FEMA Bulletin Week of July 23, 2018

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July 23, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

August 10

Emergency Management Institute's Chlorine Emergency Response Virtual Tabletop Exercise Registration Deadline

September 20

Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

FEMA Partners with the American Red Cross on Emergency Skills Activity Book for Children

FEMA and the American Red Cross teamed up to introduce the "Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book." The activity book provides parents and educators a creative way to teach children how to prepare for disasters and emergencies. Prepare with Pedro is a fun way for parents, teachers, and community leaders to talk about safety with young children.

The activity book features Red Cross character Pedro the Penguin, who demonstrates how to stay safe during a variety of natural hazards. The activity book is designed to be both educational and engaging for young children, offering safety advice alongside crosswords, coloring pages, matching games, and more.

To obtain copies of the activity book:

- Download and print by visiting: Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book

- Order printed copies for free through FEMA's publication warehouse online or by phone at 1-800-480-2520. Request publication number #2005.

For more youth preparedness activities, visit www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness. Parents, caregivers, and educators can also learn about disaster safety for children by visiting the American Red Cross website at www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/disaster-safety-for-children.

FEMA and Partners Release School Safety PrepTalks

FEMA and emergency management partner organizations today released two new PrepTalks from Michele Gay and Kristina Anderson focused on improving school safety. Communities around the country can use these resources to assess and improve their school safety protocols and engagement strategies before the next school year begins in the fall.

Gay is a mother of three, former teacher, and co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools, a nonprofit started by Sandy Hook parents to support school crisis prevention, response, and recovery. In her PrepTalk, “Rethinking School Safety.” Gay relays her personal experience as the parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. She highlights some of the solutions that students and staff needed during the crisis at Sandy Hook, and presents Safe and Sound Schools’ Framework for Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Development: Emergency Management, Community Engagement, Physical Safety, Mental and Behavioral Health, Climate and Culture, and Health & Wellness.

Anderson founded The Koshka Foundation for Safe Schools, a non-profit dedicated to helping local community and school stakeholders work together to prevent, respond, and heal in the aftermath of school violence. Her PrepTalk, “Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy,” begins with her experience of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, when she was shot three times. She translates her experience into a focus on the importance of threat assessments in schools to identify and mitigate potential threats. She explains that it’s important to improve physical safety, but it’s just as important to encourage people to monitor their environment and to build a supportive culture in a school.


PrepTalks is cutting-edge research and insights from academia, other government entities, and non-governmental organizations, designed to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership on the issues confronting emergency managers today and in the future.

The next PrepTalks Symposium will be held on September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. All PrepTalks, question-and-answer sessions, discussion guides, and related resources are available at www.fema.gov/preptalks. PrepTalks are presented by 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.

Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System Scheduled for September 20

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test to assess the capabilities of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) on September 20, 2018 (primary date) or October 3, 2018 (secondary date). The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether technological improvements are needed.

This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test. The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones.

The EAS test is made available to EAS participants (e.g., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. It allows customers whose wireless provider participates in WEA and who own a WEA compatible wireless phone to receive geo-targeted alerts of imminent threats to safety in their area through unique tones and vibration. The national WEA test will use the same special tone and vibration. The test message will read “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed."

The WEA test will be sent through IPAWS, as part of the nation’s modern alert and warning infrastructure that automatically authenticates alerts. Significant coordination has been conducted with EAS participants, wireless providers, and emergency managers in preparation for this EAS-WEA national test. The test is intended to ensure public safety officials have the methods and systems that will deliver urgent alerts and warnings to the public in times of an emergency or disaster.


More information on IPAWS and Wireless Emergency Alerts is available at www.ready.gov/alerts.

FEMA Podcast: 28 Years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

This year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is 28 years old, and FEMA remains committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to its programs and programs we coordinate during disasters. This week on the FEMA Podcast, we discuss the ADA with Linda Mastandrea, FEMA’s Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC).

The FEMA Podcast is a new audio program series available to anyone interested in learning more about the Agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters. The FEMA Podcast is available on Apple iTunes to stream or download. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length, the podcast will be updated with a new episode on a weekly basis. By subscribing, new episodes will automatically update on a listener's device. For more information, visit www.fema.gov/podcast.

FEMA launches podcast

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Register for the Emergency Management Institute's Chlorine Emergency Response Virtual Tabletop Exercise

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) Program in cooperation with The Chlorine Institute, will offer three chlorine response VTTX sessions August 21, 22, and 23, 2018. The VTTX will address contamination recognition and subsequent response efforts after a major chlorine release. The VTTX occurs 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET. 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. Content is the same each day and participants should attend only one session. Additional information is available at https://training.fema.gov/programs/emivttx.aspx. The registration deadline is August 10, 2018.