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2007 CUSEC News Archives

CUSEC Saddened by the Loss of Close Friend and Colleague
November 2007- Jerry Thompson, 61, of Lamar, Indiana, passed away on Friday November 9, 2007. Jerry was the driving force behind the formation of the CUSEC Transportation Task Force.  He held the chairman's position of the group from 2000 until mid 2007. The Task Force is one of three associations which function under the CUSEC umbrella and it serves two purposes: to help facilitate closer interaction between state departments of transportation on issues related to emergency preparedness and to provide a central point for collaboration with other organizations on transportation issues related to both man-made and natural disasters having a regional impact. Jerry served more than 40 years with the Indiana Department of Transportation and his leadership, vision, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.  For more information, click here

EERI Annual Meeting
November 2007 - “Hurricane Katrina: Lessons for Earthquake Risk Reduction” is the theme of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, to be held February 6-9, 2008, at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter. It is an extraordinary opportunity to capture lessons from the largest natural disaster in U.S. history. With close to 30 presentations over three days, the program is designed to appeal to professionals and researchers in the multidisciplinary earthquake risk reduction fields. Sessions cover topics such as restoring critical lifelines after a catastrophe, impacts on the energy sector, offshore infrastructure design, enhancing the resilience of hospitals, scenario-driven catastrophe planning, achievements of 75 years of strong-motion seismology, and responding to and recovering from a large-scale urban event. To view the program and to register, visit the EERI Website.

Disaster Medicine 101
October 2007 - CUSEC, in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI), is presenting a one-day class titled “Disaster Medicine 101:  Post-Earthquake Public Health and Medical Issues in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.”  It will be held at the FedEx Institute of Technology on the campus of the University of Memphis in Memphis, TN, on November 14, 2007.  The class is a one-day general overview of public health concepts related to the earthquake threat in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  It will be open to first responders, medical professionals, public health officials, emergency managers, and others concerned with public health issues following an earthquake.  The class is limited to 70 attendees, so sign up today to ensure your spot!

Catastrophic Planning Initiative Underway
July 2007 - The New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Response Planning Initiative is well underway throughout the eight CUSEC Member States. As reported in the January newsletter, the initiative will enable local, state, and federal agencies to create and adopt comprehensive plans that address responding to a catastrophic event along the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  CUSEC, along with Member States, FEMA, and the Mid America Earthquake Center, is helping to coordinate a series of local and state workshops that bring together key players in the planning process. The workshops are scenario-driven and inspire planners and responders to work together to come up with the plans.   Arkansas is the first state holding the scenario-driven workshops, and all Member States will have completed their workshops by April 1, 2008.  At the end of this multi-year initiative, there will be a series of exercises, at the state and regional levels,  that will help validate the work that has been done. In most terms, this is the single, largest disaster planning initiative that has been undertaken in the United States. and the

Non-Structural Mitigation Workshop
July 2007 - CUSEC is sponsoring a Non-Structural Mitigation Workshop on July 27, 2007 in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  This one-day workshop presents several topics to attendees, including: Earthquake Hazard Overview, State Earthquake Program Update, Structural Basics, Non-Structural Elements and Hazards, Non-Structural Mitigation Projects and Techniques, and Mitigation Grant and Funding Programs.  This popular workshop was offered twice in 2006 and is being brought back in 2007 and 2008.  Attendees will gain a better understanding of non-structural hazards and how to mitigate losses associated with those hazards.  The workshop is being co-sponsored by DHS/FEMA, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Arkansas Geological Survey, and Arkansas State University.  

CUSEC Member States Testing Earthquake Plans
June 2007 - Four CUSEC Member States, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee, are conducting earthquake exercises during the week of June 18-22.  The exercises vary in each state, but each will activate their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as part of their exercise.  CUSEC is holding a communications exercise from 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. on June 19, in cooperation with the Center for Earthquake Research and Information in Memphis, Tennessee.  Amateur radio volunteers will deploy to CUSEC and CERI and send communications traffic to the three State EOC's.  CUSEC, CERI, and the USGS are conducting a workshop on June 21 that will focus on better coordination of the geological research community with the emergency management community in the event of an earthquake.

NEHRP Annual Report Available Online
June 2007 - The 2007 National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Report to Congress is available online now at The report outlines activities and programs within NEHRP that took place during FY 2005 & 2006.  CUSEC Member and Associate States, as well as other states from around the country, are are highlighted in the report.  Other sections of the report include - NEHRP Overview & Budgets, Activities and Results, and future Planned Activities.  Read the report to find out more information about NEHRP. 

Spanish Publications Now Available for Download
May 2007 - Two CUSEC publications are now available for download in Spanish.  The translated versions of Yes, You Can Survive, and Faith Based Organizations are located in the CUSEC Library, under Spanish Pamphlets.  The pamphlets were generously translated for CUSEC by FEMA earlier in 2007.  According to the US Census Bureau, approximately 15% of United States citizens are of Hispanic or Latino origin.  By offering these brochures in Spanish, CUSEC can reach yet another audience with the mitigation and preparedness message.  We will continue to update our library with translated brochures as they are finished.

2007 National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting
April 2007 - The 2007 National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting is scheduled for April 24-26, 2007 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The meeting is the third consecutive such meeting, where Earthquake Program Managers from around the country gather to share program ideas and collaborate to make their respective states safer. This year's meeting is being hosted by the State of Tennessee and is sponsored by NEHRP, FEMA, and the NEHRP Consortia:  CREW, CUSEC, NESEC, and WSSPC. 

CUSEC Board Chairman Stepping Down
March 2007 - CUSEC Board Chairman William Burke is retiring from his position as Director of Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).  Director Burke has served on the CUSEC Board since he came to IEMA in 2003, and was elected Board Chairman in December of 2005.  Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced on March 5 that Andrew Velasquez, Executive Director of the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications, will be appointed as the next Director of IEMA.  The appointment will be effective on March 16, 2007, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Gov. Blagojevich is quoted as saying that "one of government's most fundamental and important responsibilities is to keep its citizens safe. Andrew Velasquez has an impressive track record of overseeing emergency response and security for the City of Chicago one of the largest urban areas in our country".  CUSEC Vice-Chairman, James Bassham, will replace Director Burke as the CUSEC Board Chairman.  Arkansas Director David Maxwell will serve as the new CUSEC Board Vice-Chairman, and Missouri Director Ron Reynolds will remain CUSEC Board Secretary/Treasurer.

ATC20 Inspector Training
February 2007 - CUSEC is sponsoring several ATC20 Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation courses this winter. This course trains engineers, architects, building inspectors on how to inspect buildings for damage after an earthquake.  Courses are being held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Jonesboro, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, and Jackson, Tennessee from January thru March.   Spaces are limited so register early!

Earthquake Awareness Campaigns
January 2007 - The CUSEC Member States of Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee are holding various earthquake awareness activities from February 1-16, 2007.  As part of the campaign, the Central US Seismic Advisory Council will meet on February 1, in St. Louis, Missouri.  Other activities in each of the states include -

Arkansas:  Earthquake Town Hall Meeting, Small Business Disaster Preparedness Workshop, Earthquake Presentation at Cabot Middle School, “Post Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings” Training Course, Earthquake Drills with Marion School District and the launch of the  Arkansas Seniors Are Prepared program

Indiana:  Earthquake Threat Press Conference, the “Ready Rabbit” program for K-2 students at Christ King School, a Duck, Cover and Hold Earthquake Drill at Lincoln Elementary School, How Small Businesses and Health Care Providers bring emergency preparedness to staff and clients and “Ask An Expert Day” in which local experts will make rounds of the local news shows

Tennessee:  Health and Hospital Planning Workshop, Community Emergency Response Team Training, Small Business Continuity Planning, Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Information Technology Planning and “Rapid Visual Screening for Building Damage “Training Course

Missouri:  Seismic Safety Commission Meeting, “Earthquakes Mean Business” Seminar, St. Louis Science Center Hands-On Exhibit with Speakers, Maps and Displays, St. Louis Mapping Project Annual Meeting, Non-Structural Hazard Mitigation Workshop, New Madrid Town Hall Meeting and the SEMA & DNR’s Earthquake 101 for Teachers Classroom Instruction and Field Trip

Kentucky:  Donations Management Course, Earthquake Town Hall Meeting, “Rapid Visual Screening   for Building Damage ,” “Post Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Building” Training Course and a Statewide Duck, Cover and Hold Earthquake Drill

Mississippi has also planned various activities to help prepare their residents.

To participate in the 2007 Earthquake Awareness Campaign, contact your State Earthquake Program Manager