FEMA Bulletin Week of August 29, 2016

Seal of the Department of Homeland Security


Week of August 29, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

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

National Preparedness Month: Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month (NPM) which serves as a reminder that we all should take action to prepare, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit. This year's theme is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today," with an emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. For more information, including a social media toolkit, visit www.ready.gov/september.

Congressional Support for National Preparedness Month

FEMA appreciates the support of the Members of Congress who are serving as 2016 co-sponsors for National Preparedness Month. Throughout September, the FEMA Bulletin will feature statements from these members.


“My home state of Wisconsin has seen its share of natural disasters, the latest just last month when disastrous floods hit. It is critically important for Americans to be prepared for a natural disaster. As chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I am honored to serve as a congressional co-chair for the 13th annual National Preparedness Month. This year’s National Preparedness Month theme is, ‘Don’t Wait. Communicate: Make Your Emergency Plan Today.’ That is vital advice, as disasters happen at a moment’s notice. It is imperative that families think ahead by creating and reviewing emergency plans, building and restocking emergency kits, and promoting awareness among friends and local communities. Through effective preparation, we can do a better job of keeping our communities and loved ones safe."

Senator Ron Johnson, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

“National Preparedness Month is an important reminder to people in Delaware and across the country that we can’t simply wait for disaster to strike. Every one of us must take proactive steps to ensure that we are ready if and when a disaster occurs. This past January, Delaware was hit by an historic winter storm that threatened to flood entire towns.  But thanks to years of preparation for just this sort of event, we were able to stave off a very serious threat to our communities. Working together, we can continue to improve efforts to plan for and respond to potential disasters. National Preparedness Month encourages all of us – families, community leaders, and state and local governments – to share techniques and utilize the tools that can help save homes, businesses, and lives. I encourage all Americans to mark National Preparedness Month by staying informed, planning ahead, and being prepared.”

Senator Tom Carper, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

"Recently, my district and the surrounding areas dealt with unprecedented flooding. It was a stark reminder that a disaster can strike on any normal day. That’s why it is so important that we take steps now during National Preparedness Month to become prepared for any type of disaster. For example, having an emergency kit that has enough supplies for 72 hours and creating a reunification plan for your family are just some small and quick steps you can take this month to make your family more prepared.”

Representative Michael McCaul, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security

“This year, National Preparedness Month comes on the heels of devastating flooding in Louisiana and crippling wildfires in the Western United States.  The response to these events – on the Federal, State, and local levels – demonstrated that we are better prepared to respond to disaster than we were a decade ago.  Nevertheless, there is still more to be done.  I urge everyone – families, businesses, and individuals - to take a least one action this month to make sure they are safer and better prepared to respond and recover from disaster.  If your business or family does not have an emergency plan, make one.  If you have an emergency plan but have never practiced it, do a drill.  The FEMA mobile app is also a valuable resource for disaster information, weather alerts, and tips for staying safe.  Talking about preparedness is an important first step, but action is what makes us more resilient.”

Representative Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security

Dont Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Preparedness Plan. Logo from ready.gov for national preparedness month.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program Enhances Disaster Resilience

The Additional 5 percent Initiative is funding that has been set aside under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program (HMGP) to help communities enhance disaster resilience related to building codes, such as adopting the current International Building Code® and improving a community’s Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) score.

FEMA’s intention in supporting the adoption and enforcement of building codes is to promote resilience by using disaster-resistant practices. A building is considered disaster resistant when it not only protects its occupants but can also be quickly repaired and re-occupied because damage from natural disasters is minimized.

The Additional 5 percent Initiative Fact Sheet provides recipients and subrecipients of HMGP funds with additional information on how to implement the Additional 5 percent Initiative as changed by the Fiscal Year 2015 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Guidance.

Clarifying the Additional 5 percent Initiative Resources is a companion document to the Fact Sheet highlighting where to find more information on resilient building practices.

Congratulations to National Emergency Management Advanced Academy Graduates

Virginia Academy graduates
Graduates of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management

FEMA congratulates 19 students who graduated from the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy on August 26, 2016 at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Graduates represented emergency management professionals from across the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is the first state or commonwealth to host the Advanced Academy program at their “home” location.  This allows the host to select the audience consisting of students with at least three years of experience in an emergency management position from across various jurisdictions, agencies and offices. Until now, the Advanced Academy program was delivered by the Emergency Management Institute solely in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  This Virginia-based delivery demonstrates the opportunity and flexibility other states, commonwealths, and territories have at their disposal to deliver the Advanced Academy program at their site.

FEMA’s National Emergency Management Advanced Academy is designed for mid-level managers seeking to advance their skills, and provides the strategic level training and education essential for emergency management professionals to effectively design and lead cutting-edge programs. Students learn skills critical to performing mid-manager responsibilities such as: program management and oversight, effective communication at all levels, integrated collaboration, and strategic thinking. The Advanced Academy provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their critical thinking ability through a guided research project.

The Advanced Academy is a program to develop the next generation of emergency managers who are trained in advanced concepts and issues, management, strategic/critical thinking, and problem solving. Emergency management professionals should visit www.training.fema.gov/empp for more information about which academy best suits their needs.

FEMA Announces Projects for Review for Mitigation Funding

On August 30, 2016, FEMA announced the projects identified for further review to receive funding for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) or Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) programs this fiscal year.  This competitive grant funding is provided to states, tribes, territories, and local governments for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to reduce disaster losses and protect life and property from future disaster damage.


This year’s selections of projects include the following:

FMA planning and project: 148 sub-applications received from 24 applicants: 8 planning, 108 projects, 8 technical assistance and 24 applicant management costs for $198 million

PDM planning, project and management costs: 336 sub-applications received from 72 applicants: 208 planning, 81 projects and 47 associated management costs for $89.5 million; including,

PDM Tribal set-aside: 21 planning, 1 project and 4 management costs from 22 tribes for $3.2 million.


Since the grant application period closed in mid-June, FEMA reviewed each submission to ensure eligibility, cost effectiveness, technical feasibility and alignment with the agency’s identified priorities to reduce the impacts of disasters. For each competitive grant, these funding priorities are listed in a Notification of Funding Opportunity at Grants.gov.


FEMA will not send initial notification letters to each applicant regarding their application status however, applicants can review the status of an application.

Pre-Disaster Mitigation

Flood Mitigation Assistance


FEMA will be working with applicants to conduct programmatic reviews of the selected subapplications before making a final decision for funding. For additional information or any questions, grant applicants can contact their FEMA Regional Office. More information about Hazard Mitigation Assistance is available at www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-assistance.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

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. 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


Register using the event registration link. Contact Wendy Walsh at wendy.walsh@fema.dhs.gov for more information.


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.


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, recognizing 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.


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.