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FEMA Bulletin Week of January 7, 2019

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January 7, 2019

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

Jan 8

Webinar on the National Exercise Program at 10 a.m. ET

Jan 14

Comment period for comprehensive Preparedness Guide ends

Jan 17

National Engagement period for the Post-Disaster Building Safety documents concludes at 5 p.m.

FEMA Offers $1.3B in 2020 Reinsurance for Flood Insurance

Effective Jan. 1, for the fourth consecutive year, FEMA secured $1.33 billion in reinsurance to cover qualifying flood loss under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) ahead of the 2020 hurricane season. This placement complements NFIP’s existing capital markets placements, and it continues FEMA’s risk management practice against future catastrophic flood losses.


In the 2020 Reinsurance Agreement, 27 reinsurance companies agreed to compensate FEMA for flood losses from qualifying flood events between $4 and $10 billion. FEMA paid a total premium of $205 million for the coverage. 


For additional information about the 2020 reinsurance placement, visit the FEMA website.


The National Flood Insurance Program Reinsurance Program helps FEMA to promote private sector participation in flood-risk management. Since previous reinsurance placements beginning in August 2018, FEMA has completed the transfer of $2.13 billion of the NFIP flood risk to the private sector.

FEMA Releases Additional Funds for 2019 Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant

FEMA recently announced an additional $50 million in funding available for the federal Fiscal Year 2019 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program. This increases the total amount of funding available from $160 million to $210 million, the largest in the program’s history.  The application period for this grant program ends Jan. 31.


For the 2019 grant cycle, the program will prioritize proposals that address community flood risk by setting aside $70 million for this purpose. From that $70 million, FEMA will seek to fund two types of community flood mitigation activities:


  • Up to $4 million will go towards advance assistance for flood mitigation design and development of community flood mitigation projects that will help to reduce flood claims.
  • Remaining funds from the $70 million will be used for mitigation projects that address community flood risk for the purpose of reducing National Flood Insurance Program flood claim payments.


At least $140 million of the total funding will be used for technical assistance, flood mitigation planning, and mitigation projects that reduce the risk of flooding to severe repetitive loss and repetitive loss properties.


All applications must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Jan. 31. Applicants can review the Notice of Funding Opportunity for additional details such as eligibility, funding guidelines and evaluation criteria on the FEMA website. Eligible applicants must apply for funding through the Mitigation eGrants system on the FEMA Grants Portal.


For recorded webinars about applying for the grant, visit the FEMA website


The Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program assists state, tribal, and territorial government applicants in building a culture of preparedness by strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce disaster suffering and protect life and property from future disaster damages.  FEMA identified funding for mitigation projects from prior grant cycles that were not completed or that were closed under budget. The recovered funds from those projects are now included in the 2019 grant cycle.

FEMA Upgrades Wireless Emergency Alert Capabilities

FEMA recently updated the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to give authorities more capabilities when sending Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to cellular phones and other wireless devices.  The update is being done in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission


The updates include Spanish-language capabilities, an increase from 90 to 360 characters per message, and an expanded alert category that allows the public to opt-in to a test message category for state and local officials.  The updates also include more accurate geo-targeting capabilities for alerts.  The ability to receive alerts on television and radio via the Emergency Alert System is not affected by the WEA upgrade.


While most wireless providers supported the new enhancements by the go-live date of Dec. 18, some providers required more time for implementation.  FEMA is working closely with providers to assist with this transition.  During the update period, IPAWS will accommodate all versions of WEA to ensure that the public will receive alerts for which their providers and phones are compatible.


FEMA’s IPAWS is a national system for local alerting that provides authenticated emergency alert and information messaging from emergency officials to the public through cell phones and internet applications via Wireless Emergency Alerts, and to radio and television via the Emergency Alert System.

FEMA releases the Dam Incident Planning Guide

FEMA has released the Emergency Operations Planning: Dam Incident Planning Guide. This guide supports state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers in planning for dam incidents and failures.  It summarizes the concepts that a community should consider when creating dam incident-specific elements of local emergency operations plans.


The guide also provides guidance for dam owners and operators on how to engage with emergency managers prior to an incident to ensure a well-coordinated response.  This helps community planners create a plan to respond to dam incidents that take place in, or affect, their communities.


Some communities will choose to address dam incidents in an annex to their emergency operations plan or comprehensive emergency management plan or as an appendix to other base planning products, or they will create a stand-alone dam incident plan. A general template is included in Appendix A of the guide for a community dam incident plan that can be adapted to meet each community’s needs.


For more information on the National Dam Safety Program, visit the FEMA website

FEMA Releases Updated CERT Training Materials

The basic Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program has been updated with a revised Disaster Medical Operations section, an updated Terrorism and CERT section and new hazard-specific annexes. 


CERT requirements are managed at the local level, and there is no national requirement to retake the training. FEMA encourages all CERT members to review the revised content online.


The new curriculum materials will be available online and you can order free hard copies beginning Jan. 8 from the FEMA publications warehouse by visiting the Ready website

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

FEMA Hosts National Exercise Program Webinars

Exercises help communities better prepare for disasters and emergencies. FEMA is committed to providing exercise design and delivery assistance, tools and resources, enhanced coordination, and the ability to directly influence and inform policy, resource allocation, and preparedness programs.  


To learn about available exercise design assistance and the benefits of participating in the National Exercise Program, FEMA is hosting 60-minute webinars:


  • 10 a.m. ET, Jan. 8, 2020
  • 1 p.m. ET, Jan. 17, 2020


To participate:

  • FEMA Teleconference: 1-800-320-4330, participant passcode: 559550.
  • FEMA Adobe Connect: Sign in as a “Guest”.


Beginning in 2020, the NEP will accept nominations in two rounds:


  • The Spring 2020 round of nominations must be submitted from March 1-30. Decisions will be made by May 1.
  • The Fall 2020 round of nominations must be submitted from Sept. 1-30. Decisions will be made by Nov. 2.


To request exercise support from the NEP, visit the FEMA website to download and complete the Exercise Nomination Form.  For more information or to nominate your exercise to be a part of the upcoming cycle, visit the FEMA National Exercise Program website or send an email to the FEMA National Exercise Division.


The National Exercise Program is a two-year cycle of exercises conducted across the nation to examine and validate capabilities in all preparedness mission areas: protection, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery. It is the primary exercise mechanism for measuring preparedness, evaluating national readiness, and providing support to exercises.


FEMA Seeks Input on Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101


FEMA is accepting input for the update of “Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans.”  This document provides guidance for developing emergency operations plans.


The comment period will end Jan. 14. To review the document and learn more about the virtual listening sessions, please visit the FEMA website.


FEMA Releases National Incident Management Documents

FEMA released the “National Incident Management System Guide for Coaches and Evaluators,” providing processes, procedures, and tools to assist with developing and maintaining coaching and evaluating programs as part of the qualification process. The document is available on the FEMA website.


The National Engagement period for the Post-Disaster Building Safety documents concludes at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 17.  To access the documents, visit the FEMA website.


FEMA Released Ready Campaign’s 2020 Preparedness Calendar


Last month, FEMA released the Ready Campaign’s 2020 Preparedness Calendar.  As a critical component of FEMA’s commitment to building a culture of preparedness, this calendar identifies monthly preparedness activities and associated educational materials and toolkits; promotes the resources necessary for stakeholders to customize emergency preparedness campaigns and messaging to raise awareness; and provides tips for emergency preparedness.


As Ready partners play a critical role in increasing awareness by spreading the word about emergency preparedness, please download and share the calendar in English and in Spanish.

FEMA Podcast Episode 59: The Gift of Preparedness

On this episode of the FEMA podcast, listen to a discussion on how to gift preparedness-oriented items to friends or family members. 


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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