External Affairs Bulletin Week of May 4, 2015

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Week of May 4, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

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 6 -- Mitigation Planning Information Exchange Webinars

Mitigation Planning Information Exchange Webinar

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

Technical Mapping Advisory Council Meeting (multiple dates)

May 12 -- Teen Community Emergency Response Team Webinar

Teen Community Emergency Response Team Webinar

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

Grant Guidance For Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grants

FEMA Supports Building Safety Month in May

FEMA encourages partners to join in supporting Building Safety Month in May, a public outreach and education campaign coordinated by the International Code Council (ICC) and their thousands of members worldwide. Building Safety Month aims to increase awareness of the need for overall safety and sustainability of buildings through the adoption of model building codes and promotion of code enforcement. The campaign includes an array of community events, safety demonstrations, and educational outreach activities which are designed to promote awareness of the need for safe and sustainable structures where people live, work, and play.

For the fifth consecutive year, President Obama  proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month to highlight the essential role that safe building codes and standards play in decreasing the damaging effects of disasters. In keeping with Presidential Policy Directive-8, (National Preparedness), and Presidential Policy Directive-21 (Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience) building safety, fire prevention, and energy codes and standards better enable disaster resilience for our nation.

This year's theme is “Resilient Communities Start with Building Codes." Each week in May will have an individual theme. The theme for May 4-10 is "Don’t Get Burned Build To Code," which is designed to spotlight the importance that fire prevention and safety plays in overall efforts to build and sustain safer buildings. As part of this theme, a national effort led by FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reminds all that “Fire Is Everyone’s Fight" and everyone can work to lower the number of home fires and home fire injuries in America. Along with USFA and partner organizations across the country, the fire community is speaking out with a unified message of fire prevention and safety to the public.

Find out how organizations can participate in Building Safety Month by visiting ICC’s Building Safety Month page for more information.

Taholah Village Master Relocation Plan

The Quinault Indian Nation is in the second year of an ambitious three-year planning project to relocate Tahola Village on safer ground, out of the tsunami inundation zone and flood hazard area.  Situated in a natural bowl carved out of the Washington Coast by the Quinault River, the Tahola Village area of the Quinault Indian Reservation has been a traditional dwelling and fishing site for centuries. While the primary goal of the relocation project is to move the community out of harm’s way, Quinault leaders recognized a great opportunity to build a new upper village by combining traditional wisdom with contemporary technology to create a more sustainable and resilient nation.


More than 600 people reside in roughly 175 homes located in the risk area, along with a number of tribal administrative functions and their school. The new village will be pedestrian friendly but also auto accessible, with safe, lighted, wide sidewalks, and interconnected trails. New plans include the use of passive and active solar panels, bio mass power generation, energy efficient infrastructure and building design, and a multi-function building to house Head Start, the Elder Center, and Childcare. A new community center will double as an evacuation center, including a helipad and an area to pitch tents for temporary shelter in an emergency.


While they work on the Taholah Village Master Relocation Plan, the Quinault Nation is aggressively clearing building sites and roads. With technical assistance from FEMA Region X Mitigation staff, they are now scoping the first removal of critical facilities from the floodplain, and passed strong land use ordinances.


The Relocation Project planners used a number of surveys and held a series of charrettes in the planning process to capture and incorporate the values and vision of the residents. More sessions are planned to scope concepts for housing design options. This community-driven process is helping to translate the culture of this historic place to the new site, located safely above the existing location and well out of the tsunami inundation zone.

Tahola Relocation Area Map
A map of the Tahola relocation area.

Mitigation Planning Information Exchange Webinars

FEMA is partnering with the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) to offer an eight-part quarterly webinar series to share challenges, best practices, and evolving methods and techniques in hazard mitigation planning. The purpose of the webinar series is to encourage peer-to-peer learning and the exchange of information among a national and even international audience. The planning information exchange will focus on multi-hazard mitigation planning but also emphasize its connections with recovery planning and preparedness.

The first webinar, The Role of Hazard Mitigation in Post-Disaster Recovery, will occur May 6, 2015 from 4-5 p.m. ET. Participants can earn one continuing education credit per webinar through APA and ASFPM. For more information and to register for upcoming webinars, visit the American Planning Association website.

Teen Community Emergency Response Team Webinar

After an emergency event, schools must sometimes wait for first responders to arrive. To equip students, staff, and schools with basic response skills and emergency preparedness concepts, FEMA established the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to support high schools, which has been adapted from the adult CERT program.

FEMA and the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, will be hosting a webinar on May 14 from 2-3 p.m. ET regarding Teen CERT and how schools may use it to engage youth in school emergency management planning and promote student preparedness. The webinar will provide an overview of FEMA’s Teen CERT program along with examples of how schools and districts are using Teen CERT to support their emergency preparedness and response efforts. The guest speakers are Dante Randazzo, program specialist at FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division, and Susan Graves, safety coordinator of Oregon's Lincoln County School District.

Participants can register for the webinar online. Closed captioning will be offered.

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 this Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Questions may be submitted to FEMA-FFRMS@fema.dhs.gov.

REMINDER: Fourth Meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council

The fourth public meeting of the Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC), is scheduled for May 12 – 13, 2015, in Reston, Virginia. The public meeting will be held at the U.S. 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.

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 who 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. More information on the TMAC meeting is available online and at www.fema.gov/TMAC.

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.

All preparedness grant applications – excluding Emergency Management Performance Grant and 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.