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.

Fun Preparedness Resources for Kids

Your child may be away from you when disaster strikes, so it’s important teach to him or her how to stay safe during emergencies. To make disaster preparedness fun for youth, Save the Children and Scholastic created the following resources for parents and teachers to share with kids.

Keep the Herd Safe is a fun-filled activities page for children in grades 1-3 to encourage disaster planning and to teach them how to stay connected in the event of an emergency! Parents and teachers can also help children complete In Case of Emergency (ICE) Cards featuring characters from the new animated film “Ice Age: Collision Course.”

Get Ready, Get Safe! Do your children know how to do the Prep Step? Save the Children’s Prep Step video combines valuable safety tips with fun dance moves to get kids excited about preparedness. You can also download the Prep Step song for children to listen to while on the go. Download today and get moving!

Making preparedness fun and easy for kids is one of the best ways to get them involved in their own safety.

FEMA National Training Program Continuing Grants: Apply Now

FEMA has announced funding opportunities for the Fiscal Year 2016 Continuing Training Grants program. The Homeland Security National Training Program’s Continuing Training Grants will provide $11.5 million to qualified applicants to help improve the nation’s ability to respond to and recover from all-hazard events.

This highly competitive program attracts applicants from state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, eligible non-profit organizations, and higher education institutions. Funding is provided as cooperative agreements and awarded directly to the selected applicants.

For more information and to download the application package, visit www.grants.gov and submit applications no later than August 22.

Upcoming Webinar: Combining Climate Adaptation and Hazard Mitigation Plans

The Planning Information Exchange (PIE) is scheduled to present the webinar on combining climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plans on Thursday, July 7, 2016, from 1–2 p.m. ET. Attendees can expect to learn about efforts around merging its climate adaptation plan with the update of hazard mitigation plans, and issues and challenges with the plan approach. Like many others in the coming series, the webinar is free, and provides one continuing maintenance credit for the American Institute of Certified Planners and one continuing education credit for Certified Floodplain Managers.

Moderated by James Schwab, Manager of the American Planning Association’s (APA) Hazards Planning Center, the webinar will include discussions from Kristin Baja, a Climate and Resilience Planner from the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, and Sherrie Collins, the Emergency Manager of Monterey County, California. Discussion points include: the basic premise of Baltimore’s effort to merge its climate adaptation plan with its hazard mitigation plan, issues Baltimore has experienced, the nature and scope of the Monterey County plan, challenges in Monterey County’s multijurisdictional approach, and much more.

This will be the seventh webinar in the PIE series, presented by the American Planning Association (APA) and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), and funded through a cooperative agreement with FEMA through the Risk MAP Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) program. PIE is a free eight-part quarterly webinar series focusing on tools, best practices, and strategies on the role of hazard mitigation planning and its connections with recovery planning and preparedness.

For more information and to register, visit https://www.planning.org/nationalcenters/hazards/planninginformationexchange/.

FEMA Announces Release of State Mitigation Key Topics Bulletin – Risk Assessment

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is announcing the release of the State Mitigation Planning Key Topics Bulletin: Risk Assessment, now available in the FEMA library at http://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/115780. The Risk Assessment Bulletin provides suggestions for identifying and describing hazards, identifying state assets, analyzing risks, and summarizing vulnerability. The Risk Assessment Bulletin emphasizes ways that states can address the requirements to include the considerations of future hazard conditions, including the effects of long-term changes in weather patterns and climate on hazards.

The State Mitigation Planning Key Topics Bulletins (“Bulletins”) series covers the various components of the state mitigation planning process, including risk assessment, mitigation capabilities, and mitigation strategy. The Bulletins are brief documents aimed at informing states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. Territories on the various ways to meet the regulatory and policy requirements described in the State Mitigation Plan Review Guide (“Guide”), which became effective March 6, 2016. The Guide presents FEMA’s official policy on and interpretation of the natural hazard mitigation planning requirements for states established in the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR Part 201). The Bulletins are not intended to clarify policy, but instead to provide state officials approaches and resources for updating state hazard mitigation plans.

For more information and updates on FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Planning Program, please visit http://www.fema.gov/hazard-mitigation-planning-resources.

Upcoming Webinar: Leading with Resiliency During a Crisis

Emergency responders are trained to make quick decisions that will protect people and save lives when a natural or man-made disaster occurs. This is a skill that comes in handy for anyone running a small business. When an emergency happens, the safety of your employees and clients will depend on your smart decisions and quick action.

In addition to making a disaster preparedness plan, it’s also a good idea to find ways to take charge while staying focused on what’s important—the well-being of your employees and customers, and a speedy recovery for your business.

Get tips on how to take charge of your company’s response to crisis during a free webinar on Wednesday, June 22 from 1 to 2 pm Eastern, hosted by Agility Recovery and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

This session is intended for audiences at all levels of an organization, and will draw on lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, covering the obstacles to proper leadership, and strategies for developing your capacity to be more resilient as leaders.

Space is limited. Register at http://agil.me/leadduringcrisis

FEMA Encourages Preparedness for the 2016 Hurricane Season

FEMA is calling on individuals and families across the nation to prepare for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, which runs through November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center seasonal outlook for 2016, released last week, states the season will most likely be near-normal, but uncertainty about the formation of Atlantic storms makes predicting this season particularly difficult.  The full release is linked at www.noaa.gov/near-normal-atlantic-hurricane-season-most-likely-year.

The effects of hurricanes can stretch far beyond just coastal areas, impacting communities hundreds of miles inland. When a hurricane hits, it can bring high winds, heavy rainfall, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes. Storm surge produced by hurricanes poses the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. Taking action now, in advance of a storm, can save lives and enables families and communities to recover more quickly should disaster strike.

“The United States has not had a significant impact from a hurricane or tropical storm since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “But luck isn’t a strategy when it comes to being ready. If you live in a potentially affected state, you are at risk for storm surge, extreme winds and flooding during a hurricane. Now is the time for you to learn your evacuation routes and develop a hurricane evacuation plan. Prepare now and enjoy the summer with confidence that if a storm threatens you’ll be ready.”

To prepare for these powerful storms, FEMA is encouraging families, businesses, and individuals to take the following steps to 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.
  • Know your evacuation zone: Evacuation zones are areas that may be impacted by hurricane flooding. Many communities have designated evacuation zones and routes to get citizens to safety. This information can often be 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.
  • 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, 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. The FEMA app is also available in Spanish.
  • Make a plan, build a kit and practice what to do: When a hurricane hits, communications systems can go out, transportation can be limited, and it could be days before emergency responders are able to reach communities that need help. FEMA encourages residents in potentially affected states to do the following:
    • Make a Family Communication Plan: Family members should discuss how they contact one another in an emergency and check in with each other from different locations.  Families should plan how to care for children or members with access and functional needs, and learn how to get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landlines don’t work. Be sure to practice your plan so everyone will know what to do in the event of an emergency.
    • Emergency Supply Kit: A ‘go kit’ is a bag that contains basic items families may need, during an emergency. Kits should contain non-perishable food, water, and other supplies, such as flashlights, local maps, and a battery-powered radio, to last you and your family for at least 72 hours. Ready.gov contains a complete list of items.
    • Pets: Many local shelters do not permit pets, but laws require them to accept service animals. Families should have a plan for pets should they need to evacuate.