External Affairs Bulletin Week of June 1, 2015

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Week of June 1, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

June 3 -- National Engagement Period Feedback Submission Deadline

National Planning Frameworks: National Engagement Period

August 28 -- Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

2015 National Preparedness Report Released

FEMA and its partners released the 2015 National Preparedness Report (NPR). The NPR is an annual status report summarizing the nation's progress toward reaching the 2011 National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. The 2015 NPR places particular emphasis on highlighting preparedness progress in implementing the National Planning Frameworks, which describe how the whole community works together to achieve the Goal.

The report was developed to meet the requirements of Presidential Policy Directive 8/PPD-8: National Preparedness. PPD-8 is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation. The NPR also addresses several reporting requirements from the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 (PKEMRA), including components of the Federal Preparedness Report and State Preparedness Report (SPR).

The NPR presents a national perspective, highlighting the contributions to preparedness made by the whole community—namely, federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, communities, and individuals. The report integrates data from the annual Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process and State Preparedness Reports (SPR) from the 56 states and territories. The NPR also highlights tribal preparedness progress and includes a case study of the first tribal implementation of the National Disaster Recovery Framework. FEMA also conducted research to identify any recent independent evaluations, surveys, and other data related to the core capabilities.

Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants

FEMA announced $180 million in funding available through two Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant programs: Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM). These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 FMA grants will continue to focus on reducing or eliminating claims under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with a focus on mitigation planning and the mitigation of severe repetitive loss properties. The FY 2015 PDM grants will continue to focus on implementing a sustained pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program and provide the grant funding set aside as required in the Stafford Act to states and tribes to support overall mitigation planning and projects.

Both HMA FY 2015 Funding Opportunity Announcements can be found at www.grants.gov. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the Mitigation eGrants system on the FEMA Grants Portal accessible at https://portal.fema.gov. All applications must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. EDT on August 28, 2015.


FEMA's HMA grant programs provide states, tribes, territories, and local governments funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damages. Further information on these grant programs is available at www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Fact Sheet Now Available

On January 30, the President issued an Executive Order, “Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input.” Future federal investments in and affecting floodplains will be required to meet the level of resilience established in the Standard This includes projects where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged. These projects make sure that buildings are constructed to withstand the impacts of flooding, improve the resilience of communities, and protect federal investments.

This Standard requires agencies to consider the best available, actionable science of both current and future risk when taxpayer dollars are used to build or rebuild in floodplains. On average, more people die annually from flooding than any other natural hazard. Further, the costs borne by the federal government are more than any other hazard. Water-related disasters account for approximately 85 percent of all disaster declarations.

The fact sheet clarifies the requirements of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard as it relates to FEMA programs. FEMA looks forward to continuing to work together to reduce flood risk, increase resilience, cut future economic losses, and potentially save lives.

Emergency Management Institute Conducts Cyber Based Exercise Training

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) delivered its cybersecurity focused Virtual Tabletop Exercise Program (VTTXs) training on May 5-7, 2015. EMI worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and the National Cyber Exercise and Planning Program to facilitate a multimedia exercise that focused on increased cybersecurity awareness, current and future cyber planning efforts, and the review and refinement of cyber-related plans.


The VTTX brought together more than 230 federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government representatives, as well as specialists from information technology, emergency management, the National Guard, and private industry. Participants examined cybersecurity information sharing, escalation criteria, and related course of action, while examining cybersecurity incident management structures. Players participated in training modules that included planning, identifying, protecting, detecting, and responding to an attack on vendor data. The tabletop exercise enabled participating organizations to identify areas of concern and possible resolutions, and facilitated inter-department/agency cooperation that will be valuable in building relationships for handling future cyber incidents.

EMI will conduct VTTX programs between June and September 2015 on a variety of subjects:

- July 7-9: Long-term Power Outage

- July 28-30: Psychology of Disaster: Long-term Mental Health Recovery

- August 25-27: Building Collapse Focused

- September 1-3: Public Health Infectious Disease (written and hosted by the CDC)

These VTTX programs are designed for a community based group of at least ten or more personnel from state, local, tribal, or territorial emergency management organizations with representatives from other disciplines such as public safety, public works, public health, health care, government, administrative, communications, military, private sector, non-governmental, and other whole community partners. Participants must have an appropriate site equipped with video teleconference capability that can access FEMA. A complete listing of all the 2015 VVTX dates and scenarios can be found online.


To apply for a VTTX event, submit an email request to participate in the exercise to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-7645. The deadline for applying to participate in a VTTX is four weeks prior to the start date.

The RadResponder Network Conducts Nationwide Drill

The RadResponder Network successfully conducted the third nationwide radiological data management drill, co-sponsored by Southern States Energy Board to support the Southern Mutual Radiation Assistance Plan, on May 19, 2015. Although focused on the southern region of the United States, RadResponder users from 29 states participated in the drill. Throughout the daylong drill participants gathered actual background radiation measurements from across the country. More than 13,000 data points were collected and shared in real time. This nationwide drill demonstrated the effectiveness of the network’s new user interface, which leveraged advancement in data management technology and was rolled out in April 2015.


The RadResponder Network is currently being used by nearly 3,000 responder across 840 unique organizations for training, exercises, and real world emergency operations. It is the national standard and whole community solution for the management of radiological data. Through using RadResponder, emergency management personnel responding to a radiological incident have an increased ability to rapidly characterize an event and subsequently implement life-saving operations. RadResponder enables a networked approach to the management of radiological data, the tracking of specialized personnel and equipment and the establishing of interagency partnerships.


All government organizations can use the free RadResponder Network system in managing radiological and nuclear emergencies. For more information regarding the May 19 drill or general inquiries, please email sean.crawford@fema.dhs.gov or support@radresponder.net.

The RadResponder Network

2015 Hurricane Season Outlook Released

NOAA’s (National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration) Climate Prediction Center released the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. They predict a below-normal season, but emphasize that below-normal seasons can still produce catastrophic impact to communities. NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.


NOAA also issued its outlook for the Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific basins. For the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s 2015 outlook is for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal hurricane season. For the Central Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s outlook is for a 70 percent chance of an above-normal season.

FEMA encourages everyone to prepare now and know what do before, during, and after a hurricane makes landfall. Being prepared helps build stronger, safer and more resilient communities. Practicing what to do in an emergency in advance of the event could make a difference in the ability to take immediate and informed action, which, in turn, enables a quicker recovery. More information about preparing for hurricanes can be found at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

FINAL REMINDER: National Planning Frameworks: National Engagement Period

As part of a National Engagement Period, drafts of the National Planning Frameworks containing proposed updates are posted online for review and feedback. This is a draft document and FEMA feels it is important to seek stakeholder input at this critical juncture. This update of the National Planning Frameworks focuses on discrete, critical content revisions, and confirming edits as a result of comments received on the National Preparedness Goal. Additional changes in the attached draft are the result of the lessons learned from implementing the Frameworks and recent events, as well as the findings of the National Preparedness Report.

To ensure all feedback is properly handled, reviewers are asked to use the provided feedback submission form to submit feedback and recommendations. Please provide any comments and recommendations, using the submission form, to PPD8-Engagement@fema.dhs.gov by June 3 at 5 p.m. ET. For more information on national preparedness efforts, please visit www.fema.gov/national-preparedness.