FEMA Bulletin Week of January 22, 2018

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January 22, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

February 2

Fiscal Year 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Application Deadline

March 11

Draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy Public Comment Period Deadline

FEMA Urges Tsunami Awareness and Preparedness for Coastal Communities

Following an intense earthquake that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska, which prompted tsunami watches, advisories and warnings across many state coastlines, FEMA continues to highlight safety tips for those who live in or visit coastal communities. While today’s immediate threat has passed, the situation serves as a reminder to all that there are steps that can be taken now, to prepare for future events.


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tsunamis are one of the most powerful and destructive natural forces, delivering a series of extremely long waves which can cause dangerous coastal flooding and powerful currents that can last for several hours or days. Caused by an underwater disturbance such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite, tsunamis radiate outward in all directions from the point of origin and can move across entire ocean basins.


If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, areas are at greater risk if they are less than 25 feet above sea level and within a mile of the shoreline. The first wave in a series could reach the beach in a few minutes, even before a warning is issued.


FEMA encourages citizens to protect themselves and their families by taking the following steps to ensure they are ready in the event of a tsunami:

- Create and practice an evacuation plan with your family. If you live in a tsunami evacuation zone you will find signs in your community. Familiarity may save your life. Be able to follow your escape route at night and during inclement weather.

- Create a family communications plan to know how you’ll contact each other and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

- Build an emergency kit to ensure you and your family are prepared to be on your own for at least 72 hours.

- If you are a tourist, familiarize yourself with local tsunami evacuation protocol.


Familiarize yourself with tsunami notification information:

Tsunami Watch

- A tsunami watch is issued to alert emergency management officials and the public of an event which may later impact the watch area.

- Prepare to take action and stay alert for further information.

Tsunami Advisory  

A tsunami advisory is issued when a tsunami with the potential to generate strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or very near the water is imminent or expected. The threat may continue for sev­eral hours after initial arrival, but significant inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory.

Tsunami Warning

- A tsunami warning is issued when a tsunami with the potential to generate widespread inundation is imminent or expected.

- Warnings alert the public that dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful cur­rents is possible and may continue for several hours after initial arrival.

- Move inland, out of the water, off the beach, and away from harbors, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.

- Be alert to and follow instructions from your local emergency officials because they may have more detailed or specific information for your location.

- If you feel a strong earthquake or extended ground rolling take immediate protective actions such as moving inland and/or uphill preferably by foot.

- If told to evacuate, evacuate immediately, taking your animals with you.  If you are in a high-rise building and instructed to shelter in place, stay on floors just above flood water. Stay in hallways or interior rooms.

- Do not return to the coast until local emergency officials indicate it is safe to do so.


The FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) provides National Weather Service alerts, safety tips for what to do before/during/after more than 25 natural and man-made emergencies, emergency kit and family communication plan checklists, and more: www.fema.gov/mobile-app.


For more information about tsunamis and how to prepare visit www.ready.gov/tsunamis.

Wildfires Increase Flood Vulnerability; Now Is the Time to Buy Flood Insurance

Because wildfires can make the ground more vulnerable to flooding, FEMA encourages those who live near land that has suffered from a wildfire to protect their homes with flood insurance, even if their home hasn’t flooded before. Residents who live near wildfires on federal lands may be eligible to receive coverage immediately for a future flood without the typical 30-day wait. 

In general, newly purchased flood insurance policies become effective following a 30-day waiting period. However, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 provided an additional exception to this requirement related to flooding caused by post-wildfire conditions, referred to as the “Post-Wildfire Exception.”

Under the Post-Wildfire Exception, those purchasing a flood insurance policy may not be required to meet the 30-day waiting period for their new flood insurance policy, if

- a flood that originates on federal land damages the policyholder’s property;

- post-wildfire conditions on federal lands caused or worsened the flooding; and

- the policyholder purchased the policy either:

-- before the fire containment date or

-- during the 60-calendar day period following the fire containment date.

Regardless of the waiting period, FEMA encourages everyone to consider buying flood insurance, as those who are insured recover more quickly and more fully following a flood.

Wildfires may char the ground to the point where it can no longer absorb water quickly—creating the ideal conditions for flash flooding and mudflows that can strike without warning. Burnt ground can be affected for about five years, which is why residents are encouraged to take important steps to protect their families and homes by purchasing flood insurance. NFIP flood insurance policies cover damage from flooding and mudflows.

For more information about flood risk and flood insurance, visit, www.fema.gov/flood-after-fire.

Webinar: Building Codes for Mitigation

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Division is hosting an informational webinar about the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 24 Building Codes for Mitigation. Presenters will provide information on ASCE 24 flood-specific building code requirements as they relate to Hazard Mitigation Assistance. This will include information about mitigation projects such as elevations, flood-proofing, and mitigation reconstruction.

Date: Thursday, January 25, 2018

Time: 2-3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Conference Number(s):  1-800-320-4330 Participant Code: 338559

Adobe Connect: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/asce24-mitigation/

Be sure to test your Adobe Connect connection prior to the meeting.

Emergency Management Institute Hosts Training E-Forums

EMI e-forums logo

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is hosting a series of “One Link, One Bridge, Many Voices” e-Forums every Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). EMI e-Forums are one-hour, moderated webinar discussions that provide an opportunity for EMI and the emergency management community to discuss matters of interest on national preparedness training. The e-Forums showcase whole community partners and peers, sharing their experiences. The panel format offers opportunities to provide technical assistance in training management by facilitating peer-to-peer sharing of best practices.

January and February EMI e-Forums

- 1/24, Incident Management Teams: Innovation and Evolution to Build Community Capability

- 2/7, An Emergency Management Reference Guide for Elected Officials

- 2/14, Training and Exercise Planning Workshop: Best Practices for Preparation

- 2/21, Healthcare Facility Emergency Management. Is it really a different animal? Best Practices in the Healthcare Community

- 2/28, X, Y, Z Learning: Bridging the Gap in Multigenerational Classrooms

Participation link: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/emieforums

Conference call-in: 800-320-4330, PIN 107622

Questions: https://training.fema.gov/contactus/sendcomment.aspx

EMI e-Forums on Adobe Connect are mobile device accessible.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Notice of Funding Opportunity for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

FEMA announced that the annual funding opportunity for the Fiscal Year 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) is now open, and the application period will close on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 5 p.m. (Eastern). The Fiscal Year 2017 AFG program will award $310.5 million to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters against fire-related deaths and hazards.

Applicant tools, including the AFG Notice of Funding Opportunity, for this program will be available at www.grants.gov and at www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program. Further, the “Get Ready Guide” may also be useful for potential applicants and is provided to answer questions and to help prepare grant applications.

For fire departments/applicants requiring assistance please visit www.fema.gov/grants, or contact the AFG Help Desk at firegrants@fema.gov or 1-866-274-0960.



FEMA and Interagency Partners Release Draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy for Public Comment

For our nation to become more resilient, we must develop a more effective and efficient way to invest in mitigation. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security tasked the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) to develop a National Mitigation Investment Strategy (Investment Strategy). As of January 11, the public is encouraged to review the draft Investment Strategy and provide comment. The draft Investment Strategy makes a series of recommendations, organized by six desired outcomes which, if met, could result in a nation better equipped for, and less vulnerable to, natural hazards. The draft Investment Strategy provides a national approach to investments in mitigation activities and risk management across federal, state, local, and territorial and tribal government and the private and non-profit sectors.

The draft Investment Strategy is now available on the National Mitigation Framework website at www.fema.gov/national-mitigation-framework. Comments on the draft Investment Strategy will be accepted until March 11, 2018 either through email to fema-nmis@fema.dhs.gov or through the IdeaScale site at https://fema.ideascale.com/a/ideas/recent/campaign-filter/byids/campaigns/60968.


To learn more about FEMA’s commitment to the National Mitigation Investment Strategy and building a true culture of preparedness across all communities, read Investing in Mitigation to Build a More Resilient Nation at www.fema.gov/blog.