PROFNET EXPERT ALERTS: Mississippi Floodwaters

Saturday, May 14, 2011 General News
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May 13, 2011

Following are experts who are available to discuss various aspects of the floodwaters currently affecting states bordering the Mississippi

River, including relief and recovery efforts, FEMA and federal aid, economic impacts of the disaster, health issues caused by the flooding, public safety issues, scientific implications, historical comparisons and more. Additional updates will be posted
on our ProfNet Connect site at

We have also started a Twitter list on this topic:

**1. Michael D. Brown, radio host and former undersecretary for the Department of Homeland Security under the George W. Bush administration: "The private sector's role in the floods affecting states along the Mississippi will be crucial to the long-term recovery of businesses and individuals affected by the floods. While the government, through FEMA, states and locals, will be crucial in the immediate response, close coordination of public- and private-sector responses will ensure that utilities, logistics, transportation and communications are restored as quickly as possible." Brown is located in Denver, but travels often. News Contact: Juda S. Engelmayer Phone: +1-917-733-3561 Website:

**2. Heather Case, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, is director of scientific activities and national coordinator of emergency preparedness and response at the American Veterinary Medical Association: "Obviously, the highest priority is addressing the needs of the people who require assistance, yet we cannot forget the pets and livestock in the affected areas. Addressing the animal-response issues will be paramount to ensuring public health, safety and peace of mind." Case: Twitter: @AVMAVMAT

**3. Don Chase, interim chair of the University of Dayton civil engineering department, is a former U.S. Army engineer for the Waterways Experiment Station: "No doubt, the 2011 flood is one for the record books. In some locations along the lower Ohio River, water levels exceeded records established in 1937. Along the lower Mississippi River, forecasts call for records established in 1927 to be broken. Fortunately, flood-protection systems have been constructed since these record floods." His comments about water and flooding after Hurricane Katrina attracted the attention of CNN. News Contact: Shawn Robinson, Phone: +1-937-229-3391 or +1-937-232-2907

**4. Robert Criss, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis feels there are much better ways of handling the flooding: "Blowing up the levees is a 1927 plan and it has no place in today's world. When a levee is blown, the water scours the land, removing the topsoil and often rendering it unsuitable for farming. Gates would protect the levees and allow water to cover farmland without damaging it. So there are far better ways to deal with the problem than just trying to build levees higher and having municipalities compete with one another and with the farmers about who's got the highest levee and who's got the right to be protected in times of distress." For more about Criss' thoughts on the situation, see here:  Criss:

**5. Frank N. Darras, founding partner of DarrasLaw, is an insurance lawyer who can weigh in on the insurance side of the flooding -- everything from property insurance to business-interruption insurance. Darras is located in Los Angeles, but travels nationwide. News Contact: Robin Nolan, Phone: +1-919-745-9333 Twitter: @DarrasNews Websites: and

**6. Jeff Dudan, CEO of AdvantaClean, a provider of essential services related to indoor air quality in the residential, commercial and governmental market segments, can discuss the Mississippi River floodwaters and emergency water and mold remediation. His company has crews all over the flooded areas. Dudan is located in Charlotte, N.C., but has crews and franchisees across the U.S. and in flooded states. News Contact: Sue Yannello, Phone: +1-919-459-8162

**7. Pete Duncanson is an IICRC-certified water-restoration technician at the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification: "When returning to a home or business, property owners should use caution when entering buildings. Make sure electrical power is off and the structure is sound before entering and inspecting a flooded building. Small animals or reptiles may also seek shelter inside a structure, so be cautious when repositioning contents or removing materials. Wear an organic vapor respirator, available from paint or building supply stores, along with rubber gloves, eye protection and protective clothing. Ventilate affected areas by opening windows, and eventually, by placing a fan in a window. Work toward the fan as you clean to minimize cross-contamination. Know what items to throw away; porous items that absorb contaminated flood water shouldn't be restored. Drywall, carpet and pad, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particle board normally should be discarded if wet." News Contact: Rebecca Lynn Plemons, Phone: +1-404-460-1495 Website:

**8. Dr. Frances L. Edwards is the deputy director of MTI's National Transportation Security Center, and associate professor and director of the Master of Public Administration program at San Jose State University in California. She is a research associate of the Mineta Transportation Institute and a member of the editorial board of the Public Administration Review (PAR). Edwards has written extensively about Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, and can address disaster planning and recovery issues. She is currently training the California DOT about disaster planning and recovery. She is a member of the ASPA Hurricane Katrina Task Force, the Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness at Harvard, and the Bioterrorism Working Group at Stanford; has been the expert for three NATO workshop panels on terrorism; and is a commissioner on the California Seismic Safety Commission. For 25 years, Edwards was a practitioner, including her 14 years as the director of emergency preparedness for San Jose, the nation's 10th largest city. She received her Ph.D. and MUP from New York University, an MA from Drew University and a Certificate in Hazardous Materials Management from the University of California, Irvine. The New York Times, The Washington Post and other national media have identified Edwards as one of the nation's leading experts on disaster response and recovery planning and training. News Contact: Donna Maurillo, Phone: 1-408-924-7564

**9. Jeff Eley, chair of the Savannah College of Art and Design's (SCAD) historic-preservation department, can discuss the disaster recovery of historic properties, such as historic homes, house museums, general museums, etc. SCAD was the first university to travel to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, partnering with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other organizations to assess water and wind damage to historic structures in the storm's path. For 30 years, the university has been recognized as a leader in the field of historic-preservation education and practice, with more than 100 historic buildings rehabilitated in the United States and France. Eley is located in Savannah, Ga. News Contact: Emily Belford, Phone: +1-912-525-5210

**10. Ann-Margaret Esnard, professor and director of the Visual Planning Technology Lab in the College for Design & Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University, has conducted extensive studies on disaster recovery. Esnard: Website:

**11. Bob Glasser, managing director and head of the business interruption and insurance claims practice at BDO Consulting, can discuss what businesses can do in the upcoming weeks to recover from the Mississippi River flooding. Glasser has worked with small and large companies to help them quantify financial losses from catastrophic events, and can speak to issues businesses can expect to experience with the claims process. He has extensive experience advising the hospitality and retail industries on preparing, negotiating and settling claims. Specifically, he can discuss: 1) How to avoid and overcome common roadblocks in the claims process; 2) rational expectations as to the amount claimed and timing of the settlement process, including whether indirect claims will be reimbursed -- future losses versus actual current losses (Can you file an interim claim that allows you to file subsequent claims as additional future losses may occur?); and 3) best practices for future disaster prep, including establishing a disaster-recovery plan, reviewing insurance policies for appropriate values and coverage, and assessing whether accounting systems and employees can adequately capture relevant losses. Glasser is located in New York City. News Contact: Emily Simmons, Phone: +1-212-584-5482 Website:

**12. Eric Green, CEO of Planet People, can provide tips on the best ways to deal with mold remediation, a problem Mississippi Basin residents will surely have to deal with as the waters recede: "Follow the 'Five Ds' for mold elimination and prevention: 1) Detect It: Stop water from infiltrating your home. Determine the source of the water ingress that is causing the mold -- like leaking roofs, cracked foundations, clogged drains or faulty plumbing -- and fix the problem. 2) Dry It: If there is too much water to sweep out of your home, consider a shop vacuum or invest in a water pump (or rent one at your local hardware store) to remove water-filled areas. Once the water is removed, use fans to circulate and absorb moisture in the air. If weather permits, open all doors and windows; indoor mold spore counts are typically higher than outdoor counts. Open closet and cabinet doors to allow air to circulate through all these areas. 3) Ditch It: Throw out water-logged and mold-infested materials that are replaceable, such as carpeting or ceiling tiles. The general rule is: If in doubt, throw it out. If drywall has absorbed water, the drywall should be cut out 12 inches above the water level and replaced once the room is dried out. 4) Deactivate It: Use an EPA-registered, nontoxic solution to fight remaining indoor mold. It's important to treat hidden areas in a home such as crawlspaces, closets and under furniture to be sure they remain mold-free. 5) Dehumidify It: Run a dehumidifier to take additional moisture out of the air. Maintain indoor relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent and monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer, an inexpensive device found at many hardware stores. News Contact: Sarah Murphy, Phone: +1-617-536-3300 Website:

**13. Jeff Hamlin is director of agronomic research at WeatherBill, a provider of weather insurance and risk management: "In a best-case scenario, the rain and flooding would stop tomorrow, the sun would shine, the wind would blow and the corn crop would be planted at the fastest rate possible. In this unlikely scenario, top corn producers along the Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri still stand to lose more than $2 billion of potential corn yield." Hamlin has worked in the weather-risk market since its inception in the late '90s, and is a leading authority on custom structures for managing weather-related revenue risks. He holds a master's degree in environmental sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, where he did agricultural integrated pest-management research in California pear orchards. Hamlin, located in San Francisco, also holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry from The University of Chicago. News Contact: Joanna Horn, Phone: +1-678-242-8081

**14. Deirdre Hardy, professor and the director of the School of Architecture in the College for Design & Social Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University, is an expert in safety assessment after a disaster as certified by the California Emergency Management Agency in conjunction with The Florida Association of Architects. Hardy: Website:

**15. Bill Hughes is a disaster-recovery expert from SunGard Availability Services, which is a disaster-recovery services company that helps 10,000 companies worldwide keep mission-critical information up and running in the event of a disaster. Hughes, located in Farmington Hills, Mich., can provide key tips companies need to think about to prevent the potential impact of a disaster (flood, hurricane, tornado or man-made) on their business. He can also discuss how companies can best recover from a disaster: "Help people be personally prepared. The more comfortable and prepared personnel are with their family situations during an emergency, the more likely they will be ready to help the business. Provide coaching to your staff on the importance of having emergency 'go bags' (including water, food, clothing, medication, lighting and more), preplanned locations for a family to meet in the event of an evacuation and multilayered communications methods in case wired and wireless voice communications are interrupted." News Contact: Zora Falkowski, Phone: +1-617-897-8247

**16. Dr. Jeffrey H. Jackson, associate professor of history at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., and author of "Paris Under Water: How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010): "Although we expect natural disasters to create panic and chaos, they often bring out the best in people with selfless acts of rescue and volunteerism. Numerous examples from the past, including the 1910 Paris flood and the 1927 Mississippi River flood, demonstrate how disasters can pull communities closer together." Video:  News Contact: Dionne Chalmers, Phone: +1-901-843-3470 Website:

**17. Nelson Maldonado, director of sales and marketing at Genesis Bicycles, knows firsthand the flexible mobility that a bike can offer in the wake of natural disasters, including earthquakes, tornados, etc. During his travels in parts of Central and South America, he has used a bike to navigate flooded areas, which cars or even a motorcycle could not access: "Bicycles are simple machines and so incredibly versatile. I'm surprised that it's not one of the first things described to have handy in times of emergency." News Contact: Wes Benter, Phone: +1-212-812-5680 Twitter: @wbenter Website:

**18. Mike Mastrangelo, program director for institutional preparedness at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, has extensive experience in disaster planning and response. Mastrangelo has the full-time responsibility for planning the institution's overall emergency response; developing emergency exercises; assisting individual departments with their emergency plans and drills; and integrating the university's emergency and business continuity planning, including its hospital, trauma center and medical school. Located in Galveston, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico, UTMB has weathered its fair share of storms, most recently in September 2008 when Hurricane Ike struck the island and caused unprecedented damage. Marking the second full-scale evacuation in its 120-year history (it also evacuated for Hurricane Rita in 2005), UTMB put its emergency action plan in place to ensure the safe evacuation of 470 patients, including 70 babies from the NICU. Mastrangelo is also responsible for emergency planning for the Galveston National Laboratory, one of two National Biocontainment Laboratories providing specialized research to develop therapies, vaccines, and diagnostic tests for naturally occurring emerging diseases and bioterrorist threats. Prior to his position at UTMB, he co-founded the Texas Health Alert Project, which was designed to aid in the detection of and response to bioterrorism, and was director of the Bioterrorism Response Support Division at the Texas Department of Health. News Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, Phone: +1-212-220-4444

**19. Adam Montella, vice president of homeland security and emergency management at Animus Solutions, Inc.: "Although hurricane season is less than a month away, the flooding of the Mississippi and the recent devastating tornados from Alabama to Georgia are grave reminders that disaster can strike at anytime and anywhere. With government resources stretched to provide aid to multiple presidentially declared disasters, it is even more critical for individuals, businesses, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations to have thorough and tested disaster plans. Families and organizations need to be prepared to survive on their own for at least 72 hours." With more than 25 years of homeland security and emergency management experience in the public and private sector, Montella helps organizations prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade disasters. He currently serves on FEMA's National Response Framework (NRF) working group and the National Advisory Council's Public Engagement & Mission Support subcommittee. In addition, he is the on-camera homeland security and disaster expert on the Discovery Channel series, "The Colony." News Contact: Jennifer Fugel, or Phone: +1-973-748-4878 ext. 101 Twitter: jenniferfugel Website:

**20. Dr. Christopher Morris, associate professor of history at The University of Texas at Arlington, is the writer of "The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples, from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina" (Oxford University Press, August 2012), a book-length survey on the human and ecological history of the lower Mississippi Valley, from the Ohio River to New Orleans, from early Native American cultures that thrived on the flood plain through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the debates on rebuilding New Orleans in the hurricane's aftermath. Here is a link to Oxford University Press's website on the forthcoming book:  News Contact: Bridget Lewis, Phone: +1-817-272-3317 Website:

**21. Alexandra "Lexi" Nolen, director of the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston, can discuss relief and recovery efforts, particularly the important roles health and social environment play in rebuilding neighborhoods post-disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, which struck Galveston in September 2008 and caused unprecedented damage, Nolen developed and is currently leading the Galveston Health in All Policies Project (GHiAP), which brings together community partners to cooperate on improving the social and environmental determinants of health in Galveston during post-Ike recovery efforts. Using maps to highlight how health is affected by factors, such as segregation by race or class, transportation and the location of supermarkets, Nolen and her team are working with city leadership to bring the principles of health and equitable development into city planning. News Contact: Brianne O'Donnell, Phone: +1-212-220-4444

**22. Ken Schreiber, senior vice president and chief sales officer at HUB International Northeast, says the Mississippi flooding serves as a solemn reminder that natural disaster can occur anytime, anywhere, and its impact on commerce can be devastating. Analysts say economic loss could reach $4 billion: "While primary concern remains with the safety and well-being of family, friends, colleagues and business associates in the South, there are lessons to be learned -- vulnerabilities that cannot be ignored, no matter what your geographic location. Businesses can, however, mitigate loss with proper insurance coverage. While most standard policies exclude loss from natural disaster, additional specialty coverages, such as earthquake, flood, hurricane and wind storm, offer more protection. Business disruptions may include a break in the supply chain, limiting the availability of products, parts and supplies; delaying shipments; or increasing prices. Another concern is the devaluation of goods and property caused by physical damage, political seizure or transportation issues. Businesses may also incur unforeseen expenses as a result of these horrific events, such as the unbudgeted purchase of special equipment or necessary supplies needed to protect or recover property." News Contact: Suzan French, Phone: +1-917-284-8523 Twitter: @HUBNortheast Website:

**23. Rob Vining, vice president and national water resources practice director at HNTB Corporation: "While some U.S. levees are multimillion-dollar concrete systems, many are nothing more than piles of sand and dirt created by farmers decades ago as barricades against rising rivers that cyclically destroyed their crops. It's difficult to guess what is holding these homemade structures together -- a miracle of physics or just plain luck. It certainly isn't proactive investment. In real dollars, our country's current water infrastructure budget is about 30 percent less than in the 1970s." Profile: Bio: News Contact: John O'Connell, Phone: +1-816-527-2383 Website:

**24. Kevin B. Weiss, M.D., is president and CEO of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). He can discuss how Louisiana and Missouri are two of the 32 states/jurisdictions that have incorporated the ABMS board-certification data into their Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). ESAR-VHP is a federal program created to support states and territories in establishing standardized volunteer-registration programs for disasters and public health and medical emergencies, so that they can be prepared to direct victims to medical help at a moment's notice. The program, administered on the state level, verifies the identification and credentials of health professionals so they can respond more quickly when a disaster strikes. By registering through ESAR-VHP, volunteers' identities, licenses, credentials, accreditations and hospital privileges are all verified in advance, which saves valuable time in emergencies: "Board certification goes above and beyond basic medical licensure, and shows that a physician meets nationally recognized standards for education, knowledge, experience and skills to provide high-quality care in a specific medical specialty, which can be particularly useful during emergencies when every second is critical." Weiss is located in Chicago. News Contact: Nina Martines Phone: 1-312-558-1770, ext. 153

**25. Peter Whiting, professor of geological sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, is an expert in surface-water hydrology, including the development of a protocol to estimate the streamflows necessary to maintain floodplains and channels, and modeling the influence of bank material on the ability of water stored and released from the floodplain to sustain streamflows. News Contact: Kevin Mayhood, Phone: +1-216-368-4442 Website:

PROFNET is an exclusive service of PR Newswire. To submit a request for experts:  To consult the ProfNet Experts Database:  To contact ProfNet by phone: +1-800-PROFNET, ext. 1  To share a thought on Expert Alerts:

/PRNewswire – May 13, 2011/



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