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* 2005 Hurricane Season Forecast Looks Stormy
* NASAR Switches to Virtual Headquarters
* Next Generation of PLB Is Now Available
* SARSCENE Latest Edition Now On-line
* New Standard for Mounted SAR Responders
* U.S. National Response Plan Complete
* U.S. National Response Plan Online Training
* Report and Guidelines for Managing Emergent Volunteers
* Incident Commander 4.0 Software Released
* Reports on Management of Mass Fatalities
* Join Public Safety Communication Forum
* Disaster Communication Guide Updated
* New US GPS Policy
* Fun Website Explains What It Means to Be in SAR

 Online version at www.SARNEWS.com 1/17/2005

2005 Hurricane Season Forecast Looks Stormy

Dr. William M. Grey, professor of Atmospheric Science at
Colorado State University, issued his forecast for the 2005
hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 through November 30.
The forecast calls for an increase over this year's storm
activity, with six hurricanes and 11 named storms. The
probability of a hurricane making landfall in 2005 is 30
percent higher than it was in 2004.


NASAR Switches to Virtual Headquarters

Effective January 2005, NASAR will transition to a virtual office.  The cost of maintaining an office in the Washington, D.C. area is an overwhelming burden upon the organization's budget.  Rather than increase prices to offset the ever-increasing expense, the NASAR Board of Directors has voted to allow remaining Headquarters staff to work from home.  NASAR has employed the concept of a virtual office for years in various forms.

NASAR will continue to be a Virginia corporation; however, staff may be located around the nation.  The bookstore and server will still be located in Virginia, but housed at a location with a much lower cost.  

It is NASAR's hope with the use of technology that this transition will be as seamless as possible.  Staff will remain available by telephone to answer your questions and take your bookstore orders.  However, NASAR strongly encourage the use of the website and email whenever possible.



Next Generation of PLB Is Available

Small lightweight GPS-enabled PLBs (Personal Locator Beacon) are being
marketed to the outdoor community.  The new units transmit the GPS
coordinates along with the 406 signal and the 121.5 MHz homing frequency.
Two options are currently available -- a PLB with the GPS built in or a PLB
that requires a cable to attach to a user-owned GPS.  The signal can be
instantly detected by geosynchronous satellites and the location data sent to
a Rescue Coordination Center. Are you prepared to respond to this type of


SARSCENE Latest Edition Now On-Line

The latest issue of SARSCENE is now available on-line. Information is
provided on prevention programs, the new initiatives fund, a review of
SARSCENE 2004, and lots of interesting SAR news.


New Standard for Mounted SAR Responders

The ASTM committee F32 on Search and Rescue has begun work on
a new minimum standard for mounted SAR responders.  All persons
interested in observing or participating in the work are
invited to subscribe to the electronic mailing list discussion
group MSAR-ASTM.

Subscription to MSAR-ASTM is free and includes access to a web
archive of the list's traffic.  Subscribers may choose to receive
all or no e-mail from the list.  To subscribe, visit the list's


U.S. National Response Plan Complete

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced
completion of the National Response Plan (NRP). The NRP establishes a
unified and standardized approach for protecting citizens and managing
homeland security incidents within the United States. It is a
comprehensive, all-hazards tool for domestic incident management
across the spectrum of prevention, preparedness, response, and
recovery. All federal departments and agencies that may be required to
provide assistance or support during a national incident will use the NRP.
When fully implemented, the NRP will supersede the Initial National
Response Plan, the Federal Response Plan, the U.S. Government
Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan, and the
Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan.

The NRP uses the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to
establish standardized training, organization, and communications
procedures for multijurisdictional interaction and clearly identifies
authority and leadership responsibilities. Together, the NRP and NIMS
establish incident management processes to improve coordination and
integration between federal, state, local, tribal, regional, private
sector, and nongovernmental organization partners; integrate the
federal response to catastrophic events; improve incident management
communications and increase cross-jurisdictional coordination and
situational awareness; improve federal to federal interaction and
emergency support; maximize use and employment of incident management
resources; and facilitate emergency mutual aid and federal emergency
support to state, local, and tribal governments.


U.S. National Response Plan On-line Training

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released a new independent
study course to introduce emergency management practitioners to the
National Response Plan (NRP). The course, "The National Response Plan,
an Introduction," IS-800, is designed primarily for U.S. Department of
Homeland Security and other federal department/agency staff
responsible for implementing the NRP. State, local, and private sector
emergency management professionals can also benefit from this course.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to
describe the purpose of the NRP, locate information within the NRP,
describe the roles and responsibilities of entities as specified in
the NRP, identify the organizational structure used for NRP
coordination, describe the field-level organizations and teams
activated under the NRP, and identify the incident management
activities addressed by the NRP. Access this course on the web at:


Report and Guidelines for Managing Emergent Volunteers

"Managing Spontaneous Volunteers in Times of Disaster: The Synergy of
Structure and Good Intentions," published by the National Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster Volunteer Management Committee,
provides a basis for developing a national strategy for working with
unaffiliated volunteers and is based on an analysis of effective
practices and models.

Incident Commander 4.0 Software Released

SAR Technology Inc. announces the release of 'Incident Commander 4.0,'
software which is built upon the NIMS Incident Command System and provides
a comprehensive set of Command, Operations, Planning and Logistic functions
to manage every type of SAR and emergency response mission.

'Incident Commander 4.0' implements full ICS functionality, rapid Mission
Creation, real-time Status Displays, detailed SAR Planning Datasets,
extensive Pre-Plan capability, Resilient Networking, a full set of Printing
and Exporting capabilities and convenient Context-Sensitive Help.


Reports on Management of Mass Fatalities

These two reports from the Pan American Health Organization,
"Management of Dead Bodies in Disaster Situations" and "Infectious
Disease Risks from Dead Bodies Following Natural Disasters," are of
particular interest in light of the recent tsunami disaster.

Join Public Safety Communications Forum

Would you like to help shape the future of communications? You are
invited to join the Motorola Business and Government Forum, an exclusive
online community of public safety, public service and business

As a Forum Member, you will have the opportunity to provide your
perspective on new products, services and technologies. You can also
share insights and opinions about key issues affecting your industry with
your colleagues. The online surveys are brief and web-based. Your
participation is 100% voluntary and completely confidential.

Click the link below to find out more about the Forum and how to join:


Disaster Communication Guide Updated

The National Disaster Education Coalition completed its 2004
revision and update of "Talking About Disaster: Guide for
Standard Messages," a reference tool for those who communicate
disaster safety messages to the general public. The NDEC is a
professional coalition of emergency communicators who work
toward standardized, consistent awareness and instruction
messages to the public.


New GPS Policy

On December 15, 2004 a new policy on the use and management of GPS was
published.  The policy also stated that the government will not reactivate
selective availability. Civil and emergency management users can continue
to rely on the civil GPS signals. 


Fun Website Explains What It Means to Be in SAR

Sometimes it's hard to explain what volunteer SAR is. This website
shows how a way-too-typical search goes, and what it's like to be in it.



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