Harvey Relief Fund for Texas Division of Emergency Management Staff

Our Seva, a nonprofit in North Texas, has setup this page to support staffs of the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) that have directly been affected by Hurricane Harvey. These are TDEM families from south Texas with significant damage and loss to their homes and possessions. The Our Seva volunteer family has always been strongly supported by emergency managers through their service to our community projects. We now want to support the TDEM emergency management family that is dealing with this unbelievable loss.

** 100% of proceeds with go directly to the families impacted by the storm and not Our Seva. The proceeds will then be split among the impacted families. Emergency management professionals work behind the scenes to coordinate disaster response and put in many countless hours to help our fellow citizens during disasters.
To donate go to: https://www.gofundme.com/TDEMHarvey


American Meteorological Society Matt Parker Communication Workshop, Jan 7

AMS President, Matt Parker, who sadly passed earlier this year, had a vision to bring the weather community together for a workshop to discuss communication challenges and best practices. In light of his vision and to honor him, the Matt Parker Communication Workshop titled, “(In)Consistency in a Social Media World: Communication Reflections of the 2017 Hurricane Season” will be held on Sunday, 7 January 2018 from 12:30pm to 3:45pm preceding the Presidential Forum and the 98th AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.


Why should I attend? Help us define “consistency” from a community perspective (Take a survey to help us: https://ugeorgia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6hrJD3qloA2QEyV examine the role that social media plays in our community, and come up with best practices and research priority areas. Topics could include: graphics and their look and feel differences; how lack of chronology on social media may give the appearance of inconsistent messaging; how sharing deterministic vs ensemble model information may promote inconsistent messages about uncertainty.


What’s the format? The workshop will have two primary components. An expert panel will help to spark new ideas and ways of thinking about (in)consistency in a social media world, and then participants will break into groups to discuss ways to address the challenges presented.

Who should attend? All diverse perspectives from emergency managers, broadcasters, the NWS, weather industry, and academia. Students and young professionals are encouraged to attend. We encourage people from all backgrounds to participate as your expertise will only improve the discussion.


Please note that regular AMS Annual Meeting registration expenses are considered separate from the Communication Workshop. There is a separate registration fee of $50 ($25 for students) for our workshop.To register, please go to the following website, https://www.ametsoc.org/meet/ atreg/ . Our workshop is the second to the bottom in the event list. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Gina Eosco (gina.eosco@noaa.gov) or Castle Williams (castleaw@uga.edu).

National Heritage Responders deploying to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov 27-Dec 1

The American Institute for Conservation is deploying the National Heritage Responders to Puerto Rico from Nov 27-Dec 1. If any cultural institutions that were affected by Hurricane Maria would like to schedule a visit they should complete this form: http://ow.ly/YROs30gBQ1X

Background on National Heritage Responders:  http://ow.ly/fe0v30gBQ16

Donate or bid on items for online/silent auction to raise funds for IAEM Scholarships

Starting on Nov. 2, the IAEM Scholarship Program will be auctioning off a number of fun and unique items to bid on to raise money to provide scholarships to deserving students earning degrees in emergency management, disaster management, or a closely related field of study. Since 2002, the IAEM Scholarship Program has provided $98,500 in scholarships through a competitive process to 56 students. If you would like to donate an item for the online/silent auction or the live auction, visit the IAEM Scholarship fundraiser web page, and click on Donate Items. You will need to set up an account with the Bidding for Good website in order to bid, donate an auction item, or make a cash donation. Donated items are being accepted now, and the auction will be live Nov. 2-15, 2017. The IAEM Scholarship Program Live Auction will be held on Nov. 14, 6:00-7:30 p.m., in the EMEX Exhibit Hall. The live auction and basket bonanza are open to IAEM Annual Conference attendees, and bidders must be present to participate, but conference attendance is not necessary to participate in the online/silent auction. Show your support for IAEM Scholarships — donate items for the auctions today, log in on Nov. 2 to bid online or make a cash donation, and tell your friends about the online auction so they may also participate.


ATLANTA – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) joined the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), and state and local election officials from around the country today to convene the first Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Election Infrastructure Subsector. Today’s meeting is part of the department’s ongoing work with state and local officials as we build trusted relationships to help keep the nation’s election systems secure. The 27-member council includes three representatives from the federal government, with the remaining 24 representing state and local governments. The GCC framework provides a well-tested mechanism for sharing threat information between the federal government and council partners, advancing risk management efforts, and prioritizing focus of services available to sector partners in a trusted environment. Participation in the council is entirely voluntary and does not change the fundamental role of state and local jurisdictions in overseeing elections.


“Today’s council meeting shows the seriousness with which federal, state and local officials take the threats to election infrastructure, and the level of cooperation taking place to address it,” said Bob Kolasky, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of the DHS National Protections and Programs Directorate. “State and local officials have already taken a number of steps to improve the security of the nation’s elections, and under the Government Coordinating Council we will be able to further leverage resources and our collective expertise. The security of the nation’s elections are critical to our democracy, and DHS stands ready to support this important mission through exercises, information sharing, and technical cyber analysis and expertise.”


The GCC structure is established under the department’s authority to provide a forum in which the government and private sector entities can jointly engage in a broad spectrum of activities to support and coordinate critical infrastructure security and resilience efforts. It is used in each of the critical infrastructure sectors established under Presidential Policy Directive 21 on Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience.

In January, DHS designated election infrastructure as a subsector of the existing Government Facilities critical infrastructure sector. The designation did not create any new regulations or directives, but instead enabled DHS to prioritize cybersecurity assistance to state and local election officials who request it, made clear domestically and internationally that election infrastructure enjoys all the benefits and protections of critical infrastructure that the U.S. government has to offer, and enabled full and frank discussions between DHS and key stakeholders regarding sensitive vulnerability information.


Members of the GCC for the Election Infrastructure Subsector include:

  • Lori Augino, Director of Elections, Washington
  • Chris H. Chambless, Elections Director, Clay County, Florida
  • Judd Choate, Director of Elections, Colorado*
  • Jim Condos, Secretary of State, Vermont
  • Edgardo Cortes, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections
  • Bob Giles, Director, Division of Elections, New Jersey
  • Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections, Tennessee
  • Ricky Hatch, Clerk/Auditor, Weber County, Utah
  • Thomas Hicks, Vice Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • Sarah Johnson, City Clerk, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California
  • Bob Kolasky, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security*
  • Connie Lawson, Secretary of State, Indiana
  • Linda Lamone, Administer of Elections, Maryland State Board of Elections
  • Matthew Masterson, Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission*
  • Denise Merrill, Secretary of State, Connecticut
  • Paul Pate, Secretary of State, Iowa
  • Noah Praetz, Director of Elections, Cook County, Illinois*
  • Steve Reed, Probate Judge, Montgomery County, Alabama
  • Tom Schedler, Secretary of State, Louisiana
  • Jake Spano, Chief of Staff/Deputy Secretary of State, Minnesota
  • David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida
  • Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State, New Mexico
  • Todd Valentine, Co-Executive Director, New York State Board of Elections
  • Linda von Nessi, Clerk of the Essex County Board of Elections, New Jersey
  • Mac Warner, Secretary of State, West Virginia
  • Michael Winn, Director of Elections, Travis County, Texas


*GCC Executive Committee Member

UN calls for support for World Tsunami Awareness Day

The UN General Assembly has designated Nov. 5 as World Tsunami Awareness Day. Each year, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction calls on governmental and nongovernmental organizations to observe the day by engaging in efforts to raise tsunami awareness and share innovative approaches to risk reduction. For the second year in a row, World Tsunami Awareness Day will align with the International Day for Disaster Reduction and the “Sendai Seven Campaign” and focus on the second target of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which aims to “reduce the number of affected people globally” by disasters. Visit http://www.tsunami.gov/ to learn about the U.S. Tsunami Warning System and its ongoing efforts to minimize the impacts of tsunamis in the U.S. and around the world.

FEMA releases the refreshed National Incident Management System

On Oct. 17, 2017, FEMA released the refreshed National Incident Management System (NIMS) to ensure that this important guidance continues to reflect the collective expertise of the whole community. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity. Through an iterative process of engagement with stakeholders from across the nation, FEMA reviewed more than 3,000 comments to update NIMS guidance and incorporate the collective expertise and experience of the whole community. FEMA will host a series of 60-minute webinars to discuss the updates in the refreshed NIMS and answer questions related to NIMS. The webinars will be announced soon.