FEMA Bulletin Week of April 25, 2016

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Week of April 25, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

April 30, 2016

National PrepareAthon! Day

May 1, 2016

National Arson Awareness Week Begins


May 7, 2016

National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

May 9, 2016

National Incident Management System National Engagement Period Ends

May 11, 2016

National Advisory Council Meeting Public Comment Session in San Antonio, Texas

May 13, 2016


18th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium Registration Deadline 

Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise Registration Deadline


May 19, 2016

National Presentation: Road to Resilience - Joplin Disaster Recovery Summit

July 8, 2016

Deadline: Tribal Consultation Hazard Mitigation Planning Comment Period Ends

June 15, 2016

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

FEMA Opens Tribal Consultation on Hazard Mitigation Planning

FEMA is updating its policy that guides how Agency officials interpret regulatory requirements in their review and approval of tribal mitigation plans. This updated policy, titled the “Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide,” will supersede FEMA’s current Tribal Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance (Guidance), issued in 2010. The goal of this update is to simplify the Guidance, address key policy questions, and improve alignment with similar FEMA policies on state and local mitigation planning. The underlying regulatory requirements for tribal mitigation planning in the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR Part 201) have not changed.

As part of this effort FEMA is seeking feedback from tribal governments early in the policy update process. Over the next two months, FEMA will engage tribal officials through face-to-face engagements, conferences, and webinars to seek input on questions highlighted in the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide: Key Concepts document. Tribal officials’ suggestions and comments will inform further development of the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide.


Tribal officials can submit comments on the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide: Key Concepts document until July 8, 2016, either by e-mail to tribalconsultation@fema.dhs.gov or by mail to ATTN: Tyler Corson-Rikert, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), DHS/FEMA, 400 C Street SW, Suite 313, Washington, DC 20472-3020. Visit FEMA’s Tribal Affairs web page for more information on the tribal consultation period for this policy.

Families and Communities Urged to Take Steps to Prepare for Hazards

FEMA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) urge Americans to take actions to prepare for a wide array of hazards by developing a family communication plan and downloading alerts and learning about local hazards. FEMA is encouraging people to take these actions in conjunction with America’s PrepareAthon!, a grassroots, community-based campaign for action designed to increase preparedness and resilience.


America’s PrepareAthon! provides an important opportunity for individuals, organizations and communities to take action to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills and exercises. Visit the America’s PrepareAthon! website, ready.gov/prepare, to register your participation, for more information, and to sign up.


According to NOAA, flooding, which can occur anywhere in America, proved to be the most costly hazard in 2015, costing more than $2.7 billion in damages. Natural disasters left a destructive mark in 2015, putting people at risk and causing approximately $4.8 billion in damages.


FEMA offers free, easy-to-use guides, checklists and resources to help individuals, organizations and communities practice the simple, specific actions they can take for emergencies relevant to their area.
Examples include:


1.Create a family emergency communication plan. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Create Your Family Emergency Communication Plan. Collect the information you need, decide on the places you will meet in case of an emergency, share the information with your family and practice your plan.


2.Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts and safety tips. Earlier this month, FEMA 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 app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and open recovery centers, tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters, and weather alerts from NWS for up to five locations across the nation.


3.Sign up for local text alerts and warnings, get the latest forecast at weather.gov and download weather apps to stay aware of worsening weather conditions. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Know Your Alerts and Warnings to learn how sign up for local alerts and weather apps that are relevant for hazards that affect your area.


4.Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place. Have all of your personal, medical and legal papers in one place, so you can evacuate without worrying about gathering your family’s critical documents at the last minute. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables for a helpful checklist.

2016 Arson Awareness Week

Arson Wildfire
An arson wildfire in Indian Township, Maine, August 25, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the Maine Forest Service).

During the first week of May, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) emphasizes arson prevention. Arson Awareness Week: Prevent Wildfire Arson – Spread the Facts Not the Fire, focuses attention on wildfire arson, particularly in the wildland urban interface from May 1-7.


According to the Department of Interior’s Wildland Fire Management Information System, during the five year period of 2010 – 2014, 23 percent of fires reported were arson. The U.S. Forest Service reports that individual arson fires can cause damages to resources and communities totaling over a hundred million dollars.


The USFA website offers a number of arson awareness resources, including links to the National Fire Academy’s Wildland Urban Interface and the Fire/Arson and Explosion Investigation Curricula, as well as information on arson motives, adjudicated court cases, arson reward programs and facts from across the United States.

Next Meeting of the FEMA National Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council (NAC) will meet in-person from May 10-12, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  The meeting will be open to the public.


The Menger Hotel, 204 Alamo Plaza , San, Antonio, TX 78205



May 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)

May 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (CDT)

May 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. (CDT)


Please note that the meeting may close early if the NAC has completed its business. 


During the meeting, the NAC will meet with the FEMA Administrator and Deputy Administrator, receive program briefings from agency leadership, and review the progress and potential recommendations of its three subcommittees: Preparedness and Protection, Response and Recovery, and Federal Insurance and Mitigation. 


Members of the public are invited to provide public comments on Wednesday, May 11 from 2:50 p.m. to 3:10 p.m. CDT. Directions on how to submit public comments and meeting details can be found on the NAC webpage.


For those planning to attend in-person, for additional information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, please contact the Office of the NAC by email at FEMA-NAC@fema.dhs.gov


More information on the NAC is available at www.fema.gov/national-advisory-council.

Emergency Management Institute Offers Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer an earthquake scenario June 7, 8, and 9. The VTTX was designed to help communities specifically look at an earthquake in their community, using historical events and recovery actions.  


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, tribal, and territorial 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, local, tribal and territorial 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, send 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 is May 13.  Session content is the same each day and participants only need to attend one session. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

Draft FEMA Public Assistance Required Minimum Standards Posted for Comment

On April 21, 2016, FEMA posted draft replacement language for the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide on Public Assistance Program Minimum Standards to the Federal Register for public comment. When using Public Assistance funds to repair, replace or construct buildings located in hazard-prone areas, applicants would use, at a minimum, the hazard-resistant standards reflected or referenced in the International Building Code (IBC). 


Costs associated with meeting these standards would be eligible. The minimum standards will be used for all buildings in tornado, wind, seismic, and flood-prone areas identified in the IBC, regardless of the type of incident that caused the damage. As FEMA works to implement the new standard for its Public Assistance program, it is requesting input on the draft language from the public and emergency management community. The draft language is posted to the Federal Register, and will be available for comment until May 23, 2016.

FEMA on the Hill

This month, FEMA participated in three Congressional hearings. FEMA senior leaders testified on our efforts to increase the nation’s overall preparedness, support small businesses, and prepare for a potential cyber attack on the power grid. FEMA’s written testimonies are available online. Throughout the hearings, FEMA witnesses emphasized the importance of the ‘whole community’ approach to emergency management. A community’s preparedness begins with ensuring that everyone, including first responders, local businesses, and individuals and families, is ready to respond to a disaster. For resources related to the topics discussed in the hearings, visit:


Increasing the Nation’s Preparedness

The National Preparedness System

Preparedness Grant Programs

Emergency Management Training Programs


Supporting Small Businesses

FEMA’s Industry Liaison Program

Ready.gov Business Resources

FEMA’s Small Business Toolkit

SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance

Preparing for a Power Outage

Ready.gov Power Outage Resources

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Comment Period and Webinar: National Incident Management System Refresh

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 NIMS, so that it reflects the collective expertise and experience of the entire community. This national engagement period will conclude at 5:00 pm EDT on May 9, 2016.


For those interested in learning more about the refreshed NIMS, FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute webinars to highlight proposed changes to the NIMS, provide information on submitting feedback and answer participant questions. All webinars are open to the individuals and communities from the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations and all levels of governments.


Advance registration is required. Select a webinar session from the list provided here. If you require accommodations to participate, please provide details in the Disability Related Accommodations field on the registration page or contact: FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.


Comments made during the webinars are for discussion purposes only. FEMA will only formally adjudicate comments submitted using the feedback form. To provide input, download the draft NIMS and feedback matrix from the link above and submit the completed feedback form to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.


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.


Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium

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.


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.