FEMA Bulletin Week of October 16, 2017

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Week of October 16, 2017

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

October 19

2017 Great ShakeOut

October 31

 FEMA Fiscal Year 2018-2022 Strategic Plan Open Comment Period

November 14

Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants Application Deadline

How You Can Help After a Disaster



The fastest way to help the survivors of the hurricanes and wildfires, 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. FEMA does not transport donations collected by local, tribal, territorial, or state government or collected by private sector, non-governmental organizations, or NVOAD from point of collection to impacted areas. Those who want to help should visit www.nvoad.org. To provide assistance directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit www.prfaa.pr.gov/unitedforpuertorico and to the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit 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 for the U.S. Virgin Islands (https://usvivoad.communityos.org/cms/irma). 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 www.fema.gov/hurricane-maria, www.fema.gov/hurricane-irma, and https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4332 for Hurricane Harvey.

How to help after a disaster

FEMA Seeks Applicants to Join Hurricane Recovery Teams

With a large percentage of the FEMA workforce in the field supporting 30 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, and Maria and the California wildfires. 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 may 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, 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.

FEMA Releases Refreshed National Incident Management System

FEMA released refreshed guidance for the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS provides a common, nationwide approach to enable the whole community to work together to manage all incidents, regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity.

FEMA led a whole community effort to review and refresh the document. FEMA held a 30-day national engagement period from April to May 2016, during which stakeholders submitted 2,862 comments. Multiple interdisciplinary adjudication panels, focus groups, and targeted reviews helped FEMA review and adjudicate the comments, and the resulting changes were incorporated into NIMS.

The refreshed NIMS:

- Retains key concepts and principles of the 2004 and 2008 versions of NIMS;

- Reflects and incorporates policy updates from lessons learned from exercises and real-world incidents and disasters;

- Clarifies the processes and terminology for qualifying, certifying, and credentialing incident personnel, building a foundation for the development of a national qualification system;

- Reinforces and clarifies that NIMS is more than just the Incident Command System (ICS), and that it applies to all incident personnel, from the incident command post to the National Response Coordination Center;

- Describes common functions and terminology for staff in Emergency Operations Centers (EOC), while remaining flexible to allow for differing missions, authorities, and resources of EOCs across the nation; and

- Explains the relationship among ICS, EOCs, and senior leaders and policy groups.

FEMA will host a series of 60-minute webinars to discuss the updates in the refreshed NIMS and answer questions related to NIMS.  The webinars will be open to the whole community.

To review the refreshed NIMS document and for additional webinar information, visit: www.fema.gov/national-incident-management-system.

Reintroduction of Earthquake Direct State Assistance

The National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) is the federal government’s coordinated approach to addressing earthquake risks. The premise of the program is that while earthquakes may be inevitable, earthquake disasters are not.

FEMA is responsible for the majority of the program’s general implementation activities. Leading the overall efforts is the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) which translates the results of research and technology development into effective earthquake risk reduction plans and activities. One of the ways to do this is by operating a grant program to assist states and territories with their earthquake risk reduction efforts.

The NEHRP Earthquake Consortium and State Support (ECSS) program is designed to increase and enhance the effective implementation of earthquake risk reduction at the state and local level, by making funding available through annual, non-competitive cooperative agreements. This year, in addition to providing support to eligible states and territories through existing Earthquake Consortia and Partner Support cooperative agreements, FEMA has made federal funding available to certain states by reintroducing the Direct State Assistance funding opportunity.

Direct State Assistance funding is available to all states and territories that have been determined to be at a “Moderate to Very High Risk” of earthquakes and who can meet the statutory 50 percent cash match requirement. Funding is being provided through cooperative agreements managed by the appropriate FEMA Regional earthquake program management team.

Twelve states in five FEMA regions elected to participate in the ECSS program by accepting Direct State Assistance grant awards. Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah will utilize the grant funding to plan and implement earthquake outreach and communications activities.

Those states and territories who did not apply for the Direct State Assistance funding opportunity will receive earthquake outreach and communications assistance through FEMA’s regional Earthquake Consortia and other NEHRP partners.

ShakeOut Earthquake Drill on October 19

FEMA urges its partners and all Americans to participate in the 2017 Great ShakeOut, the largest annual preparedness exercise drill, as a way of learning how to be prepared in the event of an earthquake.


The Great ShakeOut is the annual earthquake preparedness drill held on the third Thursday of October. This year, the Great ShakeOut will be on October 19 at 10:19 a.m local time. At that time in all local time zones, participants will "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" to practice for what to do during an earthquake, which could happen in many states nationwide.


Knowing what to do before an earthquake, could determine how well you survive and recover. Learn steps you can take with the Earthquake Safety Checklist. Learn more about how to register and participate at www.ShakeOut.org.

Drop! Cover! Hold on!

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.