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Michele Steinberg
Quincy, Massachusetts
NFPA's manager for Firewise Communities: saving lives and property from wildfires
Interests: disaster safety, natural hazards, land use planning, wildland fire, mitigation, Firewise, community action, social behavior change
Recent Activity
While this time of year may have many thinking about the value of their tax dollars, the Firewise program staff are thinking about the value of volunteers. Every April, the Independent Sector website publishes a new annual estimate of the value of a volunteer hour. The new rate is $22.55,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Fire departments around the country have eagerly awaited the most recent update to the Fire Suppression Rating Schedule (FSRS) developed by the Insurance Services Office. This system classifies communities according to performance in emergency communications, fire response and suppression and water supply, and has provided these ratings to insurers for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Dr. Christine Eriksen of the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research at the University of Wollongong, Australia, has posted links to free access to several of her recent research papers on wildfire and social science, including "Wildfire preparedness, community coheshion and social-ecological systems," co-authored with Tim Prior of the Center... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
A tip of our blogger hats goes to Bill Gabbert and Wildfire Today for alerting us to a newly announced set of projects sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) that will help restore forest health, improve water quality, and mitigate against fire damage.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Earn valuable Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and expand your knowledge about effective wildfire hazard mitigation techniques at the upcoming 2-day workshop on May 31-June 1 sponsored by the Southwest Missouri Resource Conservation & Development Council and the Missouri Department of Conservation's Forestry Division. When adequately prepared, a home or structure... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
The California Fire Science Consortium is sponsoring its latest "WUI Module" webinar this Thursday, January 16 at 11 am Pacific. Join Molly Mowery, president of Wildfire Planning International, as she discusses actions and strategies that local communities are initiating across the country to be a Fire Adapted Community. This webinar... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Alert Fire Break reader Dick Mangan of Missoula, Montana, contacted us about the December issue in which he pointed out the significant difference between annual wildfires reported to NIFC (see "Wildfire drop but don't stop in 2013") in the top article, and immediately following, NFPA's Brush, Grass & Forest Fires... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
According to the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the state agency is now accepting applications for a second round of grants under the Wildfire Risk Reduction Grant Program. This phase will provide $5.8 million in grants to reduce the risk of wildfire in areas where human development and forested lands... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2014 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
To all the wonderful Firewise advocates in the 40 U.S. states, the local officials, fire departments and most of all residents who have worked hard this year to earn or to keep their recognition status -- congratulations! Becoming Firewise is so much more than a number...but our staff and colleagues... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Attention fire departments: February 7 is the deadline to apply for the NFPA's Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant. The $5,000 grant is presented annually to a local fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Funded by the RJA Group, the grant... Continue reading
Reblogged Dec 27, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
The California Fire Science Consortium hosts Dr. Sam Manzello, a research scientist in the Fire Research Division of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) for a free webinar tomorrow (Thursday, December 5) on the impacts of wind-driven firebrand showers, which are a major cause of structural ignition in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Reporting on the numbers game of wildfire strikes me as very similar to reporting on the swells and ebbs of the stock market. How many, how big, how caused - what does it all mean? A year-to-year analysis of the number of reported wildfires and their size doesn't give us... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
It’s in our human nature to look for what’s going wrong…we seek out problems and we focus hard on how to fix them. But with issues that could be characterized as “wicked problems” – large, socially complex, multi-faceted problems – we have no end of interconnected problems that resist a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Author Linda Masterson I'm honored to help moderate a session tomorrow at Backyards & Beyond in Salt Lake City featuring author Linda Masterson. She'll be talking about her book, Surviving Wildfire: Get Prepared, Stay Alive, Rebuild Your Life and its impetus from her own experience of doing just that. Linda... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Image from Utah Firewise Living brochure Do you live or work in the Salt Lake City area? Please join NFPA and its wildland fire staff, along with Utah’s wildfire mitigation experts, for a free, informative session following the Backyards & Beyond wildfire education conference. From 1:30 to 4:30 on Saturday... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
In the wake of the Yarnell Hill fire in which 19 wildland firefighters perished, much has been written about the loss of these men and the impact on their families, their community, and their fellow firefighters. What many didn't realize about the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew was their significant contributions... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
This is one of the best posts I've read in a long time! Thank you for the clear-eyed and optimistic perspective on the situation!
The Silver Fire burns along Valley Hi Drive in Twin Pines, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013.(Photo: Richard Lui, The Palm Springs, Calif., Desert Sun) In November, I'll be part of a panel at the NFPA Backyards & Beyond Wildfire Safety Education conference in Salt Lake City. The panel discussion... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
A newly released report by the Joint Fire Sciences Program has some exciting findings for Firewise advocates and those working with communities on wildfire mitigation. Researchers James Absher of the US Forest Service and Jerry Vaske and Katie Lyon with Colorado State University surveyed a sampling of households in 12... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Last week, Cathy Prudhomme and I had the opportunity to participate in the 38th Annual Natural Hazards Research & Applications Workshop in Broomfield, Colorado. Among several days of stimulating conversations and discussions, Cathy was on a panel with other participants to talk with the American Planning Association's (APA's) Jim Schwab... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
A recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette has some Colorado property owners extremely upset about wildfire mitigation. An insurance spokesperson is quoted as saying, “We recommend cutting all trees within 100 feet of a house,” and then referencing changes in NFPA’s recommendations about wildfire safety and defensible space. So... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
I'll be headed to Colorado in less than two weeks for a unique set of workshops all about natural hazards and loss reduction. There's still time for you to register, so please check out the agenda and the links for the Natural Hazards Research & Applications Workshop and the subsequent... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
NFPA staff are keeping their eyes on the Doce Fire on the Prescott National Forest in Arizona, about 8 miles northwest of the city of Prescott. While it is growing in size (about 7,500 acres as of June 20 at 3 pm Eastern), it appears for now that its pattern... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2013 at Fire Break – Wildfire Safety Blog
Thanks for posting this, Cathy! This is worthwhile reading for all. The video tells the story - and you point out the great job the homeowners did, as well as those "little things" that we sometimes overlook that can make a big difference.
Was just saying goodbye to a big collection of conference badges (NFPA and other) that I had to clean out in preparation for office painting project. Took a picture of my 2003 and 2011 C&E badges with ribbons!