FEMA Bulletin Week of January 9, 2017

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Week of January 9, 2017

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines


2016 Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks Program Funding Opportunity Application Deadline


SAFER Grant Program Application

February 15: Integrated Emergency Management Course Application Deadline

Integrated Emergency Management Course Application Deadline

FEMA Finalizes Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance Under The Stafford Act

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the release of the final version of the Tribal Declarations Pilot Guidance and the beginning of the pilot phase of tribal declarations under this new guidance.


The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act, signed into law in 2013, amended the Stafford Act to provide federally recognized Indian tribal governments the option to make their own request for a Presidential emergency or major disaster declaration independently of a state, or to seek assistance through a declaration requested by the state.

The pilot guidance describes the process tribal governments will use to request Stafford Act declarations and the criteria FEMA will use to evaluate direct tribal declaration requests and make recommendations to the President. 


The pilot guidance incorporates key changes that are responsive to the comments FEMA received from tribes. These changes include the establishment of the minimum damage amount to be considered for public assistance to $250,000; the addition of historic preservation as a demographic factor that may influence the impacts of a disaster; expansion of eligibility under the individuals and households program to include non-enrolled tribal community members, when requested by the tribal government; and modifying and adding definitions of terms.


The Pilot Guidance can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/tribal-declarations-pilot-guidance.


SAFER Grant Program Application Period is Open

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2016 provides $345,000,000 for the SAFER Grant Program for the Department to assist fire departments and volunteer interest organizations to increase the number of trained, "front line" firefighters available in their communities. 


SAFER grants provide financial assistance to help fire departments increase frontline firefighters. SAFER offers grants to support activities in two categories- Hiring of Firefighters and Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters. The authority for SAFER is derived from the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, as amended (15 U.S.C. §2229a et seq.).



The notice of funding opportunity document provides applicants with the details of the requirements, processing, and evaluation of an application for financial assistance for both of these activity areas.


The NOFO and technical assistance documents for this program are available at www.grants.gov, and at http://www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants


The application period opened on Monday, January 9, 2017 at 8 AM ET and will close on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 5 PM ET. 


FEMA Communicates Flood Risk Information to Policyholders

In January 2017, FEMA will begin the next phase of implementation of Section 28, Clear Communication of Risk, of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), which requires the Agency to clearly communicate full flood risk determinations to individual property owners.  To meet this requirement, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reviewed the flood risk and underwriting information for every flood insurance policy, and is writing to all NFIP policyholders to communicate how their flood risk impacts their premium rate.


Policyholders will begin receiving one of seven letters, depending upon their policy, in 2017. Policyholders who renewed policies in October 2016 through December 2016 will also receive their first mailing at this time. The letter will continue to be mailed at each subsequent renewal. With flood risk information varying from one policy to the next, the letter encourages each policyholder to contact their insurance agent to discuss their policy and options. It may also be helpful to visit FEMA.gov/cost-of-flood.


In addition to Section 28, HFIAA requires gradual insurance rate increases to properties that currently receive artificially low (or subsidized) rates, rather than immediate increases to reflect the property's full flood risk. HFIAA requires increases to premiums for most subsidized properties by no less than 5 to 15 percent annually, but no more than 18 percent for an individual policyholder – with limited exceptions –until the premium reaches its full-risk insurance rate. Approximately 80 percent of National Flood Insurance Program policyholders currently pay full-risk rates and are minimally impacted by these increases.



Information for insurance agents, copies of each category of letter, details about what each letter means, and tips for how individual policyholders can lower their flood risk (and potentially their flood insurance premiums) can be found at FEMA.gov/cost-of-flood.

FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Release the Snow Climatology Database

FEMA is pleased to announce the release of the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Center for Environmental Information's (NCEI) Snow Climatology Database (SCDB). The new, updated database presents the largest official one-day, two-day, and three-day snowfall accumulations for nearly all counties and county-equivalents within the United States.


The NCEI SCDB is available to the public on NOAA's website at www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/snowfall-extremes/ for historic one-day, two-day, and three-day snowfall accumulations and www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/daily-snow/ for daily snowfall reports. FEMA will be using the database to assess state and tribal requests for snow assistance for all severe winter storm events declared on or after January 1, 2017.


While FEMA may continue to consider other measurements that can be validated by the National Weather Service (NWS) to determine record or near-record snowfall, FEMA will primarily rely on snowfall measurements provided by NCEI in the SCDB. The SCDB will always be the first source FEMA uses to validate measurements provided by state, tribal, or local governments requesting snow assistance. For additional information on FEMA’s snow assistance policy, please reference the FEMA Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide.


NFIP Reinsurance Program Update for 2017

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has experienced many large flood disasters over its history, particularly in 2005, 2008, and 2012. As a result of these flood disasters, flood insurance claims have far exceeded the amount of funds available to pay them, resulting in a $23 billion debt to the U.S. Treasury.


Through the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). FEMA received the authority to secure reinsurance from the private reinsurance and capital markets. In response, FEMA created the NFIP Reinsurance Program to be financially prepared for potential losses from significant flooding events similar to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.


In January 2017, FEMA expanded its initial September 2016 reinsurance placement and transferred $1.042 billion of the NFIP’s financial risk to 25 reinsurers through January 1, 2018. Under the agreement, reinsurers agreed to indemnify FEMA for flood claims on an occurrence basis. FEMA contracted with Guy Carpenter and Company a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, to provide broker services to assist in securing the reinsurance placements. 


For more information about the Reinsurance Program, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-2016-reinsurance-initiative.

FEMA Issues Updated Tribal Policy

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updated its agency-wide Tribal Policy that outlines a framework for nation-to-nation relations with federally recognized tribal governments that recognizes tribal sovereignty, self-governance, and FEMA’s trust responsibility consistent with applicable authorities.


FEMA’s Tribal Policy applies to all FEMA programs and employees to ensure FEMA works together with tribal governments to build, sustain, and improve tribal capacity to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against all hazards. This updated policy supersedes the FEMA Tribal Policy dated December 30, 2013.


FEMA conducted tribal consultation from August 22, 2016 to October 28, 2016 to facilitate tribal feedback during the policy update process. FEMA held 23 separate events nationwide during the tribal consultation period—18 regional in-person listening sessions, two national webinars, and three Tribal Association conference presentations. Over 300 tribal participants were reached through these consultation events. FEMA received more than 100 comments in-person and through email. These comments were adjudicated to create this revised policy.


Visit FEMA’s Tribal Affairs web page to view the updated policy.


Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Higher Education Program Webinars: Teaching with Cases



FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute Higher Education Program & National Training Liaison invite you to a series of webinars on using cases in teaching emergency management higher education programs.


This webinar explores ways cases can be used to: develop professional practice competencies; discuss using existing case libraries, case journals, and other resources to support the integration of this case method into teaching; and, look at resources to support developing and publishing case studies to be used in the emergency management field. While this is the second session in a webinar series, participation in the initial webinar is not a prerequisite.


What: Webinar- Session II: Emergency Management Case Teaching:  Getting Started with Design & Delivery

When: January 11, 2017, from 3-4:30 ET

Registration: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/e5885burlz4/event/registration.html 

Conference Call-In: 800-320-4330, PIN: 376368


Additional webinars in the series are offered in February and March 2017.

For questions, contact Wendy Walsh at wendy.walsh@fema.dhs.gov.



Grant Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks

The grant application period for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA Program) is currently open. The CCTA program provides $35.94 million to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to improve their ability to prepare for, prevent, and respond to complex coordinated terrorist attacks in collaboration with the whole community.


The application period will remain open until February 10, 2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET.  The FY 2016 CCTA Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is located online at: http://www.fema.gov/grants as well as on http://www.grants.gov Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 97.133.


If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.


Emergency Management Institute Offers Tornado Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer six sessions of a tornado scenario on February 21, 22, 23, 2017 and March 7, 8, and 9. The VTTX helps communities prepare for the upcoming tornado season using historical events and recovery actions.  The application deadlines are January 11 and January 25, respectively. Content is the same each day, and participants would attend only one session in February or March. The VTTX involves key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting and can be used to assess plans, policies, training, and procedures.


The VTTX will occur 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET on each of the days listed above. To participate, send an email to Doug Kahn at douglas.kahn@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-7645. Also, send a courtesy copy email to the Integrated Emergency Management Branch at fema-emi-iemb@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-1381. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

Applications Open for Integrated Emergency Management Courses

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) conducts Integrated Emergency Management Courses (IEMC's) throughout the year and across the country. The four-and-a-half day training course is designed specifically for communities, providing both lecture and exercise-based training focused on response operations for a disaster or emergency that could happen in their area.

IEMC's 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 enhances the skills of participating officials and provides a forum to evaluate the effectiveness of their specific emergency policies, plans, and procedures to protect life and property. The course’s target audience includes:  state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) government personnel; their SLTT 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 EMI at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland; however, delivery may also occur in the community. 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/. The deadline for applications is February 15, 2017. Questions should be directed to FEMA-EMI-IEMB@fema.dhs.gov.