|Disasters Preparedness and Mitigation - Issue No. 06 - January, 1981 (PAHO)|
UNDRO Annual Report
The UN Disaster Relief Office presented its annual report to the Secretary General during the thirty-fifth session of the UN General Assembly (May 1980). The report suggests that, pending evaluation of its performance to date, UNDRO's present mandate should be revised to clarify its responsibilities and expedite its response capability in times of emergency. Now available in English, Spanish and French from UNDRO, Geneva.
CERESIS/Instituto Nacional de Prevención Sísmica
The Instituto Nacional de Prevención Sísmica of Argentina and the Centro Regional de Sismología para América del Sur (CERESIS), organized a Regional Seminar on Earthquake Prediction. Held in San Juan, Argentina, from October 18 through 24, the Seminar was jointly sponsored by UNEP, UNESCO and UNDRO. For further information write: CERESIS, Avenida Arenales 431, Apartado 3747, Lima, Perú.
U.S. National Academy of Sciences
The siting of dams, hospitals, pipelines and other expensive facilities in potential earthquake zones could possibly be avoided if "an adequate geologic and seismic data base (is) developed and used during the planning process." This conclusion was reached by a panel of the National Research Council Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences' Committee on Seismology, whose report is abstracted in the August issue of News Report. The 58-page panel report, "Earthquake Research for the Safe Siting of Critical Facilities" (ISBN 0-309-0308 2-X), can be obtained for US$8.50 from: National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C. 20418.
The mechanical properties of adobe, structural modification techniques and standards for adobe construction, and post-disaster reconstruction will be discussed at the International Invitational Workshop on Earthen Buildings in Seismic Areas, to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 24 to 28 May, 1981. The workshop was organized by the Appropriate Technology International, the University of New Mexico and INTERTECT and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. It will gather a group of experts from around the world to exchange current research information and identify possible areas for the transfer of technology, within existing social and economic constraints. Interested parties based in the U.S. should write: Dr. Gerald W. May, Dean, College of Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131. Those based outside the U.S. should contact: Mr. Frederick C. Cuny, INTERTECT, P.O. Box 10502, Dallas, Texas 75207, U.S.A., at the earliest possible date.
American College of Emergency Physicians
The American College of Emergency Physicians and the Emergency Medicine Foundation of the U.S. sponsored a conference titled "Disasters' Problems and Solutions in their Management," held in Orlando, Florida, from 28 to 30 October 1980. Topics covered included case studies of emergency operations under disaster conditions caused by airline and ground transport accidents, fires, terrorist incidents and U.S. natural disasters. The final sessions dealt with practical guidelines developed from these situations, and their application to preparedness and evacuation plans. Conference proceedings can be obtained from the editor of this newsletter. Audio cassettes can be obtained from Disaster Conference, 600 Courtland Street, Suite 420, Orlando, Florida.
University of Colorado
The University of Colorado sponsored a Natural Hazards Research Applications Workshop from 20 to 23 July 1980, in Boulder, Colorado. Participants presented papers summarizing current research activities in the areas of hurricanes, tornados, the Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption, mental health after disasters, management issues and information systems. Along with the workshop papers, the sponsors made available a very useful inventory of the categories of information that can be obtained from U.S. government departments. The compendium, Inventory of Natural Hazards, Data Resources in the U.S. Federal Government, includes names and addresses of the person to contact in each one. Conference materials may be requested from: Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, I.B.S. No. 6, Campus Box 482, Boulder, Colorado 80309, U.S.A. One-page summaries of the sessions are available from the editor of this newsletter.
To our Readers:
Disaster Preparedness in the Americas is meant to promote the
exchange of news and technical information regarding regional health activities
that have a bearing on the field of disasters, both natural and man-made. Our
readers are professionals with a wide range of expertise and experience in many
different fields, a fact that highlights the inherently multidisciplinary nature
of disaster preparedness. To a large extent, the quality and currency of
the,material that is published depends on what our readers consider newsworthy.
Readers are requested to send announcements and/or synopses of meetings and
publications, and descriptions of activities and research in their areas, well
in advance. The quarterly publication schedule initiated with this issue means
that the timeliness of information will be improved. Please note that each issue
will go to press one month before it is dated. Any material received after that
date will appear in the following