The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


5203 Westlawn
(319) 335-9647

Release: Dec. 6, 2002

Emergencies in Iowa is topic of Dec. 12 presentation

Floods, tornadoes, plane crashes and other disasters require emergency management, the coordinated response by local, state and federal government agencies as well as volunteer organizations and businesses. New threats of terrorism emphasize the need for a strong system of emergency response within the state of Iowa.

On Dec. 12, Jerry L. Ostendorf, chief of the Readiness and Response Bureau of the Iowa Emergency Management Division, will present, "Emergencies in Iowa: Operations and Command Systems." Mary Jones, interim deputy director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, will also be available for comment. The free lecture will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Raymond R. Rembolt Conference Room, Center for Disabilities and Development (formerly University Hospital School) at the University of Iowa. The lecture also will be broadcast over the Iowa Communications Network.

"The presentation will center on how 'multi-hazard' planning prior to Sept. 11 of last year has developed the foundation for responding to Homeland Security incidents," said Gregory Gray, Ph.D., UI professor of epidemiology. "It will also highlight new challenges and focal points with new partners."

Ostendorf has served as the readiness and response bureau chief since 1987. His primary responsibilities include Homeland Security policies and procedures, Emergency Management Assistance Compact activations, and Federal Response Plan coordination with federal partners. He has served as chief of operations and state coordinating officer for the state of Iowa through 15 presidential disaster declarations and hundreds of governor-declared disasters.

The presentation is part of the Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP), based in the UI College of Public Health. Advanced registration for the lecture is requested and may be completed online at

The public health Grand Rounds series is sponsored by the ICPHP and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. The ICPHP is funded by a grant from the CDC through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health. For more information about the Grand Rounds series, contact Shari Heick at (319) 335-6994.