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FEMA Bulletin Week of October 14, 2019

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October 14, 2019

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

Oct 16

Webinar on submitting comments for the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide at 3:30 p.m. ET

Oct 24

Deadline to submit public comment for emergency response documents

FEMA Appoints 15 Members to National Advisory Council

Today, FEMA announced that Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor appointed 15 members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC).


The NAC is an advisory committee established by federal law to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal emergency management activities. The NAC provides advice to the FEMA Administrator through recommendations on all aspects of emergency management. For example, this year the NAC has examined how to continue building financial preparedness, how to structure the Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities program, as well as how to help close the insurance gap.


The NAC consists of up to 35 members, including a diverse cross-section of officials, emergency managers, and emergency responders from state, local, tribal and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector.  FEMA received more than 90 applications to fill the open positions. The qualifications of each candidate were carefully considered during an intensive review process that included a recommendation panel of senior FEMA leadership.


The 15 NAC members appointed in 2019:


  • Steve Birnbaum, President, Resudox Solutions LLC of Arlington, Va.
  • Donna Boston, Emergency Management Director of Orange County, Calif.
  • Paul Brennan, Director, Pre-Hospital EMS, and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Lawrence General Hospital of Lawrence, Mass.
  • Charles Esteves, Guam Office of Civil Defense Administrator of Agna Heights, Guam.
  • Lori Hodges, Larimer County, Colorado Emergency Management Director of Fort Collins, Colo.
  • Nim Kidd, Texas Division of Emergency Management Chief and Texas A&M University System Vice Chancellor of Austin, Texas.
  • Jackie Lindsey, New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for Homeland Security and Emergency Management of Sante Fe, NM.
  • Nicolette Louissaint, Ph.D., Executive Director, Healthcare Ready of Washington, D.C.
  • Warren Miller, state representative, Board of Directors for National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and National Disaster Field Coordinator, and member of National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. of Madison, Miss.
  • Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer of Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Carol Salas, Psychology Director, Puerto Rico University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • James Schwartz, Deputy County Manager of Arlington, Va.
  • Carrie Speranza, Chief of Staff, District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency of Washington, D.C.
  • Jeff Stern, Director, Virginia Department of Emergency Management of Richmond, Va.
  • Bruce Walker, Assistant Secretary for Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy of Washington, D.C.


FEMA will accept NAC membership applications in September 2020 for positions beginning in December 2020. Visit the FEMA website for more information.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

Participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

FEMA, in partnership with ShakeOut, encourages everyone to take action and register their participation in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. 


The 2019 International ShakeOut day is Oct. 17.  Millions of people worldwide will drop, cover, and hold on during earthquake drills in schools, organizations, communities, and households at 10:17 a.m. local time.


Earthquakes can happen where we work, live, or travel, and earthquake drills are an opportunity for everyone, everywhere, to practice earthquake safety and other aspects of emergency plans. Visit to register your participation, find resources, and learn more.


FEMA Seeks Comment for Public Assistance Guide


The fourth edition of the “Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide” is scheduled for publication in January 2020. The updated draft has been released for a 45-day public comment period.


The draft guide and accompanying comments matrix is available for review on the FEMA website. FEMA will accept public comments submitted through Nov. 18.  All comments must be submitted to using the comments matrix.


FEMA is hosting two webinars for state and local partners on the changes to Version 4 of the guide and the process for submitting comments.  Both webinars will cover the same information.


  • Webinar 1: Oct. 16 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
    Register on Adobe Connect
    Teleconference: 800-320-4330, PIN 835947#


  • Webinar 2: Oct. 17 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET
    Register on Adobe Connect
    Teleconference: 800-320-4330, PIN 835947#

FEMA Podcast Episode 47: How the National Earthquake Information Center Works

In honor of the Great Shakeout drill this week, listen in on episode 47 of the FEMA podcast: “More Than Magnitude: How the National Earthquake Information Center Works.” 


This episode features a discussion with Paul Earle, the director of 24/7 Operations at the National Earthquake Information Center. Earle discusses the mission of the center and how it initiates an earthquake response protocol designed to give first responders and recovery staff critical information in the hours and days following a major earthquake. 


The FEMA podcast is an 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.


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