External Affairs Bulletin Week of April 27, 2015

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Week of April 27, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

April 30 -- National PrepareAthon! Day

National PrepareAthon! Day

May 6 -- Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Draft Implementing Guidelines Open Comment Period Deadline

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Draft Implementing Guidelines Open Comment Period Deadline

May 12 -- Technical Mapping Advisory Council Meeting (multiple dates)

Technical Mapping Advisory Council Meeting (multiple dates)

May 19 -- Grant Guidance For Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grants

Grant Guidance For Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grants

A Note about Gov Delivery Email Distribution

Last Thursday, April 23, there was a FEMA.gov code update that triggered the re-sending of certain news releases. Subscribers to the affected distribution lists may have received multiple outdated news release emails during the update.

The External Affairs Bulletin was not one of the affected distribution lists. Future FEMA.gov code releases will be adjusted so that this should not occur again.

America's PrepareAthon! Activities Across the Nation

All across the country, federal, state, local and tribal governments, community organizations, and members of the private sector have embraced America’s PrepareAthon! by planning events that will help their community put preparedness into action and be more prepared in the event of a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake or winter storm. If planning a preparedness activity for National PrepareAthon! Day on April 30, please be sure to register the activity at www.ready.gov/prepare.

Here are a few examples of the many preparedness activities taking place across the nation:

The City of Orlando, Office of Emergency Management and Orlando Office of Communications and Neighborhood Relations will lead a campaign over several months focusing on lightning safety, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Beginning April 30, the campaign will kick off with a press conference that will include a demonstration on how to develop a disaster plan and kit. Information about how to download the American Red Cross and the FEMA apps and enroll in local weather notification systems will also be provided at the conference. The campaign will include a citywide test of Orange County's Emergency Alert System, drills at area hospitals, and a drill at City Hall with the mayor and city employees. In May, Orlando will kick off its lightning preparedness campaign and conduct activities at recreational facilities, theme parks, and public pools. In June, Orlando will promote a hurricane preparedness campaign.


In Los Angeles County, the Office of Emergency Management is planning a series of spring events for America's PrepareAthon!. On April 30, an event in Lynwood that coincides with Latino Children's Day will attract the Latino and Spanish-speaking community members. The event will include a preparedness fair and earthquake and wildfire workshops where participants can develop family preparedness plans, build emergency kits, and learn how to secure home interiors.


America’s passenger rail service, Amtrak, has developed and distributed custom America’s PrepareAthon! posters for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires in Spanish, English, Chinese, and Vietnamese that have been posted in stations beginning on April 1. There are more than a dozen station specific events planned for April 30 in locations as varied as Chicago Union Station, Illinois; New York City Penn Station, New York; Greensboro, North Carolina; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Richmond Main Street Station, Virginia; and Tampa Union Station, Florida.

America's PrepareAthon! Social Media Toolkit Now Available

The America's PrepareAthon! Spring 2015 social media toolkit is now available for download. The toolkit includes sample messages that can be shared on social media to encourage preparedness.  For more information about America's PrepareAthon!, visit www.ready.gov/prepare.

America's PrepareAthon! Poster

FEMA Announces Fourth Meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council

FEMA announced the fourth public meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC), scheduled for May 12 – 13, 2015, in Reston, Virginia. The public meeting will be held at the United States Geological Survey Headquarters Main Auditorium on May 12 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:45 p.m. and May 13 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. ET located at 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive Reston, Virginia, 20192.


During the meeting, the Deputy Administrator of FEMA will address the TMAC. The TMAC will also discuss other topics to include progress from the three TMAC subcommittees (Future Conditions; Flood Hazard Risk Generation and Dissemination; and Operations, Coordination, and Leveraging) regarding data and recommendations; voting on topics for inclusion in the Future Conditions Report and Annual Report, which are to be delivered in October 2015; and next steps for TMAC discussions and report development. Invited subject matter experts will brief TMAC members on FEMA’s mapping process, reviewing detail of the process for map production from start to finish, discuss the status of FEMA’s transition to all-digital map display, and hear from experts in the lending and insurance industries to hear how maps are used to inform their efforts.


A public comment period will be held during on May 12 from 5:15 – 5:45 p.m. ET and May 13 from 3:15 – 3:45 p.m. ET. Those interested in speaking during the public comment period must contact FEMA by email at FEMA-TMAC@fema.dhs.gov or by calling 202-646-3432 to register as a speaker by May 7, 2015. Those not attending and wish to submit written comments can do so in the following ways:

- Online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal

- Email to FEMA-RULES@fema.dhs.gov and cc: FEMA-TMAC@fema.dhs.gov

- Mail to Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, FEMA, 500 C St SW, Room 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.


All submissions received must include the words “Federal Emergency Management Agency” and docket number, FEMA-2014-0022. Comments received will be posted without alteration at www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. 


For those planning to attend in person and for additional information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, contact FEMA at FEMA-TMAC@fema.dhs.gov. Attendees must contact FEMA and register by May 7, 2015 to receive important information on the meeting location. More information on the TMAC meeting is available online and at www.fema.gov/TMAC.

Coming Next Week: National Planning Framework Update

The five Frameworks, as part of a Presidential Policy Directive – 8 refresher, are being updated and will be presented for public comment the week of May 4. The National Planning Frameworks, one for each preparedness mission area, describe how the whole community works together to achieve the National Preparedness Goal and foster a shared understanding of our roles and responsibilities from the fire house to the White House. The public comment period will last three weeks from date of promulgation.

United States Fire Administration Report on One- and Two-Family Home Basement Fires (2010-2012)

United States Fire Administration (USFA) released a report on one- and two-family home basement fires from 2010-2012. There were an estimated 6,500 such fires, which caused an estimated 65 deaths, 400 injuries and $278 million in property damage each year. These fires accounted for about 3 percent of all one- and two-family home fires reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS).

The leading causes of one- and two-family home basement fires were:

- electrical malfunction (19 percent)

- heating (14 percent)

- appliances (12 percent)

- other unintentional or careless actions (12 percent)

Most of these fires occurred in the winter months of December, January, and February.


Visit www.usfa.fema.gov to download the report. Follow these basement fire safety tips to keep your home safe.

United States Fire Administration Report on One- and Two-Family Home Basement Fires (2010-2012)

National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

May 2 is National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. On this day, individuals and communities from across the nation are encouraged to take action to improve their chances of surviving a wildfire.

More than 98 million people live in one of the nation’s 72,000 communities located in a wildfire-prone area, and each of us play a vital role. Visit to the America’s PrepareAthon! website at www.ready.gov/prepare to find out more about the risks and the actions to take to protect against the potential impact of wildfires.

Wildfire Activity by County 1994-2013

REMINDER: Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Draft Implementing Guidelines Open Comment Period Deadline

On January 30, the President issued Executive Order 13690, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.” Prior to implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, additional input from stakeholders is being solicited and considered on how federal agencies will implement the new Standard. To carry out this process, a draft version of Implementing Guidelines is open for comment until May 6, 2015. Questions may be submitted to FEMA-FFRMS@fema.dhs.gov.

REMINDER: Grant Guidance For Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grants

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Notices of Funding Opportunity for DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.6 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. The grants reflect the Department’s focus on implementation of an all-of-nation, whole-community approach to the building, sustainment, and delivery of those core capabilities essential to achieving a secure and resilient nation.

The Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) applications, announced on March 25, 2015, are due no later than April 24, 2015.  All other preparedness grant applications – excluding Fire Grant programs – are due no later than May 19, 2015.  Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster Grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov.

More information on the 2015 grant guidance is available online. Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster Grants system located at https://portal.fema.gov. Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at www.dhs.gov and www.fema.gov/grants.