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New Paper Charts the Crossroad of Disaster Resilience, Insurance, and Technology

On October 19, FLASH published its latest paper, “Understanding the Intersection of Resilience, Big Data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in the Changing Insurance Marketplace”, with insights on how the disaster-resilience movement can create and leverage emerging data and technology.

The paper offers insights into the role of disaster resilience in Big Data, including resilience metrics and telematics, and the IoT, especially smart home technology.

FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson first introduced the concept at the 14th Aon Benfield Hazards Conference, “Beyond Tomorrow” in Australia to international insurance and reinsurance leaders on September 23.

She stated, “The future of disaster resilience depends on the effective use of emerging technology. Big Data and the IoT are transforming society, and our movement can advance meaningfully as a result.”

Click here to download or read the paper.

Coalition Forms to Build "Storm-Strong" in Breezy Point

Legacy Partner Portland Cement Association (PCA) is teaming up with FLASH, BASF – The Chemical Company, FEMA, Huber Engineered Woods, Insurance Information Institute, Kohler Generators, and Simpson Strong-Tie Co., as well as noted architect Illya Azaroff in Breezy Point, NY for “Storm-Strong”, a post-Sandy demonstration build, public awareness, and professional education initiative.

The project will include a new insualted concrete form home for a deserving homeowner; public outreach efforts including a digital and video documentary; and, publication of a second Resilient Design Guide focused on concrete construction for residential structures.

The homeowner, Diane Hellriegel, learned the value of resilient construction firsthand when she was driven from her Breezy Point home by Hurricane Sandy. Now ready to rebuild, she is committed to sharing the story of her resilient and energy-efficient future home to help educate others on the benefits of FEMA-compliant, best practices for strong, safe, and durable housing.

“Resilient homes bring peace of mind to families by providing optimal safety and comfort.” said Donn C. Thompson, Director of Market Development at PCA. “Durable buildings feature better disaster resistance, making communities stronger and better able to successfully weather any challenge.

Read more about the project in the Huffington Post and Times Ledger.

Concrete Ideas Come Together at Design Charrette

Following the Breezy Point project kick-off, FLASH partners BASF, FEMA, Huber Engineered Woods, Kohler Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association (PCA), and Simpson Strong-Tie met at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on October 28 to begin production of the Resilient Design Guide – Concrete Edition, the second in a series of guides for resilient construction.

Deane Evans, Executive Director, stated, “The NJIT Center for Resilient Design was excited and honored to host the recent Resilient Design Guide – Concrete Edition charrette on behalf of FLASH and the Portland Cement Association. It was a pleasure to work directly with nationally recognized experts to explore commonsense methods for improving the performance of our nation’s homes when they are impacted by high winds or flooding. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with FLASH, PCA, and the other charrette participants as the guidelines are developed into their final form.”

Contact Tim Smail at tim@flash.org if you’d like to join the project.

Corporate Board and Committees Convene in Atlanta

Corporate Board and Committee Members met in Atlanta from October 19 - 21 for Fall business and planning meetings with an eye on teamwork and the 2016 calendar of projects.
Events started with a welcome dinner at the College Football Hall of Fame hosted by Corporate Board Member Scott Matthews of Legacy Partner The Home Depot. According to Scott, “The Home Depot is a proud Legacy Partner and is honored to host the FLASH partners in Atlanta. We look forward to another great year of partnership, collaboration, and opportunities to spread the message of disaster resilience.”

Committee and Board Members worked on strategic plan areas of Leadership, Partnership, Outreach, and Education with a focus on building codes, digital presence, partnership growth, movement leadership, and existing education programs and tools.

The series of meetings ended Wednesday with a strategic planning and brainstorming session focused on upcoming 2016 initiatives and other new opportunities.

Millions “ShakeOut” in the October 15 Drill

On Thursday, October 15, FLASH Partners joined more than 22 million across the globe to participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake drills where participants practiced Drop, Cover, and Hold On and other emergency procedures. Prior to the event, FLASH joined USGS, America’s PrepareAthon!, and partners for the #ShakeOutChat, TweetChat to promote registrations, discuss earthquake science issues, and increase preparedness knowledge. The chat generated 1250 tweets, with a reach of 14 million, and trended in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tallahassee, Washington D.C., and more.

ShakeOut is held on the third Thursday of October each year, and is coordinated by SCEC with dynamic support from FEMA and America’s PrepareAthon!.

Texas Shows Up Strong in Impressive ShakeOut Debut

This year, FLASH and Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) worked with the Texas Department of Emergency Management to recruit Texas as an official ShakeOut region for the first time. Texas’ first year in the ShakeOut met with tremendous success with more than 32,000 registered participants, including businesses like Follet Corporation and Kohl’s Department Stores.

Global ShakeOut Coordinator Mark Benthien commended the addition, stating, “Having Texas as an official participant allows the state’s participants to access customized resources and to be counted in their own region rather than within the global totals. We were excited to partner with FLASH to bring them on board as their participation moves us closer to our goal to have all 50 states represented within official regions.”

For more information about the ShakeOut or seismic outreach and education programs, contact Barbara Harrison at barbara@flash.org.

Kansas City hosts Baseball and Tornado Stars Alike

On October 29, Leslie Chapman-Henderson spoke at the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) Annual Meeting in Kansas City that included members of the newly-formed NSSA Outreach and Education Foundation. This World Series of tornado science “players” included safe room and shelter manufacturers, safe room engineers, and academic researchers.  

The meeting agenda focused on strategies for  increasing public awareness of qualified shelters and properly-constructed safe rooms. During the evening event, the NSSA officers offered a poignant, posthumous tribute to Tom Reynolds of AECOM who received an Ernst Kiesling, Ph.D  Lifetime Achievement Award. James Waller P.E. was awarded a Kiesling Award for his lifelong contribution to the cause of tornado safety and safe buildings overall.

If you are interested in supporting the new NSSA Foundation contact Leslie Chapman-Henderson at leslie@flash.org.

Popular Sweepstakes End This Month

There is still time to enter the resilient roof upgrade and standby generator sweepstakes offered by FLASH Legacy Partners BASF - The Chemical Company and Kohler Generators.

The winner of the resilient roof upgrade will receive a treatment of Closed-Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam (ccSPF) to seal the roof deck to protect from wind and water while enhancing energy efficiency.

The Kohler sweepstakes winner will receive an installed 8 kW standby generator that automatically turns on when the power goes off.

If you haven’t entered yet, visit the Great Hurricane Blowout to enter online, and view the full sweepstakes rules and eligibility requirements.

Annual Conference Spotlight – Amber Larkin, Nth Degree Design & Visual Fx, Inc.

Amber Larkin, President and Executive Creative Director of Nth Degree Design & Visual Fx, Inc., will be featured during the “Creating a Disaster-Resilient Generation” panel at the upcoming 2016 FLASH Annual Conference.

Amber will share her creative experience and highlight her role on the development team for the new gaming app, Last House Standing, designed to help the next generation of renters and homebuyers understand how building well is the essence of disaster resilience.

Amber will give attendees a look inside a variety of creative platforms, including character design and animation, pre-visualization, projection mapping, conceptual design, print & collateral design, user interface design, app development, digital compositing, 2D animation, and 3D modeling & animation on any social platform available today.

Remember to register before November 21 to receive an early registration discount.

Sponsorships Available as Early Registration Deadline Nears for 2016 Annual Conference

Please join our sponsors, Huber Engineered Woods LLC, Portland Cement Association, International Code Council, and the American Institute of Architects to help underwrite this important gathering. Through sponsorship, your organization will be recognized by attendees, including the Nation's foremost voices in the disaster safety and resilience movement. 

This Conference brings together subject matter experts from across the disaster safety and mitigation movements, and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier disaster resilience conferences.

Register before November 21 to receive an early registration discount or Email Sarah Chason at sarah@flash.org or call (850) 385-7233 for sponsorship opportunities.