|Journal of Emergency Management ®|
January/February 2005; pages 9-11
January/February 2005; pages 12-13
January/February 2005; pages 14-18
Emergency management (EM) agencies throughout the United States use several types of exercises to train communities and their leaders for disasters. Frequently used exercises are based on the learning-by-doing tradition in educational theory. Many of these exercises, because they engage top leadership over a day or several days, can only be staged infrequently and may not be sufficient to prepare communities or major agencies for disasters. This paper examines other active learning methods, such as case-based or problem-based instruction, as additional education and training tools for EM. In particular, a combination of the case-based and problem-based methods capitalizes on the strengths of both teaching tools. Problem-based case instruction provides a useful new method for extending the disaster management toolbox.
January/February 2005; pages 19-28
The May 2000 Cerro Grande wildfire swept through Los Alamos, New Mexico, forcing evacuation of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the communities of Los Alamos and White Rock. Use of geographic information system (GIS) technology for emergency response and post-fire mitigation provided valuable lessons about institutional operations, working relationships, and emergency preparedness. These lessons include the importance of: 1) GIS as an integrating framework for hazard assessment; 2) having a strong GIS capability in place; 3) coordinated emergency plans among GIS facilities; 4) reliable methods for locating and informing evacuated employees; 5) GIS data that are complete, backed up, and available during an emergency; 6) adaptation of GIS to emergency circumstances; 7) coordination within the GIS community; 8) integration of GIS into institutional operations; and 9) centralized data and metadata.
January/February 2005; pages 29-32
Few studies exist on Emergency Operating Center (EOC) location and design. In response to the lack of literature on the topic, this study describes some basic characteristics of four EOCs located in central Alabama. The results of the study show that convenience and availability determine the EOC site selection. The EOCs in the study have dedicated areas for offices, operations, and meetings. In a perfect world, the respondents in the study recommended that EOCs should have sleeping areas, showers, cooking facilities, and restrooms. The biggest challenge faced by the respondents in the study was noise level in the operations room, which hinders communications and decision making. Most have attempted various strategies with some success to tackle this issue. A combination of allotted space, resources, personal experience, and advice from others strongly influence EOC design and configuration.
January/February 2005; pages 33-45
The Nisqually earthquake (M 6.8) struck western Washington State at 10:55 am local time on Wednesday, February 28, 2001. This study provides a detailed description of injuries attributable to this earthquake, which were treated in local emergency departments (EDs). ED logs and medical records from four facilities in the earthquake-affected region were reviewed. Ninety-six earthquake-related injuries were treated during the week following the earthquake, comprising 8.6 percent of all injuries treated during that period. EDs closer to the epicenter treated more earthquake-related injuries. The patients were slightly older and more likely to be female than those with nonearthquake-related injuries. Falls were the most common cause of earthquake-related injuries. Superficial injuries, sprains/strains, and fractures of minor severity accounted for the majority of these cases. The flow of earthquake-related patients peaked within an hour after the earthquake.
January/February 2005; pages 46-50
January/February 2005; pages 51-54
Journal of Emergency Management
March/April 2005, Volume 3, Number 2
March/April 2005; pages 8-10
March/April 2005; pages 11-16
This study uses FEMA’s new flood model software, HAZUS-MH (Multi-Hazard), to assess the socioeconomic damages following floods. HAZUS-MH provides dollar figures for land use planners, flood managers, and emergency planners to utilize in their pre- and post-disaster planning of the economical, social, and environmental consequences of flooding. HAZUS-MH estimates financial losses resulting from a 100-year flood by analyzing the potential direct and indirect economic damages that could occur in a local jurisdiction. HAZUS-MH Flood Model and Hurricane Wind Model was used to estimate losses in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as part of the jurisdiction’s hazard mitigation planning process. Depth grid maps and flood loss maps are explained and displayed to show the results of the flood hazard and loss analysis. The article evaluates HAZUS-MH against the criteria of quality, timeliness, and completeness. The different levels of HAZUS-MH are explained within the context of accuracy. The article also explains how geographic information system (GIS) data layers can be made available to public officials by use of a free downloadable GIS data reader.
March/April 2005; pages 17-20
The 9/11 Commission asserted that a failure in imagination was the primary reason for inadequate prevention and response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This assertion has sparked discussion but has not been thoughtfully analyzed. The Commission also proposed the model of the medical generalist to address these inadequacies. This paper analyzes what the Commission perceived as a failure in imagination, examines the measures necessary for success in this area, and proposes avenues to institutionalize these measures in accordance with the suggested medical generalist model.
March/April 2005; pages 21-26
Two types of ambulances and a city bus were modeled in a wind tunnel for the minimum wind speed required to upset the stationary vehicles. The Type I ambulance was vulnerable to upset with wind speeds of 135 to 150 mph on the vehicle over wind angles of 40° to 145°. The Type II ambulance was vulnerable to upset with wind speeds of 140 to 170 mph over wind angles of 30° to 145°. The 40-passenger city bus was vulnerable to upset with wind speeds of 60 to 75 mph over wind angles of 35° to 145°. These results showed ambulances were more stable in high winds than common passenger vehicles, but the city bus was very vulnerable in high winds. Testing showed that moving ambulances can be driven at low speeds in minimal hurricane-force winds without exceeding the upset wind speeds on the vehicles. This information provides guidance for safe operation of these vehicles during high winds including hurricanes, thunderstorms, and extra-tropical cyclones.
March/April 2005; pages 27-29
The discipline of emergency management has been evolving in scope and priority at an accelerating rate over the past decade. But the educational opportunities and focus areas have not necessarily kept pace with this change. While the volume of higher education curriculum has increased, three key thematic areas must be addressed as the baseline of knowledge for emergency management professionals: 1) hazard and threat science, 2) sociological and psychological considerations, and 3) prevention/mitigation principles.
March/April 2005; pages 31-35
Currently, there is a lack of research on emergency preparedness training for children in self-care. To compensate, and to serve as an interim guide until sufficient resources and research exist, the authors reviewed relevant studies on emergency skills training for children home alone. They use these findings to outline possible training approaches and recommend strategies to validate locally-designed efforts. The authors call for further research that can be used by emergency management, education, and child-care communities.
March/April 2005; pages 36-40
Since September 11, 2001, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs have expanded to meet the growing demand for training in disaster preparedness. While extra help during a disaster is needed due to a lack of resources, the use of volunteer responders presents a unique challenge to emergency service managers. Even when trained, volunteers are often not prepared for the physical, mental, and psychological strain of a crisis. As a result, their needs differ from those of professional emergency workers. Consequently, organizing and delegating work to volunteers adds a level of complexity to the role of emergency managers. The CERT program in Chandler, Arizona—one of the largest in the state—trained over 400 people in the last year and has encountered many of the problems associated with a rapidly growing volunteer program. During this period of growth, trainers identified several problem areas facing disaster managers including communication issues, effective incident command, a lack of focus that can lead to freelancing at scenes, and the psychological needs of responders. Currently, these issues are being addressed through added training in critical areas, mandatory critical incident stress debriefing, and further studies to better the CERT program. Currently, the CERT is examining several ideas to help alleviate these problems through continuing education. Professional responders need to work alongside CERT members and become attuned to the signs of physical and emotional exhaustion in volunteers. In addition, they need to be trained in assertiveness and the skill of defusing potentially volatile situations. Team members need to receive training each year to refresh their skills and be reminded of the mission: to do the greatest good for the greatest number.
March/April 2005; pages 41-43
March/April 2005; pages 44-46
Journal of Emergency Management
May/June 2005, Volume 3, Number 3
May/June 2005; pages 12-14
May/June 2005; pages 15-18
May/June 2005; pages 19-24
Due to the substantial economic losses in the recent decade resulting from natural and human-caused disasters, many US colleges and universities have established their own emergency management offices and departments. This review evaluates the University of Washington’s first year in establishing an emergency management office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s role in supporting college and university disaster coordination efforts through the development of the Disaster Resistant University program, and the future of emergency management programs at institutes of higher education.
May/June 2005; pages 25-32
Process safety of a chemical plant encompasses several layers of protection. Control measures, shutdown systems, release absorption, accumulation of releases by dikes, and protection by barriers are layers of protection that are intended to prevent the development of an event. Emergency response is the next line of defense to control an event or, in case of loss of control, to minimize the consequences. However, a reliable response to an emergency event requires planning. This paper presents results of a benchmarking study of practices of emergency preparedness and response of 15 facilities in the process industry.
May/June 2005; pages 33-43
A review of the literature shows that terrorism response plans exist but are lengthy. This is a concern because, in response to a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incident, responders must be aware of the master plan. It is unlikely that all first responders will have a working knowledge of lengthy master plans; consequently, a situation could arise where responders would not be working together. To mitigate catastrophic inefficiency, a high-consequence event decision matrix was created to classify all high-consequence incidents at different severity levels and describe the necessary emergency actions first responders must employ.
May/June 2005; pages 44-54
Journal of Emergency Management
July/August 2005, Volume 3, Number 4
July/August 2005; pages 9-11
July/August 2005; pages 13-18
July/August 2005; pages 19-24
July/August 2005; pages 25-35
Staffing an emergency 911 center is a difficult task. During a hurricane threat, maintaining the appropriate amount of staff and having the preparations in place to support them are more important than ever. Ensuring proper breaks, food, and sleeping accommodations are overlooked by many 911 centers. Taking care of families, having backup facilities, and having support policies in place are essential to success. A recent survey of Florida 911 centers provided the basis for the suggestions and best practices discussed in this study.
July/August 2005; pages 36-48
A six-county region in northeastern Alabama put together one of the United States’ most progressive efforts to assist the special-needs population in preparing for and protecting themselves against emergencies. The region is host to a US Army depot that stores and incinerates an aging chemical weapons stockpile, the release of chemical weapons agent from which could pose a threat to the surrounding area. Almost a decade ago, the counties collectively agreed to provide their most vulnerable residents—those with physical, medical, or mental disabilities or those lacking transportation who have no family, neighbors, or friends nearby—with emergency preparedness assistance equal to or greater than that provided to the general population. Due to their immediate proximity to the depot, two counties faced the greatest challenge in providing “maximum protection” to their residents. These counties made substantial adjustments to the protective-equipment distribution process and to the public training process for those residents with special needs. Self-sufficiency is sustained through repeated, empathetic contact between emergency management personnel and the special-needs population with additional specialized resources deployed on a proactive basis throughout the region.
July/August 2005; pages 49-54
Journal of Emergency Management
September/October 2005, Volume 3, Number 5
September/October 2005; pages 9-10
September/October 2005; pages 12-12
September/October 2005; pages 15-16
September/October 2005; pages 17-21
September/October 2005; pages 22-26
September/October 2005; pages 27-32
The vast majority of some 22-million manufactured housing residents in the United States are ethnic, elderly, low-income populations. As the fourth most populous and second fastest growing US state, Florida is home to one of the nation’s largest concentrations of manufactured homes in one of its most geographically vulnerable regions. After-action reports from Hurricanes Charley, Jeanne, Frances, and Ivan indicate that all manufactured housing units constructed after the 1994 Federal Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standard survived intact, whereas units constructed before 1994 suffered damage ranging from severe to catastrophic. This paper provides manufactured housing damage-assessment data from 60 of 67 Florida counties affected by the 2004 hurricane season according to various federal and state hazard mitigation strategies implemented from 1976 to 1999. Key words: hazard mitigation, hurricanes, building codes and standards, manufactured housing, under-represented populations
September/October 2005; pages 33-36
September/October 2005; pages 37-41
Traditional hazard vulnerability analysis (HVA) looks at probability and impact to determine risk. The results are often graphically displayed in an XY chart, and mitigation priorities are determined by risk ranking alone. This model is not sufficient, because it does not consider the cost of mitigation. The updated HVA looks at value, in which the traditional XY chart is expanded to a cube model in which the Z axis reflects cost. In a typical hospital HVA, where there may be over 50 different potential events, determining proximity to the perfect value point (high probability, high impact, low cost) allows a better ranking system when allocating scarce mitigation dollars.
September/October 2005; pages 43-48
September/October 2005; pages 49-54
Numerous programs and policies have been developed at federal, state, and local levels to mitigate damages associated with natural disasters. However, agriculture has not been a priority area for natural disaster preparation, response, and recovery planning. Understandably, reducing deaths and injuries and aiding homeowners take precedence in an emergency. Nonetheless, agricultural losses account for a substantial share of total damages resulting from natural disasters. This article summarizes the findings of a study designed to identify key areas for improving agricultural disaster response and to recommend policies to reduce damages and expedite recovery from weather-related natural disasters affecting North Carolina agriculture.
Journal of Emergency Management
November/December 2005, Volume 3, Number 6
November/December 2005; pages 7-9
November/December 2005; pages 15-18
November/December 2005; pages 19-23
November/December 2005; pages 25-26
November/December 2005; pages 27-31
November/December 2005; pages 32-35
Emergency management (EM) is a rapidly growing and evolving discipline. While only two degree-level programs existed prior to 1995, they were joined by an additional 40 programs by 2005. These new programs contributed to a broad expansion of courses and instructional materials. However, none of this growth has been guided by a commonly agreed upon curricular framework. As a result, degree-level programs have varied widely in terms of what they consider an appropriate EM curriculum. The past several years have seen repeated efforts by a small group of academics and professionals to develop a standard curricular framework based on mutually agreed upon competencies, functions, and skills. This research project refines and builds upon these earlier efforts to create a unified list of broad curriculum-level goals. These goals were then qualitatively and quantitatively measured to identify specific themes that could be used to build an appropriate curriculum for EM bachelor’s and master’s degree-level programs. Key words: emergency management, education, curriculum, professional standards
November/December 2005; pages 36-41
The objective of this study was to describe our initial experience with an automatic crash notification device (ACND) and to compare dynamic vehicle data acquired by the ACND in motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) for occupants with and without cervical strain injuries. Eight hundred and seventy-four cars were equipped with an ACND, which detected crashes by analyzing vehicular acceleration in real time. The device placed an automated call to 9-1-1 whenever the pre-established crash threshold was exceeded and transmitted crash location, principal direction of crash force, and crash change in velocity. All occupants involved in an MVC involving an ACND-equipped vehicle were contacted and asked to report anatomical location(s) of any injuries. Those with cervical-strain-type complaints were identified through post-crash interviews and medical record reviews. Principle direction of force and crash change in velocity were compared between these two groups. Dynamic vehicle data were obtained for 15 crashes involving 26 occupants, with crash change in velocity ranging from 12 kph to 42 kph. The principle direction of force was 12 o’clock (six vehicles), 2 o’clock (three vehicles), 3 o’clock (two vehicles), 6 o’clock (one vehicle), 9 o’clock (one vehicle), and 11 o’clock (two vehicles). Thirteen occupants reported a variety of injuries. Five reported cervical-strain-type complaints including three in a rear-end crash (principle direction of force 6 o’clock, change in velocity 29 kph), one in a frontal crash (principle direction of force 12 o’clock, change in velocity 14 kph), and one in a right-frontal crash (principle direction of force 2 o’clock, change in velocity 26 kph). Results indicate that, although the number of MVCs was small, no cervical-strain-type complaints were reported when change in velocity was less than 14 kph. Dynamic vehicular information obtained from the ACND at time of crash may be useful for instantaneous injury prediction. The ability to predict injury in real time may some day allow for better allocation of on-scene resources. Key words: motor vehicle crash, communications, emergency medical services, injury, response
November/December 2005; pages 43-49
November/December 2005; pages 50-54
Emergency operations centers (EOCs) are extremely important facilities for responding to and recovering from various disasters. With the dramatic increase of available technology, EOC operations have evolved well beyond the days of dial telephones and paper messaging. The question addressed in this study is whether we are doing enough to ensure that this critically important emergency-management (EM) function is operating at peak performance. A survey was used to collect data from EM agencies across the United States. Based on the results of this survey, the authors concluded that designing and developing an EOC simulator might enhance US preparedness efforts. Key words: emergency, response, command center, disaster simulation