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Volume 20, Issue 2, February 2018
Month in Review
Ada Monzon
Ada Monzón Named 2018 Weatherperson of the Year
On February 2, FLASH named Ada Monz ón as  2018 National Weatherperson of the Year . The FLASH Board of Directors chose Ada for her contributions to the disaster safety movement and dedicated service to her home of Puerto Rico .
Ada is the Chief Meteorologist at WIPR-TV, Noticias 24/7, and Univision Radio (WKAQ 580 am). She was selected from a group of 74 nominees which included finalists Paul Goodloe, The Weather Channel; Bill Read, former National Hurricane Center Director; and Tim Smith, KRGV Weslaco, TX.
Ada is the first female American Meteorological Society (AMS) Fellow and Certified Broadcast Meteorologist in Puerto Rico. Her standout service during 2017 provided invaluable reassurance as the commonwealth prepared for the most devastating disaster in the island's modern history. She closely followed Irma as it passed through the Caribbean and then helped the population prepare and remain calm throughout Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters on record.
She recently recounted her Hurricane Maria experience (watch video here) at the 2017 AMS annual meeting where she  received  a standing ovation.   Read more >
FEMA Leaders Kickoff Work in the U.S. Virgin Islands

FLASH SVP Mike Rimoldi made his inaugural trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands in January as part of a team formed by FEMA to assist and support the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) in the wake of 2017 hurricane devastation. The team includes experts from FEMA, FLASH, and STARR II who are supporting permitting development, inspection activities, new construction, and overall rebuilding in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
During the trip, the team visited St. Thomas and St. Croix to gather information from local officials about the extent of the damage from Hurricanes Irma and Maria and gain insight into rebuilding and recovery needs.
"I am inspired by the local officials' spirit and commitment to the future of the U.S. Virgin Islands ," said Mike. "Everyone we met with was working to recover and thinking about how to rebuild more resilient homes and buildings." 
International Code Council partners will join the team during the next visit and support the goal to construct a more resilient housing stock using modern, model codes and standards, including the International Code Council I-Codes.
FLASH CEO Addresses Resilient Building at NCSE
FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson represented the FLASH Partnership at the 18th National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) conference on January 23 in Washington D.C. She served as a featured speaker on the Hurricanes and Infrastructure-Building Resiliency for Extreme Weather Events panel.
The symposium covered important topics for understanding hurricanes and the infrastructure connection, including how to increase resiliency, resilience planning, and the current state of knowledge about hurricane threats.
Leslie addressed how to enable action through policy, such as building codes, and private sector partnerships. She outlined how community resilience is only possible with leadership acceptance and action and she illustrated a successful example of this with details of the #HurricaneStrong project. #HurricaneStrong  is the National Hurricane Resilience Initiative that brings together five distinct components of hurricane resilience, including life safety, family planning, financial protection, home strengthening, and community service. During 2017, the award-winning effort has generated more than 17,000 tweets with 275 million impressions. (view media impact report here)
Leslie shared the dais with speakers  William Lapenta, Ph.D, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction Director;  Dr. Norma Jean Mattei, past president of American Society of Civil Engineers and Professor at the University of New Orleans Scott Smith, Coastal Resiliency Manager City of Norfolk; and moderator Doug Hilderbrand, meteorologist National Weather Service.
Erika Peterman, Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Juan Carlos Ordonez, Joel May
BASF Saluted for Support of Hurricane Safety and Resilience Leadership
A FLASH delegation attended the 2018 International Builders Show and honored Legacy Partner BASF for outstanding efforts to advance education and awareness of H urricaneStrong national initiative that encourages hurricane safety and building resilience. The recognition also acknowledged the work BASF is doing to rebuild a Breezy Point, NY house that was destroyed during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
"We cannot prevent severe weather, but initiatives like BASF Disaster Durable Solutions and the #HurricaneStrong education project are helping families understand the many affordable ways to build homes that are energy efficient, sustainable, and more disaster resilient," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson.
The Breezy Point rebuild serves as an educational project to promote disaster-resilient construction practices. BASF received a 3-D model of the Breezy Point home and a storybook to commemorate the event.
"BASF works closely with our customers and organizations like FLASH to showcase how our key construction technologies help customers 'Build Back Better,'" said Juan Carlos Ordonez, BASF Senior Vice President, Performance Materials North America. "Through our Disaster Durable Solutions™ program, we are working to ensure long-lasting, resilient construction that reduces the significant impact natural disasters have on communities across North America."
Partner Spotlight
Wendy Spencer
Partner Spotlight - President and CEO of Leadership Florida, Wendy Spencer 
FLASH Leadership Partner Wendy Spencer serves as the President and CEO of Leadership Florida assuming her duties on March 1, 2017. Leadership Florida is celebrating its 35th year of convening Florida's top leaders in to enhance and recharge their leadership skills, and to educate and inspire them to work towards a better Florida. She just completed a five-year term as the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), or as often referred to, as the "Nation's Top CEO of Service".

Q: What is your background or education and how did you get interested in disaster safety?  

A: My educational background is in the communications field which is one of the most important factors in a successful, well-prepared community in times of disasters. I had the role as CEO of the Florida Governor's Commission on Volunteerism (commonly known as Volunteer Florida) which is tasked with an official function in Florida's Emergency Management System. The function is Emergency Support Function 15 for Volunteer and Donations Management. Volunteer Florida's greatest challenge came over a two-year period between 2004 and 2005 when numerous storms impacted every county in Florida with multiple hurricanes. Over this two-year period, more than 250,000 volunteers responded from all over the nation to help Floridians recovery from these storms. $85 million in donated goods, services and funding poured into the state to aid Floridians impacted who had limited resources to recovery quickly.  Read more >
Partner News
The 38th Annual Building Safety Month Theme is "Building Codes Save Lives"
The International Code Council announced the 38th annual Building Safety Month theme as Building Codes Save Lives. Building Safety Month is an international campaign held during the month of May that raises awareness about building safety and the importance of current safety codes and the role of code officials in creating safe, sustainable structures that communities can rely on for generations to come. Read more > 
Simpson Strong-Tie Renews Partnership with Habitat for Humanity
Simpson Strong-Tie is renewing its partnership with Habitat for Humanity to continue supporting the housing organization's efforts to make homes resilient to disasters. This is the 12th consecutive year of the partnership to help more families in need of a decent and affordable place to call home. To date, the manufacturer of structural product solutions has contributed more than $2.75 million toward Habitat's mission. Read more >
Verisk Offers New Products to Tap Underserved Market

Verisk Analytics, Inc. recently unveiled a slew of flood ins urance solutions for the personal property market. The service will be provided through ISO, a unit of Verisk Insurance Solutions group.
The flood insurance program will allow insurers to provide optional coverage for risks in excess of those typically covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. It will also include the option to provide coverage for detached garages, fences, pools or personal property in a below ground area. Read more >
Collaboration Opportunities and Upcoming Events
2018 NDRC Call for Presentations Closes February 15
Time is running out to submit ideas to be a presenter at the 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference: Science, Policy, and Practice (NDRC). The deadline for presentation submission is February 15, 2018. The NDRC, the premier leadership conference on disaster resilience, takes place November 7-9 in Clearwater Beach, FL.
The conference planning committee seeks presenter abstracts that focus on:
  • Science - to support preparedness, response, recovery, and/or mitigation;
  • Policy - to advance resilience through strong building codes, smart finance, marketplace incentive programs, tax benefits, and innovation, e.g. Big Data and smart home technology; and
  • Practice - to include advocates, building and fire code officials, communicators, emergency managers, engineers, futurists, insurance professionals, journalists, leaders, merchants, meteorologists, product manufacturers, public officials, researchers, and scientists
Past NDRC presenters have included Director of Public Policy for The Economist Intelligence Unit, Leo Abruzzese, The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore and Dr. Rick Knabb, Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, Hurricane Hunters Lt. Col. Jon Talbot and Dr. Jim McFadden, Executive Director of the Global ShakeOut, The Weather Channel CEO Dave Shull, leaders from the American Institute of Architects, FEMA, the International Code Council, State Farm Insurance, USAA, and many others. 
Visit the 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference website to submit a presentation, register and learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
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