FEMA Bulletin Week of September 26, 2016

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Week of September 26, 2016

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines

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.


“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


“September is National Preparedness Month, and it serves as a call to action to make sure our communities are prepared for the disasters they are most likely to face.  As we undertake preparedness efforts, we must ensure that our actions account for the most vulnerable among us.  Every day during the work week, 69 million children are separated from their parents.  This September, as children return to school, parents, teachers, and school districts should work together to ensure that every school and childcare facility has an emergency plan in place and to conduct an emergency response drill.  I also encourage families to develop reunification plans and emergency contact cards so that both parents and children know how to reconnect and who to contact when families are apart when disaster strikes.  For my part, I will redouble my efforts to ensure that the unique needs of children are considered in the emergency planning process and that schools have access to the resources necessary to remain secure in the wake of manmade and natural disasters.  If we work together, we can make our communities better prepared and more resilient.”

- Representative Donald M. Payne, Jr., Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications


“September marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month,” said Rep. André Carson. “Throughout the month, I encourage everyone to prepare for emergency situations. Take time now to review your emergency plans to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe. Whether natural or manmade, you can never be too ready.”

- Representative Andre Carson, Ranking Member, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management


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.

FEMA Releases Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Proposed Guidance


FEMA published, on September 22, a notice in the Federal Register inviting comments on the Individual Assistance Declarations Factors Proposed Guidance document that further describes the factors that FEMA would consider when evaluating a Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration authorizing assistance to individuals.


The proposed guidance expands on a proposed rule on this topic that FEMA published for public comment in November 2015. Following receipt of public comments on the proposed guidance, FEMA intends to publish a final rule and a final version of this guidance once the comments are adjudicated.


The proposed guidance is intended to provide clarity on the proposed Individual Assistance declarations factors and speed the declaration process, including FEMA’s recommendation to the President on whether a major disaster declaration authorizing Individual Assistance is warranted.


The proposed guidance describes how FEMA proposes to evaluate the following factors: State Fiscal Capacity and Resource Availability, Uninsured Home and Personal Property Losses, Disaster Impacted Population Profile, Impact to Community Infrastructure, Casualties, and Disaster-Related Unemployment. This only applies to requests by states and territorial governments.


Comments to the proposed guidance are due no later than October 24 and can be submitted online.

National Flood Insurance Program 2016 Reinsurance Initiative

With the impacts of Hurricane Katrina (2005), Midwest Floods of 2008, Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, Hanna, Ike, Omar, and Hurricane Sandy (2012); the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) experienced many large flood disasters over its history. 

As a result of these flood disasters, the cost of policy claims has far exceeded the amount of premiums and accumulated surplus, resulting in the NFIP incurring a debt to the U.S. Treasury of $23 billion. In the wake of these large flood events, the government has decided to more actively manage risk by creating a reinsurance program and developing a policyholder reserve fund.

Through the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA 2014), FEMA received the authority to secure reinsurance from the private reinsurance and capital markets.


In response to the authority granted by Congress in HFIAA 2014, FEMA created the NFIP Reinsurance Program with the primary objective to enable the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) to diversify the tools it uses to manage the financial consequences of its catastrophic flood risk.


To successfully implement a high quality reinsurance program at the federal level starting in early January 2017, the NFIP Reinsurance Initiative Team is taking measured steps to identify and resolve any barriers or issues in advance of the implementation.  This initiative will start in September by purchasing $1 million in reinsurance to prepare for a larger purchase early next year.


The 2016 NFIP Reinsurance Program’s goal is to successfully transfer a $1 million of the NFIP risk to the private reinsurance market, at a fair and reasonable price to the federal government.   More information is available at www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-reform.

FEMA Announces Continuing Training Grants Recipients

FEMA officials announced funding awards for the Fiscal Year 2016 Continuing Training Grants program. The Homeland Security National Training Program’s Continuing Training Grants will provide $11.5 million to selected recipients to for the development and delivery of innovative training programs.


FEMA’s administers these grants as cooperative agreements. The 2016 grants are awarded to the following recipients in the following categories:


• Economic Recovery: The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University receives $1,506,000.

• Cybersecurity: The University of Texas at San Antonio, representing the National Cybersecurity Preparedness Consortium receives $3,015,000.

• Hazardous Materials: Georgia Tech Research Institute receives $1 million; and The International Association of Fire Fighters also receives $1 million.

• Rural Preparedness: The Center for Rural Development, representing the Rural Domestic Preparedness Consortium receives $5 million.


This competitive program attracted applicants from state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, along with eligible non-profit organizations to include colleges and universities.  This year, 27 applicants competed and FEMA made five awards.


For more information on this program and to request FEMA training, please go to www.firstrespondertraining.gov.

FEMA Congratulates National Emergency Management Advanced Academy Graduates

Florida Academy Class
Graduates of the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy at the Florida Department of Emergency Management

FEMA congratulates 23 students who graduated from the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy on September 16, at the Florida Department of Emergency Management. Graduates represented emergency management professionals from across the state.

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.

Florida is the second 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 Florida-based delivery demonstrates the opportunity and flexibility other states, commonwealths, and territories have to deliver the Advanced Academy program at their site.

Emergency management professionals should visit www.training.fema.gov/empp for more information about the Advanced Academy program.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Nationwide Emergency Alert System Test Planned

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.


The purpose of the nationwide test is to ensure that EAS remains an effective means of warning the public about emergencies. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems helps to assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and identify any needed technological and administrative improvements.

Public safety officials need to be sure that in times of an emergency or disaster, they have reliable methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public when needed. Conducting regional and national testing supports the continued use, training, and improvement of the system.


The message will be transmitted in both English and Spanish, with EAS participants deciding which version to use for their communities. The test is intended to last approximately one minute. In the event the test is cancelled due to wide spread severe weather or other real world events, the back-up date for the test is October 5.


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, 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. 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 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.