FEMA Bulletin Week of May 7, 2018

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May 7, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

May 9

National Incident Management System Resource Management Documents National Engagement Period Deadline

May 15

National Emergency Management Advanced and Executive Academies Application Deadline

June 7

Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide Open Comment Period Deadline

FEMA and NOAA Encourage Preparedness for the 2018 Hurricane Season

FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are continuing their partnership to increase public awareness of the hazards posed by hurricanes. In the wake of a devastating 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, FEMA and NOAA want to ensure that the American public takes steps to be better prepared. May 6 through 12 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season beginning on June 1.

Hurricanes not only affect coastal communities, but also can have significant impacts hundreds of miles inland. It only takes one to change your life and your community. As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria remind us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to worry about. All hurricanes could potentially cause significant damage.

FEMA and NOAA are asking for your help to increase awareness and to motivate individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risk, get prepared and stay informed before hurricane season. We have a 2018 Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit that includes resources to aid in spreading the word.

What can you do to get ready? Prepare financially, know your risk, get prepared and stay informed. Learn how you can develop a plan, receive emergency alerts, and how and where to evacuate. Visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes to learn hurricane terms and more ways to prepare.

This graphic shares what you can do to get ready before a hurricane comes.

A National Approach to Investing in Mitigation

Strengthening the nation’s ability to withstand disasters with limited loss reduces our risk. Building a culture of preparedness, including expanding mitigation actions – the most effective way to improve resiliency – is a primary goal of the 2018-2022 FEMA Strategic Plan.

After the release of a 2016 Government Accountability Office report identifying the need for a coordinated, government-wide investment strategy for resilience and mitigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tasked the Federal Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) to develop a National Mitigation Investment Strategy (NMIS). The intent of the NMIS is to improve coordination and awareness of natural hazard mitigation products and resources in order to reduce the nation’s exposure to risk.

The Draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy includes a series of recommendations to make the nation less vulnerable and better equipped to respond to natural hazards. The MitFLG engaged with all levels of government and invited the public to comment on the draft. Feedback was received from January 11, 2018 through March 11, 2018, and came from several key stakeholders including, private businesses, citizens, vulnerable and at-risk populations, critical infrastructure sectors, non-profit, academic, and philanthropic organizations.

The group accepted input and involvement from all national stakeholders involved in disaster resilience, including federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and private organizations, and the general public, and heard many perspectives on mitigation with specific feedback on the investment strategy. Several common themes emerged, including making mitigation less complex and more easily understood; expanding funding for mitigation; better integrating mitigation into disaster preparedness and recovery; and improving infrastructure resilience.

The MitFLG will revise the draft and anticipates providing a final NMIS in December 2018. While public comments are still being reviewed in detail and a final NMIS will be released by the MitFLG in the fall of 2018, the Draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy can be viewed online. For more information about NMIS and the importance of investing in mitigation, read a FEMA blog post written by Dr. Daniel Kaniewski.

IMMERSED: Providing Users With a Flood of Information


May 2018 is National Building Safety Month. This year’s theme is "Building Codes Save Lives." Each week of National Building Safety Month highlights a different component of building safety; week two focuses on “Advancing Resilient Communities Through Science and Technology.”

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster, which is why it’s critical for community leaders to be equipped with the information, tools and skills needed to take mitigation action and build resiliency. To help educate community leaders about the value of being prepared for the worst, FEMA created a virtual reality experience about flood and resilience called IMMERSED.

Using technology to place users at the center of a flood crisis, IMMERSED allows them to assess damage in a community and see the benefits of mitigation first-hand. By working through simple tasks, users experience a major flood event in a realistic manner. After experiencing IMMERSED, users are encouraged to explore additional information about mitigation actions and are provided details on grants and other available programs to support communities.

FEMA’s Building Science Branch creates guidance and materials to develop the most up-to-date and technologically advanced building codes for new construction and the repair of existing buildings. It converts research into practice through its Mitigation Assessment Teams and through the publication of technical manuals that optimize technology and aid in the development of safe and secure structures.

Science and technology are leading the way for designing and constructing safe, efficient and resilient homes and buildings. If you are considering renovating, remodeling, or building from the ground up, look for the latest technology and ensure it is based on the codes and standards that put safety and efficiency first.

For more information visit the International Code Council’s Building Safety Month webpage. And to learn more about the IMMERSED experience, subscribe to the FEMA Podcast on iTunes, which features the virtual reality program in the next edition tomorrow, May 9, 2018.

Emergency Management Institute Offers Dam Safety Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) Program will offer three sessions, July 17, 18, and 19, on the effects of a major dam failure on a community. Content is the same each day and participants would attend only one session. The VTTX occurs 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT.

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. The application deadline is June 29, 2018. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx.

The VTTX is designed to:

- Prepare participants for a potential dam failure that could impact power production, require emergency evacuations, open use of emergency spillways and recovery from a catastrophic loss.

- Enable participants to better coordinate their operations with counterparts from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; private sector organizations; and non-governmental agencies.

- Provide a virtual forum to review emergency plans and contingency resources.

Each month, EMI conducts a VTTX series using a Video Teleconference (VTC) platform to reach community-based training audiences around the country by providing a virtual forum for interactive disaster training. The VTTX is designed for a group of seven or more representatives from state, local, tribal, territorial emergency management and private/public corporate structures. It provides a unique opportunity for responders across the Nation to simultaneously participate in a hazard-specific, facilitated discussion. Participants will need to connect via a site equipped with the appropriate VTC capability (not Adobe Connect or FaceTime-based), but alternate ways to participate are also available upon request.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Resources for Building Cyber Security Resilience, Capacity, and Capability

FEMA is hosting a webinar on programs, services, and resources stakeholders may use to bolster their cyber resilience. These include cyber exercises, phishing email exercises, cyber resilience reviews, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing and infrastructure assessments. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and learn about best practices.

Title: U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Resources for Building Cyber Security Resilience, Capacity, and Capability

Date: Monday, May 14, 2018

Time: 12 – 1 p.m. EDT

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 before the meeting.

- This webinar offers captioning.

For more information, please contact FEMA-Prepare@fema.dhs.gov.

Supporting the Emotional Wellbeing of First Responders, Emergency Managers and Disaster Relief Personnel Webinar

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and FEMA are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, from 1-2 p.m. EDT.


In support of Mental Health Month, the "Supporting the Emotional Wellbeing of First Responders, Emergency Managers & Disaster Relief Personnel" webinar will provide information and resources on how to respond to the emotional well-being of first responders, emergency managers, and disaster relief personnel who support communities impacted by disasters. Although this webinar should not be taken as professional medical advice, it will provide information, resources, and considerations to support mental health and emotional well-being during the response and recovery phase of a disaster.

Title: Supporting the Emotional Wellbeing of First Responders, Emergency Managers & Disaster Relief Personnel

Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Time: 1 – 2 p.m. EDT

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.


For more information, please contact FEMA-Prepare@fema.dhs.gov.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

FEMA Seeks Feedback on National Incident Management System Resource Management Documents

FEMA’s National Integration Center released for public feedback a number of National Incident Management System Resource Management component documents that will enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid. This National Engagement Period will conclude at 5 p.m. EDT on May 9, 2018. The National Engagement Period provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on newly developed supplemental guidance.

Apply for National Emergency Management Advanced and Executive Academies

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is accepting applications until May 15, 2018 for the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy and the National Emergency Management Executive Academy.

For more information and to apply for the Advanced Academy, go to https://training.fema.gov/empp/applytoadvancedacademy.aspx or contact fema-empp-advanced-academy@fema.dhs.gov. For the Executive Academy, go to https://training.fema.gov/empp/applytoexecutiveacademy.aspx or contact fema-empp-executive-academy@fema.dhs.gov

FEMA Seeks Comments on Individual Assistance Policy and Program Guide

FEMA posted the draft Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide (IAPPG) for public comment. The IAPPG will provide a single comprehensive reference document for all FEMA Individual Assistance (IA) programs. The comment period will close on June 7, 2018. FEMA will then adjudicate comments and finalize the document. Once finalized, the IAPPG will replace the Individuals and Households Program Unified Guidance (IHPUG) from September 2016, and all stand-alone IA policies. 

Please visit www.fema.gov/individual-assistance-program-and-policy-guide to review and provide comments on the draft IAPPG.