External Affairs Bulletin Week of August 10, 2015

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Week of August 10, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

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 Announces Policy Updates to Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping Standards

FEMA announced the revision of eight Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (RiskMAP) standards as part of the semi-annual maintenance process. The revised standards add letters of map revision (LOMR) to the standards addressing use of preliminary data, and update and clarify requirements for letters of map amendment (LOMA) in coastal high hazard areas. The changes also clarify requirements for “lettered” mapped cross sections on maps and profiles, and set the requirements for Key Decision Points during the mapping process.

Section 22 of the Homeowners Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 allows fee exemptions to enable “Map Change Requests” for habitat restoration projects. FEMA issued a mapping standard to fully implement this provision of the law. In addition, Sections 217 and 218 of Biggert Waters Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) specified changes be made to FEMA’s map appeals process and the Scientific Resolution Panel. With the issuance on July 31, 2015, a new standard regarding the Scientific Resolution Panel, FEMA fully implemented these two provisions of BW-12.

A summary of the changes in the standards and the public review is available at the FEMA library.

As part of this maintenance cycle, FEMA also issued new guidance documents for RiskMAP and updating the related technical reference documents that define specific requirements for flood risk project deliverables. A summary of RiskMAP standards and guidance maintenance is available at www.fema.gov/guidelines-and-standards-maintenance.

In August 2013, a set of standards for the RiskMAP program was issued as the FEMA policy “Standards for Flood Risk Analysis and Mapping.” RiskMAP provides high quality flood maps for communities to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as information and tools to better assess the risk from flooding. The standards enable consistent performance of flood risk projects, processing letters of map change, and related RiskMAP activities.

RiskMAP instituted a semi-annual maintenance process for this policy to provide regular updates and procedures for mapping. Updates to the mapping standards will typically be issued twice yearly.

Arizona Pilots Public Information Officer Course

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) regularly updates courses to meet the changing and evolving training needs of its students and the emergency management field. Recently, EMI revised its six courses within the public information and external affairs topic areas, specifically incorporating new content on strategic communications and social media. EMI is in the process of piloting these courses across several states to ensure the content is consistent with the requirements and demands of the nation’s public information professionals. Arizona was the first state to offer one of the pilot courses.


See what students had to say at https://dema.az.gov/dema/news/arizona-pilots-new-pio-course

U.S. Fire Administration Releases New Reports

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) released three new topical fire reports that look at the characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily homes and other residential buildings for the period 2011 to 2013. Annually, an estimated 372,900 fires in residential buildings resulted in an average of 2,530 deaths, 13,125 injuries and $7 billion in property loss. Eighty-three percent of all fire deaths and 79 percent of all fire injuries occurred in residential buildings. These reports are available for free download from the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/reports.html.


The USFA statistical reports explore aspects of the U.S. fire problem that affect Americans in their daily lives. Primarily based on data collected through USFA's National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS), the reports briefly address the nature and relevance of the specific fire or fire-related problem, highlight important findings, and suggest other resources to consider for further information.

FEMA Logistics Supply Chain Management System Metrics Tracking Update

Starting October 1, 2015, all transportation service providers seeking to participate in FEMA’s Logistics Supply Chain Management System (LSCMS) will be required to log in through FEMA Logistics’ new performance tracking system in order to accept contracts for service. FEMA’s Logistics Transportation Management Branch (TMB) began implementation of this first-ever federal Transportation Service Provider performance metrics program to measure vendors’ performance in January 2015. Carriers will now be assessed on five performance metrics on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. The data captured in LSCMS will allow FEMA to more efficiently respond to the commodities needs in disasters/incidents by tracking trends to improve the overall performance of these service providers.

Mitigation Helps Provide Protection from Devastating Losses

In the wake of disasters, people often wonder whether there is a way to protect both people and property from such devastating losses. Mitigation is the way to provide that protection. Hazard mitigation means taking action to reduce or prevent future damage, preferably before a disaster strikes.

The Mitigation Best Practices webpage on FEMA.gov highlights different stories about how mitigation assisted with reducing or preventing damage from disasters. Learn more by visiting www.fema.gov/mitigation-best-practices-portfolio.

Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit Available

The Ready Campaign and America's PrepareAthon! created an online toolkit that collects how to tips, and images for using social media tools as a way to promote hurricane preparedness. Components of the toolkit can be used throughout hurricane season.

Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit

REMINDER: EMI Offers Virtual Tabletop Exercises

FEMA's 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 August and September 2015 on a variety of subjects:

- August 25-27, 2015:  Building 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: 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: Deadline to Submit Hurricane Sandy Claims for Review Is Approaching

FEMA is reminding National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders, who filed a claim as a result of Hurricane Sandy, they have until September 15, 2015, to register to have their claim files reviewed if they believe their claims were underpaid.

FEMA is committed to ensuring every NFIP policyholder who filed a claim as a result of Hurricane Sandy receives every dollar they are due under their policy. The agency established a process for Hurricane Sandy survivors to have their claims reviewed, and where warranted, additional payments will be made to those policyholders. FEMA sent letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders who filed claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy, offering them an opportunity to have their files reviewed. To date, more than 8,900 policyholders have joined the process.

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 to request a review. Alternately, policyholders can go online to www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy-nfip-claims 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.

FEMA will request the policyholder’s claim file from their insurance company and forward it to the NFIP review office within two business days. Files will be assigned to a highly skilled, NFIP-certified adjuster who will serve as a caseworker for the insured. The entire process should take less than 90 days. Caseworkers will contact policyholders to guide them through the review process. Additionally, there are several nonprofit service providers ready to offer free advice and answer questions policyholders may have. A list of these advocacy groups can be found on the claims review website at www.fema.gov/sandyclaims.

Policyholders who have already registered for the Hurricane Sandy claims review do not need to take any additional action and can expect to be contacted by their caseworker.