FEMA Bulletin Week of September 5, 2016

Seal of the Department of Homeland Security


Week of September 5, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

September 8 writing in blue font for the DHS webinar event on National Preparedness Month relating to faith-based organizations

National Preparedness Month Webinar on Faith-based and Community Organizations

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 writing in blue for the Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System event

Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

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

October 28 writing in blue for EMI Offers Advanced Public Information Officer Training application deadline

Deadline for EMI Offers Advanced Public Information Officer Training Application

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 National Preparedness Month (NPM), serving 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.


“As a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I am pleased to serve as a congressional co-chair for National Preparedness Month and join FEMA in promoting a national effort to ensure that every American family is prepared for a natural disaster or other tragic weather events.  While government plays an important role in this process, we all can make a difference in preparing for emergencies, and there is no substitute for individual preparation and awareness. I urge my fellow Ohioans and all Americans to join us in this effort and to keep their families safe and sound though effective planning and preparation.”

Senator Rob Portman, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations



Emergency preparedness saves lives, reduces injuries, and minimizes infrastructure damage. September marks National Preparedness Month, a reminder that we must all take action to prepare for natural disasters, like earthquakes, wildfires, and hurricanes that can wreak havoc on our communities. No community is immune to natural disasters and these disasters can often occur with very little to no warning.  It is critical that communities come together to develop a strategy to better protect and prepare for emergencies. During this month, I encourage everyone to take the time to learn what you can do now to help protect yourself and your loved ones in case a natural disaster ever strikes your community.

Representative Peter A. DeFazio, Ranking Member, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure



“I am pleased to join with FEMA to promote individual and community preparedness for the 2016 National Preparedness Month.  I invite all Americans to join with their neighbors to ensure everyone has a family emergency communications plan, take steps to prepare for a disaster today and register local preparedness events at www.ready.gov/prepare. The nature of disasters and our awareness of preparedness have changed significantly since the tragic events of September 11.  We can honor those who were lost on that day 15 years ago by ensuring that we are better prepared to handle any number of disasters.  Regardless of the size of the disaster or emergency, preparedness can help reduce the impacts. I hope citizens from North Dakota and across this great country join us in recognizing National Preparedness Month.”

Senator John Hoeven, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security



Disaster can strike at a moment’s notice, which is why it is so critical that communities across the country are prepared in the event of an emergency. We have seen the devastation caused by natural and man-made disasters that leave families and businesses struggling to recover years later. We must play an active role in emergency planning to mitigate the effects of the next disaster at every level, including state and local governments, homeowners, and businesses. In Congress, I am working with my colleagues to ensure we provide the support needed to help our constituents financially prepare for disaster. Through our work on the Financial Services Committee, we are preparing to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners. As Ranking Member, I am committed to ensuring a strong and sustainable NFIP that provides affordable protection against flood risk.

Representative Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Committee on Financial Services



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

National Preparedness Month Webinar on Faith-based and Community Organizations

The Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a Center of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar on Thursday, September 8 from 2-3 p.m. EDT that will feature information on disaster preparedness resources available for a successful National Preparedness Month and brief presentations on the FEMA Non-Profit Security Grant and Building Resilience with Diverse Communities.


How to Join the Webinar:

• Register for the event using the Adobe Connect.

• Be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the meeting.

• This webinar will offer closed captioning.

Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a mandatory nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Wednesday, September 28, at 2:20 p.m. EDT to verify the delivery and broadcast, and assess the readiness for distribution of the national level test message.


The EAS test is made available to radio, television, cable, and direct broadcast satellite systems and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The message of the test will be similar 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.”


Significant coordination and regional testing has been conducted with the broadcast community and emergency managers in coordination and preparation for this EAS national test. The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems is also a way to assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure required for the distribution of a national message and determine what technological improvements need to be addressed.


Receiving preparedness tips and timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events can make all the difference in knowing when to take action to be safe. FEMA and partners are working to ensure you can receive alerts and warnings quickly through several different technologies no matter where you are–at home, at school, at work, or in the community. The FEMA App, which can be downloaded on both Android and Apple devices, is one way to ensure you receive both preparedness tips and weather alerts of your choice. Download the FEMA App today.


More information on the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is available at www.ready.gov/alerts.

Congratulations National Emergency Management Advanced Academy Graduates

Photo shows the 18 graduates of the National Emergency Management Advance Academy
Graduates of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy


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


The Commonwealth of Virginia is the first state/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 solely delivered by the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This Virginia-based delivery demonstrates the opportunity and flexibility other states, commonwealths, tribes 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 through strategic level training and education. The training provided is 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, integrated collaboration, and strategic thinking. The Advanced Academy provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their critical thinking ability through a guided research project.


Congratulations graduates! Interested emergency management professionals should visit www.training.fema.gov/empp for more information about which academy best suits their needs.

EMI Offers Advanced Public Information Officer Training

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute is offering the Advanced Public Information Officer (PIO) course November 28 – December 2, 2016. The course, held at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, provides participants with the skills to establish, manage, and work in a joint information center (JIC).


Students will practice developing strategic messaging in support of incident action plans and manage a JIC. Individuals who took the course prior to 2011 are eligible to retake the training, as much has changed in this course during the past two years.


The PIO training program is enhanced by its partnerships with states teaching basic courses that prepare new PIOs for handling daily challenges of safeguarding and informing their communities during emergencies. 


The Advanced PIO course improves skills of the participants through interactive lectures from subject matter experts and functional exercises, including strategic communications and incident action planning as it relates to JIC operations.


The application deadline is: October 14, 2016. If interested, contact Phil Politano, Training Specialist - Course Manager, at Philip.Politano.fema.dhs.gov or (301) 447-1343. For information on prerequisites and course schedules, go to http://training.fema.gov/programs/pio/.

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.