External Affairs Bulletin Week of January 19


Week of January 19, 2015

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In this Edition: Table of Contents Arrow

Important Dates & Deadlines

January 20

Public Assistance Simplified Procedures Thresholds Open Comment Period Deadline

February 16

National Advisory Council Application Deadline

FEMA Seeks Applicants for National Advisory Council

FEMA seeks experienced individuals who are interested in serving on the National Advisory Council (NAC) to apply. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. ET on Monday, February 16, 2015.

The NAC is a federal advisory committee established to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation for natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters. The NAC advises the FEMA Administrator on all aspects of emergency management frameworks, strategies, and plans while incorporating the whole community’s input through appointed NAC members.


FEMA will consider individuals for appointment in the following disciplines:

- Elected State Government Officials (one representative appointment)

- In-Patient Medical Providers (one Special Government Employee appointment)

- Elected Local Government Officials (one representative appointment)

- Emergency Management (one representative appointment)

- Emergency Response Providers (two representative appointments)

- Cyber Security (one Special Government Employee appointment)

Appointments are for three-year terms to end August 15, 2018. The Administrator may also appoint additional candidates to serve as a FEMA Administrator Selection, which are also for three-year terms. 


Individuals interested in serving on the NAC are invited to apply to be considered for appointment by submitting a Cover Letter and a Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the Office of the NAC by email, mail, or fax, with email as the preferred method of submission. Letters of recommendation may also be provided, but are not required. The Cover Letter must include, at a minimum: the discipline area(s) of interest; current position title and organization; mailing address; a current telephone number; and email address. A complete application must be submitted to be considered for appointment; application criteria, submission information, and contact information can be found on the NAC webpage.


The NAC consists of up to 35 members, all of whom are experts and leaders in their respective fields. The members of the NAC are appointed by the FEMA Administrator and are composed of federal, state, tribal, local, and private-sector leaders and subject matter experts in law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, hospital, public works, emergency management, state and local governments, public health, emergency response, standard settings and accrediting organizations, representatives of individuals with disabilities, infrastructure protection, cyber security, communications, and homeland security communities.


NAC Members serve without compensation from the federal government; however, consistent with the NAC Charter, members may receive travel reimbursement and per diem under applicable federal travel regulations to attend meetings of the NAC. Any individuals affiliated with DHS and/or FEMA through employment or contracts will not be considered for NAC membership.


For more information, visit www.fema.gov/national-advisory-council.

Updated FEMA P-320 Construction Plans Featured at Tornado Safe Room Showcase

FEMA is participating in a Tornado Safe Room Showcase at the National Association of Home Builders International Builders’ Show, January 20-22, 2015, and the World of Concrete trade show, February 3-6, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. During these events, FEMA will promote the use of safe rooms for homes and small businesses.

Each demonstration will feature full-sized safe rooms built to the construction plans provided in the new publication FEMA P-320, "Taking Shelter from the Storm: Building a Safe Room for Your Home or Small Business. FEMA staff will be on hand at both events to highlight the resilient qualities desired in safe room construction. These safe room demonstrations will be a collaborative effort of several industry associations, such as the Portland Cement Association and Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.

Free copies of FEMA P-320, as well as other resources, will be available at both events. A safe room built for a home or small business can provide near-absolute protection for loved ones or employees from injury or death caused by the dangerous forces of extreme winds such as tornadoes and hurricanes. FEMA P-320 helps home or small business owners assess their risk and determine the best type of safe room for their needs. It can be accessed and downloaded for free from the FEMA Library.

Safe Room

Basic Fire Facts and Fire Safety Tips

By educating people about basic fire facts, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) is working to reduce fire deaths.

There is little time. In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. In minutes, a house can be engulfed in flames. If woken up to a fire, there won’t be time to grab belongings; fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to get out.

Heat is more threatening than flames. A fire's heat alone can kill. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. If this super-hot air is breathed in, it will scorch the lungs. It also has the ability to melt clothes. In five minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it catches on fire at once. This is called flashover.


Fire is pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke. If woken up to a fire a person may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find his or her way around the home he or she has lived in for years.


Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen needed to breathe and produces smoke and poisonous gases. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make people drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull people into a deep sleep before the flames reach the door, and people may not wake up in time to escape.

For more information about fire safety, visit USFA's website at www.usfa.fema.gov.


FEMA’s Disability Integration Advisors

To assist in achieving inclusive emergency management practices, FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC) employs a cadre of Disability Integration Advisors (DIAs) who deploy to support accessibility throughout disaster response and recovery activities nationwide. The DIAs are experts in disability inclusive emergency management who use their knowledge to guide FEMA’s commitment to providing equal access to our programs and services and in support of state efforts to prevent, address or solve problems for individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs and their communities.


The DIA cadre is 64 strong, comprised of ten Headquarter staff, ten Regional Disability Integration Specialists and 37 reservists. In addition, there is a DIA on each National Incident Management Assistance Team (IMAT). To further strengthen deployment capacity, ODIC recently added five Incident Management Core (IMC) positions ready for deployment.


To learn more about the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, visit www.fema.gov/office-disability-integration-coordination. An overview of current activities is available online.

FINAL REMINDER: FEMA Seeks Comments to Public Assistance Simplified Procedures Thresholds

FEMA seeks public comments from state, local, tribal and territorial governments, private non-profit organizations, and interested members of the public regarding the agency’s recent revision of the Public Assistance simplified procedures program. FEMA is seeking comments on specific questions to inform any future revisions to the project thresholds that are updated annually based on the Consumer Price Index. Comments are due on January 20, 2015, and may be submitted online.


Following the passage of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 and the accompanying Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Congress directed FEMA to evaluate its simplified procedures thresholds and immediately implement the recommendations. On January 29, 2014, FEMA issued its report to Congress that recommended several changes to the threshold and outlined FEMA’s reasoning. On February 26, 2014, FEMA published a final rule amending both the minimum and maximum simplified procedures threshold for disasters declared on or after February 26, 2014.