FEMA Bulletin Week of February 22, 2016

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Week of February 22, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

February 24, 2016

Emergency Alert System Test


Webinar: Understanding the Basic Relationship between PIOs and Journalists

February 25, 2016


Webinars: National African American History Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships 


Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants

February 26, 2016

Deadline: Flood Virtual Tabletop Exercise

February 29, 2016

Webinar: Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants

March 1, 2016

Deadline: Youth Preparedness Council Application


March 11, 2016

Deadline: Hurricane Virtual Tabletop Exercise

March 16, 2016

Deadline: National Advisory Council Application

March 21, 2016

Deadline: FEMA Seeks Comment on Disaster Deductible Concept

March 25, 2016

Deadline: Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Application

April 7, 2016

Deadline: Comment Period for Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance

April 12, 2016

Deadline: National Training, Education and Exercise Symposium Application 


Pre-Symposium Workshop Application

June 15, 2016

Deadline: Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants Applications

FY2015 SAFER Application Period Open

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) application period opened on Monday, February 22, and will close on Friday, March 25, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). 

SAFER intends to improve or restore local fire departments' staffing and deployment capabilities so they may more effectively and safely respond to emergencies. With enhanced or restored staffing levels, recipients should experience a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel assembled at the incident scene. 

The SAFER program is comprised of two activities, the Hiring Activity and the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters Activity. The objective of the Hiring Activity is to award grants directly to volunteer, combination, and career fire departments to help increase the number of frontline firefighters and to rehire firefighters who were laid-off due to the economy. The objective of the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters activity is to create a more favorable working environment for volunteer firefighters. 

The SAFER program provides approximately $340 million in competitive grants to fire departments and national, state, local, tribal, and territorial organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters.  Go to Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants for more information and application materials.  

Fiscal Year Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program Grants

FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs. 


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. A one-hour webinar is scheduled on the following dates to learn more about these opportunities.  The session content is the same for both webinars.


Both webinars will offer closed captioning and login information is below.


Thursday, February 25 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)

• FEMA Adobe Connect:

• Conference Bridge:  1-800-320-4330, PIN 532822#


Monday, February 29 at 2:30 p.m. EST

• FEMA Adobe Connect:

• Conference Bridge:  1-800-320-4330, PIN 782802#


Pre-Disaster Mitigation

The goal of the PDM grant program is to reduce overall risk to populations and structures, while at the same time, also reducing reliance on federal funding through disaster declarations. A PDM grant will continue to provide the grant funding allocations as required in the Stafford Act to states and territories and includes a set aside for federally-recognized Native American tribes to support overall mitigation planning and projects. FEMA’s priority for competitive projects is climate resilient mitigation actions (CRMA) and pre- or post-wildfire mitigation activities, as well as mitigation actions that utilize green infrastructure approaches.


Flood Mitigation Assistance

FMA grant program provides funds on an annual basis to fund measures that reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to buildings insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  The FMA grants will continue to provide funding for projects that can reduce or eliminate claims under the NFIP and will prioritize actions that mitigate damages to severe repetitive loss and repetitive loss properties. Additional priority will be given to projects that will reduce the flood risk through mitigation of damages to NFIP-insured properties on a neighborhood level.  FEMA will also fund flood hazard mitigation planning, as well as technical assistance for states who were awarded FMA Grant Program funds totaling at least $1 million in the prior fiscal year.

The NOFO for each program is posted on Grants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements.  Applications may be submitted beginning on March 15 and are due by 3:00 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2016

Webinar: National African American History Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships

FEMA is hosting a webinar Thursday, February 25, from 1-2:00 p.m. EST. on nationwide disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving African American communities. You are invited to engage with us during this event held in observation of National African American History Month. Share the webinar information with your networks today!

Featured speakers for the webinar are:

- FEMA: Craig Fugate, administrator


- Delta Emergency Response Task Force, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.: Linda Wilson, chair

- NAACP, Environmental and Climate Justice Program: Jacqueline Patterson, director

- South LA Teen CERT: Shamika Ossey, RN, BSN, PHN


Please register for the event. Be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the meeting.  The webinar will offer closed captioning.

New Public Assistance Process in Oregon

FEMA will begin to implement a new business model in Oregon for delivering the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program. For the past 20 years, FEMA delivered the PA program the same way with a one-size fits all approach.  This new model is more focused on the customer, and is expected to deliver disaster assistance more quickly. 


Over the last year, FEMA staff worked alongside state and tribal partners to deconstruct the process of how we deliver the PA program, identifying both strengths and weaknesses of the program and its delivery. Based on lessons learned, FEMA then developed a new, improved model to more efficiently deliver the program that is focused on better meeting the needs of survivors as FEMA helps to rebuild public infrastructure.


The new process will route projects into three separate work streams. Each work stream was developed to reduce unnecessary reviews and will have a team of FEMA staff dedicated to processing and funding projects faster. The three work streams are:


- Reimbursing applicants for projects they have already completed;
- Developing smaller, simple, or non-complex projects that are not yet completed; and
- Developing large, complex projects that are not yet completed and may require extra staff time.


In the last 10 years, the FEMA PA program averaged $4.7 billion in disaster assistance annually, making it the agency’s largest grant program. The PA program provides financial assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and certain private non-profits to aid their recovery following a disaster or emergency.

Virtual Tabletop Exercise: Hurricane

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is offering a hurricane-based virtual tabletop exercise (VTTX) focusing on historical events and recovery actions.

The one-day VTTX scheduled for April 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14, involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. The VTTX is useful for assessing 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 training.  The design of the VTTX is for a group of 10 or more representatives from state, tribal 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 VTTX also enables 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 Noon – 4:00 p.m. EST.

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.  Session content is the same each day and participants only need to attend one session. The registration deadline is Friday, March 11.  Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

Opening Soon: Applications for FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by recognizing individuals and organizations who made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient. The application period will open on Monday, February 29. More details to come in the next FEMA Bulletin.

DHS Announces Funding Opportunity for Preparedness Grants

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the release of FY 2016 Notices of Funding Opportunity for ten DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.6 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation’s readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.

The grants reflect the Department’s focus on implementation of an all-of-nation, whole-community approach to the building, sustainment, and delivery of those core capabilities essential to achieving a secure and resilient nation.


The FY 2016 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats. For FY 2016, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 29 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This reflects Congressional direction, as set forth in the Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2016 (Pub. L. No. 114-113), to limit FY 2016 UASI funding to those Urban Areas that represent up to 85 percent of the nationwide risk.


Consistent with previous grant guidance, dedicated funding is provided for law enforcement and terrorism prevention throughout the country to prepare for, prevent and respond to pre-operational activity and other crimes that are precursors or indicators of terrorist activity.


Grant recipients are encouraged to use grant funding to maintain and sustain current critical core capabilities through investments in training and exercises, updates to current planning and procedures, and lifecycle replacement of equipment. New capabilities that are built using homeland security grant funding must be deployable if needed to support regional and national efforts. All capabilities being built or sustained must have a clear linkage to the core capabilities in the National Preparedness Goal.


Further information on DHS’s preparedness grant programs is available at http://www.fema.gov/grants.

Use of Grant Funds for Controlled Equipment

On January 16, 2015, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order (EO)13688, “Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition,” to identify actions that can improve federal support for the appropriate use, acquisition, and transfer of controlled equipment by state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies.


The EO established a federal interagency Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group, which consulted with stakeholders and deliberated to develop the recommendations that are now requirements for all preparedness grants awarded after October 1, 2015.  The Information Bulletin 407: Use of Grant Funds for Controlled Equipment, provides details on the process and requirements for applying, or expending grant funds for controlled equipment expenditures and using grant-funded controlled equipment.

Questions regarding this Information Bulletin may be directed to your assigned Program Analyst or the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk at askcsid@fema.gov or 1-800-368-6498.

Reminder: Emergency Alert System Test

FEMA, in coordination with state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and state broadcasters’ associations, will conduct a test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) in 22 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia on Wednesday, February 24, at 2:20 p.m. EST and at 1:20 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST).


Broadcasters are voluntarily participating in the test from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Virginia. The EAS test is scheduled to last approximately one minute and will verify the delivery and broadcast of a national test message and assess the readiness for distribution of a national-level test message. 


The message will be nearly identical to the regular monthly test message of EAS, normally heard and seen by the public: “This is a national test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test.”
The EAS test might also be seen and heard in states and tribes bordering the states participating in the test.


For more information, visit the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Reminder: Youth Preparedness Council Applications

FEMA is seeking applicants for its Youth Preparedness Council formed in 2012 to bring together leaders from across the country engaged in advocating youth preparedness.


Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, efforts in making a difference in their communities, and potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness.


All applications and supporting materials must be received no later than March 1, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST) to be eligible. New Youth Preparedness Council members will be announced in May 2016. For more information and to access the application materials, visit the Youth Preparedness Council webpage.

Reminder: FEMA Seeks Comments on Disaster Deductible Concept

Over the past several years Members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have asked FEMA to look at how the federal government supports states following disasters and the associated costs. In response, FEMA is exploring the concept of a disaster deductible.


The agency believes that such an approach has the potential to incentivize mitigation strategies and promote risk-informed decision-making to build resilience, including to catastrophic events; reduce the costs of future events for both states and the federal government; and facilitate state and local government planning and budgeting for enhanced disaster response and recovery capability through greater transparency.


This concept would include the establishment of a predetermined level of state disaster funding or investment in resilience before FEMA would begin to provide additional assistance through the Public Assistance program following a disaster declaration. The deductible concept would include how to calculate the deductible, the scope of the deductible, how to satisfy the deductible, how this concept could influence change, implementation considerations and an estimated impact.


FEMA is seeking public comments on all aspects of this concept until March 21, 2016 which may be submitted through Regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2016-003. This would be a significant change, so FEMA is seeking early public feedback through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

Reminder: FEMA Seeks Applicants for National Advisory Council

FEMA is requesting individuals who are interested in serving on the FEMA National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply to be considered for appointment. The NAC is a federal advisory committee established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. 


The NAC advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management frameworks, strategies, and plans while incorporating the whole community's input through appointed council members.  The NAC will consider individuals for appointment in the following disciplines:


- Emergency Management (one representative appointment)
- Emergency Medical Providers (one Special Government Employee appointment)
- Functional and Access Needs (one representative appointment)
- Non-Elected Local Government Officials (one representative appointment)
- Non-Elected State Government Officials (one representative appointment)
- Public Health (one Special Government Employee appointment)
- Standards Setting and Accrediting (one Special Government Employee appointment)


The administrator may also appoint additional candidates to serve as a FEMA Administrator Selection to represent emerging leaders in emergency management. For this appointment, FEMA seeks to appoint an individual who has academic experience in emergency management, served in the FEMACorps program, is an alumni of FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council, or has contributed to the field of emergency management as an emerging leader.

All appointments are for three-year terms starting in September 2016. All applications must be received by the close of business on March 16, 2016.


Qualified individuals interested in serving on the NAC are invited to apply for appointment. Detailed instructions on how to apply and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Membership Applications webpage at FEMA.Gov.

Reminder: Comment Period for Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance

In early January, 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. Additional information regarding the consultation process may be found at Second Draft Tribal Declaration Pilot Guidance.

Reminders: EMI Courses and Event Deadlines

Webinar:  Understanding the Basic Relationship between Public Information Officers and Journalists; February 24, 1:30-2:30 p.m. EST.  To participate, register in advance. Closed captioning is available.

Virtual Tabletop Exercise: Flood; attend only one session either Tuesday, March 22, Wednesday, March 23, or Thursday, March 24 from Noon-4:00 p.m. EDT. Registration deadline for each day is Friday, February 26. To participate, send an email request to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov.  Send a copy of your email request to the Integrated Emergency Management Branch at FEMA-EMI-IEMB@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-1381.

National Training, Education, and Exercise Symposium: Requirements-Based Investments to Build National Capabilities, May 24-26. Registration deadline: April 12, 2016. On May 23, EMI will offer six courses during the Pre-Symposium Workshop facilitated by the members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium. The symposium and pre-symposium courses will be held at the National Emergency Training Center, 16825 South Seton Avenue Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727-8998.  For more information, contact the EMI National Training Liaison, Dan Lubman, at daniel.lubman@fema.dhs.gov.

For additional information about upcoming trainings and courses, visit EMI resources about Emergency Management Training, Virtual Tabletop Exercises and Course Schedule.