FEMA Bulletin Week of September 19, 2016

Seal of the Department of Homeland Security


Week of September 19, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

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

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.


“Disasters can occur at any time and often without warning. We must do what we can to prepare ourselves, our families, our neighbors, and our communities to stand strong against the next disaster. In my own home district in Pennsylvania, I have personally experienced the devastation and disruption that natural disasters like hurricanes, tropical storms, and floods leave in their wake. To be prepared, we must plan for the possibility of an emergency, and how we would survive without immediate supplies of food, water, or shelter. As Co-Chairman of National Preparedness Month, I challenge us all to develop, review, and practice emergency plans. This will help us prepare and ensure that our emergency kits are ready so our families, businesses, and communities are equipped to handle a disaster. Emergency preparedness plans and emergency kits help save lives, protect families, and strengthen communities. “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.”

-Representative Lou Barletta, Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management



“When disaster hits, our communities must be ready to leap into action. That’s why National Preparedness Month is so important,” said U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. “There’s so much we can do to prepare for disasters, and by preparing for the worst, we make sure our communities have adequate resources and training to carefully handle disasters and keep our communities as safe as possible. In the U.S. Senate, I’ve worked to make preparedness a priority. After a crude oil train derailed in Casselton, North Dakota in 2013, I introduced my RESPONSE Act—which has now passed in the U.S. Senate—to make sure first responders are prepared for incidents related to increased transport of energy by rail.”

-Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management



“After a year where we’ve seen massive flooding and natural disasters, nobody knows better than Missourians the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. National Preparedness Month is an opportunity for all Americans to take a moment and reflect and plan with our families and friends for emergency situations. The invaluable preparation FEMA and other agencies do can save lives, and I’m glad to support these efforts and help spread their message to ensure that Missourians and families all across our country are secure, prepared and resilient.”

-Senator Claire McCaskill, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations



“As we observe National Preparedness Month this September, every American should take some time to make sure they're prepared for a broad range of emergencies. Whether it's an earthquake, a wildfire, a flood, a hurricane, a power outage, or a terrorist attack, there are important actions you can take to prepare yourself and your family. Subscribe to local alerts so you’ll know when disaster strikes. Build an emergency supply kit with food, water, batteries, first aid materials, and other necessities. Make a family disaster plan, so that you and your loved ones will know where to meet and how to communicate with each other when a crisis occurs. When danger approaches, simple steps like these can mean the difference between life and death. Visit www.ready.gov/september to start getting prepared today.”

-Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security


With National Preparedness Month continuing through September, we encourage you to download the FEMA App to help you better organize your emergency supply kit, and keep track of what you've already added.


The FEMA App is  free on the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android. 


Keep loved ones safe, near and far. Get weather alertas for anywhere in the U.S. along with emergency safety tips & checklists on FEMA's free App.

Technical Mapping Advisory Council Finds that FEMA Delivers Credible Flood Hazard Data

The Technical Mapping Advisory Council (TMAC) is federal advisory council with representatives from federal, state, local and private organizations which is required to review the program outlined in Section 17 of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA).


The TMAC conducted a thorough review of the national flood mapping program, with a focus on program structure, process, outputs, quality management, and metrics. These findings have been affirmed by FEMA’s administrator, who recently certified that FEMA’s national flood mapping program produces technically credible flood hazard data in areas where FIRMs are prepared or updated. The Administrator’s certification was presented to Congress in writing with the Review Report that a national flood program is implemented.


The findings of the TMAC’s review are published in the 2016 National Flood Mapping Program Review Report.

Congratulations Executive Academy Graduates

Graduates of the executive academy standing in front of a building
Graduates from the National Emergency Management Executive Academy


FEMA congratulates ­­30 students who graduated from the National Emergency Management Executive Academy on September 15, 2016. The graduates represent emergency management professionals from state and local governments, federal government, private sector, academic institutions, and non-governmental organizations.


Emergency management professionals may visit www.training.fema.gov/empp for more information about which academy best suits their needs.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Higher Education Webinar in Emergency Management Education

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) 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.


EMI Offers Advanced Public Information Officer Training

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute is offering the Advanced Public Information Officer (PIO) course on 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 course since it was updated during the past two years.


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/.


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.


Tribal Consultation to Update the FEMA 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.


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.