Edited Version of September 16, 1998 Transcript

EIIP Transcript of Special Chat Event

"Conference Round Up: Virtual or Otherwise"

The following version of the transcript has been edited for easier reading and comprehension. Typos were corrected, date/time/names attributed by the software to each were deleted but content of discussion, questions, and responses are as stated by each participant. Answers from the presenter to questions by the audience are grouped beneath the appropriate question to facilitate meaning.


Avagene Moore: Welcome to the Virtual Forum! Today's session is titled Conference Round Up: Virtual or Otherwise -- we will look at professional conferencing, in person or online, and highlight some conferences or programs of interest for the coming year.

We are videotaping today's session. We will be referencing several URLs to demonstrate one of the features in our software and well as the types of interactivity possible in the Virtual Forum with you, our audience.

We will use parts of the session for promotion of the EIIP Virtual Forum through the upcoming Virtual Fire & Rescue Expo (VFRE) and other occasions as they arise.

As mentioned, we will put up quite a few addresses today. There will be no need to bookmark them or write them down, because in the online transcript of today's session, we will include active links to them all. However, you are asked to follow along with the discussion and may wish to view the various URLs given.

Conferences, symposiums, workshops, etc. (virtual or otherwise) are excellent means for professional growth and networking. Online conferences offer the latest information on your desktop --- this is a wonderful tool for transporting us to a variety of topics and expertise --- you can actually discuss the latest issues one-on-one with the top people in the field.

Physical conferences are wonderful also. There is nothing like being able to meet and greet the speakers and presenters in person as well as rubbing elbows with your peers from all over the country and the world.

Informal meetings and discussions in the hallways and other areas of the conference facility are sometimes the most beneficial reasons for physically attending a conference. Lasting friendships are made and the networking is wonderful.

If you are serious about your professional growth and name in any field, networking is the key. As a networking tool, conferences, virtual or otherwise, are invaluable. Therefore, we are stressing conferences today in the Virtual Forum.

First, we will look at some sources for upcoming conference info, then we will talk about some of the conferences the EIIP has been, or will be involved in. Then we will mention some conferences we are aware of that are of particular interest to the EM community. We have some visitors with us today and we will ask to share some information about recent and upcoming events. Finally, we will ask you to join in to suggest others that you may know of, or to discuss your conferencing experiences, both positive and negative.

There are many online Sources for Conference Information; we have listed on our Virtual Classroom page for future reference.

For example:

FEMA Conference Page (much improved) <http://www.fema.gov/fema/confrnc.htm> and you may submit nominations for inclusion

Natural Hazard's Center List (you have to scroll down past ongoing training) <http://www.Colorado.EDU/hazards/conf.html>

• And for our Canadian friends, <http://hoshi.cic.sfu.ca/pep/events.html>

• Our EIIP newsletter, Emergency Partner Postings --- latest issue <http://www.emforum.org/eiip/vo03no01.htm#upcoming>. Don't forget, you can subscribe.

Online conferencing can also be used for those discussions that are related to the field, but perhaps not directly enough to justify the travel expense --- with limited travel budgets, online conferences are a great alternative.

Try the Virtual Conference Center,

<http://www.mcb.co.uk/services/conferen/>. A wide variety can be found here. Please note that the First Internet Disaster Conference can be found here, including some of our EIIP friends and partners, <http://www.mcb.co.uk/services/conferen/jun96/disaster/themes.htm#theme1>

We have been involved in a number of conferences. We hoped to be live from Disaster Recovery Journal Conference today, but could not make the connection. The agenda can be found at <http://www.drj.com>. Hopefully we can get some follow up later on in a Round Table session.

We didn't make it to the NEMA conference this year, and we had hoped Randy Duncan, IAEM President, would be here to tell us about it. Project Impact was again a hot topic of discussion. See agenda at <http://nemaweb.media3.net/Nema/Conferences/AGENDA.htm>.


Avagene Moore: Beth, can you say anything about the NEMA Conference for Randy? If not, we will move ahead.

Johnny Hodgens: At NEMA, Randy Duncan offered EIIP chat rooms to further several discussions involving PT&E.

Avagene Moore: Thank you, John. I am sure Randy represented us well.

You recall we joined you from the from the 23rd Annual Hazards Research and Applications Workshop in Boulder, Colorado <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/rt980714.htm>.

Conference session summaries and abstracts are now posted and may be found at <http://www.Colorado.EDU/hazards/ss/ss98.html> and previous years' are available also.

This is a marvelous conference that brings a diverse audience together. Personally, I find the discussions and panels very stimulating because of the academic and research emphasis combined with the practitioner's viewpoint.

Our first "Live From" attempt was SALEMDUG <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/lc980422.htm>

We have Sue Krogman, SALEMDUG President, with us today. Sue, tell us about next year's conference.

Amy Sebring: SALEMDUG=State and Local Emergency Management Data Users Group.

Avagene Moore: Sue and her board are planning a good conference shortly after the first of the year. (Thanks Amy.) Sue, are you still with us? Just input short segments of text at a time and submit.

Sue Krogman: Well, first of all I would like to thank both you and Amy for inviting us online today -- this is my first attempt, so please be patient. The 1999 SALEMDUG Conference will be held February 8-10, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Naturally, the fact that our conference is being held the week before Mardi Gras will help tremendously.

Anyway, this year we boast a "new beginning" for our organization. We are no longer FEMA funded, so we are trying to be innovative and reach out to experience things we have been unable to do in the past. We are going to have training on NEMIS, GPS, TMS and any other FEMA program we deem important! Thanks for inviting us -- if anyone needs further information - please email me.

Avagene Moore: Thank you, Sue. We will be watching for further information about the SALEMDUG conference.

You can also find some of the PowerPoint presentations we have made this past year at <http://www.emforum.org/eiip/confer.htm>. Including the one we made at the NCCEM (now IAEM) conference in Phoenix last year.

The EIIP was a presented at the Community & Family Disaster Preparedness (CFP) Conference at EMI, Emmitsburg, MD, last June.

We also participated in the FEMA/ANL Technology Conference in July. Amy conducted a live session for us from Argonne. Transcript is available in our Live Chat Archives in the Virtual Library <http://www.emforum.org/vlibrary/livechat.htm>

Today, we are proud to have James Grichar of FEMA to tell us a little about next summer's Technology Conference. Jim, are you still online? This is Jim's first time with us and we are glad to have him here.

Sue Krogman: Avagene, sorry for the interruption, but I have been asked for my email address. [email protected] --- thanks everybody!

Avagene Moore: I am very interested in next summer's conference because it will give me an opportunity to see some old friends and business acquaintances in East Tennessee. Jim, can we come back to you and let you tell us about plans for Gatlinburg Technology Conference? He must be having a problem. Beth Armstrong is here. Tell us a little bit about the upcoming IAEM Conference.

Beth Armstrong: Hello everyone. Our upcoming conference November 7-11 in Norfolk, VA is going well. Registrations are coming in fast. We have more than 20 booths sold. There are some updates to the program. We are now including a writing workshop on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 8-10:00 a.m. Shari Coffin and Avagene will be the presenters.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 10-11:30 a.m. Kathee Henning has replaced Len Clark's time slot. She will be speaking on Y2K. During the committee meetings, Ellis Stanley will be hosting a metro special interest group forum. All are invited. If you have not done so, please make your room reservations at the Sheraton Waterside (formerly known as Omni Waterside) by Oct. 11. Our room block is filling up fast. Does anyone have any questions?

Amy Sebring: Beth, please put up URL for conference info, I forgot to look it up!

Beth Armstrong: Our email address is [email protected] if you would like further information. Or check out the IAEM web site at <http://www.emassociation.org>.

Avagene Moore: Thank you, Beth. Sounds like a great conference and we will be there!

We have mentioned our upcoming events in recent sessions and in the newsletter, but would like to elaborate a little more at this time. (I see Nicole Appel has logged on. Nicole is with the UN IDNDR from Geneva.)

Nicole Appel: Hello, everybody, first time online!!

Avagene Moore: Nicole, we will turn this over to you shortly. Hang on.

You may have been with us when Pat West of National Fire & Rescue Magazine and Monty Gearhart of WCES did our Round Table session on the Virtual Fire & Rescue Expo. The home page for the VFRE is <http://www.vfre.com> and there is a mailing list to which you can subscribe for further information.

You can still find the EIIP material from last spring's conference at <http://www.vfre.com/presentation16/> (including a photo of yours truly and audio recording). We are videotaping today's session in hopes of using some of it for the November conference.

You may have seen from notices that we are planning a Virtual Table Top exercise as the EIIP Virtual Forum presentation in the VFRE, and we can use some help! We are currently meeting for planning purposes on Thursday evenings at 8:00 PM Eastern. This should be an exciting and challenging event.

We are also assisting OAS with an online conference, Oct 19-23.

You may have noticed we have a new page devoted to the upcoming IDNDR online conference at <http://www.emforum.org/vforum/idndr98.htm>

We are pleased to have Nicole Appel with us today to give us some details. Nicole, thanks for joining us.

Amy Sebring: IDNDR=International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

Avagene Moore: Thanks, Amy.

Nicole Appel: Thank you for having me and thank you for making all these efforts to promote our conference. The conference will start 28 September and will go on for 3 weeks. The theme of the conference is "Natural Disaster Prevention begins with Information"

You will be able to look at the conference agenda through the above mentioned URL. Our aim is to get the disaster prevention message out to a maximum of people and to enlist the media as partners, trying to move away from usual sensationalist news related to post impact issues. We are very lucky to have Avagene as one of our speakers

This is the third conference on the Internet the Secretariat of the IDNDR has organised, together with an NGO called Quipunet which organises conferences on the web.

We are very excited about this exercise and hope many of you will be interested in participating. Our office is part of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations. We are located in Geneva and have a regional unit in Costa Rica. Our conference will be held in Spanish at the same time.

Avagene Moore: Thanks, Nicole. We look forward to working with you and others involved in the IDNDR.

Nicole Appel: Thank you! By the way, I am most impressed by this system, this is so much fun!

Avagene Moore: We want to hear from Jim Grichar about the Tech Conference. Jim?

James Grichar: FEMA is co-sponsoring the fourth annual "Emergency Management Technology and Exhibition" that will be hosted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). As in previous workshops, we will be bringing emergency managers into contact with technology developers and providers.

The goal is to develop new technology applications to reduce the impact of disasters on the nation. Information about the workshop can be obtained at the following web site: <http://stargate.ornl.gov>. Once there, click on "Technology Partners Conference 1999" for information.

Avagene Moore: Jim, thanks for sharing plans for next summer's Technology Conference. We hope to be a player in Gatlinburg.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to an online conference beginning October 1 devoted to the issue of developing telecommunications in rural areas. One of the sponsors is Industry Canada, who was with us for our Round Table yesterday. The conference is called Partnerships & Participation in Telecommunications for Rural Development and the homepage is <http://www.snowden.org/conference/index.cfm>.

James Grichar: Thanks for inviting me to the forum!

Avagene Moore: You are welcome, Jim. At this point, we invite you to plug any other conferences you would like to mention or tell us about your general impressions of the value of conferences. To ensure order, please input a question mark (?) to indicate you have a question or comment, wait for recognition before submitting your question. You can compose your question or comment while waiting for recognition to speak. First question, please. Kevin.

Kevin Farrell: "Fire Rescue International", the annual conference of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) is going on in Louisville right now <http://www.iafc.org/fri98/>.

Russell Coile: For info about the OAS' Virtual Conference, Oct 19-23, contact [email protected]. Theme is Disaster Reduction in the Education Sector.

Amy Sebring: Russell, we hoped to have an OAS rep with us today but couldn’t arrange it. There will be a dedicated web site up later this week and we will be sure to plug!


Avagene Moore: Other conferences? Cindy, didn't you have something you want to mention? Just plug in your question. Amy.

Amy Sebring: I would also like to mention the online conferences hosted by VITA. VITA=Volunteers in Technical Assistance. There are 2 archives posted on discussions about communications issues in developing countries <http://www.vita.org/vitalink/>.


Avagene Moore: Thanks, Amy. I failed to mention that due to running short on time. Other links or conferences? Comments?


Nicole Appel: I am very interested in the last conference mentioned. Do you keep these chats, like the current one, stored somewhere (to keep the references given)?

Amy Sebring: Yes, Nicole, we will have a transcript with all the links active.


Avagene Moore: You saw Nicole's reference to World Disaster Day on October 14. Nicole, since you are online, can we perhaps confirm that we can do a session with you and others in Geneva and around the world on October 14?

Nicole Appel: Yes, I confirm we'll do a live chat session from here on 14/10. Actually, I have just called two of my colleagues right now (including Terry Jeggle whom you know Avagene) to show them what I am doing right now and how nice it is!

Isabel McCurdy: Emergency Preparedness Conference. Vancouver, British Columbia. October 20 -22. <>

Amy Sebring: Should be beautiful up there that time of year, Isabel!

Avagene Moore: Thanks Isabel. Let's wrap up folks for the formal part of our session. We are very glad to have all of you here today. This has been interesting and the video tape will be put to good use.

We will formally close this part of the session, if you will hang around a few minutes, we will take all questions and comments. Just hang on, please.

Nicole Appel: It's 7pm here and there are still a lot of people in the office. Don't worry about time differences.

Avagene Moore: Join us next week for a USAR Panel.

Kevin Farrell: Urban Search and Rescue.

Avagene Moore: And David Butler will be leading a discussion in Tech Round Table next Tuesday, 1 PM Eastern. Panel is at noon on Wednesday, September 23. Now. Sheena, your question, please.

Sheena Vivian: WSEMA, Washington State Emergency Management Association also has its conference, October 18-20/98, at Semiahmoo Resort near Bellingham.

Cindy Rice: Nicole, don't forget to check out all the archived transcripts from the past (very, very useful info)!

Avagene Moore: Thanks for that, Cindy.

Nicole Appel: Many thanks!

Avagene Moore: Thanks for joining us, Nicole. We will be talking about future plans.

Isabel McCurdy: Newly revised transcript page.


Avagene Moore: Gil, you have a question or comment?

Gil Gibbs: Pertaining to "developing nations", the radio spectrum is going to be messed up with ham frequencies being sold off by the politicians. Better discussed later.


Cindy Rice: URL available for WSEMA conference?

Sheena Vivian: I don't think so Cindy but I can give you the Chairmans phone # if you want to contact him. John Gargett: 1(360) 734-4115.


David Crews: Are there plans to video conference on EIIP in the future?

Amy Sebring: Not in immediate future, David, but next version of eShare may include that capability. We are waiting for it to come out.

Kevin Farrell: Or webcam:<http://www.quickcam.com/>.

David Crews: Kevin, exactly.

Amy Sebring: It will be here in probably not that far off in future and we will sure want to experiment with it.

David Crews: Just purchased a web cam, works great!


Avagene Moore: Any other comments or questions from anyone? Congrats, David!

Amy Sebring: Great job, Avagene. Many thanks to all our folks who took time to come today to participate.

Avagene Moore: I hope this was interesting for everyone. I enjoyed it and trust the video will come in handy.

Gil Gibbs: Fine job, Ava

David Crews: Great forum. Got a lot more URL's, thanks to all.

Avagene Moore: Thanks for everyone being here today. We were innovative at the last moment to pull off today's session. Turned out fine. Thanks Amy for the idea and the bulk of the work.

Nicole Appel: <Clap, clap> too. Thank you so much having me. Bye, bye, everyone.

Avagene Moore: We are happy to have you here, Nicole. Glad to have everyone here. Several here for the first time. Please come back when you can.

Final Question:

Cindy Rice: What is the process or where do we look if we want to do a conference through EIIP's virtual capability?

Avagene Moore: Contact Amy and me, Cindy. Depends on what you want and how much time it takes. We will talk about it. Preferably we want our Partners to do the bulk of the work to keep it going.

Amy Sebring: Yes, this is something we would like to see our Partners use.