FEMA Bulletin Week of August 10, 2021

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Week of August 10, 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. 

FEMA Announces Hazard Mitigation Grant Program for COVID-19 Declarations


FEMA announced a significant investment in climate resiliency by authorizing $3.46 billion for the 59 major disaster declarations issued due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.


With the growing climate change crisis facing the nation, FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will provide funding for states, tribes and territories to maximize their investment in mitigation measures that result in safer and more resilient communities. This new funding will allow communities across the nation to further develop capacity and take mitigation actions that will foster greater resilience and reduce disaster suffering.


Across the country, Americans have witnessed the enormous and devastating effects of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other events. The increasing duration, intensity and severity of such disasters, which are exacerbated by changes in population, land use and weather patterns, are alarming and highlight one of the most important emergency management challenges facing the United States. The impacts of natural hazards on communities, families, individuals and our economy make it imperative to invest in creating infrastructure and communities more resilient to natural hazards.


FEAM encourages state, local, tribal and territorial governments with significant vulnerabilities that lack the resources to invest in mitigation to leverage the funds being authorized through Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.


For more information, visit FEMA.gov.

FEMA and FCC to Conduct System Tests of the Public Alert and Warning Infrastructures


FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will test the nation’s public alert and warning systems at 2:20 p.m. ET on Wednesday. FEMA regularly tests the public alert and warning systems to assess the operational readiness of the supporting infrastructure. The tests also help identify any needed technological and administrative improvements to the systems.


This week’s testing will be the sixth test of the nationwide public alert and warning systems and has been planned since June 2020. The purpose of the test is to assess the effectiveness of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to receive and convey a national message via radio and television and of the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) infrastructure to deliver a test message to mobile phones.


The EAS national test is very similar to regular monthly tests typically originated by state authorities. During the test, radios and televisions across the country may interrupt normal programming to play the EAS test message. The message may be delivered in English or Spanish.


The test message sent to the WEA infrastructure will only be received by specially configured phones and will read, “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”


Only phones that have been opted in specifically to receive system test messages will display the test message, which will be in either English or Spanish, depending on the device’s language settings. Most mobile phones will not display the test message. In contrast, consumers will automatically receive real emergency alerts on compatible phones (even if they do not receive the test message). 


Through this test, FEMA and the FCC are partnering with various agencies and other stakeholder groups to assess information about the performance of the opt-in WEA test, including emergency managers and other stakeholders. In addition, the FCC will gather information about EAS and WEA test performance directly from communications providers. 


For more information about WEA and EAS can be found at Integrated Public Alert & Warning System | FEMA.gov.

FEMA’s Ready Campaign Kicks Off 2021 National Preparedness Month



September is National Preparedness Month. Managed by FEMA’s Ready Campaign, in association with the Ad Council, the month is observed to encourage everyone to take steps to prepare for disasters that could at any time.


This year’s theme, “Prepare to Protect,” highlights how preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.


For the first-time ever, National Preparedness Month will include a series of Hispanic public service advertisements (PSAs), which will be released (in English and Spanish) mid-month, near the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. The PSAs will air during the peak of the hurricane and wildfire seasons. 


Throughout the month, Ready.gov/September will feature weekly themes that highlight basic preparedness activities that every everyone can do.  


Help us, help others encourage our friends and family to prepare for disasters and emergencies today. Together, let’s prepare to protect. For free, easy to use social media content, and more information, visit  Ready.gov/September.

FEMA Releases CERT Position Documents


FEMA has released National Qualification System Job Titles/Position Qualifications and Position Task Books for three National Qualification System Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) positions. 


The three positions are:

  • CERT chief.
  • CERT team leader.
  • CERT volunteer.


CERT Chief is defined as a volunteer who is responsible for a specific functional area within the CERT. CERT team leader is defined as a volunteer is a part of a CERT and directs team activities. CERT Volunteer is defined as a volunteer who is a part of a CERT and trains in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.


These resource typing documents will facilitate the sharing of deployable CERT positions at all jurisdictional levels.

FEMA’s Focus for August is Mitigation Matters


FEMA is sharing why mitigation matters throughout the month of August. With the increasing threat of climate change, it’s more important than ever to act now and minimize the impact of disasters.


Read the FEMA blog throughout the month to see program highlights and webinars planned.

FEMA Announces Funding Opportunities for BRIC and FMA Grant Programs


FEMA posted funding notices for two hazard mitigation grant programs for $1.16 billion. 


The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) provides funds to states, local communities, tribes and territories for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness. These programs fund projects that invest in a more resilient nation, reduce disaster suffering and avoid future disaster costs.


The application period opens on Sept. 30 and the funding notices are available on Grants.gov.


This year’s BRIC grant amount is $1 billion. BRIC’s guiding principles have been revised to reduce future losses and promote equity, including prioritizing assistance that benefits disadvantaged communities as referenced in the Justice40 Initiative. Scoring criteria for the competitive grant program has been adjusted to incentivize mitigation actions that consider climate change and future conditions, populations impacted and economically disadvantaged rural communities.


FMA’s grant amount this year is $160 million. FMA will use the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Vulnerability Index as a selection factor fin its competitive scoring process. This means underserved populations will receive more points for projects that benefit area their communities.


Eligible applicants must apply for funding using FEMA Grants Outcomes, the agency’s grants management system. Submit applications in FEMA Grants Outcome Portal no later than 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 28, 2022. Applications received by FEMA after this deadline will not be considered for funding.


Interested applicants should contact their hazard mitigation officer for more information. For more information visit FEMA.gov.

FEMA Hosts Hazard Mitigation Grants Webinar


FEMA will host a webinar from 4 – 5:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 11 to provide an overview of the fiscal year 2021 notice of funding opportunity for the Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. These funds provide the eligible projects and application requirements for prospective applicants and subapplicants interested in applying for Flood Mitigation Assistance and Building Resilient Infrastructures and Communities grants.


For those interested in joining online, go to FEMA's Adobe Connect page. Check out the full webinar schedule at fema.gov.

Homeland Security National Training Grant Application Period Closing Aug. 16


Stakeholders seeking some of the $6 million in funding available as part of the fiscal year 2021 Homeland Security National Training Program Continuing Training Grants must submit their applications no later than 11:59 p.m. ET Monday, August 16. 


The funding notice, posted on grants.gov, to applicants makes funding available through a competitive process to help improve the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from all-hazards events.


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.

ADA Helps FEMA and Partners Create a Path to Independence for People with Disabilities


On July 26, FEMA commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federal agencies and federally funded programs.


In addition, the ADA ensures that FEMA and its partners have a strong foundation to work together to serve disaster survivors with disabilities and ensure equitable access to services and programs, while preserving and promoting the independence of people with disabilities.


Disability partners are part of the agency’s whole community approach and work alongside FEMA. These partnerships, such as between the National Council on Independent Living (NICL) and FEMA, enable the agency to create a path to independence for people with disabilities impacted by disasters.


To learn how the ADA supports equity and independence for people with disabilities, and how FEMA is helping people with disabilities before, during and after disasters, check out the partner blog with NICL on FEMA.gov.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

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.