, communication and consistency of effort from everyone. We cannot allow progress toward the Vision 2030 goals to be derailed by climate change related impacts,” he argued.

The Minister lamented that the impact of climate change on a small island such as Jamaica can have significant repercussions on its economic and social viability. He noted that the weather phenomenon impacts health, natural resources, infrastructure as well as access to water and food security.

“The impacts are likely to continue to greatly hinder Jamaica in its debt repayment efforts, while the economic cost of climate related impacts will continue to increase,” he noted.

Mr. Pickersgill, therefore, commended the PIOJ and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for its work in developing the educational video, which aims to increase public awareness on the topic.

The video, which was produced by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), will be aired on over seven stations, including TVJ, CVM TV, JNN, PBCJ and Love TV, as well as featured in JIS’ Jamaica Magazine programme.

It shows interviews conducted with farmers in the Bog Hole community of Clarendon, who have been adversely affected by long periods of drought as well as periods of flooding, caused by climate change.

Mr. Pickersgill said the video is a timely reminder that all Jamaicans must find new and innovative ways to lessen the impact of climate change on the environment.

For his part, Pilot Programme for Climate Change Resilience (PPCR) Focal Point Manager, PIOJ, Hopeton Peterson, said the video has been produced within the context of the implementation of the PPCR.

The PPCR is a global project aimed at improving the ability of vulnerable countries like Jamaica to withstand “the shocks and stresses” of climate change.

The programme provides technical assistance and investments to support countries’ efforts to integrate climate risk and resilience into core development planning and implementation. Jamaica is one of six countries in the Caribbean benefiting from the PPCR.

Mr. Peterson informed that so far in Jamaica, the project has supported the development of a strategic programme for climate resilience, which entails three main components.

These include: improving climate data and information management; mainstreaming climate change adaptation in the local sectoral and national plans and implementing integrated adaptation strategies in the Rio Minho basin in Clarendon; and providing financing mechanisms for sustained adaptation initiatives by the public and private sectors and community-based organisations.


Dorsainvil Foundation. BEMA support their family legacy of providing healthcare and health services to the region\department of Arcahaie, Haiti.

Dorsainvil Foundation is dedicated to the medical concerns of the Haitian People.
The vision of Dorsainvil Foundation is to expand the medical mission and the small functional health facility, to a fully equipped hospital and outpatient center with a compassionate staff, accepting everyone in need of services, regardless of their social status.
The commitment of Dorsainvil Foundation is to promote healthcare and to encourage health prevention as well as providing treatment to the disenfranchised in the region. The foundation hopes to enrich the people's lives by helping them focus on the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, modified lifestyle and good health. This would be achieve by providing adequate educational tools to the population.
Today's diseases are affecting so many people including babies, children, parents and grandparents. By providing the people with the information they need to make better decisions, the death rate itself could be reduce tremendously. Let's work together for a better tomorrow.
In 1995, Pierre and Josephine Dorsainvil left their home in Long Island, New York to visit their native country of Haiti. Pierre Dorsainvil, 69, and his wife, Josephine, 62, had just finished building a vacation home in the small town of Arcahaie, Haiti, where both were born, raised, met and were married. During their visit four armed individuals entered and ransacked Pierre and Josephine Dorsainvil's home in Arcahaie, Haiti. The New York residents, who were in their homeland for a brief vacation, were shot and killed. Their five children survived them, a son and four daughters.
The Dorsainvil family had become an American success. The oldest son, Pierre had just graduated from medical school, St. George’s University. His younger sisters Edwige and Bobbie were also successful in business and had families of their own. The youngest girls, twins, Cynthia and Dolores, were both attending college and were looking ahead to a bright future.
On the morning of June 30, 1995, exactly one week after Pierre graduated from medical school, everything would change. Although the details have never been clear the local authorities state their house was attacked by a gang of brutal thieves. With robbery as a motive they mercilessly shot Josephine, killing her instantly.  Pierre Sr. suffered a gunshot wound to his leg while the couple’s maid, seventeen year old Elemene was wounded four times. The violence was swift and horrible, especially since the vacationers were unarmed.
Pierre, the son, had to break the devastating news to his sisters.  Numb with grief, they also had to endure the fact that the killers had escaped exact identification.  Although police had an idea of who the suspects were, no one would ever be brought to justice. As a newly credentialed physician, Pierre was aware of an additional irony. Had his father been in virtually any US hospital his non-lethal gunshot wound could have been treated and he would have been saved.  The reality was that for lack of a few dollars worth of a sterile saline IV solution, mostly unavailable in this third world nation, his father simply bled to death.  
In June 2000, while on a visit to Haiti and his parents’ home, Dr. Pierre Dorsainvil had a revelation. He would convert this vacation retreat to a different kind of haven. It would be a freestanding clinic. Now, he just had to make it happen. In June 2001, he established the Dorsainvil Foundation, a private, non-profit organization and opened a free medical clinic for the poor and needy in the Arcahaie home his parents loved. The name of the center, which is the only one of its kind within a 35-mile radius, is Complexe Medical Sainte Philomene De L'Arcahaie.  Currently, Pierre makes several trips a year to administer health care at the facility himself while the remainder of the year he relies on a limited staff who see patients twice a week.
The Dorsainvil Foundation stands as a testament to the good that can come from difficult times. Dr. Pierre Dorsainvil, along with friends, family, pharmaceutical reps, and health care providers have been able to have a significant impact on the people of Haiti. The Foundation hopes to continue this work for years to come.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

U.S. National Interest: Water for the Poor Act of 2005


Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005: Annual Report

Date: 07/30/2012 Description: Water in hands. © Getty ImagesThe Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, which was signed into law by then-President Bush on December 1, 2005, makes access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of U.S. foreign assistance. It requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other U.S. government agencies, to develop and implement a strategy “to provide affordable and equitable access to safe water and sanitation in developing countries” within the context of sound water resources management.
The Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act also requires the Secretary of State, in consultation with the USAID Administrator, to submit an annual report to Congress describing changes in the U.S. strategy and progress in achieving the objectives of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act. This annual report to Congress is available through the links below and marks the initial progress on a long-term process to develop and implement a strategy to strengthen U.S. efforts on international water issues. 

Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2013 Report to Congress PDF (July 2013) 
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2012 Report to Congress PDF (Sept. 2012)
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2011 Report to Congress PDF (June 21, 2011)
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act:
 2010 Report to Congress PDF (Aug. 13, 2010)
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act:
 2009 Report to Congress PDF (Jun. 26, 2009)
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2008 Report to Congress PDF (Jun. 4, 2008)
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2007 Report to Congress PDF (Jun. 5, 2007) 
Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act: 2006 Report to Congress PDF (Jun. 1, 2006)
-- Report Annex A: Summary of U.S. Agency Missions and Capabilities in Water
-- Report Annex B: USAID Funding for Water
-- Report Annex C: Strategic Planning of USAID Water and Sanitation Activities in Africa
-- Report Annex D: Example Strategy -- ECO Asia
-- Report Annex E: Blue Revolution Initiative -- Strategic Framework for Asia and the Near East

Job Oppportunities: Various Locations (Pacific and Atlantic Coasts)

Key Requirements:
Department of the Navy
U.S. Pacific Fleet, Commander in Chief
Open Period:
7/31/2013 to 8/9/2013
Who May Apply: 
Current Permanent Federal Employees serving under career or career conditional appointments in the competitive service employed by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY&IMF), UIC 32253.

$83,507.00 to $108,558.00
Series & Grade:
Position Information:
Full Time - Permanent
Control Number:
JOA Number:
OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans. How would you like to become a part of a team providing compassionate care to Veterans? T
Department Of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration
Open Period:
7/31/2013 to 8/6/2013
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United States Citizens
New York, New York

$109,022.00 - $141,726.00 / Per Year
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Salary will be increased by the applicable cost-of-living allowance (COLA), which is subject to change without notice. This position is located in the Emergency Planning Division (code 1130) at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PHNSY&IMF;). The incumbent will serve a
Department of the Navy
U.S. Pacific Fleet, Commander in Chief
Open Period:
8/5/2013 to 8/14/2013
Who May Apply:
Current Permanent Federal Employees serving under career or career conditional a...
Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Oahu, Hawaii

$70,225.00 - $91,291.00 / Per Year
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