FEMA Bulletin Week of October 9, 2017

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Week of October 9, 2017

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 


 FEMA Fiscal Year 2018-2022 Strategic Plan Open Comment Period




Application Deadline for PDM and FMA Grants

From Devastation to Recovery: One Month After Hurricane Irma

In Florida, from Pensacola on the west end of the Panhandle to Key West, Hurricane Irma had a severe impact across the state of Florida.

A combined federal, state, local, and private sector response resulted in restoration of power to 99.9% of the population within 10 days of landfall. At peak, there were some 60,000 utility linemen in the state. Fuel depots were established around the state that provided gas to first responders and utility workers, allowing them to continue working uninterrupted.

As we move into recovery, FEMA, state and local governments are committed to assisting Floridians in rebuilding their lives after the storm. Registering with FEMA is the first step in beginning the recovery process. Nearly 2.4 million homeowners and renters who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Irma have already registered. The deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible federal disaster assistance is Nov. 9.

In the one month since the major disaster declaration in Florida, the recovery continues. Here is a look at whole community progress made through the efforts of tireless emergency workers, volunteers and community organizers.

More than $847 million in state and federal disaster assistance funding has been approved for Hurricane Irma survivors and their communities.

Individuals eligible for assistance received more than $494 million for housing assistance and more than $245 million for other needs.

Operation Blue Roof, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers program FEMA tasks in disasters, placed plastic sheeting over the damaged area of 4,536 home roofs to help prevent further damage.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance crews made nearly 18,000 referrals to non-profit programs serving individuals and communities of Florida, including the 211 telephone-based service, faith-based and affiliated charities, American Red Cross, aging services, crisis counseling and veteran’s services.

More than 6.7 million meals have been provided by volunteers. Among them were American Red Cross members who provided nearly 1.2 million meals and snacks.

Disaster Survivor Assistance teams met face-to-face with 65,654 survivors to assist them in registering and obtaining information about resources and assistance.

Nearly 2.4 million survivors have applied to FEMA for disaster assistance.

216,528 FEMA housing inspections, an essential part of the recovery process, have been completed. 

In Georgia, FEMA and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) are working in close coordination with other state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations, including Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Georgia Baptist Disaster Services, to help Georgians recover from the damage left by the storm. GEMA and FEMA are initiating a new Public Assistance (PA) delivery model. There are 102 counties designated for all PA categories, and all 159 Georgia counties are designated for debris removal and emergency protective measures, categories A and B.

In the past month since Hurricane Irma caused damage across Georgia:

-More than $15 million in state and federal funds have been approved for disaster survivors.

- FEMA approved more than $9.7 million in Individuals and Households Program grants.

- More than 40,000 individuals and households registered with FEMA in the seven Georgia counties designated for Individual Assistance.

- More than $5 million in expedited funding has been approved for National Flood Insurance Program policy holders, and approximately 1,900 claims have been filed.

- More than 3,300 survivors have visited seven disaster recovery centers, five of which remain open.

- The U.S. Small Business Administration approved more than $535,000 in low-interest disaster loans for homeowners and renters and established Business Recovery Centers in Brunswick and Savannah.

- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing technical assistance to local officials for debris removal efforts.

-The U.S. Coast Guard is removing 37 sunken and damaged vessels from the St. Mary’s River. 

How You Can Help

The fastest way to help the survivors of the hurricanes, whether through financial donation or personal volunteerism is through a trusted organization.

Donations - cash is best: The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) lists trusted organizations receiving donations. The NVOAD website has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual in-kind donations here. For corporate donations connect here. You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to hurricane survivors.

NVOAD is coordinating closely with the governor’s offices on offers of assistance. To provide assistance directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, go to www.unitedforpuertorico.com, and for  USVI, go to https://www.usvirecovery.org.

Volunteering: Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. A list of volunteer websites is available at www.nvoad.org. Those who wish to register to volunteer to support response efforts for Hurricane Maria can go here for Puerto Rico (https://prvoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) and here: (https://usvivoad.communityos.org/cms/irma) for the U.S. Virgin Islands. To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register your interest to volunteer here for partner organizations to reach out to you.

For more information, go to https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria, https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma, and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332 for Hurricane Harvey.

FEMA Seeks Applicants to Join Hurricane Recovery Team

With a large percentage of the FEMA workforce in the field supporting 28 disasters, the agency continues to grow its workforce to bolster recovery activities underway in the states and U.S. territories affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. FEMA is hiring dedicated people to join our recovery team, comprised of locally-hired workers. Through its hiring of temporary local employees and Cadre of On-Call Response/Recovery Employees (CORE), FEMA diversifies its workforce while affording opportunities for survivors to help fellow survivors. Fluency in English and Spanish, for some positions, is preferred.

The types of jobs that are available include (but are not limited to): applicant services specialist, administrative support assistant, analysts, civil engineer, construction cost estimator, courier, crisis counselor, customer service specialist, digital communications specialist, emergency management specialist, environmental specialist, equal rights advisor, floodplain management specialist, graphics specialist, geospatial information, systems specialist, hazard mitigation, outreach specialist, historic preservation specialist, housing coordinator and reports writer, insurance specialist, intergovernmental affairs, mass care specialist, media relations specialist, program liaisons, resource manager, registered nurse, travel specialist, voluntary agency liaison, and writers.

Temporary Local Hires

FEMA hires local residents, who are often disaster survivors themselves, to help their fellow citizens in the recovery process. Local hiring allows disaster survivors to get back to work while adding to the long-term recovery of the local community and bringing a special understanding of the problems faced by fellow disaster survivors.

Most temporary local hires are employed following a streamlined, rather than a competitive, process. A local hire’s term of employment is 120 days, though it may be extended in 120-day increments up to one year. Temporary local hires do not earn career tenure or competitive status in the federal government. This means that they must compete with the public for future federal jobs rather than receive preference.

If interested in joining FEMA as a Temporary Local Hire, applicants can search positions on FEMA’s Hurricane Workforce page. For additional information on temporary local hire positions, contact FEMA Region II, IV, or VI Office.

- Florida: To apply for open positions, create an account at employflorida.com and use the keyword: FEMA. More information for job-seekers and employers can be found on the Hurricane Irma Recovery Jobs Portal.

- Puerto Rico: Those who wish to apply should email their resume to fema-workforce-caribbean@fema.dhs.gov and include the words “Puerto Rico” in the subject line. For those applicants without internet access, they should submit resumes in a sealed envelope at any post office in Puerto Rico marked “FEMA Jobs.” The U.S. Post Service will deliver resumes to the FEMA recovery team in Puerto Rico.

-Texas: Job-seekers should register at WorkinTexas.com, the Texas Workforce Commission’s website, where application instructions are posted. In partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission, the National Labor Exchange identifies positions here to assist Texan employers with recruitment needs related to Hurricane Harvey.

Risk Assessment Methodology Feedback Webinar

FEMA will host a webinar October 12 from 2-4 p.m. Eastern Time to gain feedback on potential enhancements to the Fiscal Year 2018 State Homeland Security Initiative (SHSP) and Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) risk assessment methodology. Assistant Administrator for Grant Programs Thomas DiNanno will host the webinar along with a question and answer session.

Please submit enhancement ideas, comments, or questions on the risk assessment process beforehand to FEMA-MSA-Process@fema.dhs.gov. Questions should focus on a specific area of the assessment, provide a tangible set of data, or portion of the methodology that could be added, improved, or updated. Also, there will be the opportunity to pose a question or comment during the webinar in the comments section or by sending an email to FEMA-MSA-Process@fema.dhs.gov.

There will be no conference line as all audio will be through the webinar. Please test your capabilities to hear the audio online through your computer’s browser software, speakers or headset.

Registration Link: https://icpd.adobeconnect.com/risk10121/event/registration.html. Please register for the webinar beforehand. If a pop-up asks for your credentials (username and password), first click cancel and then you will be taken to the registration page. Test your Adobe Connect connection at: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm prior to the meeting. The webinar will offer captioning. 

During Fire Prevention Week Plan Two Ways Out

Fire Prevention Week is this week, from October 8-14. The 2017 theme is Every Second Counts. Plan Two Ways Out.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), you may have less than two minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarms sound. Use these seven steps from USFA to develop and practice your fire escape plan during Fire Prevention Week:

-  Draw a map of your home with all the doors and windows.

- Find two ways out of every room.

- Do not block doors and windows.

- Choose an outside meeting place in front of your home.

- Push the test button to sound the smoke alarm. 

- Practice your drill with everyone in the home.

- Get outside to your meeting place.

USFA recommends that everyone have working smoke alarms (replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old), practice a home fire escape plan and consider installing home fire sprinklers in their home. Find more information, go to www.usfa.fema.gov.

Participate in ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

The 2017 Great ShakeOut is coming soon. ShakeOut is an annual earthquake drill held on the third Thursday of October as a way of learning how to react in the event of an earthquake. It is coordinated across all states and territories with support from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, the Southern California Earthquake Center, the Ready Campaign, Prepareathon, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, ShakeOut.org, and others.

The Great ShakeOut will be on October 19 at 10:19 a.m. local time. At that time, participants will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" as practice for what to do in the event of an earthquake. Quakes could happen in at least 33 states and territories that have moderate to very high risk of earthquake, in addition other states also at risk nationwide. Knowing what to do before an earthquake could determine how well you survive and recover. Learn steps that you can take with the Earthquake Safety Checklist. Learn more about how to register and participate in the ShakeOut drill at www.ShakeOut.org. 

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

FEMA Seeks Input on Fiscal Year 2018-2022 FEMA Strategic Plan

FEMA's Administrator believes in the importance of hearing external partners’ perspectives to help FEMA improve the way business is done. Throughout the next few months, FEMA is inviting its stakeholders and partners from across the whole community to help shape the Fiscal Year 2018-2022 FEMA Strategic Plan. In an effort to reach as many stakeholders and partners as possible, FEMA is accepting feedback via IdeaScale – an interactive, web-based application that allows idea sharing, collaboration and engagement.

FEMA is looking for input and engagement on Simplifying Recovery and Reducing Disaster Costs. How can FEMA simplify recovery programs and reduce disaster costs while ensuring accountability, customer service, and fiscal stewardship?

Buying Down Risk through Preparedness and Mitigation

- How should risk be calculated in awarding grants?

- What type of grants are best suited for effectively reducing risk?

- How do we incentivize more investment in preparedness/mitigation prior to a disaster (not only federal investment)?

- How should the nation, including but not limited to FEMA, train and credential a surge disaster workforce ahead of major disasters?

- What are new ways to think about a true culture of preparedness?

We value the input and diverse perspectives that you bring to help inform this process, the final product, and our efforts. Our IdeaScale campaigns will be open until October 31, 2017. We look forward to your ideas and suggestions.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Applications Open Until November 14

The application period is open for two competitive Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant programs. Eligible applicants including territories, federally recognized tribes, states and local governments may apply for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants at https://portal.fema.gov through 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on November 14, 2017.

FMA grants are available to implement measures to reduce or eliminate risk of flood damage to structures insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). For FY 2017, $160 million is available, including $70 million for community flood mitigation activities that address flooding on a neighborhood level, such as floodwater diversion and localized flood-control measures as well as advance assistance for mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects.

PDM grants are awarded for all-hazard mitigation planning and projects, such as the construction of community and residential safe rooms for tornados, and wind retrofits, which are enhancements made to strengthen the roof, walls and doors of structures to minimize damage caused by high winds. This year, $90 million is available, including $10 million for federally-recognized tribes. States, tribes, territories and the District of Columbia may apply for the statutory allocation of up to $575,000 federal share. Visit https://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-grant-program for additional details about the grants.