Wednesday, January 28, 2015

National Health Security Preparedness Index Call for Measures. Deadline: February 15, 2015

National Health Security Preparedness Index Call for Measures

The Program Management Office for the National Health Security Preparedness Index is now soliciting recommendations for new measures to be incorporated into future versions of the Index. 

The Index provides a tool for assessing and improving the nation's readiness for large-scale health threats, disasters, and emergencies. 

Stakeholders having scientific or operational knowledge about strategies for reducing the impact of large-scale hazards, disasters, and emergencies on human health and wellbeing are invited to recommend new measures for inclusion in the Index. 

New measures that reflect social, economic, or environmental dimensions of preparedness and resilience are especially encouraged. Recommendations to change or eliminate existing measure definitions and specifications are also welcome. 

Recommendations must be received by February 15, 2015 to be considered for the next iteration of the Index. View the 2014 version of the Index and its associated documentation at

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2015. May-December. Summer Hire Positions Pathways Job in WASHINGTON, DC.


Job Title:Summer Hire Positions GS-2/3/4/5 (Pathways)
Department:Department of the Army
Agency:U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Hiring Organization:Headquarters, US Army Corps of Engineers
Job Announcement Number:NCFL152345671311372P

$25,364.00 to $45,190.00 / Per Year
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 to Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Full Time - Internships NTE 30 Dec 2015
Many vacancies in the following location:
Washington DC, DC 
United States Citizens
Not Applicable
Civilian employees serve a vital role in supporting the Army mission.  They provide the skills that are not readily available in the military, but crucial to support military operations.  The Army integrates the talents and skills of its military and civilian members to form a Total Army.
About the Position:
Position(s) will be filled under the Department of the Army Pathways Intern Program. 

This is a  SUMMER HIRE POSITION (PATHWAYS) lasting until December 30, 2015. Employment dates are approximately MAY through DECEMBER. Actual length of employment is contingent upon budget, workload, and weather. 

This position may be filled at any of the below Series, Titles and Grades. This position is temporary and there is NO promotion potential beyond the grade that you are selected for during the entire time period you are employed under this announcement.

GS-0399-2 Student Trainee (Office Assistant)  Salary  Range: $25,364 – $31,922
GS-0399-3 Student Trainee (Administrative & Office Support) Salary Range: $27,675 – $35,982
GS-0399-4 Student Trainee (Administrative & Office Support) Salary Range $31,069 - $40,393
GS-0399-5 Student Trainee (Office Automation)  Salary Range $34,759 – $45,190

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BEMA Feb 2015. Meet & Greet. Wednesday, Feb 18th. 5:30-9:00pm

Step outside of your comfort zone to make the changes needed in our communities, in your career, and for our future leaders.

Come to our first 2015 Meet & Greet Wednesday, February 18, 2015at Busboys and Poets 5th & K-Street N.W. location.

Come share the moment with current and new members (

Let’s network, discuss national and international issues, partnerships and collaborations.  2015 Cyber Security conference in UAE (March/April), crisis and risk management summit in Kuwait (May/June), Ebola, healthcare and public health issues.

Date:    Wednesday,  February 18, 2015
Time:   5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
              Busboys & Poets
              5th and K Street, N.W.
              Washington, D.C.
a.      On Street
b.      Off Street Parking
  -Parking lot
  -Basement of neighboring Safeway Store
Public Transportation:
a.      Gallery Place\Chinatown
b.      Mt.Vernon Square\7th Street Convention Center

See you there! 


Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015. Deletion of material in a new Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.

IG Protests TSA’s Edits of Audit Report

Inspector General John Roth of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has protested actions by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials requiring the deletion of material in a new Office of Inspector General (OIG) report. During their review of the OIG’s Audit of Security Controls for DHS Information Technology Systems at John F. Kennedy International Airport, TSA officials classified sections of the report as Sensitive Security Information (SSI). By law, material labeled by TSA as SSI cannot be included in a public report.

Roth, who termed the TSA action an abuse of the SSI classification, reluctantly issued a redacted version to the public. But he has furnished a full, unedited report to congressional committees with oversight over TSA. The report contains findings and recommendations for improving the security of TSA systems at the airport.

“Over-classification is the enemy of good government. SSI markings should be used only to protect transportation security, rather than, as I fear occurred here, to allow government program officials more 

Read Report- OIG-15-18, “Audit of Security Controls for DHS Information Technology Systems at John F. Kennedy International Airport.”  

2015. ADA National Network Learning Session. Inclusive Planning for Disasters

ADA National Network/FEMA Webinar Series:

Emergency Management and Preparedness-Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

The following is provided by the
Pacific ADA Center

Announcing a new webinar - "ADA National Network Learning Session: What Large-Scale Planned Events can Teach us About Inclusive Planning for Disasters: Lessons Learned from the 2014 World Series Championship Parade & Civic Celebration in San Francisco."

February 12th, 2015

Webinars begin at 2.30pm ET/1.30pm CT/12.30 pm MT/11.30am PT/9.30am Hawaii.
We often think of disaster planning in terms of a big fire, earthquake, tornado, or terrorist attack. However, many large-scale planned public events require similar emergency planning and coordination with Police, Fire, Transportation, and Public Information Officers, and the ability to react with just in time creative and flexible approaches to problem-solving.
Using the 2014 San Francisco Giants' Championship Parade and Civic Celebration as a case study, participants will:
  • Understand necessary steps in pre-planning to ensure the inclusion and safety of people with disabilities and seniors.
  • Review public information dissemination and other strategies to ensure effective communication before and during a large-scale event.
  • Draw the common themes between large-scale events and disasters and use them as an opportunity to practice disaster response.
  • Carla Johnson, CBO, CASp. Carla Johnson, CBO, CASp. is the Director of the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability, which is the City's ADA compliance program. She joined MOD in 2008 to serve as an emergency planner focused on disability integration. Before MOD, she spent fifteen years at the Department of Building Inspection where she was the Incident Commander for DBI's emergency response at landslides, rockslides, building collapses, and other emergencies.
  • Joanna Fraguli Joanna Fraguli is the Deputy Director for Programmatic Access at the San Francisco Mayor's Office on Disability where she has been overseeing programmatic access compliance for City and County programs since July of 2006. In this capacity, she has been working to bring disability issues to the forefront of emergency management efforts by facilitating public and private sector collaboration projects, providing specialized training for American Red Cross leadership and their volunteers, and writing specific policy statements about disability issues in City and County of San Francisco's Emergency Response Plan.
These 90 minute webinars are delivered using the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform. Collaborate downloads files to your machine in order to run. We recommend that you prepare your technology prior to the start of the session. You may need the assistance of your IT Staff if firewalls prevent you from downloading files.
To view all of the sessions for the coming year, or to see previous sessions, go to
Copyright © 2015 Pacific ADA Center, All rights reserved.

Pacific ADA Center
555 12th Street
Suite 1030
Oakland, CA 94607

Thursday, January 22, 2015

South Africa Tuition Free Online University Degrees for 1,000 South African High School Graduates

1,000 South African High School Graduates to Access Tuition-Free Degrees Online


University of the People founder and President, Shai Reshef. Image courtesy 2014
A student studying at the online university
With an estimated 425,000 matriculates seeking tertiary education this year, UoPeople offers matrics tuition-free, accredited online university degrees
The right to a quality education mustn’t be a matter of one’s geographical or financial situation. Access to education must be an equal and basic right for all, rather than a privilege for the few.
— President Shai Reshef
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, January 19, 2015 / -- 1,000 South African High School Graduates to Access Tuition-Free Degrees Online

University of the People ( President Shai Reshef has announced 1,000 places for South African students at the non-profit, tuition-free, accredited, online American university for 2015. The decision comes following the news of matric results earlier this month pointing to an education crisis in South Africa.

On January 5th South Africa’s 2014 school pass rates of final year students were released, indicating a discouraging drop for the first time in five years after changes to the education system. Low quality educational standards have constrained growth in Africa’s second-largest economy, with businesses struggling to employ skilled workers in a country with over a 25 percent unemployment rate. 70 percent of the jobless in South Africa are under 35. In a survey last year by the World Economic Forum, South Africa’s education system was ranked the fifth-lowest among 144 countries, with its score in mathematics and science the worst of the group.

University of the People presents a genuine alternative for South African high school graduates who luck out of securing limited seats in local universities. “There is no need for the thousands of qualified high school graduates who will be left out of higher education this year to remain shut out,” says President Reshef. “University of the People identifies South African high school graduates as students who are driven and ambitious and particularly in need and deserving of access to quality higher education. The right to a quality education mustn’t be a matter of one’s geographical or financial situation; Access to education must be an equal and basic right for all, rather than a privilege for the few.”

University of the People believes that access to higher education is a key ingredient in the promotion of financial stability, leading to global economic development and peace. Dedicated to democratizing higher education globally, University of the People exemplifies employing an online solution for potentially millions of people. The University has enrolled students from 150 different countries to date, including 44 from South Africa, where retention rates are comparatively high.

University of the People is changing the way online learning is perceived through international accreditation, alliances with prestigious educational institutions (such as Yale University for research and New York University for accepting students) and partnerships with global corporations (such as Hewlett-Packard for internships and Microsoft for scholarships). The unique focus at the online University is on small classes, peer interaction and personal attention. Online access need only be basic – broadband connections and video capability are not required.

The University offers degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science on a tuition-free basis. Students only pay for exam processing fees of $100, meaning that a student can study towards an accredited Bachelor’s Degree for as little as $4,000.

South Africa, take heed – young adults in need of education can be serviced with the delivery of quality education at low-cost. It is the viable solution to conquering inequalities in educational attainment and is available at everyone’s fingertips. 

Deadline March 2, 2015. Apply for FEMA Youth Preparedness Council. Ages: 13-17


2015 Council Applications Are Now Being Accepted

FEMA is looking for youth leaders who are dedicated to public service, who are making a difference in their communities, and who want to expand their impact as national advocates for youth disaster preparedness. Any individual between the ages of 13 and 17 who is engaged in individual and community preparedness, or who has experienced a disaster that has motivated him or her to make a positive difference in his or her community, may apply to serve on the Youth Preparedness Council. Applications must be received by March 2, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST.

Homeland Security Today: Cybrary’s Free Online Training Reshaping Cybersecurity Education

Homeland Security Today: Cybrary’s Free Online Training Reshaping Cybersecurity Education

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015. 17th Annual Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Tour

17th Annual Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Tour
April 4-11, 2015
Visiting: Kentucky State University, North Carolina AT&T University, Bennett College for Women, Hampton University, Norfolk State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Howard University and Morgan Sate University.
Get On The Bus To Your Future 
Please call 773.256.2761 or 773.256.2762 to register or for more information.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Message from the CDEMA Executive Director on the 5h Anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake

Five years ago on January 12, 2010, CDEMA was called to respond to the most catastrophic event in the history of the Agency. Haiti, a member of the CDEMA family had been struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. This was the strongest earthquake recorded in this part of the Caribbean region. Over 300,000 persons died and extensive damage to the capital, Port-au-Prince, and outlying districts left close to three (3) million people displaced. 

As we remember that sad day for the people of Haiti, let us pause a moment to reflect on the lessons and consider the positive steps taken thus far to reduce vulnerability and exposure within the countries of the Region. We must also consider outstanding measures still to be implemented and where these exist, we must seek to urgently advance them. The importance of enhancing personal readiness and resilience to cope with, respond to and recover from this hazard must also be a focus. 

The Caribbean region’s geological makeup causes hundreds of earthquakes to occur within the region each year. There is no doubt, however, that the Haiti earthquake was a strong and grim reminder of the vulnerability of the Caribbean to seismic activity and to be always prepared for a major earthquake event.

One of the major lessons of the event is the need for safer building standards to be applied, monitored and enforced and this will be the focus my message on the 5th Anniversary of the Haiti Earthquake. 

Poorly built infrastructure in a heavily populated urban area contributed to the significant loss of life and destruction of houses in Haiti. Reports have indicated that housing accounted for more than 40% of total damage costs in and was estimated at US $739 million. 

The impact on housing has also been noted in other hazards events across the region. A UN/ECLAC country assessment showed that between 1990-2008 most of the countries reviewed experienced damage to housing and human settlements ranging between 35% to 99% of the total national damage costs incurred as a result of natural disasters. Hurricane Ivan resulted in over US$500 million in damage to the housing sector in Grenada and US$180 million in Jamaica and in Guyana the floods of 2005 caused an estimated US$275 million in damage to housing. 

It is therefore imperative that we recognize that safer building practices need to be emphasized to limit the loss of life and property and minimize the disruption to our overall development process. 

The instituting of Building Codes needs to be a national priority. These Codes must be kept up to date, legislated and enforced in all of our Participating States. 

CDEMA has developed a Regional Code of Practice for the Construction of Houses Course and has delivered it in Haiti and other CDEMA Participating States. 

This course targets persons who are involved in the building trade and training has been supported by United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) under the Comprehensive Disaster Management - Harmonised Implementation Programme (CDM-HIP). 

I urge all of our Participating States to promote safer building programmes and to encourage the certification of builders. Homeowners are key stakeholders and as such, continuous public education and awareness on building practices will help to inform them on what is required to reduce the impact to their properties from earthquakes and other hazards events. 

As we observe this event, I wish to assure Haiti and our other Participating States that the CDEMA Coordinating Unit will continue to advocate and support efforts in building resilient states to safeguard lives and properties. 

I also take this opportunity to acknowledge and commend the government and people of Haiti in their efforts at rebuilding the country and in adopting a comprehensive approach to disaster risk management.

Ronald JacksonExecutive Director

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Info. Admin Costs for Major Disasters Report. GAO. 2014.

DOE Preparedness APPs. 2015

Emergency Preparedness Apps

Mobile applications have become more useful in keeping emergency preparedness information readily available to the public. Recently, the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a new mobile preparedness app called "Lantern Live." The app helps consumers quickly find and share critical information about nearby gas stations and power outages during energy emergencies. “Lantern Live” allows users to:
·        Report operational status of local gas stations;
·        Find fuel;
·        Look up local utility power outage maps; and
·        Access useful disaster tips.
The DOE says future versions and updates of “Lantern Live” are likely to include the ability to crowdsource information on the status of gas stations through standardized social media hashtags.
“Lantern Live” is currently free to download for Android users via Google Play.

Looking for more preparedness apps? Keep disaster information at your fingertips with mobile apps from FEMA and the American Red Cross.  

Training Opportunities: Individual and Combined CERT Training (1st Q 2015)

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