FEMA Bulletin Week of January 18, 2016

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Week of January 18, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

Feb 5 -- Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments Course Application Deadline

Emergency Management Framework for Tribal Governments Course Application Deadline

April 7

Comment Period Ends for Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance

Winter Storm Safety

Winter is just beginning, but many people have already experienced storms that have left homes and businesses without electricity and the need for alternate ways for provide heat. Whenever we use alternate heating methods, we increase the risk of a home fire or exposing ourselves to dangerous carbon monoxide.


During a storm, watch for damaged or downed power lines. Water damaged appliances can be electrically charged; do not use them until they have been inspected. Check gas lines to ensure they are not damaged or leaking.


Only use generators outdoors. The fumes contain carbon monoxide that can quickly overwhelm you. Make sure you use the right size and type of power cords. Never run the cords under a carpet or rug. Also, do not connect your generator to another power source. Make sure you keep any chemicals away from the generator.


Be careful using candles. They are easily knocked over and can start a fire quickly. Consider using battery operated candles instead. Visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for more information on safety measures that will keep you safe during a winter storm.

Emergency Management Institute Offers a Virtual Tabletop Exercise for Tornado

EMI’s Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer a tornado scenario in February 23 – 25 and March  8 – 10 , 2016.  The VTTX helps communities prepare for the upcoming tornado season using historical events and recovery actions.

The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting and used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures.

EMI conducts a monthly series of VTTXs using a teleconference platform to reach community based training audiences around the country providing a virtual forum for disaster trainingThe design of the VTTX is for a group of 10 or more representatives from state and local emergency management communities of practice.  Participants must have an appropriate site equipped with video teleconference capability.


The goals of the VTTX are to test the participants’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct all-hazards emergency response and recovery effectively.  The VTTXs also enable coordination response operations with counterparts from Federal agencies, state and local governments, private sector organizations, non-governmental agencies, and other whole community partners. The VTTX occurs 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

To participate in a VTTX, submit an email request to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-7645.  Please send a courtesy copy email to the Integrated Emergency Management Branch at FEMA-EMI-IEMB@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-1381.  The deadline for applying to a VTTX is four weeks prior to the start date. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

Share Mitigation Success Stories in the Updated "Best Practices Portfolio"

If you or members of your community have taken measures to prevent losses from disasters at home, at work, or in your community, or know of someone who has, share your story FEMA’s updated “Mitigation Best Practices Portfolio”.  By sharing and highlighting success stories, you help spread the word of how important, effective, and life-saving mitigation can be.

The Best Practices Portfolio is a collection of ideas, activities, projects and funding sources that can help reduce or prevent the impacts of disasters. To take a look at what is possible, or to get ideas for a specific situation, you can browse through this portfolio and see what others have been doing as well.

Once a Best Practice is submitted, the information will be reviewed and possibly included in the FEMA online Mitigation Best Practice Collection.  Current topics include Assistance, Flood, Wind and Grants. These can be added to and updated as items are submitted and selected for sharing. Follow these instructions to share a Mitigation Best Practice:

  1. Submit a one to two page document in a Microsoft® Word file.
  2. Include any photos, maps, graphics, and/or PDF files which may enhance your Best Practice.
  3. Provide your contact information such as a phone number and/or email address.
  4. Email submissions to MitSuccess@fema.gov.


With the recent updates to the Best Practices Portfolio, stories previously posted have been relocated to the Homeland Security Digital Library where they are accessible to the public. All new stories can also be found there by searching “Mitigation Best Practices.”  In addition, new submittals are being posted to the FEMA Resource and Document Library on the Best Practice Stories web page.

Sign Recognizes Record Flooding Event from 1998 in Texas

City of Leon Valley, TX High Water Mark Initiative

 A community in Texas continues its commitment to safety and  raising the awareness of residents about flood risk.  The weather was cooperative with a bit of sunshine at the early morning event on January 9 as The City of Leon Valley was the latest to join the federal interagency High Water Mark Initiative.


The new sign was unveiled along a prominent walking trail to commemorate the October 17, 1998.  More than 10+ inches of rain fell in hours and created unprecedented flooding. Local, county and emergency management officials are committed to continue outreach and encourage citizens to take action and prepare for disaster.

Reminder: Comment Period for Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance

On January 8, FEMA entered the next phase of tribal consultation for the Stafford Act disaster declaration process for tribal governments. The draft guidance is posted to the Federal Register and will be available for comment until April 7, 2016.

In the coming months, FEMA will conduct meetings with tribal leaders to discuss the latest draft of the Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance.  When finalized, the pilot guidance will describe the process tribal governments will use to request Stafford Act declarations and the criteria FEMA will use to evaluate direct tribal declaration requests and make recommendations to the President. 

This round of tribal consultation builds upon the second round in the Spring of 2014 that included evaluating the need for Public Assistance grant program funding; modifying and adding definitions of terms; explaining how FEMA looks to implement federal statute; and considering additional cultural and religious needs.  Additional information regarding the consultation process may be found on http://www.fema.gov/second-draft-tribal-declaration-pilot-guidance-resources.