FEMA Bulletin Week of March 19, 2018

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March 19, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

April 9

2018 National Preparedness Symposium Application Deadline

April 30

Property Acquisition Open Space Collection Open Comment Period Deadline

FEMA Releases 2018-2022 Strategic Plan

On March 15, FEMA released its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan which seeks to unify and further professionalize emergency management across the country, helping us build a stronger agency and a more resilient nation. 

When disasters strike, FEMA cannot succeed alone in the mission of helping people.  We need to work in coordination with our partners and stakeholders to ensure that response and recovery is federally coordinated, state managed, and locally executed. This strategic plan strives to rally all our stakeholders and the Agency around the three goals of preparedness, catastrophic readiness, and reducing complexity.

The Strategic Plan outlines three ambitious, but achievable goals for the next five years: 

- Build a culture of preparedness. Every segment of our society, from individual to government, industry to philanthropy, must be encouraged and empowered with the information it needs to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters.
- Ready the nation for catastrophic disasters. FEMA will work with its partners across all levels of government to strengthen partnerships and access new sources of scalable capabilities to quickly meet the needs of overwhelming incidents.

- Reduce the complexity of FEMA. FEMA must continue to be responsible stewards of the resources we are entrusted to administer. We must also do everything that we can to leverage data to drive decision-making, and reduce the administrative and bureaucratic burdens that impede impacted individuals and communities from quickly receiving the assistance they need. 

These goals, and their supporting objectives, reflect recommendations and perspectives from conversations with disaster survivors and communities, and from what FEMA learned from the recent historic disaster season, through insights shared in collaborative Discovery Change Sessions with employees, and an online IdeaScale campaign. The plan is available online at FEMA.gov/strategic-plan.

FEMA Hosts the First Community Resilience Technical Exchange

In support of FEMA’s Strategic Goal to build a culture of preparedness, FEMA hosted the first Community Resilience Technical Exchange (CRTE) on March 9, 2018 at Argonne National Laboratory’s Washington, D.C. office. More than 30 individuals involved in managing and implementing federally-sponsored community resilience programs attended the event.

Representatives from Argonne National Laboratory, the Chester County (Pennsylvania) Department of Emergency Services, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Infrastructure Protection, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, and several university partners presented on initiatives that help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments become more resilient. The CRTE culminated in a facilitated discussion regarding knowledge and resource gaps, points of duplication, and areas for collaboration. FEMA will release a CRTE summary report in a few weeks. 

FEMA will use the results of the CRTE to inform the development of an upcoming multi-jurisdictional Community Resilience Technical Assistance (TA), which will launch in the fall of 2018. Questions regarding the CRTE or the planned community resilience TA may be directed to the Director of FEMA’s National Integration Center, Daniel Alexander, at Daniel.Alexander@fema.dhs.gov.

FEMA Announces 2019 NFIP WYO Arrangement

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has placed a notice in the Federal Register officially releasing the 2019 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Write Your Own (WYO) Arrangement, which begins October 1, 2018.  FEMA administers the NFIP which works closely with private insurance companies, also known as WYO companies, to sell and service federal flood insurance under their own business name.  

FEMA has made enhancements to the 2019 Arrangement.  FEMA believes the changes support the vision of closing the insurance gap and doubling the number of flood insurance policies to create a nation of preparedness against the damaging effects of flood. It is anticipated that the 2019 changes will help increase the number of property owners that have flood insurance nationally.  A few noteworthy changes are as follows:

- The WYO compensation was lowered by one (1) percentage point and is now 30 percent.
- The “non-compete” clause was removed allowing WYOs to sell primary flood insurance that in the past competed with the NFIP product.
- WYOs are now required to submit an operational plan that outlines how they will operate their business in support of the NFIP.
- WYOs also have new requirements to support FEMA in order to ensure the required timelines are met for the claims appeals process.

It is expected all the 2019 Arrangements will be officially signed by both FEMA and the WYOs that elect to participate prior to the beginning of the new Arrangement.

FEMA and Emergency Management Partner Organizations Release PrepTalk on the Making of a Resilient Future

FEMA, in partnership with organizations that collectively represent the emergency management profession, released today the sixth video presentation from the inaugural PrepTalks Symposium, Francis Ghesquiere’s “The Making of a Resilient Future: Disaster Risk in Developing Countries.”

In his PrepTalk, Ghesquiere presents a global perspective on the need to improve disaster resilience. He highlights the scale of the challenge, from rapid urbanization in areas at risk of earthquakes and floods, to the increasing frequency and intensity of storms. He discusses the need for all sectors to participate in planning and to incorporate future trends in population growth, urbanization, and increasing risk due to future environmental conditions.

Ghesquiere heads the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a global partnership hosted by the World Bank with programs in more than 80 countries. In a recent report, "The Making of a Riskier Future: How Our Decisions are Shaping Future Disaster Risk," the GFDRR demonstrates how, it says, “tomorrow’s risk is being built today. We must therefore move away from risk assessments that show risk at a single point in the present and move instead towards risk assessments that can guide decision makers towards a resilient future.” Ghesquiere focuses on the importance of this future perspective in his PrepTalk.  

Ghesquiere’s presentation, the question-and-answer session that followed, a discussion guide, and additional reference materials are available at https://www.fema.gov/preptalks. This is the sixth video of eight being produced from the PrepTalks Symposium held in Washington, D.C. in January. The next PrepTalks Symposium is tentatively scheduled for fall of 2018.

Upcoming PrepTalk video topics include lessons learned from disaster survivors and financial literacy. The next PrepTalks video is currently scheduled for release later this month.

PrepTalks are a partnership between FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

NFIP Desk Reference Guide for State Insurance Commissioners and Others

FEMA is pleased to announce that the Federal Insurance Directorate created a new resource for State Insurance Commissioners and all others who work within the flood insurance field.

The National Flood Insurance Program Desk Reference provides an overview of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is in three distinct parts: Before the Flood, During the Flood, and After the Flood. Each part will provide valuable resources on what you need to know, what you need to share with flood insurance policyholders and property owners, and who to contact. FEMA organized this guide to provide you the information you need to know when you need to know it most. FEMA has published it only electronically to ensure easy updates as the NFIP evolves.  (FEMA will not be printing it.) https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/157006.

Youth Preparedness Council Application Deadline Extended Until March 30

FEMA is seeking applicants for the Youth Preparedness Council, which brings together teens from across the country who are interested and engaged in community preparedness. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national leaders for preparedness. Students in 8th through 11th grade are eligible to apply.

Youth interested in applying to the Council must submit a completed application form, provide two letters of recommendation, and academic records. All applications and supporting materials must be received no later than March 30, 2018, 11:59 p.m. PDT. New council members will be announced in May 2018. To access the application materials, read about the current Council members, and for more general information about the Youth Preparedness Council visit www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness-council.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Learn How to Strengthen Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

FEMA invites you to a cybersecurity webinar on Wednesday, March 28, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. ET. Speakers will provide overviews of: incident response resources, hands-on technical assistance, and information sharing resources available from the Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Cyber Community (C3) Voluntary Program, and, the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), a global, non-profit organization consisting of 7,000+ members from throughout the banking, securities, and insurance industries. Learn how to connect the FS-ISAC trusted network to crisis planning, exercising, and response and recovery activities to your organizations.

How to Join the Webinar:

- Please register for the event using the Adobe Connect registration web link.

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

This webinar will offer captioning.

2018 National Preparedness Symposium Promoting Whole Community Preparedness Through Unity of Effort

FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) will host the 2018 National Preparedness Symposium from May 21-24. The symposium provides federal, state, tribal, territorial, and nongovernmental training and exercise officials the opportunity to discuss current and future training and exercise programs and to share case studies, lessons-learned, and smart practices. The theme is “promoting whole community preparedness through unity of effort,” with a focus on promoting a culture of preparedness in America.

The event will be held at the National Emergency Training Center, 16825 South Seton Avenue Emmitsburg, MD 21727-8998. Applications for registration must be received by April 9, 2018.  To apply and for more information, visit https://training.fema.gov/nationalpreparednesssymposium/ or contact the EMI National Training Liaison Dan Lubman at daniel.lubman@fema.dhs.gov.

Property Acquisition Open Space Collection Comment Period

FEMA recently listed a Federal Register Notice for public comments about information collection. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning the process of property acquisition and relocation for open space as part of FEMA's mitigation grant programs, monitoring requirements after a receiving a grant, and a direct grant to property owners for acquisition and demolition of severe repetitive loss structures. Comments may be submitted through the Federal Register at www.federalregister.gov/d/2018-03949 until April 30, 2018.