Category Archives: Site News

The Shore of the Future Conference

 

Sea level rise associated with climate change is a clear and growing coast-wide threat facing every resident and business in all of New Jersey’s shoreline communities. Assessing and addressing this risk effectively requires a coast-wide plan of action. The framework for forging a coast-wide response strategy was the focus of a round-table discussion during New Jersey Future’s 2017 Redevelopment Forum. All of the participants agreed that this important topic is so broad, and the obstacles so numerous, that a wider conversation is needed in order to explore the implications fully and outline a course of meaningful action.

To continue this conversation, New Jersey Future invites you to a symposium, the first in our series of Big Conversations, specifically to discuss what a coast-wide response to climate change and risks associated with sea-level rise should entail.

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time: 9:00 am – 12:15 pm

Location: War Memorial, 1 Memorial Dr., Trenton (get directions)

Registration: The event is free, but you must register here.  This program has been approved for 2.75 AICP certification-maintenance credits.

For more details about this event, including the tentative agenda, please visit the event website.

Get Your Pets Ready During National Pet Preparedness Month

June marks National Pet Preparedness Month and is a perfect opportunity for you to learn how to plan for your pet’s safety during an emergency event.

If you need to evacuate your home for any reason do not forget to plan for your furry, scaly, or feathered friends. The Ready Campaign offers guidance and tips with regard to:
• Making a pet emergency plan.
• Preparing shelter for your pet.
• Protecting your pet during a disaster and caring for them afterwards.
• Tips for large animals.

Learn more about how to prepare your pet(s) for emergency situations at www.ready.gov/animals. If you would like to help spread the word about National Pet Preparedness Month via your social networks, check out Ready’s Pet Preparedness Social Media Toolkit for additional information.

FEMA Encourages People to Prepare Now for the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season has begun, and there is no better time to get ready than now. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages residents and businesses across the nation to prepare by understanding their risk, planning together for the entire family, and downloading the FEMA App.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center seasonal outlook for 2017, released last week, states that the Atlantic could see an above-normal hurricane season this year. The full seasonal forecast is linked at www.noaa.gov/media-release/above-normal-atlantic-hurricane-season-is-most-likely-year.

Both hurricanes and tropical systems have the potential to cause serious damage to coastal and inland areas.  Their hazards could come in many forms including storm surge, heavy rainfall, coastal and inland flooding, high winds, and tornadoes.

“The time to prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms is now, before a threat even exists,” said FEMA Acting Administrator Robert J. Fenton, Jr. “We want people who live in coastal and nearby inland areas to know where they can get reliable information; prepare their home and workplace ahead of time; know if they live in an evacuation zone and be familiar with evacuation routes. Knowing what to do and practicing your plan now can make the difference between life and death if a hurricane or tropical storm does strike.”

There is a lot of information available to help individuals and communities prepare:

Know Your Risk: Residents should learn what types of natural disasters are common in their stateNOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool provides information on the severity and frequency of past hurricanes.

Learn Your Flood Risk: Flooding is the nation’s most frequent and costly natural disaster. Go to FloodSmart.gov and learn how to protect your home or business. Purchase a flood insurance policy if you do not already have one.

Make A Plan: Residents should speak with their family today about how they will communicate with each other during a significant weather event when they may not be together, or during an evacuation order.

Download the FEMA App: The FEMA App contains important information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. The App also allows users to receive weather alerts from NOAA’s National Weather Service, includes lifesaving safety tips, and provides access to disaster resources should survivors need them. The App is available in the Apple App store or the Google Play store, and is also available in Spanish.

Know your evacuation zone: Evacuation zones are areas that may be impacted by hurricane flooding. Many communities designate evacuation zones and routes to get citizens to safety. This information is typically found on the websites of state, county, or town emergency management offices. If a hurricane threatens a community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, residents should evacuate immediately. Do not wait for the next forecast.

Additional tips and resources:

It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week

This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. It only takes one hurricane to change your life and your community. Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful and destructive events that the nation faces, and the cause behind eight of the ten costliest disasters in U.S. history. Hurricanes are not just a coastal concern. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property.

 Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. Now is the time to prepare, if you — or a close family member — live in an area prone to hurricanes or inland flooding. Make a family emergency communication plan. Don’t forget to include your pets in your emergency preparedness planning. Identify an out of town emergency contact to coordinate information with family and friends. Keep an emergency kit where you spend time — home, car, work. Download the FEMA app and set up local alerts for you or your loved ones. Practice your preparedness plans with a drill or exercise.

 Visit www.ready.gov/hurricanes for more information about hurricane preparedness.

2017 National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS) Coordinator’s Manual Approved

The 2017 CRS Coordinator’s Manual (Expiration date March 31, 2020) has been approved in accordance with requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act. The revised manual will be implemented by FEMA immediately. However, changes will not take effect for any community until that community’s next CRS cycle verification visit.

Changes from previous editions of the Coordinator’s Manual will be marked with vertical bars in the margins of the pages of the updated manual. Most changes are clarification and improvements.

The CRS Webinars series for 2017 will include training courses on the new items in the manual and other topics to assist communities. Visit http://crsresources.org/training/ to see webinar dates and to register.

Prepare Your Business During National Small Business Week

You can use National Small Business Week, April 30 – May 6, to prepare your organization for a variety of emergencies like fires, floods, cyber threats, and other disasters.

Start by completing a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Plan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).The SBA also highlights other resources to help you protect employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and quickly re-open.

Use these Resources
Create a preparedness program for your business
Identify critical business systems
Create an emergency communications plan
Test your business systems
Enroll in the Red Cross Ready Rating Program
Build a disaster preparedness kit

For more information on disaster assistance, loan programs, and emergency preparedness for small businesses visit the SBA Emergency Preparedness page.

FEMA Seeks Comments on Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on the National Flood Insurance Program

On April 7, FEMA published a Federal Register notice to seek public comment on a draft Nationwide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (NPEIS) about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FEMA developed this draft NPEIS to examine the impacts of proposed improvements and modifications to the NFIP. This draft NPEIS includes an evaluation of the potential impacts to the natural and human environment associated with the NFIP at a programmatic level, as well as an evaluation of impacts of alternative proposals to modify the NFIP.

The NFIP proposed modifications are needed to implement the legislative requirements of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA), and to demonstrate compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Today, more than 22,000 communities participate in the NFIP, with more than 5.1 million NFIP policies in effect, providing over $1.2 trillion in insurance coverage. The NFIP serves as the foundation for national efforts to reduce the loss of life and property from flood disaster.

The public comment period is open for 60 days from April 7, 2017 to June 6, 2017. Download a copy of the draft NPEIS and provide comments directly to FEMA via www.regulations.gov. Search for Docket ID FEMA-2012-0012. In addition, public meetings and webinars are scheduled by FEMA to allow the public an opportunity to learn more about the project and to provide comments on the NFIP draft NPEIS. For a list of locations and webinar dates and times, visit www.fema.gov/programmatic-environmental-impact-statement.

New Fact Sheet Available on Salvaging Family Valuables and Heirlooms Damaged by Disasters

When homes are flooded and lives are upended, treasured keepsakes such as photos, artwork, quilts and family heirlooms become more cherished. Although they may have been damaged in the flood, these treasures may be salvageable. Over the years, preservation experts have been resources at Disaster Recovery Centers offering practical tips and steps on how to handle, dry and clean damaged objects, and share tips on personal safety, setting priorities and other preservation options.

FEMA and the Smithsonian Institution co-sponsor the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, a partnership of 42 national service organizations and federal agencies created to protect cultural heritage from the damaging effects of natural disasters and other emergencies. In addition to a new fact sheet, the Task Force’s efforts on salvaging water-damaged, important personal belongings is also featured in a post titled “Safeguarding Memories” on the FEMA blog.

Increasing Engagement With Faith-based Organizations in Disaster Preparedness Webinar

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is hosting a webinar emphasizing the value of increasing engagement with faith-based organizations for disaster preparedness on April 12 at 2-3:30 p.m. ET. The webinar is a joint effort between the DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and FEMA’s Higher Education Program. The event will provide a forum to help to ensure emergency managers, faith-based and community organizations are aware of academic partner resources and engagement opportunities.

Participants can register for the webinar online and use the conference call-in (800) 320-4330; PIN: 376368#. The webinar presenters are Marcus Coleman, Special Assistant, DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; Brie Loskota, Executive Director of the Center for Religious and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Founder and Co-Director, Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute.

FEMA Announces Release of the Flood Insurance Advocate’s Annual Report

FEMA is pleased to announce the release of the 2016 Annual Report of the Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA). This report is being publicly released to further OFIA’s goal of transparency, and is available on OFIA’s webpage and clicking on the Annual Report.

 OFIA identified six primary National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholder and property owner topics in 2016 that present opportunities for ongoing program improvement. They include:  erroneous severe repetitive loss property designations; gaps in flood insurance agent education; the need for consistency across FEMA regions in public mapping outreach; difficulties in accessing Increased Cost of Compliance coverage; difficulties with multiple and conflicting flood zone determinations; and the inability to obtain a refund of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 surcharge when cancelling an NFIP policy.

 The issues identified in this report are based on the observations of OFIA through the hundreds of inquiries submitted to the office this past year. These issues represent areas of concern that have a long-term impact to a broad population of NFIP customers. The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration’s (FIMA) program areas were provided an opportunity to respond to these findings, and the programs’ responses are included with this report.

OFIA is an independent office within FEMA and reports to the FIMA Deputy Associate Administrator. The Office also has direct access to FEMA’s Administrator. OFIA’s mission is to advocate for the fair treatment of policyholders and property owners by providing education and guidance on all aspects of the NFIP, identifying trends affecting the public, and making recommendations for program improvements to FEMA leadership. Policyholders may seek assistance from the OFIA by visiting their webpage and clicking on “Ask the Advocate”.