SDMI unveils Industry Emergency Management Orientation
Animals in Disaster Advisory Group (ADAG) works to prevent the suffering of animals involved in disasters

Welcome, today is Saturday, August 2,2014.

News & Highlights

NEMA Releases National Report, Produced by SDMI

July 1, 2014

The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) recently issued a national report on states’ abilities to deploy private sector and volunteer resources through EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact). SDMI was a major component of this project, being tasked by NEMA to conduct the studies and produce the report. Below is NEMA’s press release announcing the report:


“As states consider ways to increase their disaster response/recovery resource inventories, NEMA is releasing a new report on innovations and best practices in deploying private sector and volunteer resources through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). In partnership with the Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI), NEMA conducted a survey on these issues and received responses from 43 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Detailed follow-up interviews were conducted with 16 states. The report focuses on gaining insight into the experiences of states that have used the EMAC process to deploy private sector and volunteer resources to states with specific needs requested through EMAC. These states provided a wealth of information regarding their experiences, capabilities and concerns in deploying private sector and volunteer resources. This report provides specific examples of solutions that can be replicated in other states interested in building these capabilities.

The following documents are being released as part of the NEMA study:

  • EMAC Private Sector and Volunteer Resources Analysis
  • Sample Intergovernmental Agreement between State and Local, Non-Governmental and Tribal Organizations for mutual aid deployments.  We highly recommend all states take a look at this agreement if you need a model.  It can be modified to accommodate any state’s particular issues.
  • EMAC Best Practices and Lessons Learned on Private Sector and Volunteer Deployments
  • EMAC Case Study on North Carolina deployment of field hospitals with public and private personnel

NEMA would like to thank the states and territories that participated in the survey effort and a special thanks to those that agreed to follow-up interviews. … Read the rest

2014 Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

May 23, 2014

Stephenson Disaster Management Institute at LSU would like to remind everyone that this weekend, Saturday May 24 and Sunday, May 25, is the 2014 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. This tax holiday gives Louisiana residents and businesses an opportunity to prepare for the coming hurricane season which begins June 1.

Essential items such as flashlights, batteries, portable generators and other supplies are free from the four percent state sales tax. During the two-day annual holiday, tax-free purchases are authorized on the first $1,500 of the sales price of each of the following items:

  • portable self-powered light source;
  • portable self-powered radio, two-way radio, or weather band radio;
  • tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
  • any ground anchor system or tie-down kit;
  • any gas or diesel fuel tank;
  • any package of AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt, or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries;
  • any cellular phone battery and any cellular phone charger;
  • any non-electric food storage cooler;
  • any portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage;
  • any storm shutter device
  • any carbon monoxide detector; and
  • any blue ice product

For more information and conditions for exemption, visit the rest

SDMI Welcomes Bill Read as Senior Fellow

May 21, 2014

SDMI is pleased to announce Bill Read has recently joined SDMI as its newest Senior Fellow.  Read, a KPRC Local 2 Hurricane Expert (Houston), has had a lifetime of following and forecasting tropical storms and hurricanes. He started his career by earning a BS in Meteorology from Texas A&M in 1971, followed by serving in the U.S. Navy where he came face to face with hurricanes by flying into the storms with the Navy Hurricane Hunters out of Jacksonville, Florida. After four years in the Navy, Read attended graduate school earning an MS in Meteorology at Texas A&M in 1976.

Following school, Read  pursued a 35 year career with the National Weather Service, starting out forecasting weather in San Antonio and Fort Worth, before making the leap into management. Read’s longest tenure was in the Houston area, where he was in charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office for over 15 years. In 2005 his efforts to improve collaboration with emergency management culminated in the colocation of the Houston-Galveston Forecast Office with the Galveston County Emergency Operations Center. In 2007, he was given the opportunity to serve at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, and became Director of the Center in January 2008, retiring there in June 2012.

“During the last several decades I have watched our ability to forecast hazardous weather and communicate the threat to a much wider audience through the internet and social media, yet the economic costs of these events keeps climbing,” said Read. “Katrina showed us that large loss of life is still an unfortunate probability when vulnerable populations are impacted by natural disasters.  I look forward to working alongside the team assembled at SDMI to reduce the loss of life in future disasters.

SDMI Executive Director, Joseph Booth, said of Read joining the SDMI family, “Bill Read is a very widely known and respected expert in hurricane and other severe weather events.… Read the rest

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