FEMA Bulletin Week of April 11, 2016

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Week of April 11, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

April 19, 2016

Application Deadline: Hazmat Rail Transportation  Virtual Tabletop Exercise

April 30, 2016

National PrepareAthon! Day

May 9, 2016

National Incident Management System National Engagement Period Ends

May 10, 2016

Hazmat Rail Transportation Virtual Tabletop Exercise Begins

May 13, 2016

18th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium Registration Deadline

May 19, 2016

National Presentation: Road to Resilience - Joplin Disaster Recovery Summit

June 15, 2016

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

FEMA Launches New Preparedness Feature to Smartphone App

FEMA Mobile App


FEMA recently launched a new feature to its free smartphone app that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to remind them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The reminder feature allows users to receive pre-scheduled safety and preparedness tips, including testing smoke alarms, practicing a fire escape plan, updating emergency kits and replacing smoke alarm batteries.


The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and open recovery centers, and tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters. The FEMA app offers a feature that enables users to receive push notifications of weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation.


The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.  Users who already have the app downloaded on their device should download the latest update for the reminder alerts feature to take effect. The reminders are available in English and Spanish and are located in the “Prepare” section of the FEMA App.

FEMA Seeks Comments on the Refreshed National Incident Management System

FEMA released the refreshed National Incident Management System (NIMS) for a 30-day National Engagement Period. National engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the draft of the refreshed NIMS, so that it reflects the collective expertise and experience of the whole community. The national engagement period will conclude on May 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm EDT.

NIMS provides a consistent and common approach and vocabulary to enable the whole community to work together seamlessly and manage all threats and hazards. NIMS applies to all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location or complexity. 


FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute engagement webinars to highlight key proposed changes to NIMS and answer participant questions. All webinars are open to the whole community.

To review the draft of the refreshed NIMS and to sign up to participate in a webinar, visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system/national-engagement. To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form and submit it to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.

Emergency Management Institute Offers Hazmat Rail Transportation Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer a crude oil, transportation-based scenario May 10, 11, and 12, 2016. The VTTX was designed to help communities specifically look at a rail disaster based on events in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec; and the train derailment, explosion, and fire in Montgomery, West Virginia. The VTTX will discuss internal response and recovery actions with agencies that could experience a crude oil incident similar to events in North Dakota, Alabama, and Virginia.


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


EMI conducts a monthly series of VTTXs using a video teleconference (VTC) 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 ten or more representatives from state, local and tribal emergency communities of practice. Participants will need to connect via a site equipped with the appropriate VTC capability, but alternate ways to participate are also available upon request.


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 of 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 12:00 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT.


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 April 19.  Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

Take Action with America’s PrepareAthon!


Americans have been moving from awareness into action to prepare for disasters and save lives with America’s PrepareAthon!, a grassroots, community-based campaign to create a more prepared nation. On April 30, National PrepareAthon! Day encourages all Americans to know what to do when a disaster occurs, to get involved and to get prepared now and throughout the year.


In addition to earlier preparedness tips, here are more actions you can take to get yourself and your family prepared for emergencies and disasters:


Build an emergency supply kit for you and each member of your family that meets their specific needs.  Include items like food that doesn’t require refrigeration or cooking, water, medications, flashlights, and batteries.

• Download the FEMA app for disaster resources and safety tips.


For ideas and information on other things you can do for America’s PrepareAthon!, visit the website at ready.gov/prepare.

Updated Version of Hazus Now Available

Hazus Multi-Hazard (Hazus-MH) is a nationally applicable, standardized methodology which uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to estimate physical, economic and social impacts of disasters. This methodology graphically illustrates the limits of identified high-risk locations due to earthquake, hurricane and floods. Hazus-HM allows users to visualize the spatial relationships between populations and geographic assets for the specific hazard being modeled. Hazus-MH is used by states and communities to increase hazard awareness and to perform risk assessments that evaluate economic loss for certain natural hazards.

As part of the ongoing Hazus Modernization efforts, the Hazus team has deployed Hazus-MH 3.1. The software can be downloaded for free on the Flood Map Service Center (MSC) Hazus Download page. ArcGIS version compatibility remains at version 10.2.2 and it is supported for 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 only. For educational resources and guidance on anticipated updates, visit the FEMA Hazus home page.

FEMA Updates Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program Guide for Permanent Work

On April 4, 2016, FEMA’s Public Assistance program issued the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program Guide for Permanent Work, Version 3. The Alternative Procedures Pilot Program was implemented in 2013 as a part of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act. The Pilot Program empowers communities with choices and enables them to make decisions based on their post-disaster recovery priorities.  The guide details information on grants on the basis of fixed estimates, an independent validation of estimates, project consolidation, and full federal cost share funding for alternate projects.  The updated guide contains several important changes, including the added requirement of an expert panel review of cost estimates for projects over $25 million, updating technical language in accordance with regulation, and clarifying guidance on insurance, scope of work changes, and time extension requests.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Webinar: Road to Resilience

The Joplin Disaster Recovery Summit is hosting a two-day session on May 19-20 about the lessons learned through the recovery journeys of several southwestern Missouri communities affected by a devastating tornado in May 2011. The opening session, "Road to Resilience," will be available via webinar on Thursday, May 19 from 2:30 – 4:15 p.m. EDT/1:30 3:15 p.m. CDT. To register for the webinar, send an email to FEMARegion7info@fema.dhs.gov with your full name, organization, phone number, and email address.


The cost to register for the two-day summit is $75 per person and registration is limited to 300 participants. Individuals requiring reasonable accommodations for either the two-day summit or the webinar should contact FEMARegion7info@fema.dhs.gov by May 5, 2016.


Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application Information

FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance 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. The NOFO for each program is posted on Grants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements.  Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2016.

Emergency Management Institute Courses and Event Deadlines

The 18th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium, “Whole of Community-Talking about My Generation”, will be held June 6-9, 2016, in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  The event brings together representatives of colleges and universities that have, or are planning to offer, a disaster management program.  The registration deadline is May 13, 2016.


For additional information, visit EMI's Emergency Management Training, Virtual Tabletop Exercises and Course Schedule.