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2015 National ASFPM Conference in Atlanta - “Mitigation On My Mind”

On June 2, FLASH President & CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson traveled to Atlanta to address more than 1,200 attendees of the 2015 Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) National Conference themed, “Mitigation on My Mind”. Her presentation, “Adapting in the Face of Change,” provided the audience with a briefing on the state of the disaster resilience movement along with a snapshot of the many tools available to support outreach efforts across the nation. Highlights included the 2015 edition of the popular FLASH/Actuarial Foundation, If Disaster Strikes Will You Be Covered?; a new gaming app targeting millennials, Last House Standing; and a Union Beach, New Jersey rebuilding project planned for later this summer.

ASFPM Executive Director Chad Berginnis stated, “Through our strong partnership with FLASH, we bring creative and effective awareness tools to our members. Having Leslie speak at this year’s Conference gave the audience a comprehensive update on our many opportunities to advance flood safety and resilience together. We especially enjoyed learning about the new Last House Standing app, and the upcoming Superstorm Sandy demonstration project.”

Calling All Partners - FLASH Committee Membership Now Available

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work alongside a futurist, a journalist, or an Emmy-award winner? How about serving on a team that connects advocacy, engineering, insurance, research and other experts all behind the cause of resilient building?

If you’re interested in serving on one of the most diverse teams in the disaster safety movement, consider joining one of the new FLASH committees. Formed by the FLASH Board of Directors, the committees are designed to drive growth in creative projects as well as partnerships, and membership is open to all new partners in good standing. The four committees include Education, Leadership, Outreach, and Partnership. More information is available via email to Sarah@flash.org. Through this volunteer service, you will help advance our shared cause, meet new people, and have some fun along the way.

If you’re not a FLASH partner yet, email Barbara@flash.org to learn more today.

QuakeSmart Shakes Up the Pacific Northwest

On June 17 and 18, FLASH joined the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) DRB Toolkit, FEMA, Massey University New Zealand, PBEM, PRSN, Safe-T-Proof, Simpson Strong-Tie, Washington Emergency Management Division, and Western States Seismic Policy Council (WSSPC) to present the QuakeSmart® Business Preparedness Summits in Seattle, WA and Portland, OR.

With site hosting provided by Legacy Partner Simpson Strong-Tie, the summits featured keynote addresses from the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake Incident Commander Jon Mitchell, and drew more than 85 corporate representatives, including attendees from Airgas, Alaska Airlines, Centurylink, IKEA, Nintendo America, Starbucks, and Verizon Wireless. The agenda focused on earthquake risk in the region, and mitigation strategies to address those risks.

Additional featured speakers included FEMA Region X Administrator Ken Murphy; Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Geotechnical Engineer Yumei Wang; Pacific Region Seismic Network (PRSN) Network Manager Dr. Paul Bodin; Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Community Outreach & Information Representative Felicia Heaton and Washington Department of Emergency Management Earthquake, Tsunami and Volcano Program Manager John Schelling.

“The QuakeSmart Summits are a great way to reach both the business and nonprofit community with information about nonstructural and structural retrofit solutions that can save lives and limit property damage should an earthquake strike”, said Simpson Outreach Coordinator Jim Mattison. "Hearing from experts like Jon Mitchell, Yumei Wang, and John Schelling about the risk of earthquakes in Cascadia and consequences of inaction - truly highlights the importance of this work.”

QuakeSmart Summits feature information and content that is free and available online. For more information about the QuakeSmart® Community Resilience Program and other FLASH seismic safety outreach initiatives, visit quakesmartcommunity.org or email Barbara@flash.org today.

Will You Have the Last House Standing?

Our much-anticipated, new free social gaming application, Last House Standing™ (LHS), is now available for download on Apple & Android devices. And, as it is the abiding support of our partners that generates our program success, we are asking you to download, play, review, and challenge your friends to play as you share the app through your internal and social-networking channels.

The app uses fun to introduce the next generation of homebuyers, homebuilders, homeowners, and renters to one central point—that how and where you build is the most fundamental element of disaster survival for families and homes.

The project idea grew from research, including FEMA’s Preparedness in America report on public preparedness and perceptions that indicated that 58% of 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed failed to recognize disaster safety as a priority. Specifically, survey respondents expressed the need to know “where to begin” to be protected and resilient in the face of hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and more.

LHS requires iOS 7.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and most Android devices. While the app is optimized for iPhone 5, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad 4 or later, it will operate on older models too.

Download and play today, and we will see you on the Master Builder Board!

FLASH Forward Your Next Project to Success

Last year, FLASH formed a for-profit subsidiary to help advance the organizational mission of strengthening homes and safeguarding families through collaboration with a roster of blue-ribbon experts and professionals. The new entity, FLASH Forward, is a resilience-focused consultancy providing building code and/or policy analysis, project management, market entry services, mitigation program development, multi-media promotion services, professional training, risk communication, strategic planning, and video production services. Our knowledge base, coupled with an established network spanning the public and private sectors, makes FLASH Forward a one-stop shop that can design a strategy, implement same and deliver excellence along the way.

"The collaboration with the FLASH Forward team on the production of the new lightning safety video resulted in a new tool to raise awareness about the dangers of lightning, and how to prepare for it,” said Kim Loehr, Lightning Protection Institute. “This video will certainly be key in helping to save lives and prevent property losses."

Have a project in mind? Contact Tim Smail or Eric Vaughn to discuss your needs today.

Construction and Materials Conference Mixes Disaster & Climate Resilience

Joining a lineup that included Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, MD DOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn, and MD Labor Dept. Secretary Kelly Schultz, Leslie Chapman-Henderson delivered a briefing for the Maryland Construction and Materials Conference on June 19 in Cambridge, Maryland. Her presentation entitled, "Resilience on the Rise," supported the conference theme, “Innovation and Technology,” and followed a similar presentation for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association Sustainability Conference earlier this year.

“We cannot achieve sustainability without achieving resilience first, so we appreciate the opportunity to share information and collaborate with FLASH,” said Jan Holt, Chief Customer Officer of Chaney Enterprises and incoming president of the association.

FLASH Joining ATC to “Seis-Up” Structure Performance at 2nd Annual Seismic Conference

Registration is now open for the 2nd Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures to be held on December 10-12 in San Francisco. Organized by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), FLASH is proud to be a cooperating partner for the conference.

The inaugural conference was held in 2009 with great success and participation. The second conference is complete with stimulating plenary sessions, two and a half days of technical sessions, poster sessions, exhibitors, and an awards banquet celebrating the “Champions of Earthquake Resilience.” FLASH Project Manager Barbara Harrison will present the "QuakeSmart™ Community Resilience Program on Seismic Resilience – Lessons from the Field" panel as part of the program.

The preliminary conference program is available on the conference website at ATC-SEI.org along with information on hotel options and registration. Be sure to ask for the special FLASH partner discount when you register.

Don't Miss Out - Submission Deadline is July 31 for 2016 FLASH Annual Conference - The Next Generation of Resilience

FLASH is seeking dynamic presentation abstracts for the 2016 FLASH Annual Conference - The Next Generation of Resilience, January 27-29, 2016. The Conference brings together subject matter experts from across the disaster safety and mitigation movements, and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier resilience conferences. The Conference program will feature:

  • The Next Generation of Codes/Standards/Policies
  • The Next Generation of Residential Construction
  • The Next Generation of Resilient Communities
  • The Next Generation of Outreach/Education
  • Creating a Disaster Resilient Generation

Visit flashannualconference.org to download the submission form, learn more, and submit an abstract to Tim Smail by Friday, July 31. Selected presenters will be notified by August 30.