On Oct. 30, FEMA released the first annual report on Agency implementation of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA). This report provides an overview of the DRRA, highlights how FEMA’s strategic goals align to the act, and describes FEMA implementation efforts and achievements since 2018.
FEMA has already implemented more than half of the provisions identified in the law. As a direct result of this implementation, FEMA expanded support for mitigation, to include provision of $86 million in funding for wildfire mitigation projects to protect nearly 2,500 more properties.
Additionally, FEMA increased the amount of assistance available to individuals following a disaster, providing more than $61 million in additional assistance to over 11,000 individuals, and more than $12 million in additional disaster unemployment assistance to applicants in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. FEMA has also published guidance on the prioritization of assistance during power outages, the identification of evacuation routes, and the coordination of emergency response plans for hazardous materials.
The DRRA contains 56 provisions that require policy or regulation changes that amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to strengthen national capabilities to prepare for, mitigate against, and recover from major disasters. These reforms acknowledge the shared responsibility for disaster response and recovery, aim to reduce the complexity of FEMA, and build the nation’s capacity for the next catastrophic event.
For more information on DRRA, visit the FEMA Website.
On Nov. 6, FEMA published “Consensus-Based Codes, Specifications and Standards for Public Assistance.” The policy is meant to increase the resiliency of communities post disaster and support the efficient use of federal funds from FEMA’s Public Assistance program, while reducing future vulnerabilities.
Disasters declared on or after the date of this interim policy must apply the relevant consensus-based codes, specifications and standards. The permanent work projects include buildings, electric power, roads, bridges, potable water and wastewater. Applicants who fall into any of the following categories have 60 days following date of policy publication to opt-in to the guidelines of this interim policy:
- Incidents declared between Aug. 1, 2017, and the date of policy publication;
- Projects for incidents declared before Aug. 1, 2017, but without an obligation based on a finalized cost estimate as of the date of policy publication; or
- Projects associated with a cost estimate on appeal as of the date of policy publication.
Applicants wishing to opt-in must make their determination no later than Jan. 5, 2020. The applicants will need to contact their FEMA Regional Recovery Office and complete the opt-in notification form included in Appendix B of the policy.
FEMA published 26 new job titles and position qualifications and resource typing definitions relevant to the water-sector. The job titles/position qualifications outline the skills, experience and physical requirements of each emergency management position. The resource typing definitions outline the responsibilities, team size and prescribed equipment needed for each position.
The water-sector position qualifications include environmental compliance specialist, generator support team leader, and utility worker specialist. The resource typing definitions include plant utility control systems team and utility worker specialist.
To view the documents, visit the Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT). For any question regarding NIMS or related products please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webinar on Pre-Disaster Planning Tribal Guide
On Nov. 13, FEMA will host a webinar for tribal partners on the “Pre-Disaster Recovery Planning Guide for Tribal Governments,” as part of its efforts to encourage tribal governments to develop plans that address recovery immediately after a disaster or emergency. This guide includes workbook activities to help users document some of the activities and planning steps, as well as links to relevant resources from both federal and non-federal sources.
The webinar will be at 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 13:
Webinar on Revised National Response Framework
Last week, FEMA released the “National Response Framework (NRF), Fourth Edition,” and the “Emergency Support Function (ESF) #14 – Cross-Sector Business and Infrastructure Annex.” Both documents incorporate lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane and wildfire season.
FEMA is hosting a series of one-hour webinars on the revised “National Response Framework (NRF), Fourth Edition,” and the “Emergency Support Function (ESF) #14 – Cross-Sector Business and Infrastructure Annex. The webinar will describe the updates and answer participants’ questions and are intended for the whole community, including individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners.
Webinars will be held on the following dates and times (all times are Eastern):
Advance registration is required for the webinars and admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Captioning will be available for each webinar. For questions, contact NRF@fema.dhs.gov.
Comment Period Ends Nov. 18 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 version is available for public comment. FEMA is accepting public comments submitted through Nov. 18. The draft guide and accompanying comments matrix is located on the FEMA website.
FEMA requests that all comments be submitted to FEMA-PAPolicy@fema.dhs.gov using the comments matrix.
In honor of Veterans Day, this episode of the FEMA podcast features a discussion with FEMA veterans from each of the five branches of the military. Learn more about their experience, the resources our Agency offers to support their success, and the transition from active duty to a career in emergency management.
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.