External Affairs Bulletin Week of July 6, 2015

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Week of July 6, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

August 10 -- Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grants Program Application Deadline

Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grants Program Application Deadline

August 15 -- 2016 National Emergency Management Executive Academy Application Deadline

2016 National Emergency Management Executive Academy Application Deadline

August 28 -- Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants Deadline

September 15 -- Flood Insurance Policyholders with Hurricane Sandy Claims Request for Review Deadline

Flood Insurance Policyholders with Hurricane Sandy Claims Request for Review Deadline

Join FEMA in Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This milestone law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in state and local government, private entities and telecommunications. It was passed in 1990 and signed by President George H.W. Bush. Before the ADA, people with disabilities experienced barriers to employment, participation in state and local government programs and services, transportation, effective communications, public accommodations and more. Although much progress has been made over the past 25 years, there is still more work to do. Employment opportunities and access to physical, programmatic, and effective communication still remain inaccessible for many people with disabilities. And this is usually exacerbated in disasters.

FEMA works extensively with state and local officials, and many other stakeholders who play an important role as force multipliers to achieve compliance and increase access to more Americans. FEMA has a responsibility to plan for the entire community – children, older adults and people with or without disabilities with access and functional needs. FEMA must include the whole community in preparedness efforts, exercises, and training so that communities understand how best to accommodate everyone’s needs in a disaster. FEMA recognizes the importance of inclusive emergency management in preparedness activities before a disaster strikes, and throughout response, recovery and mitigation.

Under the mandates of the ADA, the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, FEMA joins a renewed effort across the country to plan for emergencies and disasters with people who have disabilities and others with access and functional needs rather than planning for them. Equal access and reasonable accommodations are not just what the law requires, they are the right thing to do. The 25th Anniversary of the ADA is a good time to renew our commitment to this vital civil rights commitment, and FEMA is doing so to support true whole community inclusion. More information can be found at www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs.

FEMA Congratulates National Emergency Management Basic Academy Graduates

FEMA congratulates the 31 students who graduated from the National Emergency Management Basic Academy on June 25, 2015. These students completed the full Basic Academy curriculum, which provides the basic knowledge and skills to help meet the unpredictable challenges in the field of emergency management. Graduates represented emergency management professionals from state and local governments, institutions of higher learning, Department of Defense elements, and FEMA.


FEMA’s National Emergency Management Basic Academy is the entry point for individuals pursuing a career in emergency management, offering the tools to develop the needed comprehensive foundational skills. For those who are new to emergency management, the Basic Academy also provides a unique opportunity to build camaraderie, to establish professional contacts, and to understand the roles, responsibilities, and legal boundaries associated with emergency management.


The Basic Academy is the first of a three-level Academy series in the Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). The EMPP curriculum is designed to guide and educate emergency management professionals as they progress through their careers, providing a lifetime of learning for emergency management professionals. The EMPP includes three separate, but closely threaded, training programs; building from the Basic Academy; to the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy, and culminating in the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. The Advanced Academy is a program to develop the next generation of emergency management leaders who are trained in advanced concepts and issues, advanced leadership and management, and critical thinking and problem solving. The Executive Academy is a program designed to challenge and enhance the talents of the nation’s emergency management senior executives through critical thinking, visionary strategic planning, challenging conventional concepts, and negotiation and conflict resolution applied to complex real-world problems. Emergency management professionals should visit www.training.fema.gov/empp for more information about which academy best suits their needs.


Congratulations, graduates!

FEMA Congratulates National Emergency Management Basic Academy Graduates

Wildfire Safety Toolkit Now Available

More and more people are making their homes in woodland settings -- in or near forests, rural areas, or remote mountain sites. In these settings, homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment but face the very real danger of wildfire. Every year across the nation, some homes survive -- while many others do not -- after a major wildfire. Those that survive almost always do so because their owners had prepared for the eventuality of fire, which is an inescapable force of nature in fire-prone wildland areas.


There are simple steps citizens can take today to reduce their risk to wildfires. The Ready Campaign's wildfire safety toolkit contains social media shareables to help promote wildfire safety awareness.

Wildfire Safety Toolkit Now Available

REMINDER: Emergency Management Institute Offers Virtual Tabletop Exercises

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) conducts a monthly series of Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) using a video teleconference platform to reach community-based training audiences around the country and provide a virtual forum for disaster training. The VTTX programs are designed for a community-based group of at least ten or more personnel from local or state 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 July and September 2015 on a variety of subjects:

- July 28-30, 2015:  Psychology of Disaster: Long-term Mental Health Recovery

- August 25-27, 2015Building Collapse Focused

- September 1-3, 2015:  Public Health Infectious Disease (written and hosted by the CDC)

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.

REMINDER: Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program/Continuing Training Grants Program

FEMA announced the release of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Homeland Security National Training Program (HSNTP) Continuing Training Grants (CTG) program with a total $11,521,000 available for awards in four focus areas.


This highly competitive program attracts on average 80 applicants from state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, along with eligible non-profit organizations to include colleges and universities. In 2014, 88 eligible organizations competed and six HSNTP/CTG awards were made. Information on the 2014 awards can be found online.


FY 2015 HSNTP/CTG applications are due no later than August 10, 2015. Submissions must be made through www.grants.gov.

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, local governments, tribes, and territories 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: Flood Insurance Policyholders Have Until September 15 to Request Hurricane Sandy Claims Be Reviewed

On May 18, FEMA began mailing letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders who filed claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy, offering them an opportunity to have their files reviewed. While extensions may be granted on a case by case basis, FEMA set a September 15, 2015 deadline for policyholders to begin the intake process by either phoning the call center and speaking to a claims review specialist or downloading the claims review request form from the website and submitting it via email or by fax. In the coming weeks, FEMA will use a number of communications channels to remind the all 142,000 policyholders of the Fall deadline.

To be eligible for the review, policyholders must have experienced flood damage between October 27, 2012 and November 6, 2012, as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 1-866-337-4262 or go online to www.fema.gov/sandyclaims to download a form requesting a review. The downloaded form may be filled out and emailed to FEMA-sandyclaimsreview@fema.dhs.gov to start the review process.

For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability using 711 or VRS, please call 866-337-4262. For individuals using a TTY, please call 800-462-7585 to begin the review process. Before contacting the claim center, policyholders are asked to have their flood insurance carrier name and policy number at hand.