External Affairs Bulletin Week of June 8, 2015

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Week of June 8, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

June 23 -- Technical Mapping Advisory Council Meeting (multiple dates)

Technical Mapping Advisory Council Meeting (multiple dates)

August 28 -- Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

FEMA and the Ad Council Partner with Warner Bros., Dwayne Johnson to Promote Earthquake Preparedness Public Service Announcements

FEMA and the Ad Council partnered with Warner Bros. to launch a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring scenes from the action thriller “San Andreas,” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Created pro bono by Warner Bros. for the Ad Council, the PSAs include English language TV and radio advertising and uses scenes from the upcoming feature film San Andreas to amplify earthquake safety awareness and the protective actions that can be taken in the event of an earthquake. The PSAs educate audiences to “drop, cover, and hold on” if an earthquake strikes and directs audiences to www.ready.gov/earthquake for more information on how to protect themselves, families, and property before, during, and after an earthquake.


The earthquake safety tips in the PSAs are vital to help individuals and families prepare to react quickly, which can help save lives. It is critically important to highlight the steps people can take to protect themselves from an earthquake. Earthquakes can occur anywhere in the United States without warning. According to joint research by the U.S. Geological Service (USGS) and FEMA, nearly half the U.S. population, 150 million Americans, are exposed to potentially damaging earthquake shaking.

San Andreas Public Service Announcement

Miami-Dade County Engages in Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

When local emergency management efforts reflect the diversity of the surrounding community, it’s a sign they are adopting a whole community approach to emergency management.


One example, initiated in collaboration with FEMA's Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, is how Miami-Dade County connects houses of worship and faith-based organizations with disaster preparedness and response efforts. Through their Communities Organized to Respond in Emergencies (C.O.R.E.) program, emergency managers have ongoing spokespeople in local faith-based communities that can leverage resources during times of disaster. 


During Administrator Fugate’s visit to Miami to raise awareness of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season, he met with members of the C.O.R.E. program to discuss their progress, challenges, and future plans. Miami-Dade started the effort by convening people in the community. They listened to the potential needs and skills of people in their faith-based communities and organizations, then tailored trainings and service opportunities that leveraged these unique abilities and concerns. As a result, those in the Miami-Dade C.O.R.E. program have a wide variety of skills that break down traditional silos between emergency management functions. This creates a connectedness within faith-based organizations and houses of worship, which in turn links them to the larger emergency management network in the county.


By connecting the C.O.R.E. program with Community Emergency Response Teams, members from the faith-based community stay engaged with non-emergency assignments like crowd control, preparedness fairs, and community events. Today, the various C.O.R.E. groups are a collection of diverse skill sets, backgrounds, and faith-based traditions – a set up reflecting the diversity of Miami-Dade county itself.


Visit the Miami-Dade C.O.R.E. program website for more information.

FEMA and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Sign Memorandum of Agreement

FEMA and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) are a key partnership in FEMA’s whole community approach as it relates to working alongside a broad cross-section of voluntary and faith-based organizations that partner with other sectors. To reaffirm commitment to this partnership, FEMA and National VOAD signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on May 14, 2015. The MOA states that FEMA and National VOAD will continue to incorporate even more organizations and volunteers to participate in the disaster life cycle in coordination with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.


National VOAD serves as the primary point of contact for voluntary organization coordination in FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center, supporting Mass Care, Emergency Assistance, Housing, and Human Service’s needs. National VOAD works with a network of more than 55 national agencies and 56 state and territorial VOADs, providing volunteers and services to support preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts.


More information about National VOAD can be found at www.nvoad.org.

FEMA Releases a Consolidated Online Training Course Catalog for First Responder Training

FEMA released a consolidated online training catalog for the First Responder Training System, including courses available through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC) and the Continuing Training Grant (CTG) program. The site was developed in response to customer requests and is known as the “National Training & Education Online Course Catalog.” It allows users to search for all FEMA preparedness training initiatives in one location.  


The main entry page of the combined catalog briefly describes each training organization—EMI, CDP, and the National Training and Education Division—while providing a list of training courses in each catalog, along with links for scheduling and individual websites for each training organization. First responders can access the consolidated course catalog by clicking directly at www.firstrespondertraining.gov/NTE. The catalog itself is searchable and can be viewed in full or by the individual NTE training entities. Users are able to filter by organization and/or training provider, delivery type, discipline, core capability and mission area at www.firstrespondertraining.gov/ntecatalog.

Course catalog feedback can be sent to firstrespondertraining@fema.dhs.gov.

FEMA Partners with Home Depot to Host Hurricane Preparedness Workshops

On May 30, 2015, Home Depot conducted Hurricane Preparedness Workshops in 700 of its stores from the Gulf Coast to New England, to help prepare residents in storm-prone regions ahead of hurricane season. Held during Hurricane Preparedness Week, these discussion-based workshops were designed to educate residents on critical storm readiness topics, such as understanding hurricane alerts and categories, creating a storm survival kit, choosing a generator, weathering a hurricane safely, and repairing a home after a storm has passed.

FEMA employees from FEMA Region II, III, and IV staffed informational tables at 23 Home Depot stores in Alabama, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania concurrent to the hurricane preparedness workshops. American Red Cross and Team Rubicon volunteers supported workshops as well.

Customers who were unable to attend the events can learn more about hurricane preparedness at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Home Depot Hurricane Preparedness Workshop

REMINDER: 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.

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.

REMINDER: Virtual Tabletop Exercise Programs Available at Emergency Management Institute

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers a variety of Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) programs that 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. 

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)

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.