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FEMA Bulletin Week of August 3, 2020

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Week of August 3, 2020

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In this Edition:

Important Dates & Reminders

August 14

Feedback period for state and local mitigation plan review guides ends.

August 17

Partnership Day Virtual Exhibit Hall ends.

August 20

Webinar on accessible communications at noon.

Plan Now for Hurricanes

As Tropical Storm Isaias moves swiftly across the East Coast, it is important to prepare for severe weather. The best way to do this is to stay informed, know how to deal with the weather and always keep your personal safety in mind.


Stay informed:

Know how to deal with the weather:

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
  • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • If trapped in a building due to flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic as you can become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

Maintain your personal safety in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic environment:

  • Follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for protecting yourself and family in a coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic environment if you must go to a community or group shelter.
  • Take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may touch regularly.
  • Keep at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter (by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups) as much as possible.
  • Anyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.

For more information, visit the Ready website.

New is Live

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Last week, FEMA launched a newly designed The agency’s website has experienced rapid growth with more than 80 million-page visits in the last two years. The upgrades focus on an improved user experience with better navigation to help visitors discover information more easily.


During the website transition, links may not work with the redesigned site. As improvements to the new site continue, use the Sitemap for assistance with finding different topics.


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.


Listen to FEMA podcast episode 71 for more details on the redesign.

New Online Grants Award System Coming Soon

FEMA’s new online grants award system will be operational this fall for select hazard mitigation grant funding notices and awards. The system, called Grants Outcomes, or FEMA GO, is the result of a multi-year effort to modernize and transform the way FEMA conducts grants management.


Federal Fiscal Year 2020 Flood Mitigation Assistance and Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities pre-disaster mitigation grant programs will all use the FEMA GO system.


FEMA has been closely collaborating with applicants who will receive FEMA mitigation grants to test and validate system functionality prior to it being released in stages. Using this approach allows the applicant community to provide feedback to system developers regarding features under development.


Once the application period opens on Sept. 30, grant applicants must use FEMA GO to apply for funding through Flood Mitigation Assistance or the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant programs. Legacy projects will continue to reside in eGrants.


FEMA provided FEMA GO training to staff in its 10 regional offices and to the offices of their respective state, local community, tribes and territories. Additional training and readily accessible program support will be published on as it becomes available. There will also be a FEMA GO Help Desk to offer support with creating and submitting FMA and BRIC grant applications.


For more information about FEMA GO, visit the FEMA website. To view the Notice of Funding Opportunity for Building Resilient Infrastructure Communities, search for DHS-20-MT-047-00-99 on  To view the Flood Mitigation Assistance Notice of Funding Opportunity, search DHS-20-MT-029-000-99 on For more information on the programs, view the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities and Flood Mitigation Assistance fact sheets.

FEMA Webinar Series on Effective Accessible Communications

FEMA will host a two-part webinar series on accessible communications and how to effectively create them throughout the disaster cycle. Part one will provide an overview on various effective and accessible methods of communications throughout the disaster cycle, which includes insight on basic writing principles and how to write in plain language. Part 2 will provide useful resources for print, TV and radio communication strategies, as well as offer specific tools to help you write for your audience.


To register:


Throughout the series, subject matter experts will explore solutions to accessibility challenges that virtual platforms can present. Subject matter experts from FEMA and the community will offer invaluable insights and information to assist participants in building a more inclusive environment in the field of emergency management.

FEMA Announces Public Comment Period for Debris Monitoring Guide

FEMA is releasing an interim “Debris Monitoring Guide.” The guidance is now open for public comment. It includes several changes that incorporate updated requirements to comply with the “Procurement Disaster Assistance Team 2019 Field Manual.”


This interim guide provides Public Assistance applicants and recipients (states, territories, or tribes that are the pass-through entity between the applicant and FEMA) with guidance on monitoring debris removal operations and eligibility requirements associated with necessary work and reasonable costs to carry out a debris monitoring program. 


The interim guide and accompanying comments matrix are available on the FEMA website. FEMA will accept public comments submitted until Sept. 17. FEMA requests that all comments be submitted using the accompanying comments matrix. For questions or suggestions about the guide, send an email to FEMA.

FEMA Releases New NIMS Position Qualifications Documents for Pipeline Safety

Today, FEMA released a draft of National Incident Management System (NIMS) “Job Title/Position Qualifications and Resource Typing Definitions” document related to pipeline safety to enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid.


The national engagement period for the Pipeline Inspector document concludes at 5 p.m. ET on September 4. The engagement period provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on newly developed supporting tools. To access the documents, visit the FEMA website.

FEMA Releases New NIMS Position Qualifications Documents for Geology Field

Today, FEMA released a draft of National Incident Management System (NIMS) “Job Title/Position Qualifications and Resource Typing Definitions” document related to Geology Field Reconnaissance to enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid. The drafts are now available for stakeholder feedback. Today’s release includes:

  • Geology Field Reconnaissance Team
  • Geology Field Reconnaissance Specialist
  • Geological Survey Support Specialist


The national engagement period for the Geology Field Reconnaissance documents concludes at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 14. The engagement period provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on newly developed supporting tools. To access the documents, visit the FEMA website.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

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 is being 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.


FEMA Updates State and Local Mitigation Plan Review Guides

FEMA is updating the state and local hazard mitigation plan review guides. These guides provide 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, 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.

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