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FEMA Bulletin Week of July 27, 2020

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Week of July 27, 2020

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

July 29

Launch of the redesigned

July 31

Open comment period for the “Fire Management Assistance Grant Program and Policy Guide” ends.

FEMA Extends Suspension of In-Person Training and Education

FEMA extended the suspension of in-person training and education at both the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Alabama through at least Oct. 1. The agency will not re-open its campuses on Aug. 2, as announced previously.


The decision is part of FEMA’s focus on the health and safety of employees, instructors, students, and visitors on campus.


FEMA continues to offer and expand virtual or online training options:


FEMA will continue to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and communicate updates or changes in conditions that may affect reopening of FEMA campuses.

FEMA Announces Housing Grant Guide

Today, FEMA announced the next step forward in providing guidance on housing for disaster survivors. The FEMA State-Administered Direct Housing Grant Guide provides guidance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments after a major disaster declaration where Individual Assistance, Direct Housing Assistance is authorized.


State, local, tribal and territorial governments may now be eligible to receive grants in order to provide disaster housing missions to disaster survivors. The grant program was developed as part of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 and will be available for all new disasters declared before Oct. 5 that require a housing mission.


The grant program and guide support FEMA’s goal of executing disaster recovery operations that are federally supported, state-administered and locally executed.

State and Local Mitigation Plan Guides Updates

FEMA is updating the state and local hazard mitigation plan review guides. These plan review guides are FEMA’s official interpretation of the requirements for state and local hazard mitigation plans. FEMA created an online presentation available on YouTube to provide a high-level overview of hazard mitigation planning guidance and share information on submitting feedback to the existing policies. 


The “State Mitigation Plan Review Guide” (March 2015) and “Local Mitigation Plan Review Guide” (October 2011) are available on the FEMA website.


FEMA will accept ideas and feedback on either current document by sending an email to through Aug. 14. Additional information on hazard mitigation planning is available on FEMA website.

FEMA BRIC Webinars now Available

During the month of July, for an hour every Wednesday FEMA hosted the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) summer engagement series. This series featured FEMA subject matter experts and partners discussing key elements of the newly developed program.   As the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be published in the next few weeks, FEMA published the recordings of these webinars as a resource to state, local, tribal and territorial entities considering an application for this year’s funding. These informative sessions included an overview of the process and eligible projects for funding. 


The following recorded sessions are available on YouTube:   


Additional recorded webinars from July 15, July 22 and July 29 will be available soon. More information about the BRIC Summer Engagement Series is available online.

New Coming July 29

Tomorrow, FEMA will launch the redesigned website. The redesign focuses on improving the user experience with intuitive navigation options to help users find information more easily. It also features a geo-filtering option to quickly sort the most relevant updates for location.


Key elements of the redesign include:

  • User focus. menus now organize content by our key audiences and their information needs. Site visitors can better identify where to find information.
  • Getting local. A new geo-filter search function allows people to enter a state or zip code and see active disaster declarations, alerts, news releases and other information specific to their location.
  • Modern web design. The new makes use of the U.S. Web Design System, which helps the federal government design and build better online experiences for the American public. The launch of the new site is a key step towards creating a unified, accessible and consistent experience for our audiences across all digital platforms and media.


The redesign will bring the site in compliance with federally mandated requirements, to include those required by the 21st Century IDEA Act, Section 508 and Plain Language legislation to make FEMA’s resources accessible to everyone.


In the coming months, FEMA will work to update the mobile version of the website (, expand content and incorporate feedback into the new site. Users are encouraged to provide comments and feedback to the FEMA Web Team.

FEMA Podcast Episode 70: The 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

July 26 marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This sweeping civil rights legislation expanded on the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by federally funded entities.


To mark the 30th anniversary of the legislation, the FEMA podcast features a discussion with the director of FEMA’s Office of Disability Integration, Linda Mastandrea. The discussion focuses on how emergency management has worked to serve people with disabilities over the past 30 years and how the agency is looking ahead in the coronavirus pandemic environment to ensure we’re best serving all disaster survivors.


To learn more about the ADA, including the full text of the law, visit Visit the FEMA blog to read about 30 ways FEMA supports emergency preparedness, response and recovery for people with disabilities or to read a message from the director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, Linda Mastandrea. 

Partnership Day Virtual Exhibit Hall

Every year on July 17, volunteers from around the country travel to FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. to celebrate Partnership Day. Partnership Day brings together governmental, voluntary, faith-based, community-based, philanthropic and private sector partners who support survivors before, during and after disasters. 


Keeping the safety of all in mind during the current pandemic, the 2020 Partnership Day event will be held virtually as a month-long virtual celebration. This year, FEMA will be showcasing the extraordinary work our nonprofit, faith-based and private sector partners do supporting survivors with a virtual exhibit.  These videos will be featured on FEMA’s YouTube channel from July 17 to Aug. 17. Visit the Partnership Day Virtual Exhibit Hall to learn more.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

FEMA Announces 2020 National Preparedness Month Theme

FEMA’s Ready Campaign promotes National Preparedness Month each September to encourage individual, family and community disaster and emergency planning. The 2020 theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait.  Make Your Plan Today.” This year’s campaign will also focus on personal preparedness during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Weekly themes and graphics for September will also be released later this month.


Earlier this year, the Ready Campaign and the Ad Council used those same animation concepts to create a series of animated videos and graphics to slow the spread of COVID-19. Videos such as “Plan Ahead for How to Deal with Disasters During Coronavirus,” “Stay Home,” and “Evacuate During Coronavirus” are all available at The full videos can also be downloaded in broadcast quality from the Ad Council website.


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

FEMA is holding an open comment period for the “Fire Management Assistance Grant Program and Policy Guide.” The 45-day public comment period ends on July 31. The draft guide and accompanying comments matrix are available on the FEMA website.  Submit the completed comment matrix by e-mail to FEMA

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