For the past six years, a Presidential Proclamation has been issued declaring May National Building Safety Month (BSM). The 2016 theme is “Building Codes: Driving Growth through Innovation, Resilience and Safety.” Each week of BSM spotlights a specific area of building safety.
This week, “The Science Behind the Codes” takes a look at the work FEMA does with the Mitigation Assessment Teams turning research into practice. One way this is accomplished is through the publication of research and technical manuals that help shape future building codes to optimize safe and secure structures. FEMA’s Building Science Branch publications are available by hazard type. For more information, visit the FEMA website.
National Police Week takes place each year and recognizes the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers nationwide. During this week, we pay special recognition to the law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
On Friday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. EDT, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund will host a Candlelight Vigil at the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets N.W. On Sunday, May 15 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, the 35th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service will be held at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.
As a nation we rely on law enforcement officers every day to provide for the safety and security of our communities and during times of crisis or disaster. The law enforcement community is an important member of the first responder and emergency management team. FEMA is committed to supporting our law enforcement officers as they support their communities during emergencies and disasters.
FEMA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are continuing their partnership to increase public awareness of the hazards posed by hurricanes and the steps we can all take to be better prepared. May 15 through 21 is Hurricane Preparedness Week in preparation for the Atlantic hurricane season beginning on June 1.
Hurricanes not only affect coastal communities, but also can have significant impacts hundreds of miles inland. It only takes one to change your life and your community. As Hurricanes Sandy and Isaac remind us, it is not just major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) that we need to worry about. All hurricanes could potentially cause significant damage.
FEMA and NOAA are asking for your help to increase awareness and to motivate individuals, families, businesses and communities to know their risk, get prepared and stay informed before hurricane season. We have a 2016 Hurricane Seasonal Preparedness Digital Toolkit that includes resources to aid our partners in spreading the word. Within the toolkit you will find: key messages; templates for letters to employees, press releases, and blog posts; social media tools and sample messages; and resource links, including infographics, videos, and other materials.
What can you do to get ready? Knowing your risk, getting prepared and staying informed are just a few steps people can take to get ready for hurricane season:
Know Your Risk: To search for general information about risks in your area, visit www.ready.gov and search for your state. Check out NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool to check the severity and frequency of past hurricanes in your area.
Get Prepared: As the storm approaches, it is often too late to get ready. Before hurricane season, make sure you:
• Know your zone: Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go. Remember: if a hurricane threatens your community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, don’t hesitate — go early.
• Complete a family communication plan: Plan how you will assemble your family and loved ones, and anticipate where you will go for different situations. Get together with your family and agree on the ways to contact one another in an emergency, identify meeting locations, and make a Family Emergency Communication Plan.
• Download the FEMA app: The FEMA app includes disaster resources, weather alerts, safety tips, and a new feature that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, tips on how to survive disasters, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.
• Check your insurance coverage: Hurricanes can cause flooding, the most frequent and costly disaster in the United States. Damages caused by flooding are not covered under normal homeowner’s insurance policies. Visit www.floodsmart.gov to assess your risks, get an estimated annual flood insurance premium for your home, and get connected to agents in your area.
Stay Informed: Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office so notifications, including evacuation orders, go directly to your phone and email. Monitor local news for hurricane watches and warnings in your area and follow directions of local officials.
For additional information, visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes or http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/
On May 10, the federal government launched a 30-day, national engagement period to receive stakeholder input on designing and implementing a new Federal Mitigation Investment Strategy (FMIS). The purpose of FMIS is to identify, prioritize and guide federal investments in disaster resilience and hazard mitigation-related activities, and to make recommendations to the President and Congress on how the nation should prioritize future disaster resilience investments. The national engagement period will conclude June 7, 2016 at 5:00 pm EDT.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, the federal government found that no coordinated federal investment strategy exists for resilience and mitigation. FMIS provides an opportunity to be more intentional about setting resilience and mitigation investment priorities. It will increase the ability of federal departments and agencies to plan and justify budgets and resources. FMIS is a priority of the Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG), which integrates federal efforts to deliver mitigation core capabilities identified in the National Mitigation Framework and the National Preparedness Goal.
Learn more about the FMIS effort, the MitFLG and the National Mitigation Framework by visitinghttp://www.fema.gov/national-
On April 20, FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) held its Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) for Polk County, Florida. The course, designed specifically for the jurisdiction, provided both lecture and exercise-based training focused on response and recovery operations for a simulated Category 3 hurricane. This four-and-a-half-day training simulated realistic, crisis situations that Emergency Operation Center (EOC) personnel may encounter during disasters.
IEMC courses help increase the skills of participating officials and provide a forum to evaluate the effectiveness of their specific emergency policies, plans and procedures that protect life and property.
The course’s target audience includes state, local, tribal and territorial government personnel; elected and appointed officials; supervisory, operations, and emergency support personnel; nonprofit organizations; the private sector; law enforcement personnel; firefighters; attorneys; public information officers; planners; and more. Each participant is assigned a role similar to their designated position in an EOC. Each IEMC course addresses leadership and policy-based decision making as well as the functional aspects of an EOC.
Classes are either delivered in the field or held at EMI’s Emmitsburg, Maryland, campus. Questions should be directed to FEMA-EMI-IEMB@fema.dhs.gov. If your jurisdiction is interested in applying for the program, and obtaining information on the application process and its timeline, please visit theEMI website.
National Advisory Council Meets in Texas
The National Advisory Council (NAC) will meet in-person from May 10-12, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting will be open to the public.
Members of the public are invited to provide public comments on Wednesday, May 11 from 2:50 p.m.to 3:10 p.m. CDT. Directions on how to submit public comments and meeting details can be found on the NAC webpage.
For those planning to attend in-person, for additional information on facilities or services for individuals with disabilities or to request special assistance at the meeting, please contact the Office of the NAC by email at FEMA-NAC@fema.dhs.gov. More information on the NAC is available atwww.fema.gov/national-
FEMA Hosts Webinar on Proposed Public Assistance Required Minimum Standards
FEMA posted draft replacement language for the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide on Public Assistance Program Minimum Standards to the Federal Register for public comment. When using Public Assistance funds to repair, replace or construct buildings located in hazard-prone areas, applicants would use, at a minimum, the hazard-resistant standards reflected or referenced in the International Building Code (IBC).
Costs associated with meeting these standards would be eligible. The minimum standards will be used for all buildings in tornado, wind, seismic, and flood-prone areas identified in the IBC, regardless of the type of incident that caused the damage. As FEMA works to implement the new standard for its Public Assistance program, it is requesting input on the draft language from the public and emergency management community. The draft language is posted to the Federal Register, and will be available for comment until May 23, 2016.
On Thursday, May 12, from 2 to 3 p.m. EDT, FEMA officials will offer a webinar to discuss the proposed policy requiring new minimum building standards in hazard-prone areas and answer questions from participants. Access the webinar by visiting https://fema.connectsolutions.
Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application Information
FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance grant programs. These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens. The NOFO for each program is posted onGrants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements. Applications aredue by 3:00 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2016.
FEMA Tribal Consultation Period Open on Hazard Mitigation Planning
FEMA is updating its policy that guides how Agency officials interpret regulatory requirements in their review and approval of tribal mitigation plans. FEMA is seeking feedback from tribal governments regarding this updated policy, “Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide”. Tribal officials’ suggestions and comments will inform further development of the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide.
Tribal officials can submit comments on the Tribal Mitigation Plan Review Guide: Key Concepts document until July 8, 2016, either by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Emergency Management Advanced Academy Applications
EMI is accepting applications for the National Emergency Management Advanced Academy (NEMAA). This program consists of four resident courses and addresses program management and oversight, effective communication, integrated collaboration, and strategic thinking skills. The target audience is mid-level managers who have a minimum of three years of experience in an emergency management position to include government, non-profit, voluntary organization, and private sector leaders who are responsible for emergency management or homeland security. The application deadline is May 31, 2016.
Higher Education Symposium
The 18th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium, “Whole of Community-Talking about My Generation”, will be held June 6-9, in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The registration deadline is May 13, 2016.
Earthquake Virtual Tabletop Exercise
The Virtual Tabletop Exercise (VTTX) program will offer an earthquake scenario June 7, 8, and 9. The VTTX was designed to help communities specifically look at an earthquake in their community, using historical events and recovery actions. The deadline for applying is May 13.
Master Exercise Practitioner Program Application Period Opens
The Master Exercise Practitioner Program (MEPP) application period is open until July 1, 2016. All classes are held at EMI in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Participants in the program are assigned to an exercise planning team where they are challenged to: demonstrate their expertise at all levels of exercise design and conduct; apply best practices and lessons learned from their organizations and experience; and use the concepts from the MEPP curriculum for their exercise planning team assignments. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Last modified: May 25, 2016