FLASH Annual Meeting October 26 – 28, 2011
Disney's Boardwalk Inn

With the theme, Disaster Safety: One Movement, Many Voices, nearly 130 of the nation’s leading experts in disaster safety, property loss mitigation and weather outcomes met Oct. 26-28 at the 2011 FLASH Annual Meeting at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Each year, the FLASH Annual Meeting brings together the industry’s most influential and talented minds to share best practices in an effort to make America and our world more disaster-resilient. This year was no different. As disaster safety movement leaders described their involvement in a variety of programs and policies, FLASH encouraged all meeting attendees to join in on the conversations. Our panelists brought invaluable information that helps everyone working in the disaster safety movement.

Presentations available for download are hyperlinked below.


Experts on flood, wildfire, hurricane and earthquake safety described the latest resources available to educate families about disaster preparedness and mitigation.

Conversation Session #1 Presentations

Mark Benthien, Earthquake Country Alliance: Mr. Benthien joined us on the heels of the Great ShakeOut drills on October 20 in California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Guam, and British Columbia. He’ll shared those results, plans for the February 2012 Central United States ShakeOut to commemorate the bicentennial of the 1812 New Madrid earthquake, and ShakeOuts being planned for Japan and Utah. He also shared plans for other ShakeOuts including Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, and New Zealand. Presentation Available

Jim Cowen, Ogilvy Washington, FloodSmart: Mr. Cowen shared updates on the FloodSmart campaign, the highly successful integrated consumer awareness and education program originally launched by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 2004. FloodSmart alerts property owners to their flood risk and encourages them to protect their property and ensure their financial security with flood insurance. Presentation Available

Claudette Fetterman, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): FEMA works closely with stakeholders and grassroots groups across the country on earthquake mitigation and preparedness. Ms. Fetterman discussed how the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) is working to make Americans more resilient against earthquakes. Presentation Available

Trenise Lyons, Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. (FLASH): The Great Hurricane Blowout yielded extraordinary results in 2011. Ms. Lyons recapped unprecedented consumer outreach and hurricane emergency kit building results, and introduced FLASH’s exciting new plans for year two of the Great Winter Weather Party. Presentation Available

Monica Phillips, Savannah River National Lab (SRNL), Wildfire GUI: Soon homeowners will be able to evaluate their own wildfire risk and learn how to mitigate hazards using SRNL’s new graphical user interface wildfire risk assessment tool. Ms. Phillips demonstrated the soon-to-be-released tool that SRNL developed from the enhanced Structure Ignition Assessment Model (SIAM). Presentation Available


You may not be using social media, but the rest of the world is! Statistics show that MOST people get their news from the Internet, and the majority gets it either forwarded through e-mail or from posts on social networking sites. Some of the best in business, government, and not-for-profit that shared their social media best practices that have pioneered its use to successfully communicate with their audiences.

Conversation #2 Presentations

Tom Ferries, USAA: USAA is recognized as a pioneer in leveraging online channels to create exceptional customer interactions. Mr. Ferries provided some examples of USAA’s philosophy in action.

Kevin Smith, Salvation Army: Social media has transformed how people communicate in times of crisis. Mr. Smith shared how the Salvation Army consistently seeks ways to engage the public as "partners" in response and recovery by monitoring trends and identifying those the community is truly ”listening" to. He also discussed how reaching partners through social media will transform efficiency and capability, but that building social media trust is critical.

MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III: With nearly 66,000 followers on Twitter and 46,000 who “like them” on Facebook, FEMA knows a thing or two about how to apply social media tactics to emergency management. Ms. Tierney shared how FEMA uses these tools to effectively communicate at the local, regional and national level. Presentation Available


Top researchers and engineers provided a preview of the most recent advancements and research shaping disaster preparedness.

Conversation #3 Presentations

Jay Baker, Department of Geography, Florida State University: Dr. Baker discussed how individuals and households prepare for and respond to hurricane threats. Specific responses include preparations to cope with post-storm conditions, short-term actions to reduce damage, long-term mitigation investments, and evacuation behavior. Related subjects also included the roles of perceived vulnerability, information sources, and demographics.

Forrest Masters, PhD, PE, Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida: The aftermath of U.S. land falling hurricanes has shown the devastating effects of wind and wind-driven rain on homes and other structures. Dr. Masters discussed state-of-the-art research underway that can help us understand how wind and water damage occurs by simulating in a laboratory the actual dynamics of hurricane-force wind and wind-driven rain on low-rise buildings.

Dr. Tim Reinhold, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS): Named as an Engineering News-Record Top 25 Newsmaker in 2010 for creating the IBHS Research Center, Dr. Reinhold is well respected for helping to build stronger, safer, more resilient structures of all kinds. Dr. Reinhold shared how test demonstrations are influencing residential and commercial structural design and construction for decades to come. Presentation Available

Paul Tertell, Federal Emergency Management Agency: Tornados that ripped across the U.S. this year left behind paths of destruction, but gave engineers plenty of research data to work with in order to mitigate the damages. Mr. Tertell discussed FEMA Mitigation Assessment Team post-disaster studies and provided a vivid picture of why they’re so valuable when it comes to mitigation. Presentation Available


Panelists in this conversation focused on recent government policies and programs having the biggest impact on the disaster safety movement.

Conversation Session #4 Presentations

Steven Cooper, National Weather Service (NWS): Unfortunately 2011 has been a year of extremes in weather from drought to massive floods including the horrific violent tornadoes concentrated in Alabama and Missouri this past spring. The National Weather Service is undertaking an effort to increase its capacity in Impact Decision Support Services. The Weather Ready Nation campaign is an effort to increase NWS' work with Core Partners to save lives, reduce loss of property and to emphasize that everyone plays a part in being better prepared. Presentation Available

Matt Fuchs, Department of Homeland Security (DHS): With a new focus on disaster mitigation through resiliency coming from the White House, Mr. Fuchs discussed the DHS Policy Directorate Resilient Star Initiative.

Mark Washko, BASF: Mr. Washko discussed BASF's perspective on new federal directives on mitigation, how Congressional legislation (e.g., proposed NFIP reforms) could bring about additional changes, and how this increased focus on mitigation is being addressed by BASF and the marketplace in general. He also addressed how energy efficiency and sustainability considerations are becoming more commonplace in decision making.

Save the Date for the 2012 Annual Meeting!

Mark your calendars now for the 2012 FLASH Annual Meeting at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on October 31-November 2, 2012. Additional details will be coming your way soon.

FLASH - Strengthening Homes & Safeguarding Families · 877.221.SAFE · info@flash.org · 1427 E. Piedmont Dr., Suite 2 | Tallahassee, FL 32308


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