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Leadership Partner Max Mayfield Named 2015 National Weatherperson of the Year

On February 4, FLASH and the StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® sponsors RenaissanceRe, State Farm, and Simpson Strong-Tie hosted a dynamic, signature event to honor WPLG Local 10 Hurricane Specialist and former National Hurricane Center (NHC) Director Max Mayfield as 2015 “Weatherperson of the Year”.

Leaders, family and friends came together throughout the all-star evening to offer fun and touching tributes to Max and his extraordinary, 43 year legacy of service to the disaster safety and resilience movement. The lineup included Leslie Chapman-Henderson, FLASH; Lixion Avila, NHC; Dr. Rick Knabb, NHC; Lee Mayfield, Lee County Emergency Management;  Ben May, The Walt Disney World Company; Representative Mark McBride, Oklahoma State Legislature; Bryan Norcross, The Weather Channel; Bill Read, KPRC-TV; Eric Williford, WeatherPredict Consulting Inc; and John Zarrella, Zarrella Media. 

Congratulations also came in from around the nation via personal video messages from Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer.

WPLG Local 10 Chief Meteorologist Betty Davis kept Max’s home audience involved with live television coverage and a video mashup of Florida leaders and celebrities including Miami Heat player Chris Bosh and Florida Governor Rick Scott. “Max is a standout in every category, and we are honored to make him our 2015 Weatherperson of the Year,” said Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Max to spread the message of resilience and keep families and homes safe in the face of severe weather.”

Click here to view the event video highlights.

Tornado Safe Rooms Offer Perfect Mix of Safety and Sales at World of Concrete

Following the successful International Builder’s Show exhibit featured in the Wall Street Journal, FLASH teamed once again with Legacy Partners FEMA and Portland Cement Association (PCA) at the World of Concrete to tell the “Home Safe Home” tornado safe room story.

The busy World of Concrete itinerary also featured a luncheon forum entitled, "Expand your Business with Safe Room Construction", featuring PCA Director of Market Development Donn Thompson; AECOM Engineer Omar Kapur; and Lutheran Disaster Response Director Pastor Michael Stadie. FLASH SVP Tim Smail described the win-win that safe rooms offer for builders and families alike, “When we can save a life by installing a safe room, we do the right thing for that person, the industry, and the disaster safety movement too.”

According to PCA Vice President of Market Development Mark Justman, “Creating this unprecedented showcase for the World of Concrete and the International Builders Show gave us the opportunity to demonstrate the many resilience benefits of concrete while reaching our most essential audiences—builders, consumers and professionals.”

Visit World of Concrete to learn more about safe rooms and get a full conference recap.

St. Louis Gets QuakeSmart

On February 6, more than 85 business owners, emergency officials, facility and risk managers, safety officers and others gathered for the St. Louis QuakeSmart Business Summit at Saint Louis University. The Summit took place on the eve of the historic New Madrid 1812 earthquake anniversary and is the fourth Summit since September, 2014. According to Missouri Earthquake Manager Steve Besemer, the St. Louis area experiences two to three small earthquakes every week.

St. Louis Emergency Management Director Gary Christmann described the QuakeSmart goal, “By educating the businesses, hopefully they’ll come back open fairly quick following a disaster. This means that the grocery stores are there, the restaurants are there and the economy is still thriving.”

Participating leaders included Missouri State Emergency Agency (SEMA) Director Ron Walker; FEMA Region VII Administrator Beth Freeman; USGS Geophysicist Rob Williams; and Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Chair Eric Sandvol. 

Edward Jones Facility Manager Tod Huddleston delivered a keynote presentation outlining seismic upgrades that the financial services company has incorporated in their new St. Louis facility, and also detailed retrofitting of existing building inventory. 

The Summit program featured an interactive Tweet Chat to share earthquake mitigation and preparedness information beyond the onsite attendees, and news outlets KTSD TV, KTRS Radio 550, and KMOX CBS News Radio provided coverage.

Special thanks to the dedicated sponsors, including Legacy Partners Simpson Strong-Tie and FEMA, BOMA, Engineering Systems Inc. St. Louis, CCS Group, Inc., CUSEC, MSSC, SEMA, USGS and WorkSafe Technologies.

Breaking the Build/Destroy/Rebuild Cycle at the Intersection of Housing and Disaster

On February 3, Tim Smail presented “The Intersection of Housing and Disaster - Building Back Better” at The Salvation Army Partners In Message, Mission and Ministry Conference in Stone Mountain, GA. Salvation Army Territorial Managers from across the United States attended the session to learn more about FLASH Volunteer Resources and the Storm Shelter Pilot Program.

According to Salvation Army Territorial Disaster Services Coordinator Jeff Jellets, “Our disaster personnel were excited to hear about FLASH's storm shelter research and the pilot installation projects taking place in Oklahoma and Mississippi. FLASH has always been a great partner to us, and Tim's presentation opened even more doors to greater opportunities for us to work together."

Visit mitigationmovement.org to download the resources or contact Tim@flash.org for more information.

Presidential Policy Raises Flood Resilience Profile as Annual Awareness Week Approaches

March 15 – 21 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week, an opportune time to showcase how consumers and communities can become better prepared for the devastating effects of flooding through mitigation, flood insurance, smart land use and more.

And in 2015, flood resilience advocates can add policy innovation to the agenda. On January 30, President Obama established a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard that aligns federal dollars to application of stronger flood construction standards.

In her Road to Resilience blog, Leslie Chapman-Henderson addressed the order discussing the rising costs of flooding damage in the United States, and how this new action connects the expenditure of federal funds to flood-resilient building practices that will better withstand future flood events and prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars. “Smart, common sense solutions can make disaster-resilience attainable and reduce the financial burden of disaster recovery,” says Chapman-Henderson.

To read more about the standard visit fema.gov.

New City – New Training: QuakeSmart Heads to Yuma

The next QuakeSmart Business Summit is now set for March 26 in Yuma, AZ at the Yuma Public Library. Following the summit the Quake Cottage earthquake simulator will be rocking and rolling at the Show Up and ShakeOut event at the Yuma Palms Mall.

A new QuakeSmart specialty training will be hosted by Simpson Strong-Tie and Safe-T-Proof the following day for local handymen, building trade students, maintenance personnel and others interested in learning how to perform nonstructural seismic mitigation in businesses and homes.

To register for the summit and training, visit earthquakesummit.com. And to learn more about the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program overall, visit quakesmartcommunity.org or email Barbara@flash.org.

Calling All Presenters - 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. The Conference will again bring together thought leaders, policymakers and subject matter experts from across the disaster safety and mitigation movement and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier resilience conferences.

FLASH is crafting the Conference program focused on the following:

  • 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 view the detailed list, download the submission form and learn more. Please submit your abstract via email to Tim Smail no later than Friday, July 31, 2015. Presenters selected for the Conference will be notified by August 30, 2105.