External Affairs Bulletin Week of July 13, 2015

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Week of July 13, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

July 26 -- Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

July 27 -- Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments (E0580) Course Application Deadline

Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments (E0580) Course Application Deadline

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

FEMA Trains Tribal Leaders in Emergency Management

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), working with headquarters and the regions, looks for new opportunities to help tribal leaders learn about emergency management principles and practices to help protect tribal citizens, lands, and culture. Tribal liaisons from FEMA’s Region V and Region IX taught a four-hour EMI course, Emergency Management Overview for Tribal Leaders (L0583), to better enable tribal leaders in developing and implementing a comprehensive emergency management system within their tribal nations. 


Fifteen participants representing eight tribal governments, the state of Alaska, the American Red Cross, and the Department of Homeland Security participated in the training as a pre-conference workshop before the 2015 Mid-Year Conference of the National Congress of American Indians on June 28-July 1, 2015 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The interactive course was designed to meet the demanding schedule of elected and appointed tribal officials, and to provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to better prepare their communities to face all hazards as well as respond to and recover from incidents.

The Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments (E0580) is a four-day course held at EMI, located on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and is scheduled for August 24-27, 2015. Tribal leaders, tribal emergency managers, tribal response personnel, tribal government department heads, and tribal government employees learn how effective emergency management can improve the sustainability of their tribal community to better protect its tribal citizens, lands, culture, and sovereignty.

Specific topics for the Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments (E0580) course include the legal and financial basis for emergency management; identification and analysis of hazards; the planning process; components of an emergency management system; assuring readiness through training and exercises; forming partnerships with the public and private sectors; and upgrading and sustaining emergency management capabilities.

There are still vacancies available for the four-day class scheduled for the last full week in August. Applications can be completed online and the deadline is July 27, 2015. Questions about the EMI Tribal Curriculum should be directed to Katie Hirt at Katie.Hirt@fema.dhs.gov or 301-447-1164.

Preparedness Tips for Individuals with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs

July 26, 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This historic civil rights law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in state and local government and private entities and facilitates equal physical, programmatic, and effective communication access for all Americans.

The primary purpose of the ADA is to:

- mandate the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;

- establish enforceable standards for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;

- ensure that the federal government plays a central role in enforcing these standards; and

- use congressional authority to regulate commerce, in order to address major areas of discrimination faced by individuals with disabilities.

While much progress has been made since the bill was signed in 1990, barriers still remain for many children and adults with disabilities. These barriers to accessibility can easily be exacerbated during a disaster. FEMA recommends those individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs plan for their specific health, safety, and independence during a disaster by taking charge of their personal emergency preparedness. Use the following tips to build an individualized disaster supply kit:

- Stock a basic disaster supply kit.

- Create a plan for sheltering at home, at work AND on the road.

- Inventory what you use every day to maintain your health, safety and independence. Identify essential items you and your family will need to survive for three to five days or longer, if emergency responders or other people cannot get to you following an emergency or disaster and if you have needs that are not easily accommodated, even when you aren’t on your own.

- Carry a pad for several days as you go about your usual routines and jot down anything that might be difficult for you to manage without in an emergency, and then begin to brainstorm solutions that might work for you.

- Stock your kit with essential items which may include durable medical equipment, medical supplies, assistive technology devices, food for your specific dietary needs, prescription medicines, diabetic supplies, hearing aid batteries, phone charger and back up battery, an analog-based landline phone (and TTY if you use this technology), manual wheelchair, seat cushion, egg crate padding and other medical equipment and mobility devices you may need to maintain your health, safety and independence, and supplies for your service animal.

- Plan for the specific needs of children with disabilities and people who may have difficulty in unfamiliar or chaotic environments. This may include handheld electronic devices loaded with movies and games (and spare chargers), sheets and twine or a small pop up tent to decrease visual stimulation in a busy room or to provide instant privacy, headphones to decrease auditory distractions, comfort snacks and toys that meet needs for stimulation.


More information can be found at www.ready.gov/individuals-access-functional-needs.

FEMA Meets with Tribal Youth

The White House started Generation Indigenous (GEN – I) to engage Native American Youth. As part of this, the White House hosted the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, DC, on July 9 to provide American Indian and Alaska Native youth from across the country the opportunity to interact directly with senior administration officials and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.


Prior to the gathering, the Office of External Affairs provided tribal youth the opportunity to meet with FEMA leadership on July 8. Tribal youth and leaders from Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Tanana Chiefs of Alaska; and Sault (Soo) St. Marie Tribe of Michigan attended the event. FEMA Associate Administrator Beth Zimmerman kicked off the event by welcoming the tribal youth and providing an overview of the agency. She was followed by National Tribal Affairs Advisor Milo Booth, who briefed the tribal youth on the FEMA Tribal Branch, and FEMA Corps member Hadley Hill, who offered a perspective on the FEMA Corps program. Afterwards, the tribal youth were given a tour of the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC).

FEMA Meets with Tribal Youth

Safe Room Resources CD Now Available

FEMA’s Building Science Branch presents FEMA P-388-CD, "Safe Room Resources (2015)." The materials on this CD are intended to help communities mitigate damage or loss from tornadoes and other extreme-wind events, and provide public information resources for conveying the importance of safe room construction. This is part of FEMA’s ongoing mitigation effort to lessen the impact that disasters have on people and property.

The CD contains several informative posters, maps, and other resources that can be downloaded in various formats, including high-resolution print quality and low-resolution screen quality for web use. Information about FEMA artwork requirements and terms of usage agreement can be found in the FEMA library.

FEMA grant programs have provided approximately $985 million in federal funds towards the design and construction of nearly 25,000 residential and 2,000 community safe rooms in 25 states, tribes, and territories. This investment aligns with FEMA’s strategic goal to support disaster resilience and the ability of our local communities to withstand and recover rapidly from disasters. All safe rooms constructed with FEMA grant funds must adhere to the FEMA recommended criteria described in FEMA P-361, “Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms,” and the requirements as described in the most current edition of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Unified Guidance.


FEMA’s Building Science Branch develops guidance that supports communities in becoming safer by reducing loss of life and property and becoming more disaster-resilient. For more information, visit www.fema.gov/building-science.

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 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. 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 August 28, 2015 at 3 p.m. EDT.


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 142,000 policyholders of the approaching 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.