External Affairs Bulletin Week of October 12, 2015

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Week of October 12, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

The Great ShakeOut

The Great ShakeOut

Proposed Stafford Act Section 705 Policy Open Comment Period Deadline

Proposed Stafford Act Section 705 Policy Open Comment Period Deadline

Preliminary Damage Assessment Manual Open Comment Period Deadline

Preliminary Damage Assessment Manual Open Comment Period Deadline

Lessons Learned Information Sharing Program Now Available at Homeland Security Digital Library

We are pleased to announce that FEMA's Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS) program completed the consolidation of content previously available on LLIS.gov with the Naval Postgraduate School’s Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL.org). As part of the consolidation effort, nearly 23,000 documents were transferred to HSDL.org, which will improve the community’s access to valuable information. Some of our most recent LLIS products include Hazard and Core Capability Trend Analyses, Grant Case Studies, and Lessons Learned and Innovative Practices. Additionally, you can access information on the LLIS program and find links to these documents on FEMA.gov.

The content transferred to HSDL.org will maintain a similar level of accessibility as LLIS.gov. Documents that required a username and password to view on LLIS.gov will also require a username and password on HSDL.org.


While your LLIS.gov log-in credentials do not transfer, you can easily create a new HSDL account by visiting the HSDL.org login page. Please note that some content is available without a password. To search for publicly available documents, visit HSDL.org and use the search bar function on the homepage.

If you have questions, we encourage you to review our Frequently Asked Questions document by clicking here. You can also send an email to FEMA-lessonslearned@fema.dhs.gov. Thank you for your patience during this transition. Stay updated on all LLIS program news by signing up for the LLIS newsletter.

FY15 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate anticipates commencing the application period for the FY15 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) to begin in November, and will shortly be announcing an opening date for a 30-day application period. 

In anticipation, FEMA has available program guides that will help prospective applicants begin to evaluate and consider their circumstances in a way that will help prepare the most thorough and competitive applications possible. These materials are available at www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program under the “Breaking News” heading. FEMA encourages interested applicants to consult these materials.

The primary goal of the AFG program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

REMINDER: Great ShakeOut

More than 40 U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes. To increase earthquake preparedness, FEMA encourages all Americans to participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill happening on Thursday, October 15, at 10:15 a.m. local time.

In most situations during an earthquake, one would drop to the ground, take cover under a nearby sturdy table or desk, and hold on to it until the shaking stops. People who have mobility disabilities and are unable to drop, should still cover and hold on. If seated they should cover their head and neck with their arms or a pillow until the shaking stops. Individuals who use wheelchairs should lock their wheels, and cover and avoid transferring from their wheelchair until the shaking stop.

More than 20 million people worldwide are registered to participate in Thursday’s Great Shakeout drill. Anyone can register their involvement and learn how to participate at www.ShakeOut.org. FEMA supports Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a community-based campaign that asks everyone to take an action—such as a group discussion or disaster drill—to increase their preparedness. Information on America’s PrepareAthon! is available at www.ready.gov/prepare.

Additional tips for preparing for earthquakes are also available at www.ready.gov/earthquakes.

The Great ShakeOut

REMINDER: Emergency Management Institute Offers Virtual Tabletop Exercises

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) conducts a monthly series of Virtual Tabletop Exercises (VTTX) trainings using a video teleconference platform to reach community-based training audiences around the country and to provide a virtual forum for disaster training and discussion. The 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.

EMI will conduct the following VTTX programs in early FY 2016:

- October 20, 21, 22:  Public Health

- November 3, 4, 5:  Winter Storms

- November 17, 18, 19:  Power Outages

To apply for a VTTX event, please submit an email request to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-7645. The application deadline is four weeks prior to the start date. Additional information on FY 2016 VTTX broadcasts is available on the EMI Website at www.training.fema.gov/emi.aspx.

REMINDER: FEMA Seeks Comments on Draft Preliminary Damage Assessment Manual

FEMA seeks comments from state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management practitioners on the draft FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual. The manual establishes national damage assessment standards developed from historic lessons learned and best-practices already in use by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial, emergency management agencies.

The FEMA Damage Assessment Operating Manual is built using a framework that encourages local information collection, state, tribal or territorial verification, and federal validation. This document better highlights and provides guidance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments on their role in the assessment. This version of the PDA manual also clarifies the types of damage that will qualify under the descriptors of destroyed, major damage, minor damage, or affected.

The draft manual and comment matrix is posted in the FEMA library. Comments should be added into the comment matrix and submitted to Mr. Ryan Buras, Senior Program Advisor, Public Assistance, Recovery Directorate, by 11:59 p.m. ET on November 14, 2015. FEMA asks that comments on the manual be sent either by email to PDAmanual@fema.dhs.gov or by mail with a November 14 postmark to Mr. Ryan Buras, Senior Program Advisor, Public Assistance, Recovery Directorate, FEMA, 500 C Street, SW, Mail Stop 3163, Washington, DC 20472.