FEMA Bulletin Week of August 22, 2016

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Week of August 22, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

August 26 is the deadline to sign up for EMI earthquake virtual exercise tabletop exercise.

EMI Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise Sign Up Deadline

September 1 kicks off National Preparedness Month!

National Preparedness Month Starts!

First session of EMI earthquake VTTX

EMI Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise First Session

Last session of the EMI earthquake VTTX.

EMI Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise Last Session

September 28 EMI Webinar highlighting relationship between research study and FEMA goals

Emergency Management Institute Higher Education Program Webinar

September 30 is National Preparedness Month

National PrepareAthon! Day

Public comments for the federal flood risk management guide is due.

Public Comments for Federal Flood Risk Management Guide Deadline

October 28 is the deadline for all ccomments for the updated tribal policy.

Tribal Consultation to Tribal Policy Deadline

Draft disaster resilience indicators concept deadline is extended to December 15, 2016

Draft Interagency Concept for Community Resilience Indicators and National-Level Progress Measures Deadline

2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Award Winners Announced

FEMA announced the winners of the 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing the outstanding efforts of individuals, programs and organizations throughout the country working to prepare their communities for emergencies.


This year’s award recipients developed innovative practices and programs that contributed to (or just helped make) making communities safer, better prepared and more resilient. The 11 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients will be recognized on September 13, 2016 in Washington, D.C. During the recognition ceremony, recipients will share their experiences, success stories, and lessons learned with fellow emergency management leaders.


This year’s winners of FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Awards are:

Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management:  Notify NYC (New York)

America’s PrepareAthon! in Action: Serenity Hospice (Texas)

Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award: Delaware State Citizen Corps Council

Community Preparedness Champions Award: Jamie D. Aten, Ph.D.

Awareness to Action Award: The HALTER Project (California) and Jenny Novak of California State University, Northridge Emergency Management

Technological Innovation Award: SUNRNR of Virginia, Inc.

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness Award: Mart High School Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (Texas)

Sixth Annual Recipient of the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award: San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (California)

Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives Award: California Volunteers

Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program Award: Burleigh County Snowmobile Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) (North Dakota)


Visit www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards for more information on this year’s award recipients and to see the honorable mentions.

September is National Preparedness Month!

Each year, September is recognized as National Preparedness Month, which serves as a call to action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and visit.


The 2016 National Preparedness Month theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Don’t wait! Make a plan with your family and friends for how you will stay safe and communicate during an emergency or disaster that can affect your community. Download the Family Emergency Communication Plan and fill out the sections before printing or emailing it to your family and friends.


Each week of National Preparedness Month has a theme to help you, your family, and your community to be more disaster prepared:


September Week 1 (August 28-September 3): Promote National Preparedness Month;


Week 2 (September 4-10): Preparing Family and Friends;


Week 3 (September 11-17): Preparing Through Service;


Week 4 (September 18-24): Individual Preparedness.


The fifth week leads up to National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30, when the nation will come together to take action and practice their preparedness in advance of an emergency.


Get the social media toolkit and customizable logo and become involved with promoting National Preparedness Month by visiting www.ready.gov/september.

FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team Awarded for Service in Nepal

Member of FEMA urban search and rescue team going through the rubble in Nepal.
Member of the urban search and rescue team utilizing a search dog and going through the rubble in Nepal.


On August 18, 2016, members of FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue California Task Force 2 and Virginia Task Force 1 were presented with the Benjamin Franklin Award for Valor by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Motorola Solutions. The Benjamin Franklin Award for Valor is the IAFC’s most prestigious award and recognizes the spirit of service, courage and heroism that is the tradition among the world’s fire service professionals. The award recognizes firefighters for their expert training, professional service and dedication to duty displayed in saving a human life.


When a devastating earthquake struck Nepal in May 2015, task force team members were called to action as a part of Disaster Assistance Response Teams under the authority United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). 


This year, members from USA-1, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Urban Search and Rescue, Lieutenant Robert Garza, Lieutenant Lawrence Mullin and Technician Ryland Chapman and USA-2, Los Angeles County Fire and Rescue Department Urban Search and Rescue, were selected as the winners for their heroic actions in saving the life of a Nepalese woman trapped inside a collapsed building.


Members of the FEMA urban search and rescue team being awarded in Nepal and receiving medals (Benjamin Franklin Award for Valor).
Members of FEMA's Urban Serach and Rescue California Task Force 2 and Virginia Task Force 1 receiving award in Nepal


FEMA congratulates the award winners and is proud to call them members of our FEMA family. For additional information about the rescue, please visit the IAFC website.

FEMA Begins Tribal Consultation to Update Tribal Policy

FEMA is updating its Tribal Policy that guides how the agency implements a framework for nation-to-nation relations with federally recognized tribal governments that recognizes tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and our trust responsibility consistent with applicable authorities. This updated policy will supersede the current FEMA Tribal Policy, issued in 2013, which expires on December 30, 2016. The goal is to update the policy to reflect current authorities, address key policy questions, and improve the Agency’s nation-to-nation relationship with tribal governments to ensure we work together to build, sustain, and improve every tribal governments’ capacity to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against all hazards.


This consultation period will facilitate tribal leaders’ or their designee’s feedback during the policy update process. FEMA will engage officials through face-to-face meetings, national and regional association conferences, conference calls, and webinars to seek input on questions highlighted in the FEMA Tribal Policy: Key Concepts document. Tribal officials’ suggestions and comments will inform further development and refinement of FEMA’s Tribal Policy.


Tribal officials can submit comments on the FEMA Tribal Policy until October 28, 2016, through:

• E-mail to tribalconsultation@fema.dhs.gov, or

• Mail to ATTN: Margeau Valteau, Office of External Affairs (OEA), DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20472-3605.


Visit FEMA’s Tribal Affairs web page for more information on the tribal consultation period for this policy and to view the Key Concepts document.

Updates to the Federal Interagency Operational Plans Ready to View

FEMA released updated Federal Interagency Operational Plans (FIOPs) for three of the five mission areas outlined in the National Preparedness Goal: Mitigation, Response and Recovery. In addition to the updated FIOPs, FEMA released the first edition of the Protection FIOP.


All FIOPs plans link together the range of activities conducted by all of the federal departments and agencies involved in national preparedness. They specifically outline the concept of operations for integrating and synchronizing existing national-level federal capabilities to support local, state, tribal, territorial, and federal plans.


The updates to the four established FIOPs focused on critical content revisions and include the edits from comments received on the National Preparedness Goal and National Planning Frameworks. Changes due to lessons learned from implementing FIOPs, findings of the National Preparedness Report, and recent events are also included.


FEMA is hosting a series of 60-minute informational webinars with interested stakeholders to discuss the updates to the FIOPs. Advanced registration is required due to space limitations and registration is on a first come, first serve basis.


For more information on national preparedness efforts, to download the FIOPs, or to register for a webinar, visit http://www.fema.gov/federal-interagency-operational-plans.

Seeking Public Comments for Federal Flood Risk Management Guide

FEMA is seeking comments from all stakeholders regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and supplementary Policy 078-3, “Guidance for Implementing the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).” The proposed rule would amend the definition of a floodplain, incorporate various approaches to establish a higher vertical elevation, and expand corresponding horizontal floodplain for FEMA federally funded projects. Where possible, it would direct natural systems, ecosystem processes, and nature-based approaches to be used when developing alternatives to locating Federal actions in the floodplain. 


When FEMA federally funded projects involve more than one federal agency, FEMA would use the Unified Federal Review (UFR) to coordinate application of the FFRMS to those projects. The UFR Process also recognizes the important role of federal agencies, localities, states, tribes, and the general public in environmental and historic preservation reviews.


The major provisions of this rule would affect FEMA-funded new construction and substantial repair projects for individuals and communities, including some projects done in the aftermath of a disaster for state, local, tribal governments, private non-profits, and stakeholders. However, this rule does not directly affect the availability or price of flood insurance.


Comments may be submitted through October 21, 2016 using one of the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Search for the notice in Docket ID FEMA-2015-0006. When submitting comments, indicate the section and reasoning for each comment.

• Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 8NE-1604, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, DC  20472-3100

Viewing comments and documents: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. 

• Background documents and submitted comments may also be inspected at the Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.


All submissions will be posted to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information provided. Individuals who submit comments should read the Privacy Act.

EMI Offers Course Simulating Emergency Operation Centers

Pictured are participants from the IEMC training in Arizona.
Participants from three Arizona counties completed IEMC course.


FEMA congratulates three Arizona counties, Santa Cruz, Yuma, and Cochise, for completing their Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC). The four-and-a-half day training course was designed specifically for their jurisdictions, providing both lecture and exercise-based training focused on response operations for a train derailment spilling diesel fuel into the Colorado River, a tanker truck at the United States/Mexico border leaking gasoline, and a flooding incident in Nogales.  


IEMC courses simulate realistic crisis situations that emergency operations center personnel and community leadership/elected officials may encounter during disasters or other events. Also, the course helps enhance the skills of participating officials, and provide a forum to evaluate the effectiveness of their specific emergency policies, plans, and procedures that protect life and property. The course’s target audience includes state, local, tribal, and territorial government personnel; their elected and appointed officials; supervisory, operations, and emergency support personnel; nonprofit organizations; the private sector; law enforcement personnel; firefighters; attorneys; public information officers; planners; and more. 


IEMC classes are principally delivered at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland; however delivery may occur in the community. Questions should be directed to FEMA-EMI-IEMB@fema.dhs.gov. If your jurisdiction is interested in applying for the program and obtaining information on the application process and its timeline, please visit http://training.fema.gov/iemc/.

FEMA Appoints National Advisory Council Members

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate appointed five new members and reappointed seven current members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC).


The NAC is an advisory committee established by federal law to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal emergency management activities. Members represent the whole community and include representatives from a wide array of backgrounds and communities involved in or affected by the emergency management profession. Additionally, the NAC provides recommendations to the FEMA Administrator on a variety of issues within emergency management. 


The list of newly appointed and current members is available at www.fema.gov/national-advisory-council.


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.

National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Considerations Updated

On August 22, FEMA published a final rule in the Federal Register that removes its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Considerations regulations that have been in place since 1980. This administrative change aligns FEMA’s Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (EHP) requirements with those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which FEMA is a component, to ensure consistency department-wide as outlined by DHS’ procedures.


FEMA-specific regulations and detailed procedures for implementing the environmental review requirements of NEPA are rescinded from Code of Federal Regulations Title 44 Part 10 (44 CFR Part 10) and replaced with FEMA Directive 108-1: Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation Responsibilities and Program Requirements.


These changes will not affect the current EHP review process between FEMA and state, local, tribal, and territorial communities. The EHP Directive and Instruction clarifies roles and procedures through which FEMA can better incorporate and manage the EHP compliance process across the agency. Full implementation of the EHP Directive and Instruction is expected to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal EHP review process.  


As this action addresses integral agency procedures without substantive changes to how the EHP requirements are implemented, FEMA published this rule without public notice and comment. For more information, visit EHP Directive and Instruction.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Emergency Management Institute Offers Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer an earthquake scenario from September 20 to 22, 2016 at 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. 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. Content for each session is the same for all days and participants should only attend one session.


EMI conducts a monthly series of VTTXs through video teleconferences (VTC) to reach community-based training audiences around the country, and provide a virtual forum for disaster training. The VTTX is designed 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.


To participate in a VTTX, send an email request to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov and copy fema-emi-iemb@fema.dhs.gov. Participants can also call 301-447-7645 or 301-447-1381. The deadline for all applications is August 26, 2016. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.


Higher Education Webinar in Emergency Management Education

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Higher Education Program is hosting a webinar, "The Role of Research in Emergency Management Education: Current Status and Future Directions," September 28, 2016 from 3 - 4 p.m. EDT. The webinar highlights research issues in emergency management higher education programs. The webinar will examine the results of a recent research study by Arkansas State University students who will discuss the relationship between the results of their research and the perceptions and experiences at their institutions. Presenters include:


Deborah J. Persell, Ph.D., RN, APN, Director, Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness Education College of Nursing and Health Professions Arkansas State University 

Jessica Jensen, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Management Co-Director, Center for Emergency Management Education and Research, North Dakota State University


Interested individuals should register using the event registration link and contact Wendy Walsh at wendy.walsh@fema.dhs.gov for more information on the webinar.


Draft Disaster Resilience Indicators Concept Deadline Extended

The deadline has been extended until December 15, 2016, to submit inputs and feedback to the Mitigation Federal Leadership Group (MitFLG) Disaster Resilience Indicators Subcommittee’s “Draft Interagency Concept for Community Resilience Indicators and National-Level Progress Measures." Stakeholders can submit comments and feedback to FEMA-CommunityResilience@fema.dhs.gov.


In response to broad public interest in identifying key factors of community resilience nationwide, FEMA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and federal partners in the MitFLG Disaster Resilience Indicators Subcommittee released the draft white paper in June 2016. This white paper is intended to start a broad conversation among public- and private-sector stakeholders on ways to best define and track improvements in community resilience capacity across 28 key indicator categories.


The document is the result of a year-long effort to identify potential indicators of community resilience capacity building that align with the Mitigation and Recovery Core Capabilities under the National Preparedness Goal. Learn more details about this initiative through FEMA and NOAA partnership here.