FEMA Bulletin Week of August 3, 2021

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Week of August 3, 2021

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

Aug 16

Funding notice for grants to the Homeland Security National Training Program ends at midnight ET. 

Marcus Coleman Sworn-In as DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director


On Aug. 2, Marcus Coleman was sworn as the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director. Mr. Coleman was appointed by the Biden-Harris Administration to lead the organization's efforts to foster partnerships between government and faith-based organizations. 


Marcus leads initiatives at the intersection of religious affairs, community capacity building, public-private partnerships and crisis management to help people before, during and after disasters. His experience in the private sector includes serving as co-lead for the behavioral science and communications practice at HWC, Inc. Prior to HWC, Marcus served as the Interim Director for the DHS Center from 2017-2018 and Special Assistant from 2013 to 2016. 


During his time at the DHS Center, Marcus supported more than 15 disaster activations and special mission responses including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the 2015 influx of unaccompanied children, and post-incident national outreach and messaging after several active shooter incidents. Marcus received a FEMA Administrator’s award for his leadership in building a national outreach effort to encourage collaboration between faith leaders and local first responders to develop emergency operations plans that safeguarded houses of worship. 


Marcus’ experience in emergency management has afforded opportunities to make substantial contributions toward strengthening equity in emergency management. This includes developing, managing and strengthening national partnerships with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; American Association of Retired Persons; Institute of the Black World Black Family Summit’s Emergency Management Taskforce and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.


The DHS Partnerships Center carries out the policies and program priorities of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, DHS and FEMA for faith and community-based organizations related to all-hazards preparedness, emergency and disaster response and recovery, safety, security, and human trafficking.


Check out FEMA's twitter to watch the swearing-in ceremony of Marcus Coleman. 

Marcus Coleman Swearing-In

Marcus Coleman (right) swearing-in as the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. 

FEMA Extends Emergency Non-Congregate Sheltering Assistance


FEMA has extended funding for Emergency Non-Congregate Sheltering during the COVID-19 public health emergency until Nov. 30, 2021. Under this policy, FEMA reimburses state, tribal and territorial governments for the partial cost of providing non-congregate sheltering for people who must evacuate during a disaster.


Typically, displaced disaster survivors are sheltered in facilities with large open spaces, such as schools, churches, community centers or similar facilities, rather than in non-congregate environments, which are locations where each individual or household has living space that offers some level of privacy such as hotels, motels or dormitories.


FEMA recognizes sheltering operations during the COVID-19 public health emergency may require states, tribes and territories to consider additional strategies to ensure survivors are sheltered in a manner that does not increase the risk of exposure to or further transmit COVID-19. After a Stafford Act declaration, states, tribes and territories may be eligible for reimbursement of costs associated with non-congregate sheltering.


At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA established a policy that allowed state, local, tribal and territorial governments to apply for reimbursement of costs associated with non-congregate sheltering of disaster survivors under FEMA’s Public Assistance program. Originally scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2020, the policy was extended until Jul. 31, 2021. Due to the continuing need to protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA has further extended this policy until Nov. 30, 2021.


FEMA has extended the policy once again to ensure that survivors unable to return home can be safely sheltered after a disaster. Anyone interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine should visit vaccines.gov to find a location close to them and make an appointment. Individuals can also text their zip code to 438829 to receive a text with the closest COVID-19 vaccine location.


To read more about how FEMA is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, go to FEMA.gov.

FEMA Co-Hosts Mitigation and Planning Research Webinar


As part of the Mitigation Matters Research Award Program, the Natural Hazards Center and FEMA will host a webinar on Aug. 10, “Mitigation Messaging and Planning Research.”  To date, 19 research teams have received funding to conduct studies on hazard mitigation programs, policies and implementation practices. This webinar will highlight three funded projects. 


The speakers and topics include:

  • JungKyu Rhys Lim, University of Maryland - Motivating Mitigation Behavior: Developing and Testing Social Norms and Self-Efficacy Messages.
  • Sayma Khajehei, University of Utah - Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning for Public Housing in Salt Lake County, Utah.
  • Maria Watson, Texas A&M University - The Effect of Federal Recovery Funds on Mitigation Behavior.


The webinar will be from 1-2 p.m. ET on Aug. 10. Register in advance for the webinar through the event webpage.


The Natural Hazards Center partnered with FEMA to create the Mitigation Matters Research Program which provides funding to researchers to conduct studies on hazard mitigation programs, policies and implementation practices.  Several times throughout the year, the Making Mitigation Work Webinar Series hosts webinars to feature innovate speakers and highlight recent progress in mitigation policy, practice and research.

FEMA Releases Emergency Operation Center Toolkit


FEMA has released two Emergency Operations Center toolkit documents. The toolkit is a collection of guidance and best practices for emergency management, specifically the emergency operations center community.


These documents include:

  • "Emergency Operations Center How-to Quick Reference Guide."
  • "Emergency Operations Center References and Resources Tool."


These documents will contribute to developing emergency operations centers that can successfully meet the jurisdiction’s needs. The toolkit will cover topics such as hazard vulnerability assessments, physical site selection, mitigation, considerations, emergency operations center capabilities and requirements, information management systems and training and exercises.


In addition, these documents will ensure compliance with the National Incident Management System, which provides stakeholders across the whole community with the shared vocabulary, systems and processes to successfully deliver the capabilities described in the National Preparedness System. The National Incident Management System defines operational systems that guide how personnel work together during incidents.

FEMA Hosts Southeast Private-Public Partners Summit


In coordination with the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, FEMA will host the fifth annual Southeast Private-Public Partners Summit from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 4 and 5.


This year marks the 10th anniversary of FEMA’s first-ever private sector mission, following the 2011 tornado super outbreak that swept across the southeast.


Events for the summit include:

  • “Private-Public Partnerships: Supply-Chain Successes and Challenges.”
  • “Cyber Resiliency: Protecting Your Business and Those You Serve.”
  • “Building Resilient Communities Through Direct and Timely Financial Relief with Accountability.”
  • “The Future of Private-Public Partnerships.”


Close coordination with public and private sector organizations is necessary to fulfill FEMA’s mission of helping people before, during and after disasters. FEMA coordinates with business and industry, as well as faith-based, community and voluntary organizations, to improve our nation’s disaster preparedness and response.


To attend the summit, register in advance on FEMA’s Zoom page. To review the ways to get involved and resources offered, visit FEMA.gov

21 Florida Firefighters Hired Using FEMA Grant


In 2020, Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District applied for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant and was awarded $7.9 million to be paid over three years. The district used this grant to staff a new fire department, Station 106, and to better meet the emergency response needs of its community.


Under construction, Station 106 is located within the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District in Leigh Acres, Florida. The district used the funds to hire 21 firefighters. The firefighters are on the job and responding to calls out of a FEMA trailer on the property until construction is complete.


The fire district reports that the sixth fire station will improve response times to increased call volumes for service across the entire district.


FEMA seeks to feature success stories about our grant recipients making a positive impact in local communities. To share your story, please submit your information to the Grants Program Directorate at gpd-comms@fema.dhs.gov.


Lehigh Acres Station 106 firefighters from left to right, Firefighter Paramedic Christopher Cazanas, Firefighter EMT Dayron Fragela, Lt. Crystal Imsdahl, Firefighter EMT Jeffrey Nickell, Firefighter EMT David Dossi and Chief Robert DiLallo.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

FEMA and FCC Plan Nationwide Emergency Alert Test


In coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, FEMA will conduct a nationwide test to assess the capabilities of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alert at 2:20 p.m. ET on Aug. 11, with a backup date of Aug. 25.


The Emergency Alert System test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., 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 test messages with which the public is familiar.


FEMA Releases Funding Notice for Homeland Security National Training Program


FEMA has released the funding notice for $6 million in competitive funding available as part of the fiscal year 2021 Homeland Security National Training Program Continuing Training Grants.


The funding notice, posted on grants.gov, will be available to applicants through a competitive process to help improve the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from all-hazards events. Applicants must submit applications for no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on August 16. 


Applicants may contact the FEMA Grant Programs Directorate Call Center at (866) 927-5646 or via e-mail at ASK-GMD@dhs.gov for questions.


FEMA Seeks Public Feedback on NQS Position


FEMA is seeking public feedback for the "National Qualification System’s Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program Incident and Exercise Evaluator" position documents. This national engagement period will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on August 26.


FEMA worked alongside state, local, tribal and territorial partners to draft and refine the documents. These documents will help intergovernmental partners define evaluators for radiological emergency preparedness program incidents and exercises.


To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form and submit the form to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.