Friday, May 24, 2019

NIST Disaster Resilience Symposium. August 2019

2019 NIST Disaster Resilience Symposium

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is pleased to announce its second annual Disaster Resilience Symposium. 

The symposium will be held on August 7-8, 2019 at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD.

The symposium will feature presentations from over a dozen grant awardees funded by NIST and from NIST researchers on the latest findings from related internal projects. Topics will include disaster and failure studies, earthquake engineering, wind engineering, community resilience, and wildland-urban interface fires.
  • Development of Tornado Design Criteria for Buildings and Shelters Subject to Tornado Induced Loads
  • Improving Disaster Resilience Through Scientific Data Collection with UAV Swarms
  • Seismic Assessment, Retrofit Strategies and Policy Implications for Vulnerable Existing Steel Buildings
  • Integrating Aging Effects in Performance-Based Seismic Design and Assessment of Reinforced Concrete Structures
  • Resilience of Steel Moment Frame Systems with Deep Slender Column Sections
  • Coastal Inundation Events in Developed Regions
  • Decision-Oriented Column Simulation Capabilities for Enhancing Disaster Resilience of Reinforced Concrete Buildings
  • Liquefaction-Targeted Ground Motion Parameters
  • Improving Disaster Resilience by Quantifying WUI Community Ember Exposure
  • Biomacromolecules as Flame Retardants for Wood-Based Construction
  • Temperature Measurements of Airborne Firebrands
  • Development of Methodology for Determination of Ignition Propensity by Firebrands in Wildland-Urban Interface
The symposium keynote speakers will be Prof. Albert Simeoni of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Dr. James Harris of J.R. Harris & Company. Both internationally recognized keynote speakers will share their perspectives on how we can enhance the resilience of US communities.

A flyer of the event can be found here:  

Registration is free and is now open.  

For more information, go to:

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

FEMA New Recipients Disaster Grants Guide 2019

FEMA has released the ‘FEMA New Recipients of Disaster Grants Guide’, May 2019.

The FEMA New Recipients of Disaster Grants Guide describes Recipient requirements for the three FEMA categories of disaster grant assistance available to Recipients following a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration: PA, IA, and HMGP.

FEMA provides specific guidance for state-led PA and is developing state-led housing options to allow Recipients to manage greater portions of the recovery effort.  Recipients interested in pursuing these options should consult with regional program staff for details and requirements.

Guide can be accessed and downloaded directly from the FEMA website at:

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

American Red Cross Transparency Act. May 2019

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Grassley, Thompson Reintroduce American Red Cross Transparency Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi today introduced legislation to give the congressional watchdog arm complete access to American Red Cross records for oversight purposes. The bipartisan, bicameral American Red Cross Transparency Act of 2019 responds to concerns that the Red Cross tried to quash a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of its practices, successfully limiting the scope of the review, and has failed to be as transparent as it should be.

“The American people rely on the Red Cross to respond when tragedy strikes. It is congressionally-chartered and is a federal instrumentality. It receives federal tax dollars for some of its disaster responses, and it receives the financial benefits of tax exemption and tax-deductible donations. For those reasons, Congress has a responsibility to make sure the Red Cross answers questions asked on the public’s behalf and is operating up to the standards required of it during national disasters,” Grassley said. “The Red Cross has shown an unwillingness to answer questions in the past. This legislation strengthens transparency to help make the Red Cross more accountable to the public.”  

“The Red Cross has been a component of disaster response for decades, but that does not put them above Congressional oversight. The public should know how the Red Cross spends both taxpayer dollars and the funds Americans generously donate. With Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Harvey and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, we have seen the Red Cross struggle to fulfill its disaster response mission,” Thompson said. “As the demands on our disaster response systems have intensified, and with the frequency and intensity of natural disasters having increased, it is critical that the Red Cross is able to fulfill its mission and that Congress and the American public have a window of transparency into the organization. Our legislation will ensure that the Red Cross’ past attempts to scuttle necessary oversight won’t work again.”

The American Red Cross Transparency Act gives the GAO complete access to the Red Cross’ records when needed to conduct oversight. If the Red Cross refuses to comply, the legislation provides the GAO with the authority to bring an action in court to force compliance.  
More than a decade ago, Congress gave the GAO the broad authority to “review [Red Cross’] involvement in any Federal program or activity the Government carries out under law.” Despite clear legislative intent, the Red Cross essentially stonewalled GAO when it tried to carry out an investigation requested by Thompson in September 2013. After two years of stall tactics, delays and a request from the Red Cross’ president that Thompson cancel his GAO request and conduct future oversight via cell phone, the GAO analyzed information the Red Cross begrudgingly made available to complete its investigation. Grassley explored the GAO access problem as part of his inquiry of problems with the Red Cross’ Haiti earthquake response. He sent the results as a memo to his fellow committee members on both the Judiciary and Finance committees in 2016.

The legislation is available here


Media contact: (Thompson) Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Disaster Victim Volunteers Needed for Exercise on 05.31.19

Keep in mind that every community should exercise their emergency plans, and procedures with a simple walk-thru, drill, table-top, functional, or full-scale exercise.  Check in your local community at your FIRE\EMS, or Emergency Management Office\Agency for exercises being scheduled.
April and May are prime time for exercises.
Get involved.  Participate, observe, and understand the coordination, and who will be doing what when a disaster or crisis strikes your community.  Exercises should be designed as realistic as possible.  Now is a time to use your acting skills and abilities. 
From a real-world event of assisting someone out of a burning car, administering an antidote, each involves keeping a level head to respond accordingly and not panic.  Exercises contribute to keeping calm in a panic situation.
Be safe, be prepared, get involved. 
BEMA International
The Maryland Regional National Life Support (NDLS) Coalition will be conducting a disaster exercise with emergency medical personnel on May 31, 2019 in College Park, Maryland.

The Maryland Responds State Program is requesting volunteers to act as disaster victims during this exercise.

College Park, MD (Check-in location/address will be provided to confirmed volunteers)

Date:   May 31, 2019
Time:  7:15 AM – 3:00 PM

Volunteer Positions Needed:
Twenty Maryland Responds volunteers are needed to act as disaster victims in a simulated disaster scenario.  This volunteer role will assist participants in the Advanced Disaster Life Support training to practice mass casualty triage during a simulated disaster.  Volunteers will be given instructions such as a script and injuries to act out.

Volunteer Requirements:
Completion of all Road to Readiness requirements.  

See attached checklist and log in to your Responder profile to view your ‘Training’ tab to see where you are on the Road to Readiness.  

Volunteers should be comfortable standing and lying down on the ground outside for periods of time.

Volunteers should also be comfortable with having mock injuries applied (moulage).

Transportation: Volunteers should be able to transport themselves to and from this event.

Additional Information: Lunch and water will be provided.

Parking is free.

Use the link below to sign up:
More information will be shared with the volunteers who are selected to volunteer at this event.

 DO NOT ACTIVATE FOR THIS EVENT IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED A CONFIRMATION of your participation from a Maryland Responds State Coordinator.

Thank you,
Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps

bEMA International 

“Successful people are always looking for ways to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking,
‘What’s in it for me?” – Brian Tracy

Monday, May 6, 2019

May 2019. DisasterReady. Managing Sexual Violence Against Aid Workers: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Aftercare

Managing Sexual Violence Against Aid Workers: Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Aftercare

Material European Interagency Security Forum (EISF) 7 hours
This 134-page document aims to support aid agencies in preventing, being prepared for and responding to incidents of sexual violence against their staff.  This document is intended as a good practice guide to help strengthen existing processes and support organizations as they set up their own protocols.

While there are many competing terms and definitions, this guide refers to sexual violence as any act of a sexual nature that is unwanted or forced.  It covers all incidents from sexual harassment to rape, including stalking, sharing sexual images without consent and sexual assault
This guide is not aimed at survivors of sexual violence.  It is intended to be a good practice guide to help organizations strengthen existing processes and set up their own protocols..
Sexual violence in all its forms violates human rights and organizations have a duty of care to respond to incidents of sexual violence against their staff.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Part 2: Thurs, May 9, 2019 12:00 Noon. Tackling racial bias and marginalization ( in the USA) through impact investment.

The second in a three part series of webinars on diversity, inclusion and accountability in the investment world will take place on Thursday May 9, 12:00 noon EST. 

Kindly spread the word and book your spot. 

Tackling racial bias and marginalization ( in the USA) through impact investment. 

What's at stake is getting financial capital to do a better job at improving our world. We are having an active dialogue, informed by evidence and focused on solution design. 

The panelists are drawn from the Ford Foundation, specialist impact investing firms, and advocates for racial justice.  

Our discussion promises to be informative and lively. The intention is to consolidate the recommendations and discussions, build community around this issue,  and design a set of implementable interventions.  

Hope you can join us.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Training: Search & Rescue (SAR). Anne Arundel County, MD. June 2019

Search and Rescue Tech III / CERT SAR Class Announcement

Anne Arundel – Annapolis CERT is sponsoring an Introduction to Search and Rescue which will be taught by DELMARVA Search & Rescue. The SARTECH III certification exam will be given upon completion of the class (note the class IS NOT required to take the SARTECH III class online).

The class will be held on 
   a. Friday, 21 June from 1800 – 2000, 
   b. Saturday, 22 June from 0800 – 1700 and 
         Friday and Saturday will be held at the Anne Arundel County Fire Academy in Millersville
   c. Sunday 23 June from 0800 – 1700. 
         Sunday’s class will be held at a local park

The cost for the class, including instructional fees, exam and book is $205 plus Eventbrite processing fees. If you have the book or will purchase from Amazon prior to the class use ISARBook discount code during registration.

The cost for the class will include the instruction by DELMARVA SAR, NASAR testing fee for SARTECH III and the REQUIRED book “Introduction to Search and Rescue”. 

Attendees who already have the book may use the code ISARBook at check out and save $35.95. 

If you would like to order Introduction to Search and Rescue from Amazon now use this link: (AAACERT is an Affiliate and will earn a small percentage on purchases). 

To register for the class visit:
Questions may be directed to or

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