FEMA Seeks Comments on a Public Assistance Deductible Concept

In response to calls from members of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, and the DHS Office of Inspector General over the last several years, FEMA is working to reform the way the federal government supports states following disasters.


The agency continues to actively explore the concept of a deductible, specifically leveraging the Public Assistance Program. Individual Assistance programs, such as direct aid to households after a disaster, would remain unchanged.


A Public Assistance deductible concept could incentivize mitigation investments, promote risk-informed decision-making, and build resilience, including to catastrophic events.


As communities increase disaster resiliency, they reduce the cost of future events for both the states and the federal government. A deliberate effort to reduce risk at all levels of government will enhance disaster response and post-disaster recovery capabilities nationwide.


FEMA is committed to a transparent stakeholder engagement effort to explore how the program might move forward. In 2016, FEMA sought public comments on the basic concept of a deductible through www.Regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2016-0003.


After considering the 150 comments received, FEMA developed a conceptual model framework that is now available for public comment. This Supplemental Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or SANPRM, is available for 90-days on www.Regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2016-0003 at this link:  FEMA_FRDOC_0001.


Upcoming Webinar: Methods of Communication in Disasters— Preparing to Receive, Provide and Act on Critical Information in Times of Crisis

FEMA’s DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships and FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar on Thursday, December 15, 2016. Representatives from FEMA will be joined by faith and community leaders to highlight various methods that governments and communities can use to communicate with one another and the broader community in disasters. This webinar will also feature preparedness activities and resources to effectively receive, provide and act upon critical information.

Please click the following hyperlink to register for the webinar: Methods of Communication in Disasters—Preparing to Receive, Provide and Act on Critical Information in Times of Crisis

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2016

Time: 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers:                                 

  • Antwane Johnson, Director, FEMA Integrated Public Alert & Warning System
  • Martin Pittinger, FEMA Office of the Chief Technology Officer
  • Kaylynn Beck, FEMA External Affairs
  • Chaplain Yisrael Bursztyn, New Jersey Chaplains Association
  • Alicia Hamilton, PACRED and The Revelation Network
  • William Patterson, Los Angeles Amateur Radio Club
  • Moderator: Jannah Scott, DHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on December 15!

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Team Seeking External Stakeholder Working Group Members

The FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) team is excited to announce the launch of the External Stakeholder Working Group (ESWG) and is seeking applications from local or county jurisdictions for membership. The purpose of the ESWG is to provide a venue for increased communication between FEMA staff and external stakeholders. The ESWG will offer non-federal mitigation stakeholders an opportunity to share their perspectives on HMA priorities, issues, and program resources, and help inform communication strategies on the HMA programs. If you are interested in serving on the ESWG, please complete the application and submit it by email to FEMA-HMA-GRANTS-POLICY@fema.dhs.gov.  Applications are due by Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

Membership on the ESWG will include participation in four meetings each year, one meeting each quarter. Two of these meetings will be held in person with travel costs provided by FEMA Headquarters. The remaining two meetings will be held virtually. The first meeting will be held virtually in early December. Once representatives are selected, FEMA Headquarters staff be in contact to determine an exact date for the first meeting.

Applications must be submitted by November 29, 2016.  Requests for further information or questions on applying to the ESWG can also be submitted to FEMA-HMA-GRANTS-POLICY@fema.dhs.gov.  FEMA staff monitor this inbox daily and will reply to any questions as quickly as possible.

Learn Your Local Evacuation Routes

Evacuations from your home or work are more common than many people realize. FEMA urges residents to know their evacuation routes and to heed the direction of local officials taking seriously their instructions to evacuate.  According to the Ready Campaign, fires and floods cause evacuations most frequently across the U.S., and almost every year, people along coastlines evacuate as hurricanes approach. In addition, hundreds of times per year, transportation and industrial accidents release harmful substances, forcing many people to leave their homes.

You don’t have to wait for an official evacuation notice to prepare, you can start now. Contact your local emergency management agency for the evacuation routes in your community. Additionally, follow these guidelines for evacuation:

Be ready to evacuate yourself and your family with Ready’s Evacuation Guidelines.

Webinar: Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month through Community Preparedness

In observance of National Native American Heritage Month, FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division and the Office of External Affairs, Tribal Affairs will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 30 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET focusing on disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving tribal communities. You’ll hear several leaders who have worked to put preparedness into action by developing successful community-based initiatives and receive related program resources.

Title:  Celebrating National Native American Heritage Month through Community Preparedness

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)

Featured Speakers:                                 

  • Tim Zientek, Director of Emergency Management, Potawatomi Nation
  • Jeff Hansen, Director of Emergency Management, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Hailey Starr and Sarah Clark, Muckleshoot Tribal School
  • Milo Booth, National Tribal Affairs Advisor,  Office of External Affairs, FEMA

How to Join the Webinar: 

Upcoming American Planning Association (APA) Planning Information Exchange (PIE) Webinar: Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas

The APA’s Planning Information Exchange (PIE) steering committee is pleased to announce the “Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas” webinar scheduled for Friday, December 2nd from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

Please join three professionals as they dive into APA’s new PAS Report (PAS 584), Subdivision Design and Flood Hazard Areas. The discussion will begin with an overview of the drivers, issues, and standards of PAS 584 by Chad Berginnis, executive director of the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM). Next, retired Licking County, Ohio, Planning Commission Director, Jerry Brems, will discuss local issues that planners face when dealing with design standards and flood hazard areas. And finally, Tyler Berding, founding partner of the California law firm, Berding & Weil LLP, will speak about the many problems homeowners associations confront when dealing with flood hazards over the long term.

The webinar is free but registration is required using the following link:



Department of Health and Human Services Twitter Chat – Staying Safe and Healthy When Disaster Strikes

As part of National Preparedness Month, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response, @PHEgov, will host a Twitter chat on Thursday, September 29 at 1 PM ET. The chat will help pregnant women and families with young children learn what precautions they need to take to stay safe and healthy when disaster strikes. Join the conversation or follow along using #Prep2Grow.

National Preparedness Month: Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), serving as a reminder that we all should take action to prepare, now and throughout the year for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit.


This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today,” with an emphasis on preparedness for youth, older adults, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs. For more information, including a social media toolkit, visit www.ready.gov/september.

FEMA Seeking Public Comments for Federal Flood Risk Management Guide

FEMA is seeking comments from all stakeholders regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and supplementary Policy 078-3, “Guidance for Implementing the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard (FFRMS).” The proposed rule would amend the definition of a floodplain, incorporate various approaches to establish a higher vertical elevation, and expand corresponding horizontal floodplain for FEMA federally funded projects. Where possible, it would direct natural systems, ecosystem processes, and nature-based approaches to be used when developing alternatives to locating Federal actions in the floodplain.


When FEMA federally funded projects involve more than one federal agency, FEMA would use the Unified Federal Review (UFR) to coordinate application of the FFRMS to those projects. The UFR Process also recognizes the important role of federal agencies, localities, states, tribes, and the general public in environmental and historic preservation reviews.


The major provisions of this rule would affect FEMA-funded new construction and substantial repair projects for individuals and communities, including some projects done in the aftermath of a disaster for state, local, tribal governments, private non-profits, and stakeholders. However, this rule does not directly affect the availability or price of flood insurance.


Comments may be submitted through October 21, 2016 using one of the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Search for the notice in Docket ID FEMA-2015-0006. When submitting comments, indicate the section and reasoning for each comment.

• Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Regulatory Affairs Division, Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 8NE-1604, 500 C Street, SW., Washington, DC  20472-3100

Viewing comments and documents: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov

• Background documents and submitted comments may also be inspected at the Office of Chief Counsel, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street, SW., 8NE, Washington, DC 20472-3100.


All submissions will be posted to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information provided. Individuals who submit comments should read the Privacy Act.

Are you ready? Know what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

September is National Preparedness Month. Are you ready for hurricane season? Here are some simple steps you can take to keep you, your family, and property safe before, during and after the storm.

Visit ready.gov for more tips and information.