National Preparedness Month Highlights
Each week of September, National Preparedness Month highlighted easy-to-follow steps that your family can take to improve preparedness at home.
This month, we heard from the 2020 Congressional Co-Chairs on the importance of being prepared, learned how to make a plan, build a kit, prepare for disasters and teach youth about preparedness.
Here are just a few ways you can prepare:
- Make A Plan: Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations due to the coronavirus.
- Build A Kit: Gather supplies that will last for several days after a disaster for everyone living in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs each person or pet may have in case you have to evacuate quickly. Update your kits and supplies based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Prepare for Disasters: Limit the impacts that disasters have on you and your family. Know the risk of disasters in your area and check your insurance coverage. Learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms and other common hazards and act fast if you receive a local warning or alert.
- Teach Youth About Preparedness: Talk to your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.
Public service announcements (PSA) made for television and radio are now available to download from the Ad Council website. These PSAs help to spread awareness and prepare everyone for disasters.
Congressional Support for National Preparedness Month
Thirteen members of Congress are serving as co-sponsors for the 2020 National Preparedness Month. Throughout September, the FEMA Bulletin is featuring statements from these members.
Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Chairwoman, Committee on Science, Space, & Technology
“I am so proud to again join FEMA during National Preparedness Month to encourage Texans and all Americans in preparing for the impacts of unexpected disasters and emergencies during a pandemic. We had already seen a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season this year with thirteen storms formed before peak season began in September, in addition to the devastating fires burning across the western United States and flooding in the east. The potential for sustained severe and devastating extreme weather is very concerning especially as it can exacerbate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. It is crucial that families and communities make a plan and prepare for disasters and emergencies before they happen by taking a few simple steps and by signing up for emergency alerts all on Ready.gov.”
California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chairwoman, Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security
“As America continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation is facing natural disasters as well, including devastating wildfires in my home state of California and a powerful hurricane season. Planning and preparing for disasters and emergencies of all sorts is always important, but especially now during a national health crisis. That is why this September’s National Preparedness Month is more critical than ever: this year, it is a time to make sure you and your family are prepared to keep safe from COVID and natural disasters at the same time. As National Preparedness Month Congressional Co-Chair, I urge you to have a full and up-to-date emergency response plan in place so that your family will be ready when disaster strikes.”
Nevada Rep. Dina Titus, Chairwoman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management
“September is National Preparedness Month – a reminder to revisit and refresh our personal emergency plans, or to establish plans for the first time. The last several years have unfortunately seen communities across our nation devastated by catastrophic natural disasters like wildfires, floods, tornadoes and hurricanes. Emergency preparedness begins at home – it’s vital that in addition to investing in resilience and mitigation at all levels of government, we do so at home. This month we must take a moment to learn what we can do now to protect ourselves and our loved ones when disaster strikes.”
Visit Ready.gov to see the list of 13 congressional co-chairs who are helping promote National Preparedness Month throughout the country. You can help share preparedness messaging by using the social media safety graphics and various public service announcements.
FEMA Opens Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grants
This week, FEMA opens the application period for two competitive hazard mitigation grant programs totaling $660 million.
The two grant programs, the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant and the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant, or BRIC, will provide funds to states, tribes, territories and local communities for eligible mitigation activities. These programs allow for funding to be used on projects that will reduce future disaster losses and will strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness.
The application period will open on Wednesday, Sept. 30, and close on Jan. 29, 2021. All applications must be submitted on the new FEMA Grants Outcome (FEMA GO) no later than 3 p.m. ET on Jan. 29.
Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grants
The new BRIC grant is for pre-disaster mitigation activities and replaces FEMA’s existing Pre-Disaster Mitigation program. This year, $500 million is available for pre-disaster mitigation activities, including a $20 million tribal set-aside. BRIC priorities are to incentivize public infrastructure projects; projects that mitigate risk to one or more community lifelines; projects that incorporate nature-based solutions; and the adoption and enforcement of modern building codes.
Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 establishes the goal of reducing or eliminating claims under the National Flood Insurance Program through long-term mitigation actions. For the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program, the agency’s funding priorities include flood mitigation planning and efforts for repetitive as well as severe repetitive loss properties. In this application cycle, $160 million is available in Flood Mitigation Assistance grant funds. There is a set-aside of $70 million for community flood mitigation projects.
To help grant applicants with successful submissions and a possibility of an award, FEMA developed a robust library of readily accessible program support materials for BRIC and Flood Mitigation Assistance. During the summer, FEMA hosted a series of webinars to introduce BRIC concepts and provided an overview of the Notice of Funding Opportunities. These videos as well as the transcripts are available FEMA’s website.
FEMA Releases COVID-19 Resource Tools
FEMA and interagency partners have developed COVID-19 Resource Roadmaps. These resource tools provide a deep-dive into specific topic areas and challenges associated with COVID-19 recovery. The roadmaps offers potential solutions and federal resources that could support recovery efforts. To date, the following roadmaps have been published: COVID-19 Education Resource Roadmap, COVID-19 Food and Nutrition and the COVID-19 Housing Roadmap.
FEMA and coordinating agencies will provide additional roadmaps for Healthcare and Economic Recovery in coming weeks.
Roadmaps use information that is either publicly available or publicly obtained and should be used for informational purposes only. In early October, FEMA plans to post a search tool on its website to make it easier to identify available resources to address COVID related challenges.
FEMA Co-Hosts Webinar Series on Equity
FEMA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to host a virtual webinar series on "Alliances for Equity." Every Wednesday in the month of October, this series will discuss current efforts to adopt equitable practices across the field of resilience. The topics include:
- October 7 – “Let’s Talk Equity”
- October 14 – “Prioritizing Equity”
- October 21 – “Planning for an Equitable Future”
- October 28 – “Building a Foundation for Action”
Each session is from 1 to 3:30 p.m. ET. Visit the event website for more information about the series and to register, review the agenda and speakers schedule.
FEMA Co-Hosts Webinar on the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000
October is National Community Mitigation Planning month and in honor of the 20-year anniversary of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, FEMA is co-hosting a webinar with the Natural Hazard Center. The session is “The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000: Twenty Years of Promise, Pitfalls and Progress from a Planning Perspective.”
From 1-2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a distinguished group of researchers and practitioners will reflect on the past two decades highlighting various hazards that affect our nation. There will also be an analysis of the pitfalls and progress that has been made to reduce hazard risk in our communities. Register for the webinar online.
FEMA is Hiring: Mobile Communications Office Vehicle Operators
FEMA is seeking talented and experienced candidates for the role of Mobile Communications Office Vehicle Operator (MCOV). This position is a two-year appointment in the excepted service.
The MCOV fleet consists of converted 39-foot recreational vehicles and purpose-built 26-foot F-550 cargo trucks retrofitted with satellite communications, workstations and a wired/wireless Local Area Network (LAN) to provide voice/ data connectivity to the FEMA network from field locations. In this position, you will be responsible for setting up and maintaining communications, movement planning and vehicle maintenance as well as IT and administrative support.
For more information on how to apply visit USAJOBS. For more information about working for FEMA, visit the FEMA website.
Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders
FEMA Offers Webinars on How to Apply to the NEP
FEMA's National Exercise Division is now accepting nominations to the National Exercise Program (NEP). Fall nomination round submissions are due by Nov.1 and decisions will be sent by Dec. 1. The NEP will hold additional exercise nomination rounds in spring and fall of 2021.
FEMA is hosting a 60-minute webinar for state, local, tribal, territorial and other whole community partners to discuss the nomination process. The webinar will be held at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The webinar topics will also include the support that NEP can provide for conducting exercises in a COVID-19 environment and the proposed 2021-2022 Principals’ Strategic Priorities.
To participate in the webinar:
FEMA Holds Comment Period for Draft Guidance on Inundated and Submerged Roads
FEMA and the Federal Highway Administration developed guidance for federal assistance for the restoration of inundated and submerged roads damaged or destroyed by a declared major disaster. The draft policy and accompanying comments matrix are located on the FEMA website.
FEMA Holds Comment Period for Mitigation Planning Updates
On Aug. 28, FEMA published updates to the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program and mitigation planning regulations for public comment in the Federal Register. The updates synchronize the requirements enacted by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12).
The 60-day public comment period is open until Oct. 27. Visit Regulations.gov and provide comments to Docket ID: FEMA-2019-0011.