Monthly Archive: April 2012

Volunteer Opportunities Listing – Ongoing & Event-Specific

Please note any current or ongoing volunteer efforts in the comments below for inclusion in our volunteers sign-up page.  These will be listed as on-going with additional posts for event-specific volunteer opportunities.

Thanks so much for the work you do!

info4 Toxic & Oil Spill Quick Links

Toxic & Oil Spill

Crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill washes ashore in Orange Beach, Ala in this June 2010 photo.

Crude oil, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Orange Beach, Alabama US June 2010

Oil Spills

EPA Oil Spills
US Gov’t Oil Spill Incident News Site
EPA Superfund Emergency
EPA Oil Spill Response Guide
NOAA: Oil Spills Aids
NOAA: Oil Spills Response and Restoration
NOAA: Restoring Resources Lost in Oil Spills
US Coast Guard
USCG: National Response Center
USCG: National Pollution Funds Center

Toxic Spills
Chemical Transportation Emergency Center
US Chemical Safety Investigation Board
Chemical Incidents Reports Center
EPA Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention
EPA Superfund Emergency Response Team
EPA Environmental Response Center


NOAA Spill Responder Tools

Oil Spill Response/Planning Tools

GNOME, NOAA’s oil spill trajectory model.
ADIOS, NOAA’s oil weathering model.
TAP, NOAA’s contingency planning tool.
Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps and data, concise summaries of coastal resources that may be at risk in a spill incident.
Spill Tools, a set of three programs: the Mechanical Equipment Calculator, the In Situ Burn Calculator, and the Dispersant Mission Planner.
Incident Command System (ICS) forms, available as an electronic database.
NUCOS, a simple desktop unit converter that includes units unique to oil spill response.
Job Aids, field guides to assist with various response tasks.
Publications, a comprehensive list of our spill response reports, guides, and publications.
FOSC Guide, describes the products and services that NOAA can provide to FOSCs (Federal On-Scene Coordinators).
Gulf of Mexico ERMA, a resource used in the response and NRDA process for the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.
Training, workshops and self-study options for spill response professionals.


Chemical Spill Response/Planning Tools

CAMEO software suite programs:
CAMEOfm, an application to access and manage chemical property and emergency response information.
ALOHA, a modeling program that estimates hazards after a chemical release.
MARPLOT, CAMEO’s mapping program.
CAMEO Chemicals, a database of hazardous chemical datasheets you can use to get response recommendations and predict hazards. Available in online and downloadable versions.
Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW), a program that predicts the reactivity of substances or mixtures of substances.
Tier2 Submit, a program that helps chemical facilities meet their Tier II reporting requirements under Sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA.
RMP*Comp, a program that helps chemical facilities that fall under the RMP rule complete their required offsite consequence analysis.
Training, training resources for CAMEO.

info4 PTSD & Trauma Resources


Special Features

APA: Managing Traumatic Stress:
Tips for Recovering From Disasters and Other Traumatic Events
Trauma Information Pages

Advice on Talking to Children about Disasters

FEMA: Kids

Helping Children After a Disaster

Purdue Univ: “Terrorism and Children”

CDC: Children and Terrorism

Mental Acute Stress Disorder

NY State: Age-Related Reactions of Children to Disasters

Child Trauma

Coping With a National Tragedy

NEA: Crisis Communications Guide & Toolkit

Guide to Children’s Grief

NIMH: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters

info4 Wildfires Quick Links

Western Wildfires, 2012

Western Wildfires, US 2012




.. What is a wildfire? A wildfire is an unplanned, unwanted wildland fire including unauthorized human-caused fires1. Vegetation fires are caused by slash and burn land clearing, clearing of plantations following logging operations, and by natural events such as lightning or extreme drought. During dry seasons fires usually reach a peak and can present a transboundary problem when prevailing winds disperse the smoke across borders to other countries2. .. Characteristics/Measurements: There are three different classes of wildland fires. A surface fire is the most common type and burns along the floor of a forest, moving slowly and killing or damaging trees. A ground fire is usually started by lightning and burns on or below the forest floor. Crown fires spread rapidly by wind and move quickly by jumping along the tops of trees. Wildland fires are usually signaled by dense smoke that fills the area for miles around3. .. Impacts/Causes of injury and damage: Destruction of vegetated and eventually inhabited areas and construction sites, potentially leading to large areas with ecological and economical losses. A major wildland fire can leave a large amount of scorched and barren land. These areas may not to return to prefire conditions for decades. If the wildland destroyed the ground cover, then erosion becomes one of several potential problems4. Smoke and other emissions contain pollutants that can cause significant health problems. The short-term effects contain destruction of timber, forage, wildlife habitats, scenic vistas, and watersheds. Furthermore the long-term effects contain reduced access to recreational areas; destruction of community infrastructure and cultural and economic resources5. .. Emergency action: Control Techniques: Bushfires are usually fought by numerous trained volunteers and a core of professional firefighters with vehicle -mounted equipment (in accessible terrain). Observation is often provided by light aircraft and helicopters. Water-bombing is also provided by helicopters with buckets which lift water from dams, lakes or swimming pools. They are effective in stopping spot fires ignited by windborne firebrands, sometimes kilometres ahead of the main fire-front. This greatly assists and contributes to the safety of firefighting crews. In large bushfires, bulldozers and graders are used to create emergency firebreaks ahead of firefronts. Back-burning from firebreaks is frequently effective in slowing or stopping the spread of fire.6. .. Mitigation: Mitigation includes any activities that prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening, or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventive mitigation steps now such as installing a spark arrestor on your chimney, cleaning roof surfaces and gutters regularly and using only fireresistant materials on the exterior of your home, will help reduce the impact of wildland fires in the future. For more information on mitigation, contact your local emergency management office.7 .. Further Information: Emergency Management Australia (EMA)$file/Hazards+7th+ed.pdf

Above info4mation is from UN-SPIDER

Special Features


Hazard Mapping System – US
Fires & Smoke Satellite Analysis
Fire Danger Map – US
Fire Detection Around The World
Fire Weather Outlook – US
Covering Florida Fires

International Wildfires

The following links are via the Global Fire Monitoring Center (GFMC), an Activity of the
UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction  (UN-ISDR)

Current Global Fire Status
-Current & Archived Significant Global Fire Events and Fire Season Summaries
-Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics
-Regional and Global Vegetation Fire Emissions

Global Wildland Fire Early Warning System

International Assistance in Wildland Fire Emergencies
Emergency Assistance through the United Nations and the GFMC
International Agreements
Satellite Data for Wildland Fire Emergency Response
International Wildland Fire Response Operators and Material Suppliers
International Wildland Fire Exercises

Global Wildland Fire Network
Int. Wildland Fire Summit 2003
4th International Wildland Fire Conference 2007
5th International Wildland Fire Conference 2011

Global Fire Inventories and Models
Global Wildland Fire Assessment
Global Burnt Area Satellite Products
Other Remote Sensing Products
Fire Statistical Databases
Global Fire Models

International Forest Fire News (IFFN)

International Fire Management Programmes
Community-Based Fire Management (CBFiM)
Eurasian Fire in Nature Conservation Network (EFNCN)
International Peatland Fire Network
International Technical Cooperation Projects in Fire Management and Research
Fire Initiatives and Projects by NGOs

International Wildland Fire Research Programmes
United Nations University (UNU)
International Wildland Fire Research Programmes (IGBP-IGAC-BIBEX, IUFRO; IBFRA, FIRE PARADOX)

 Fire Meetings, Fire Management Training Courses & Jobs
Upcoming Fire and Related Meetings
GFMC-Wildland Fire Training Center Africa
Other Fire Management Courses and University Training
Retrospectives of Fire Meetings & Training Courses
Research and Employment Opportunities

Fire Glossaries, Literature and Software
Fire Management Glossaries
GFMC Fire Management Guidelines
Online Publications, Libraries and Bibliographies
U.S. Fire Information Systems and Software Products
International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF)
Photo Archives and Contest

GFMC Links
-Australia and New Zealand

Europe / Russia / CIS
North America
South America
Remote Sensing of Vegetation Fires
Weather and Climate Forecasts
-Natural Disasters
-Global Environmental Monitoring

Other US Links

USDA Active Fire Mapping System
MODIS Fire Imagery
USGS: Western Wildfires
USGS: Wildfire Research
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Fire Management
National Interagency Fire Center
NIFC National Fire News
Wildland Fire Assessment
Calif Fires
Bureau of Land M’gmt
Florida Division of Forestry
National Park Service
Forest Service: Fire
Forest Service: Other Fire Links
The Natural Role of Fire
Montana Fires

Other US Wildfire Sites

UCSB Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center
Wildfire Images
Florida Today: Special Report
History of Wildfires
Wildfire News
American Red Cross: WildFires
Wildlandfire:”They Said”


info4 Floods Quick Links

Flooding in Tewkesbury, UK, 2007

Info4 what to do before, during and after a flood

UK Emergency Response and Recovery site

A simple definition of flooding is water where it is not wanted. Another, more comprehensive definition of a flood is:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from overflow of inland or tidal waters from the unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source[i].

Source: UN

Floods can have both positive and negative impacts. They can bring welcome relief for people and ecosystems suffering from prolonged drought, but also are estimated to be the most costly natural disaster. Flooding occurs most commonly from heavy rainfall when natural watercourses do not have the capacity to convey excess water. However, floods are not always caused by heavy rainfall. They can result from other phenomena, particularly in coastal areas where inundation can be caused by a storm surge associated with a tropical cyclone, a tsunami or a high tide coinciding with higher than normal river levels. Dam failure, triggered for example by an earthquake, will result in flooding of the downstream area, even in dry weather conditions.

Minor Flooding

Due to the accumulation of excessive surface runoff.
Flood waters consigned to the flood plain immediately along a river/channel or in random low lying and topographically depressed areas.
Flooding is relatively shallow and there is no perceptive flow of water as when inundation is rapidly spreading to adjacent areas.

Major Flooding

Due to overflowing of rivers and lakes, unexpected and serious breaks in dikes, levees and other protective structures or uncontrolled releases of dam water.
Coverage of a wide continuous area and rapid spreading to adjacent areas of relatively lower elevation.
Flooding is relatively deep in most parts of the flood-stricken areas. Currents of flowing flood water will be swift as the flood spreads to other areas.

Flood damage refers to all varieties of harm caused by flooding. It encompasses a wide range of harmful effects on humans, their health and their belongings, on public infrastructure, cultural heritage, ecological systems, industrial production and the competitive strength of the affected economy. Some of these damages can be specified in monetary terms, others – the so called intangibles – are usually recorded by non-monetary measures like number of lives lost or square meters of ecosystems affected by pollution. Flood damage effects can be further categorized into direct and indirect effects. Direct flood damage covers all varieties of harm which relate to the immediate physical contact of flood water to humans, property and the environment. This includes, for example, damage to buildings, economic goods and dykes, loss of standing crops and livestock in agriculture, loss of human life, immediate health impacts, and contamination of ecological systems. Indirect or consequential effects comprise damage, which occurs as a further consequence of the flood and the disruptions of economic and social activities.

This damage can affect areas quite a bit larger than those actually inundated. One prominent example is the loss of economic production due to destroyed facilities, lack of energy and telecommunication supplies, and the interruption of supply with intermediary goods. Other examples are the loss of time and profits due to traffic disruptions, disturbance of markets after floods (e.g. higher prices for food or decreased prices for real estate near floodplains), reduced productivity with the consequence of decreased competitiveness of selected economic sectors or regions and the disadvantages connected with reduced market and public services.
See also an example of the flood disaster impacts in Nepal.

Emergency Action[iv]
There are several things to do in an emergency situation.

Get an emergency supply kit which includes items like non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra flashlights and batteries.
Make a plan for family in case separate each other, to make a contact and meeting point when separate.
Stay informed on current situation.

Other important things should be done in an emergency situation are[v]:

Be aware that flash flooding can occur, and if there is possibility will happen, then move to a higher ground.
Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons, etc.
Move furniture in house to an upper floor.
Disconnect all electricity appliances and do not touch electrical equipment when it is wet.
Do not walking through moving water and do not drive as well.

See also an example of what to do before, during, and after a flood in California.

The aim on planning the mitigation against flood is to reduce human suffering caused by flood and increase the sense of security of flood victims[vi]. Mitigation against flood can be measured through several alternatives for instance constructing flood proof houses, planting, government planning, etc. But there are other non technical issues that should be considered on flood mitigation. First, community habits especially waste disposal. Many communities are not aware of this issue and for instance dispose tons of waste in nearby rivers. Second, identify the vulnerable people. Third, identify the most important things to carry during a flood. Fourth is the community knowledge on flood orientation, including safe areas, etc.
See also an example of flood risk mitigation in New Zealand and Philippines.

Further Information
Several actions related to flood management.
1.   Key elements of flood disaster risk management. (click here)
2.   Flood contingency planning for 2007 main rainy season in Ethiopia. (click here)
3.   Non structural measures on flood disaster reduction in Slovak Republic. (click here)
4.   Droughts and floods assessment and monitoring using remote sensing and GIS (click here)


above info4mation is from our friends at the UN


Special Features


Flood Images
Flood Events
Floods:South East US


Flood Info
Streamflow Conditions
Water Condition Animations
National Water Conditions
US Water Resources
Significant US Flood History
Water Use
Real-Time Water Data

Other links

FEMA: Flood Hazard Mapping
EarthSat’s US Flood Threat Map
One of the Worst Floods in US History
Coping with Floods
North Carolina Flood Maps
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

for more detailed info4mation, please visit our Severe Weather Blog.


info4 Volcanoes Quick Links

Krakatau Vulcano



Special Features


USGS Search
Volcano Observatories
Long Valley Home Page
Hawaii Volcano Watch
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Alaska Volcano Observatory
Cascades Volcano Observatory
Volcano Theme Page
Volcano Monitoring


Current Volcanic Activity
Volcano World
AU Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory
Batur Volcano, Indonesia
Observatiores Volcanologiques (en Francais)
Taal Volcano
Jason Project Field Trips on Volcanoes (and much more!) NASA EOS IDS Volcanology
Volcano Information Center
Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program
Karymsky, Kamchatka
Volcanoes in Victoria, Australia
NOAA Vents Program
Volcano Database Search
USGS Volcano Hazards

info4 Earthquakes Quick Links

7.1 Earthquake in Japan, April 7, 2011




Earthquake       When there is a shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth caused by underground movement along a fault plane or by volcanic activity, then it is the time of earthquake. The scale of earthquake is commonly measured by Richter scale which compares the maximum heights of the seismic waves at a distance of 100 kilometers from the point on the earth’s surface directly above where the earthquake originated within the earth, the epicenter[1]. The Richter scale then divided into categories called Magnitudes which are the estimation of the energy released by an earthquake.   Source: guardian       Earthquake happens because the Earth’s tectonic plates are always moving and floating on molten rock. An earthquake can last few seconds to a few minutes, which can be followed after-shocks. Most earthquakes occur on the edge of plates, especially where one plate is forced under another such as happens off Sumatra or past another as occurs in California.       Characteristics   The earth’s outer shell is divided into seven major and some smaller plates which are constantly in a dynamic state, pushing against, pulling away from, or grinding past one another. Forces build up as the plates attempt to move in relation to each other. When the adhesions along the fault give way, stored energy is released in the form of earth tremors, volcanic activity etc. Types of plate movements and principal effects of earthquake[2]:  •Oceanic plates pulling away from each other leads to hot volcanic material being expelled from cracks to form mid-ocean ridges.  •Oceanic plates colliding with and forced under continental plates leads to mountain ranges being pushed up, accompanied by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.  •Collisions of continental plates force up mountain ranges; release compression energy in quakes.   See also a paper about earthquake characteristics published by Montana government.       Impacts/damages   There are several primary impacts of earthquake[3]:  •Total or partial destruction of structures.  •Blockage or breakage of transport activities.  •Interruption of Water Supply.  •Breakage of Sewage Disposal Systems.  •Loss of Public Utilities, eg. electricity & gas   Earthquakes will give various effects of damages while it depends on the scale. An example of massive damages of earthquake was on 2004 when an earthquake was occurred in Sumatra-Indonesia. It was not only affected Indonesia, but also several countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka, etc. See also the damages of earthquake in Aceh-Indonesia 2006 and environmental impacts in Haiti earthquake 2010.       Emergency Action   When in a situation of emergency, we should consider where we are, a good basic knowledge of emergency will be helpful in emergency situation.  • If you are indoor, take cover under a heavy desk or table. If you get under a table and it moves, try to move with it. It would be better if you stay away from falling objects, glasses, hanging objects, huge furniture that can be fallen. If you are in a public building, do not rush for the doorways and do not use elevators.   • If outdoors, move away from buildings and utility wires. The greatest danger from falling debris is just outside doorways and close to outer walls. Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops.   • If you are in automobile stop as quickly and safely possible but not under a potential materials that could fall but into an open space. When you drive on, watch for hazards created by the earthquake, such as breaks in the pavement, downed utility poles and wires, a fallen overpasses and bridges.

Learn also about community emergency response team and an emergency plan in New Zealand.       Mitigation   There are many ways to reduce earthquake damages. Possible actions include[4]:   ·  Developing construction techniques that are seismic resistant.   ·  Conducting a program to introduce improved construction techniques to the building industry and the general public.   ·  Determining which sites are safe for construction through analysis of the soil type and geological structure.   ·  Instituting incentives to remove unsafe buildings and buildings on unsafe sites or, more probably, to upgrade their level of safety.   ·  Instituting incentives to encourage future development on safer sites and safer methods of construction through:  • Land use controls (zoning).   • Building Codes and standards and means of enforcing them.   • Favourable taxation, loans, or subsidies to qualify buildings, methods and sites.   • Land development incentives.

·   Reducing possible damage from secondary effects by:  • Identifying potential landslide sites and restricting construction in those areas.   • Installing devices that will keep breakages in electrical lines and gas mains from producing fires.   • Verifying the capability of dams to resist earthquake forces, and upgrading as necessary.

Learn also a guidance manual on nonstructural earthquake mitigation by FEMA and a mitigation plan which is developed by Nevada government.       Further information   Several actions related to earthquake management planning.   1.   A journal on contingency planning for earthquake in Asia. (click here)   2.   GIS for Earthquake, developed by ESRI. (click here)   3.   A case study on earthquake risk management in Italian region. (click here)






above info4mation is from our friends at the UN


Special Features

USGS Sites

Earthquake Hazard Program
National Earthquake Info Center
Geologic Hazard Program
Western States Fault Maps
National Seismic Hazard Mapping
This Dynamic Earth
The San Andreas Fault
Earth’s Crust
Latest Earthquake Info
Listening to Earthquakes
More on Earthquakes
USGS: World Earthquake Map
NEIC:General Info

Recent CA Earthquakes
Hazards Preparedness
What’s New
Northern Calif. EQ Potential
EQ Home Page
Earthquake Info

Other Earthquake Sites

IRIS: Seismic Monitor
U. Wash.: Earthquake Hazards in Washington and Oregon
UC Santa Barbara: Quake
Caltech Seismic Lab
SC EQ Data Center: General Info
UC Berkeley Seismic Lab
UC Berkeley Seismic FAQ
SF Bay Quakes: Images
Cascadia Quakes:
Seismo-surfing the Internet
FEMA Earthquake Mitigation
Nevada Seismic Lab
St. Louis University Earthquake Center (New Madrid Fault: North end)
Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) (New Madrid Fault: South end)
(Japan) Earthquake Research Institute


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