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FEMA Bulletin Week of June 15, 2020

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Week of June 15, 2020

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

June 17

Feedback period for NIMS updates ends at 5 p.m.

June 23

Webinar on COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season at 11 a.m. ET.

June 26

Application period ends for High Hazard Potential Dam Grant.

FEMA Releases Guidance on Mass Care During a Pandemic

Last week, FEMA released the “Mass Care/Emergency Assistance Pandemic Planning Considerations Guide” to assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in planning to deliver sheltering services in a pandemic environment.


The guidance reflects health and safety planning information and requirements outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It provides information on sheltering, feeding, evacuation and the federal resource request process.


The safe and successful delivery of mass care services during a pandemic requires complex planning and coordination between state, tribal, local and voluntary agencies. Facilities that previously served as congregate shelters may need to be modified and non-congregate facilities will need to be identified. The ability of local voluntary organization staff and volunteers to support mass care functions may also be strained due to pandemic impacts.


The guide is one of several resources that FEMA, federal partners and the American Red Cross are providing to support state, local, tribal and territorial governments to ensure they can respond to any disaster during the continued whole-of-America coronavirus response efforts.

FEMA Opens Public Comment Period for Fire Management Assistance Grant Program and Policy Guide

FEMA released the draft of the “Fire Management Assistance Grant Program and Policy Guide” for a 45-day public comment period from June 16 to July 31.  Comments received during the public comment period will be reviewed and considered for the final version of the guide. 


Fire Management Assistance is available to state, local, tribal and territorial governments for the mitigation, management and control of fires on publicly or privately-owned forests or grasslands which threaten destruction that would constitute a major disaster. The Fire Management Assistance Grant Program provides a 75 percent federal cost-share.


The draft guide and accompanying comments matrix are available on the FEMA website.  Submit the completed comment matrix by e-mail to

FEMA Hosts Additional Webinars on COVID-19 Operational Guidance for Hurricane Season

FEMA is hosting additional webinars to expand awareness and understanding of the newly released “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season.” FEMA released this guidance to help emergency managers and public health officials best prepare for disasters while continuing to respond to and recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The webinars will allow emergency managers an opportunity to discuss how the guidance can assist jurisdictions to review and modify their plans given the constraints and limitations of the ongoing pandemic. To register:


  • Webinar: 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 23
  • Webinar:  4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 24
  • Webinar: 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 25


Download the “COVID-19 Pandemic Operational Guidance for the 2020 Hurricane Season” on the FEMA website.

FEMA Announces Youth Preparedness Council Members

This month, FEMA announced the 2020–2021 Youth Preparedness Council members. FEMA selected seven new members to join the eight returning council members based on their dedication to public service, community involvement and potential to expand their impact as national supporters for youth preparedness. Fifteen members from grades eight through 11 make up the council.


The new 2020 council members are:

  • Nyl Aziaya of Alabaster, Alabama;
  • Nico Bremeau of Los Altos, California;
  • Devangana Rana of in Urbana, Illinois;
  • Amanda Hingorani of Gretna, Nebraska;
  • Vishnu Iyer of Zionsville, Indiana;
  • Joaquin Meugniot of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; and
  • Hunter Tobey of Mashpee, Massachusetts.

The returning council members are:

  • Banan Garada of Urbana, Illinois;
  • Maxwell Hahn of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania;
  • Hsin Ya Huang of Eugene, Oregon;
  • Jordan Lin of Decatur, Georgia;
  • Sibi Raja of Broomfield, Colorado;
  • Wyatt Reed of Paragould, Arkansas;
  • Megan Wright of Calhoun, Georgia; and
  • Madeline Ortiz of Palmer, Alaska.


FEMA created the council in 2012 to bring together young leaders from across the country who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness nationally and locally. Council members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives and projects. To learn more about FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council, visit the Ready website.

FEMA Highlights Community Efforts

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, nonprofit and voluntary organizations work together with the federal, state, local and tribal governments and the private sector to address the needs of those communities most affected. FEMA is highlighting stories from our partners that focus on community engagement for better food security.


The humanitarian agency CARE reinvented its CARE Packages for the COVID-19 environment and is planning to deliver 200,000 packages to San Francisco and Atlanta in the upcoming months. In partnership with the National Action Network, CARE delivered meals to families and people in need while creating employment opportunities through its CARE Package Program.


The disaster relief organization World Central Kitchen (WCK) solves food security issues by providing nourishing meals and relief packages to communities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In 12 weeks, WCK has served 15 million meals in 285 cities and around the country. Through their #RestaurantsForThePeople program, WCK is working with restaurants to help them keep their doors open while feeding the communities in need. This model helps keep their staff employed and supports local farmers, suppliers and producers while contributing to the local economy.


Visit the FEMA Best Practices page to read more stories about communities making a difference.

FEMA Alerting System Used During Pandemic Response

Emergency officials across the country have sent 300 important safety messages on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to their residents using FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).


As of early this morning, Tuesday, June 16, 93 agencies across 29 states and the District of Columbia, as well as two Indian tribes and one U.S. territory, have sent a total of 300 alerts containing information on COVID-19 to cell phones and other wireless devices via the Wireless Emergency Alert system, and 66 alerts to radios/televisions via the Emergency Alert System.


For more information on IPAWS and how to be able to use the system to send alerts, visit the FEMA website.


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

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

FEMA Holds HURREVAC Webinar Series

Beginning June 22, there will be a five-day HURREVAC webinar series that includes training sessions each day at 2 p.m. ET. HURREVAC is the decision support tool of the National Hurricane Program administered by FEMA, the USACE and the NOAA National Hurricane Center. Sign up to participate in each day’s live session, or visit the HURREVAC website to watch recordings of the sessions after they have ended.


  • June 22: Day 1 Registration
    Intro to web-based HURREVAC and general overview of the program.
  • June 23: Day 2 registration
    Wind forecast features and tools to support understanding of potential wind timing and intensity.
  • June 24: Day 3 registration
    Evacuation timing features and tools to support evacuation decisions.
  • June 25: Day 4 registration 
    Storm surge and other program tools.
  • June 26: Day 5 registration 
    Using HURREVAC to answer scenario-based questions.


Recordings of prior years’ webinar sessions on HURREVAC are posted on the User Guides and Tutorials page. For more information visit the HURREVAC website.


FEMA Seeks Feedback on NIMS Update

FEMA seeks public feedback for an update of the 2009 National Incident Management System (NIMS) Implementation Objectives for federal departments and agencies. National engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the draft implementation objectives to ensure they are relevant for all implementing partners. The national engagement period will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on June 17. For more information on the webinars and to review the draft objectives, visit the FEMA website.


FEMA Accepts Applications for High Hazard Potential Dam Grants

The application period is open for the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dam Grant Program. The grant program provides technical, planning, design and construction assistance in the form of grants for the rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams. Eligible applicants must be non-federal sponsors which include non-federal governments and non-profit organizations. Applicants can apply on by the June 26 deadline. For more information about the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams Grant Program, visit the FEMA website.


FEMA Accepts Applications for Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants

FEMA released the Notice of Funding Opportunity for $10 million in funding for the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program. Changes to the 2020 funding include a program objective to address regional pandemic preparedness with specific focus on pandemic planning activities.


The application period closes 5 p.m. ET on July 15. Submissions must be made through The funding notice and additional information is available on the FEMA website as well as on, under Assistance Listings Number 97.111.


Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program provides funding to eligible states and local governments to close known preparedness capability gaps, encourage innovative regional solutions to issues related to catastrophic incidents and build on existing regional preparedness efforts, including pandemic preparedness. 

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