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Volume 21, Issue 2, February 2019
Month in Review
Ramiro Carrillo, Leslie Chapman-Henderson, and Joe Jones
Texas Meeting Draws Experts, Leaders to Talk Resilience

On January 30, more than 90 building code, emergency management, disaster resilience, insurance, leadership, nonprofit, and weather risk experts gathered in Austin for the 2019 Texas State Collaborative (TSC) Annual Meeting. Meeting participants shared best practices for advancing disaster safety and resilience on topics from building codes to beyond-code programs as well as disaster recovery housing and upcoming consumer awareness projects.  Many in attendance are helping lead the continued recovery from Hurricane Harvey in 2018.

Featured speakers included Christa López, Director of the FEMA Housing Program for Community Development and Revitalization at the Texas General Land Office on behalf of Commissioner George P. Bush. Ms. Lopez provided insights on their recent report, Hurricane Harvey: Texas at Risk which offered 18 recommendations for improving housing recovery process and mitigation. Alex Garcia, President and CEO - Storm Science Network Inc. & Chief Meteorologist CBM - FOX 29 provided a thoughtful look at temperature change trends and the implications for wetter and more rapidly-intensifying hurricanes. Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief of Staff Chuck Phinney updated the group on Harvey recovery insights as the state prepares for the 2019 season; and, Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO - FLASH outlined survey findings ahead of the upcoming "No Code. No Confidence." building code awareness campaign. Read More >
James Spann and Dominic Sims
Beloved Birmingham Meteorologist Named 2019 National Weatherperson of the Year

On February 1, FLASH named James Spann as 2019 National Weatherperson of the Year. His nomination received overwhelming support from his local community as well as the national community of his peers.
"James Spann is a weather king, a meteorological genius, dedicated family man, and all while putting the safety of his viewers front and center. Spann is the man for more than just saving lives in big events, he spreads joy and weather awareness everywhere he goes. He inspired me to be who I am today and is still my number one mentor." - Ginger Zee, Chief Meteorologist
- ABC News
"National Weatherperson's Day is the perfect time to recognize weatherpersons like James Spann who not only work tirelessly to prepare the public for ordinary and catastrophic weather, but who give back to their communities through volunteer service," said Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH President and CEO. "It is a true honor to celebrate James' career and highlight the continued contributions of all of our stellar finalists." Read More >
Stuart Adams and Mike Rimoldi
Mitigation in the Capital City

Building science and mitigation were the topics of the day in the heart of Washington, D.C. at Building Innovation 2019: The National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Conference & Expo. More than 150 attendees gathered on January 8 to discuss leading trends and movements in the field. A key highlight of the conference was the release of the National Institute of Building Sciences Issues Interim Report on the Value of Mitigation , a report that details various benefits of mitigation and the adoption of updated and strong building codes.

Mike Rimoldi, SVP - FLASH; Stuart Adams, Program Manager - STAR II; and José Valenzuela, State Hazard Mitigation Officer - Central Office of Recovery, Reconstruction & Resilience (COR3) participated in the session, Innovative Solutions for Post-Disaster Code Enforcement - Development of Sustainable Permitting, Inspections, and Building Code Programs. The session provided a detailed account about the post-disaster activities in the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

"Building codes work," stated Adams in his opening remarks. "Mitigation works. But it has to be done in a holistic way."

The session covered items beyond the immediate emergency response including aspects such as emergency permitting for reconstruction, the development of new permitting processes, and the adoption of more current building codes.
Mike Rimoldi and Dan Scullion
Resilience, Carolina Style

Architects, resilience professionals, and college students gathered at the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) conference, Resilience by DESIGN: From the Blue Ridge to the Coast on February 1 covering a wide variety of topics including structural engineering, wildfires, flood mitigation, and the social aspects of community resilience and adaptability.

Speakers addressed design issues affecting practitioners across the state emphasizing the importance of resilience planning going beyond just coastal communities.

Dan Scullion, Territory Manager - Simpson Strong-Tie and Legacy Partner invited Mike Rimoldi to speak at the event where he shared updates on FLASH initiatives and the South Carolina Safe Home Program (SC Safe Home).

"Resilience awareness is a very important aspect of our industry which needs continued education and support," said Dan Scullion. "Organizations like FLASH focus on providing resources to help this cause and was on display at the AIA conference."

The biennial conference took place at Clemson University's Madren Conference Center.
Joseph McDonald, Nikki Palmer, Tommy Watson, Ann Roberson, and Mike Rimoldi 
SC Safe Home Program Spreads Mitigation Awareness

On the shores of Myrtle Beach, the staff of the South Carolina Department of Insurance and Mike Rimoldi conducted SC Safe Home Program training for contractors and inspectors wishing to participate in the program. On February 6 and 7, more than 110 individuals took part in the two-day training for those conducting home inspections and those performing retrofit work.  

Participants learned the fundamentals of technical and administrative program aspects while existing participants received a refresher course.

"The SC Safe Home Participating Wind Inspector and Contractor Training Class and Annual Meeting held in Myrtle Beach this past week was not only helpful for new inspectors and contractors wanting to work with the program, it served as a refresher course for those already working with the program. The additional presentation and discussion by Dan Scullion with Simpson Strong-Tie was not only timely, but very informative. We look forward to hosting similar trainings in the near future," said Ann Roberson, Program Manager - SC Safe Home Program.

Dan Scullion, Territory Manager for Simpson Strong-Tie presented information on selecting and installing the correct structural connectors which is vital to a successful retrofit as the installation of the proper roof-to-wall connection can drastically increase the wind resistance of a home's roof.  

Attendee interaction allowed participants to learn from everyone's expertise in their respective areas of work including contractors, roofers, and design professionals.
The SC Safe Home Program relays how homeowners along the coast of South Carolina can apply for matching grants to help mitigate their homes. More information can be found here.
FEMA Mitigation and Outreach Team
Resilient North Florida Summit Brings Support

As recovery begins in the 12 counties affected by Hurricane Michael, FLASH joined forces with AC Disaster Consulting, Salter Mitchell PR and the Inland Counties Long-Term Recovery Team to co-present the Summit for a Resilient North Florida on February 4 in Marianna. Citizens, community leaders, state and federal leaders as well as experts in all aspects of disaster response, recovery, and resilience came together. 

The participants connected for a daylong, information-rich event to share updates, identify challenges, and explore solutions as the Panhandle rebuilds. The Summit was free to attendees thanks to Rivertown Community Church who hosted the event as well as generous sponsors, including Atkins, CohnReznick, Florida Insurance Council, Hagerty Consulting Inc., IEM, International Code Council, Lowe's, Metric Engineering, Moen, Simpson Strong-Tie, and Smart Vent.

The morning agenda featured "check-in's" for local leaders to cite challenges and solutions on how to navigate recovery while simultaneously prepping for the upcoming 2019 hurricane season. Florida Division of Emergency Management Deputy Director Kevin Guthrie provided keynote remarks and anchored a panel with his recovery team. Panelists fielded questions and shared the latest insights on timelines and progress for grantmaking and debris removal reimbursements. Alyssa Carrier of AC Disaster Consulting provided a brief on the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 as well. Read More >
FLASH Delivers Earthquake Guide to Guam

In January, FLASH published the Guam Earthquake and Tsunami Student Activity Guide, a hands-on activity publication designed for students ranging from middle to high school level. The guide introduces fundamental concepts of earthquakes and tsunamis and provides preparation and mitigation information for students on how best to prepare for these events. Designed in an interactive format, the guide provides the information using hypothesis development, experiential learning, puzzles and other tools to engage the students. 

The guide is a product of FEMA, FLASH, and the Guam Homeland Security - Office of Civil Defense (GHS-OCD) and was funded by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).  
Partner Spotlight
Michael Grimm
Partner Spotlight - Michael Grimm

Mike Grimm serves as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Assistant Administrator for Risk Management. Throughout his 23-year career at FEMA, Mr. Grimm has worked to improve coordination, collaboration, and transparency across the government, to reduce risk nationally and to create disaster-resilient communities.
Q: How did you get interested in disaster safety?

I grew up spending a lot of time outdoors. I remember being fascinated by nature and deeply curious about the earth. This interest grew and became a focal point for my education. I found that when you study nature, you also learn what can go wrong. I wanted to be able to help people avoid disasters. Or, in times when disaster couldn't be avoided, I wanted to help people prepare for, and recover from, them. I've been fortunate to make a career of this. Read More >
Partner News
Bryan Koon
FLASH Board Member Joins Rebuild850

Three months from the day Hurricane Michael devastated vast areas of Northwest Florida, REBUILD 850 co-chairs Allan Bense, Will Weatherford, and Gwen Graham emphasized the importance for all Floridians to continue efforts to assist recovery in the hard-hit area. Additionally, they announced that former Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon will serve as the organization's director of damage assessment, highlighting the urgency of the mission, for the all-volunteer initiative. Read More >
Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2018 Interim Report Now Available

Building on the goals of the 2005 Mitigation Saves study, the Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2018 Interim Report , shares the results from the second of a multi-year project. The purpose of this new study is to help decision-makers to build a mitigation strategy, so they can protect lives, property, and assets.  The findings are intended to inform future code changes to make communities more resilient, help jurisdictions make decisions on what codes to adopt and enforce, and assist policymakers in developing effective federal programs that support pre-disaster mitigation.  Read report >
Collaboration Opportunities and Upcoming Events
NDRC 2019 Call for Presentations Now Open

If you have expertise in the latest science, policy, and practices that drive more resilient buildings and create disaster-resilient communities in the face of natural and human-caused disasters, FLASH invites you to submit a presentation for the 2019 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC19) November 19-22 in Clearwater Beach, FL.

Sponsorship opportunities are available as well to spotlight your business and allow you to network with leaders in the disaster safety and resilience movement. Conference attendees will include design professionals, emergency managers, financial services experts, futurists, housing experts, insurers, journalists, meteorologists, product manufacturers, risk communicators, scientists, social psychologists, and many others.

Design topics will include best practices for resilience in the workplace; building resilient homes; building with new and emerging products, techniques, and technologies; communication techniques to drive resilience; measuring resilience; the economic case for code-plus construction; focus on resilience around the globe; the U.S. building code landscape; innovating resilience through research and science; the latest in resilience; and lessons learned from 2018 disasters.

For more information visit . To submit your abstract visit  
Join #HurricaneStrong HQ at the National Hurricane Conference

Make plans now to attend the 2019 National Hurricane Conference, April 22 - April 25, 2019 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside and join the FLASH #HurricaneStrong Headquarters in the exhibit hall. The National Hurricane Conference is the nation's top forum for education and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness with more than 100 workshops, training opportunities, and rap sessions.
If you are a FLASH partner and would like to designate your exhibit space in the 2019 #HurricaneStrong row, email . Visit  
for additional information, including links to conference events and hotel registration. 
Site Selected for 2020 National Earthquake Conference

Save the date for the 2020 National Earthquake Conference (NEC) set for March 4 - 6 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina San Diego. 

Every four years, the NEC brings together seismic stakeholders to address the science, policy, and practical developments in the earthquake and tsunami safety realm. The 2016 conference drew worldwide experts, inspired an immediate increase in financial support for earthquake safety research, and generated an ongoing, global dialogue about challenges the U.S. faces with seismic risk.  

Click here to view 2016 NEC conference outcomes , and here to read the 2016 media impact report. Stay tuned for more details in upcoming editions of Partners in Prevention.
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