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Volume 19, Issue 9, September/October 2017
Special Update as Hurricane Season Continues
FLASH and Partners Spring into Action as Record-Setting Season Unfolds

As the 2017 hurricane season intensified, news organizations turned to FLASH and its partners for expertise on public safety, property protection, and resiliency. National, state, and local news outlets focused on Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico with hurricane coverage before, during, and after Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and Maria.

More than 500 news outlets featured interviews with FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson, including national stories distributed by the Associated Press (AP), the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal. (Click here to view the full coverage summary.)  Read More >
Hurricane Harvey Observations from FLASH Partners
Bill Read

Former National Hurricane Center Director and Leadership Partner Bill Read had a front row seat to Hurricane Harvey as a resident of League City, Texas. Bill was kind enough to share his experience and insights with FLASH Enews about this mega-catastrophe and its impact on his hometown.  
Dr. Steve Lyons

Dr. Steve Lyons, Meteorologist-In-Charge (MIC) for the National Weather Service in San Angelo, Texas, and Marine Expert/Adjunct Professor at Texas A&M and Angelo State University, shared his observations with FLASH Enews following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  Read More >
Manny Perotin                   Steve Thompson
Manny Perotin and Steve Thompson

Manny Perotin, P.E. CFM Senior Project Manager at CDM Smith provided this presentation to the  Texas State Collaborative (TSC) Stakeholders on Tuesday, October 3 in Austin, Texas. The story of building performance and/or failure is told very clearly through this photographic journey.

We thank Steve Thompson, P.E. Chief Engineer, Regulatory Policy Division, Engineering Services Program, Texas Department of Insurance for taking the time to present his field findings during the TSC meeting. Again, the photographic story shows clear evidence of the critical difference that opening protection and connectors make in high-wind events.  View the presentations here. 

(Editor's Note: Many of our partners offered invaluable field observations as a result of these storm events. These insights will be part of FLASH's ongoing analysis and dialogue beginning with our conference in Atlanta this week and moving forward to the 2018 hurricane season.)
FLASH Partners Offer Assistance and Advice
State Farm - We're Here to Help

Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. State Farm Insurance teams are in the impacted areas assisting customers, and our priority is taking care of our customers' needs as quickly as possible.

Our Claims organization is designed specifically to enable State Farm to respond successfully to multiple events simultaneously. While there may two major recovery efforts taking place concurrently, we have one focus: helping our customers when they need us the most. We're Here to Help.

We are proud that State Farm and our affiliates are the largest providers of  auto and  home insurance in the United States. We have faced countless significant weather and other major disasters over our 95-year history. We stand ready for countless more as we help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.
Life-saving Generator Safety Tips from the Electrical Safety Foundation
In light of the deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning during the recent hurricanes, the Electrical Safety Foundation International is reminding consumers about online, severe weather resources. Consumers can access the ESFI hurricane, flood, and generator safety tips here.  We urge FLASH partners to share this information widely across their channels.
Portable Generators - Important Considerations from Kohler

Portable power generators have skyrocketed in popularity - and for good reason. A portable generator can be an invaluable tool during an electrical outage. Generators also provide homeowners incredible versatility because they can be utilized in a wide variety of settings - from camping and tailgating, to work-sites, and many other situations where temporary power is needed.

At home, portable generators can be incredibly helpful during an outage. They can be used to keep critical appliances such as refrigerators, sump pumps, lights, radios, and handheld electronics up and running until utility power is restored.  Read More >
August, September, and October Events in Review
Eric Vaughn
Ready Business Workshops in Puerto Rico Highlighted Earthquake and Power Outage Just One Month Prior to Hurricane Maria
Nearly 200 representatives of Puerto Rican businesses, emergency communities, jurisdictions, and nonprofits gathered for Ready Business QuakeSmart & Power Outage Preparedness Workshops on August 8 in San Juan and on August 10 in Mayaguez. FEMA and FLASH joined local organizers to present the workshops just one month prior to Hurricane Maria. 

The focus was on the territory's continuous seismic activity and disruption from recent power outages.  Read More >
Chauncia Willis
FEMA and FLASH Bring  Ready Business  to Tampa Bay

Hurricane Irma served as a strong reminder for businesses, communities, places of worship, schools, and other organizations to plan for disasters. That is one reason why nearly 60 attendees turned out for the free FEMA Ready Business Hurricane & Inland Flooding Preparedness Workshop on September 28 in Tampa Bay just weeks after Irma.

FLASH Founding and Legacy Partner USAA hosted the event at its new facility along with co-presenting partners from the City of Tampa, FEMA Region IV, Florida DEM, Hillsborough County, ICF International, and Legacy Partner Simpson Strong-Tie. The daylong program featured the new Ready Business Hurricane & Inland Flooding toolkits that focus on staff, space, structure, surroundings, systems, and community service steps for businesses and organizations. Read More >
Billy Viars
Oklahoma Hosts its First  Ready Business QuakeSmart Workshop

On October 11, more than 70 participants attended the Ready Business/QuakeSmart Preparedness Workshop presented by the City of Oklahoma City, CUSEC, Intertribal Emergency Management Coalition, FLASH, FEMA, FEMA Region VI, the Oklahoma Office of Emergency Management, Oklahoma County, Rose State College, Simpson Strong-Tie, Worksafe Technologies, and the United Way.

Jake Walter of the Oklahoma Geological Survey opened the day with a terrific, in-depth explanation of induced seismicity that provided everyone in the room with an understanding of why Oklahoma now exceeds California in earthquake activity. Read More >
2017 Texas State Collaborative Annual Meeting Convenes in Austin

Thank you to our meeting sponsors from State Farm and our data analysis partners from FEMA for making the 5th Texas State Collaborative (#TSC2017) possible this month in Austin, Texas. Nearly 70 professionals turned out to provide briefings, enjoy networking, and advance our all-hazard mission to boost the resilience of Texas communities. As planned, building performance in Hurricane Harvey, new building code laws, and voluntary beyond-code initiatives took center stage.  Read More >
Mike Rimoldi and J. Paul Abrams
BOATX Conference Roundtable Focuses on Residential Building Codes
FLASH's Mike Rimoldi led a roundtable discussion during the August Building Officials of Texas (BOATX) Annual Conference highlighting the FLASH research paper " The Status of Residential Building Codes in the State of Texas ." The meeting was held prior to Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Texas.

Rimoldi  moderated conversations about building codes as four different groups totaling nearly 50 people participated in the discussion. "The roundtable format proved to be a great way for everyone to share their views and exchange information," he said. "The participants were involved!"  Read More >
WeLoveWeather Features
The Great ShakeOut 

Thank you to the WeLoveWeather online community of The Weather Channel (TWC) for highlighting the G reat ShakeOut Drill on October 19 with a feature on the popular website. Support of the ShakeOut global earthquake safety effort is another example of TWC commitment to the FLASH Partnership, disaster safety, and resilience.  If you have content to offer through our ongoing partnership with WeLoveWeather, please send your ideas and articles to Zoe@FLASH.org or call (850) 385-7233, ext. 304.
Collaboration Opportunities and Upcoming Events
NDRC is This Week - There is Still Time to Join Us 
The week is finally here for the FLASH  2017 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC) in Atlanta. There are still a few seats available, but you need to register today. The agenda is rich with world-class presenters and the program is perfect for those seeking to understand how we move forward in light of the outbreak of this year's natural disasters.

The conference will take place Wednesday, October 25 to Friday, October 27. It will bring together the nation's foremost voices in the disaster resilience movement and serve as a showcase for IMMERSED, the new FE MA virtual reality flood mitigation education experience. Read More >
Wyoming Tabletop Exercise Still Open for Registration 

On November 2, state and local officials will gather in Afton, Wyoming, to conduct a seismic tabletop exercise to help prepare for earthquakes. Afton, a small town near the Idaho border, was chosen as the venue for the meeting as it is a potential hotspot for geologic activity in Western Wyoming.

"The Afton area has significant Late Quaternary-aged faults nearby, the Grand Valley, and Greys River faults, that are capable of producing damaging ground motions," said Seth Wittke, Wyoming Geologic Manager. "The faults coupled with nearby historic earthquakes, a M 4.8 in 1992 and a M 5.3 tremor on September 2, 2017, point to the benefit of such exercises to prepare local communities for seismic events." 
Free Presentation Addresses Wildfire Restoration Policy and Finance
As wildfires in several states take lives and cause damage to homes and other structures where urban and wildland areas come together, a multi-media presentation that explains the devastating effects of wildfires and advocates for better policies that can lead to less severe future fires is getting renewed attention. Underwritten in part by FLASH Legacy Partner State Farm, the next presentation of "The Era of Megafires" will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. local time on October 30 in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Paul Hessburg, who has conducted fire and landscape ecology research for more than 27 years, hosts the compelling, fast-moving presentation that features the work of wildfire photographer John Marshall. Following the presentation, a panel of experts will explain how better restoration finance and policy can result in less severe fires. Click here for more information and to register for the free "Era of Megafires" presentation in the nation's capital. 
Partner Spotlight
James McGowan
Partner Spotlight - James McGowan

James R. McGowan is the Director of Development and Philanthropy for the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, a nonprofit organization that solicits, procures, inventories, and warehouses donated food and other products. The food is distributed to community agencies that serve people in need. He has a demonstrated history of working with non-profit organizations and cares strongly about disaster and humanitarian relief, poverty alleviation, and social services.  
Partner News
FIU Website 

FLASH Academic Partner Florida International University's (FIU) website now includes the FLASH publication Homeowner's Guide to Insurance - If Disaster Strikes Will You Be Covered?, storm surge product information, and live National Hurricane Center (NHC) data in Spanish. In addition to the new information, the website includes Spanish FLASH cards as well. 

"The website is really improved, especially with all the new live data," says FIU's Erik Salna, Associate Director and Meteorologist for Visualization, Communication, Public Education, and Engagement. "It has been a great collaborative effort between NHC, FIU, FLASH, and others. Click here to visit the site.
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