External Affairs Bulletin Week of November 23, 2015

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Week of November 23, 2015

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

December 10 -- Fifth Annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference (multiple dates)

Fifth Annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference (multiple dates)

December 16 -- Tools for Creating Campus Resilience Webinar

Tools for Creating Campus Resilience Webinar

Dec 17 -- Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Implementation Open Comment Period

Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Implementation Open Comment Period

Jan 11 -- Individual Assistance Declaration Criteria for States Open Comment Period

Individual Assistance Declaration Criteria for States Open Comment Period

Thanksgiving Home Cooking Fire Safety

Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. For each year from 2011 to 2013, an estimated 2,100 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the United States on Thanksgiving Day, and caused an estimated 10 deaths, 50 injuries, and $28 million in property loss.

It is important to stay in the kitchen when cooking at high temperatures, particularly when frying, broiling, or boiling. Frying food is the greatest risk of cooking fires. Two-thirds of home cooking fires start when food or cooking materials catch on fire, and more than half of home cooking fire injuries happen when people try to fight the fire themselves.

If frying a turkey this Thanksgiving, remember these facts:

- Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot cooking oil over a large area.

- An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in, and a partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.

- Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.

- Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire.

- The sides of the cooking pot, lid and pot handles can get dangerously hot.

Visit the U.S. Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov for more information on cooking and turkey fryer safety.

Thanksgiving Home Cooking Fire Safety

The Way Forward – Fifth Annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference

FEMA and partners will hold the Fifth Annual Building Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships Conference on December 10-11, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The events of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the continued threat environment have forged strong public-private partnerships that have enhanced prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for all-hazards resilience with acknowledgement across the board that there is more to be done.

The conference brings together industry executives and government and nonprofit leadership from across the emergency management and homeland security enterprise. For those interested in participating in the in person conference there is still time to register. For more information and to check out the conference agenda visit www.dhs.gov/event/Public-Private-Partnerships-Conference.

Sponsored this year by FEMA, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the National Protection and Programs Directorate and Private Sector Office, and North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. Planned in collaboration with: American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN), American Red Cross, Business Executives for National Security (BENS), Business Forward, National Incident Management Systems & Advanced Technologies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Conducts First Successful Bilingual Test Alert

On Tuesday, November 17 at 1:20 p.m. PST, FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), in voluntary coordination with state broadcaster associations, emergency management agencies, and state emergency communications committee chairs from Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wisconsin, issued the first bilingual alert message via the Emergency Alert System (EAS) from the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) conference exhibit hall. A full message text and true voice spoken word audio message was sent, received, and broadcast by participating broadcast stations in both English and Spanish, demonstrating the capacity to convey multilingual public alerts and warnings to the diverse communities served.


FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich and John “Rusty” Russell, president of IAEM-USA, pushed the button to activate the IPAWS Supported State/Regional Tests (ISSRT). A minute after initiating the test, more than 1,400EAS devices in the six-state area retrieved the message. Information included the expanded alert text, plus audio in both languages. Some stations automatically aired the Spanish version, followed by the English version, while others stations coupled with specific software, enabled specific language selections for each individual program stream.


Looking to 2016, FEMA plans to continue regional National Periodic Tests (NPT) throughout the first half of the year. New Federal Communications Commission rules regarding EAS participant action upon receipt of an NPT message will go into effect July 30, 2016. For more information about IPAWS, visit www.fema.gov/ipaws.

FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Conducts First Successful Bilingual Test Alert
Left to right: Charles McCobb, IPAWS; Mark Lucero, IPAWS; John “Rusty” Russell, president of IAEM-USA; Joseph Nimmich, FEMA Deputy Administrator; Al Kenyon, IPAWS; Alisa Jones, OASIS Emergency Management Technical Committee; and Wade Witmer, IPAWS.

REMINDER: Tools for Creating Campus Resilience Webinar

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, in partnership with the DHS Office of Academic Engagement, FEMA Region VII, and U.S. Fire Administration, will present a webinar titled "Tools for Creating Campus Resilience" on December 16 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET. The webinar will discuss ReadyCampus, the DHS Campus Resilience Pilot Program for Colleges and Universities. This student-centered program brings together many prominent organizations, private sector, and local volunteer organizations to teach general preparedness to students and staff, and the U.S. Fire Administration's Campus Fire Safety Program. Natural, technological, and health hazards can all affect daily campus operations. Institutions are encouraged to regularly review, update, and exercise their emergency plans.

Participants should register in advance for the online webinar. Closed captioning will be provided.

REMINDER: FEMA's Intent to Implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard

FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration released FEMA’s Leadership Intent to implement the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS). The Intent describes the framework FEMA is proposing to implement for Executive Order (E.O.) 13690 and the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard.


E.O. 13690 provides federal agencies flexibility to choose from one or more approaches to identify an elevation requirement above the base flood elevation.  Additionally, E.O. 13690 amended E.O. 11988 to set forth a higher level of resilience for activities where even a slight chance of flooding is too great. The Intent outlines FEMA’s approach to standardize its use of the multiple elevation requirements above the base flood elevation.


Continuing our commitment to an open, collaborative, stakeholder-focused process in implementing the FFRMS, FEMA is sharing this framework for public comment on FEMA’s website. Public comments received will continue to inform the regulatory and policy development process.


For more information, visit www.fema.gov/federal-flood-risk-management-standard-ffrms or send comments by December 17, 2015, to FEMA-EO11988-13690@fema.dhs.gov.

REMINDER: FEMA Seeks Input on Individual Assistance Declaration Criteria for States

FEMA is seeking public comment on proposed changes to regulation describing FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA) declarations criteria. FEMA published the proposed rule in the Federal Register, and is seeking comments by January 11, 2016.

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act (SRIA) requires FEMA to review, update and revise, through rulemaking, the factors it uses to measure the severity, magnitude, and impact of a disaster. The proposed rule, which has a 60 day public comment period, is intended to provide more objective and clear IA declaration factors and speed the declaration process, including FEMA’s recommendation to the President on whether a major disaster declaration authorizing IA is warranted.

The proposed rule largely expands and clarifies current factors and aligns them with the data presently collected to support the evaluation process and adds additional data sets easily accessible by states. FEMA reviewed the current factors and the proposed rule intends to revise the current factors by including:  State Fiscal Capacity and Resource Availability, Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses, Disaster Impacted Population Profile, Impact to Community Infrastructure, Casualties, and Disaster Related Unemployment.

Comments are due on January 11, 2016, and can be submitted online.