FEMA Bulletin Week of September 24, 2018

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September 24, 2018

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Deadlines 

October 3 calendar icon

Rescheduled: Mandatory Nationwide Test of the Wireless Emergency Alert and Emergency Alert System

FEMA Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

FEMA announced the annual funding opportunity for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) is now open. The application period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 26.



The FY 2018 AFG program will award $315 million to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters against fire-related deaths and hazards.



FEMA awards AFG funding to fire departments, non-affiliated EMS organizations, and state fire- training academies. FEMA also awards funding to nonprofit organizations with experience and expertise in fire prevention, fire safety programs and activities, or firefighter research and development programs.



Since 2002, FEMA has awarded $7.4 billion in fire grants. Historically, 84 percent of awards go towards purchasing personal protective equipment, vehicles and other operational equipment.



Applicant tools, including the Notice of Funding Opportunity, and information about application webinars are available at www.fema.gov/welcome-assistance-firefighters-grant-program. The AFG Notice of Funding Opportunity is also available at www.grants.gov.

Nationwide Test of Emergency Alerting Systems to Be Held Oct. 3

FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) on Oct.3.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 improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. This is the fourth EAS nationwide test and the first national WEA test.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. Tornado Warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test. The WEA test message will have a header that reads "Presidential Alert" and text that says: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

The EAS is a national public warning system that provides the President with the communications capability to address the nation during a national emergency. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

For more information, go to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System National Test page at https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.

Wireless Emergency Alert. Example of a Presidential Alert

September is National Preparedness Month: Save for an Emergency

Personal financial planning helps families prepare for emergencies. Take time during this last week of National Preparedness Month to increase your level of disaster preparedness, and especially your financial preparedness.

Saving can be a tall order for some, but in an emergency, a lack of financial preparedness could leave you and your family with fewer options for immediate relief.  Set aside money in an emergency savings fund for initial out-of-pocket costs including gas, food, and hotel accommodations to provide safety, comfort, and distance during a disaster. 


Remember to:

- Complete an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and digitizing important documents (e.g. medical records, ID, insurance, etc.) in case they are needed following a disaster.

- Consider the cost of insurance deductibles.

- Keep cash on hand in the event of power outage when electronic payments are not available.


Be ready for the unexpected. This week, create or add to your emergency savings and encourage others (family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues) to save for a disaster too.  Being financially prepared should be incorporated in your personal preparedness plan.

FEMA appreciates the support of the Members of Congress who are serving as 2018 co-sponsors for National Preparedness Month. Throughout September, the FEMA Bulletin will feature statements from these members.



Senator Gary C. Peters, Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management

“Over the last year, Michiganders have experienced extreme flooding and severe weather that damaged roads, businesses and homes. In response to these life-altering events, I’ve seen how prepared communities and increased investment in risk management resources lead to faster, stronger recovery efforts. National Preparedness Month serves as an important reminder for everyone in our communities to take action now to prepare for possible emergencies.”

Representative Dan Donovan, Chairman, Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications

“Our nation knows all too well the widespread devastation natural disasters and terrorist attacks bring. While we can’t always control when a disaster will strike, we can take steps to ensure our families are better prepared for emergency situations. September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s the perfect time to get ready for the unexpected. Become informed, draft a plan, create a kit, and talk to your loved ones. Taking these small steps will make our communities stronger, safer, and more resilient. Let’s work together and prepare now.” 


Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Ranking Member, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security

“Catastrophic wildfires have burned hundreds of thousands of acres of California over the last 12 months. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria killed thousands of people and caused widespread devastation. When danger approaches, being prepared can mean the difference between life and death. As we observe National Preparedness Month this September, every American should take some time to make sure they're prepared for a broad range of emergencies, including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, power outages, acts of terrorism, and wildfires. I encourage every Californian – and every American – to proactively take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their families, friends, and loved ones against disasters of all types.”


Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, Ranking Member, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

"Research shows that across the country fire seasons are becoming longer and strong storms more frequent. Last year, thousands of Americans lost their lives, homes, and livelihoods due to extreme weather events and natural disasters, including some of my fellow Texans. I am happy to join FEMA during National Preparedness Month in encouraging individuals and communities around the country to take time to create a plan now that can help keep themselves, their families, and their neighbors safe in the event of an emergency. It’s important to remember that simple preparations can save lives.”

2018 National Preparedness Month logo

Continuing Training Grants Awards Announced

FEMA announced the Fiscal Year 2018 Homeland Security National Training Program Continuing Training Grants Program (HSNTP/CTG) award recipients:


- The University of Arkansas System Criminal Justice Institute (cybersecurity programs);


- Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness (awards for both housing and economic recovery programs); and


- The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Kentucky (tribal and rural preparedness programs).


The highest priority of the HSNTP/CTG is to develop and deliver a national, specialized training program to first responders, homeland security/emergency management officials, and/or citizens, supporting the building, sustainment, and delivery of the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal. 


Total funding for Fiscal Year 2018 is $8 million and will be administered by FEMA’s National Training and Education Division.

Reminder of Upcoming Deadlines

Hazard Mitigation Assistance External Stakeholder Working Groups Applications: FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Division membership applications for the HMA External Stakeholder Working Group (ESWG) are due Sept. 28. The purpose of the ESWG is to gain insight, share information, and understand HMA priorities and issues from external stakeholders. FEMA encourages external stakeholders to share their perspectives on HMA priorities, issues, and program resources. The ESWG serves as a bridge between FEMA HMA staff and state, local, tribal, and territory stakeholders. Members act as points of contact for other external stakeholders by gathering inputs, requests, ideas, and suggestions for HMA. HMA is seeking applications for the following vacant membership positions: two FEMA HMA Regional staff representatives; one state / territory representative; one local / regional representative; and one federally recognized tribal representative. Interested applicants should complete and submit an application via email to FEMA-HMA-GRANTS-POLICY@fema.dhs.govThe application is available for download at www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/126699.  Feel free to pass this message along to others who may also be interested and would like to submit an application.