FEMA - Weekly Bulletin - November 23

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FEMA Releases Building Codes Study

FEMA published Building Codes Save: A Nationwide Study of Loss Prevention. This is a multi-phase project to quantify the benefits from state and local adoption of modern hazard-resistant building codes and standards. The study results show the high value of adopting and enforcing International Codes for hazard mitigation as a return on investment. 

The study uses nationwide parcel-level datasets with key hazard-resistant building-specific characteristics, such as foundation, roof and frame type; square footage; and year built. The study also uses multifrequency earthquake, flood, and hurricane wind hazard data, and state and local building code adoption history. Using this data and the FEMA Hazus Program, the study calculated the change in Average Annualized Losses (Losses Avoided) as hazard-prone communities across the country adopted the International Codes.

Since the first edition of the International Codes in 2000, communities that adopted higher building code standards saved the nation approximately $1.6 billion in average annualized losses from flooding, hurricanes and earthquakes.  Additionally, the study shows that over a 20-year period, communities with modern building codes would avoid at least $32 billion in losses from natural disasters. These figures do not account for the cascading effects of damaged homes and businesses, which can further increase losses significantly.

A 15-page summary, Protecting Communities and Saving Money – The Case for Adopting Building Codes, as well as the full-study detailing the four phases of this project, methodology, results and conclusions are available on FEMA’s website.

FEMA Announces EMI Credit Transfer for College Courses

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) signed an Articulation Agreement with the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), enabling UMGC degree programs to accept EMI courses as transfer credit based upon the credit hour recommendations provided through EMI’s accreditation with the American Council on Education.

If you are a current or former student at EMI, you can earn transfer credit for your coursework toward a bachelor's degree through the EMI–UMGC articulation agreement.

Highlights include:

  • More than 174 EMI courses and their various versions have been evaluated.
  • UMGC’s transfer policy allows for up to 90 credits to count toward a bachelor’s degree from a variety of sources.

To apply or learn which courses have been evaluated for college credit, visit UMGC.

To see the list of EMI courses that have been reviewed by the American Council on Education and their credit hour recommendations, visit the council's website.

If you have any questions about this agreement, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like to speak to a UMGC representative regarding transferring EMI credit to UMGC, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FEMA Announces $140 Million for Emergency Food and Shelter Program

FEMA announced $140 million in funding will be available to communities across the county to assist with feeding and sheltering.

Congress made $125 million available for Fiscal Year 2020, and this year the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) National Board is including an additional $15 million from funds that have not been used from prior grant years. FEMA awarded the $125 million to the National Board, which is now allocating the funds, combined with the additional $15 million, to qualifying jurisdictions (counties and cities).

Program funding assists local organizations dedicated to feeding, sheltering and providing critical resources to people with economic emergencies, including our nation's hungry and homeless populations. These funds are for people with non-disaster related emergencies and can be used for a broad range of services, including mass shelter, mass feeding, food pantries and food banks, utility bill payments to prevent cut-offs, rent/mortgage payments to prevent evictions/foreclosures and transition assistance from shelters to stable living conditions.

Of this year’s allocation, 8% will be made available to states that will make funding determinations to aid people in jurisdictions with needs that may not be reflected in the National Board’s qualifying formula.

The National Board is chaired by FEMA with representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, The Jewish Federations of North America, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army and United Way Worldwide. United Way Worldwide, selected by the National Board as its Secretariat and Fiscal Agent, is also responsible for the daily administration of the EFSP.

EFSP funding is allocated to qualifying local jurisdictions based on a formula using the most recent national population, unemployment and poverty data.

A state-by-state list of the eligible jurisdictions and award amounts is available at the United Way website.

FEMA Podcast Episode 82: Meeting Unmet Needs Through Disaster Case Management

This episode of the FEMA Podcast focuses on how disaster case management plays a critical role in long-term recovery. The podcast features discussions with Director of Lutheran Disaster Services John Pyron and FEMA Region 5 Voluntary Agency Liaison Jeannie Moran. They highlight the unique way organizations come together to provide resources and support to those most in need after a disaster.

The FEMA Podcast is an audio series available to anyone interested in learning more about the agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters. The FEMA Podcast is available on Apple iTunes and Google Play to stream or download.

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Flooding After Fire may be More Severe

Floods are the most common and costly natural hazard in the nation. Too much heavy rain, especially in areas recently affected by wildfires, flooding can be devastating. Residents and businesses need to protect their physical and personal property with flood insurance.

The risk of floods and debris after fires increases due to vegetation loss and soil exposure. Flood damage after fire is often more severe since debris left from the fire can form mudflows. As rainwater moves across barren ground, the flooding can also pick up soil and sediment and carry it in a stream of floodwaters.

Residents and businesses in and around areas impacted by wildfires face an increased risk of flooding up to five years. No structure is safe from flooding. It typically takes 30 days for a new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insurance policy to go into effect, so the time to buy flood insurance is now. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovery and financial devastation.

Visit FloodSmart.gov/wildfire to learn more about flood after fire risk and the NFIP Resource Library to find digital resources to share with your community.

Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams Program 2020 Grants Awarded

The FEMA High Hazard Potential Dam Grant program awarded $10 million in FY20 grants to 28 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for non-federal dams.

The funding provides technical, planning, design and construction assistance in the form of grants for rehabilitation of eligible high hazard potential dams.

 Eligible non-federal dams are:

  • Located in a state or territory with a dam safety program.
  • Classified as ‘high hazard potential’ by the dam safety agency in the state or territory where the dam is located.
  • Have an emergency action plan approved by the state or territorial dam safety agency.
  • State or territorial dams, where the dam fails to meet minimum dam safety standards of the state or territory and poses an unacceptable risk to the public.

The FEMA High Hazard Potential Dam Grant program eligible applicants are limited to states that have a state dam safety program authorized by state legislation. Eligible subrecipients are limited to non-federal governments and non-profit organizations.

This is the second year of the program. In 2019, 26 states received a total of $9.8 million.

Questions regarding the grants can be sent to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FEMA Holds Virtual Listening Session on Pandemic Assistance for Tribal Nations

FEMA’s Recovery Directorate - in partnership with FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division - will host a virtual listening session with tribal leaders to discuss coronavirus (COVID-19) policies and guidance and their implementation and effect on tribal nations. This listening session will take place virtually on Dec. 8 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET. 

FEMA staff will provide an overview of program assistance for the pandemic, Recovery (Public Assistance and Individual Assistance) policies and tribal inquiries already received. FEMA is interested in hearing additional feedback from tribal leaders on ways of improving the delivery of assistance.

Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders

FEMA Offers Public Comment on Disaster Grant Closeout Procedures

FEMA seeks comments on revisions to a recovery policy about disaster grant closeout procedures.

The draft version of “Recovery Policy FP 205-081-2 Stafford Act Section 705, Disaster Grant Closeout Procedures” establishes when FEMA can recover payments made through the Public Assistance (PA) program. It applies to all potential recoveries of payments made to state, tribal and local government recipients and subrecipients for funding.

The revised policy states FEMA may not start administrative actions to recover funding after three years from the date the recipient submits certification of completion for a large project or all small projects. The revision also specifies when the three-year period starts for small and large PA projects.

The policy revision can be viewed on the FEMA website.

Comments on the policy are due by Dec. 10. FEMA requests that all comments are submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. using the accompanying comment matrix.

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FEMA Seeks Stakeholder Feedback on Updated Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 101

FEMA seeks feedback on the updated “Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans.” This document provides guidance on developing emergency operations plans and promotes a common understanding of the fundamentals of community-based, risk-informed planning and decision making to help planners examine a threat or hazard and produce integrated, coordinated and synchronized plans.

FEMA updated this guidance recently to align with new and updated policies and programs, providing additional tools and maintaining the flexibility and scalability of the document while expanding on the role of whole community partners.

FEMA will host a series of 60-minute webinar sessions to discuss changes to the updated CPG 101 and gather feedback from whole community partners. The sessions will include facilitated discussions with stakeholders to help improve the existing draft. A line numbered version of the CPG 101 is available to allow individuals to provide comments on specific areas within the document.

This national engagement period concludes at 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 25. 

To review the document and learn more about the webinar sessions, visit the FEMA website.

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FEMA Releases Draft "Building Private-Public Partnerships Guide" for Public Comment

FEMA seeks content input from community partners on the “Building Private-Public Partnerships Guide” draft document. The agency will host a series of 60-minute engagement webinars to discuss the Guide and answer stakeholders’ questions. The webinars will be open to the whole community and advance registration is required.

To register, click on the preferred webinar session below.

The purpose of the review is to provide an opportunity for the public to provide substantive content recommendations and refinement of the draft. Submit feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Dec. 10.

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FEMA Hosting Preparedness Workshop Webinar Series

FEMA will host a series of webinars to educate and promote critical activities that make up the preparedness cycle. The webinars will be about the Integrated Preparedness Plan and Integrated Preparedness Planning Workshop. The plan and workshop model were developed to support the coordination, planning and scheduling of activities across the preparedness cycle, a component of the revised 2020 Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program doctrine.

The model has been piloted and refined. The date for the final webinar is:

  • 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 30.

Visit the HSEEP Webinar webpage to register.

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FEMA Hosts Civil Rights Stakeholder Summit Series

FEMA will conclude its series of Civil Rights Stakeholder Summits with its final summit on Dec. 3. 

Motivated by FEMA core values of compassion, fairness, integrity and respect, the goal of each summit is to strengthen the foundation for an inclusive, whole-community based approach to emergency management.

FEMA understands that disasters impact individuals and communities differently. To foster a more inclusive, prepared and resilient nation, FEMA seeks to strengthen the agency’s communication with members of underserved and historically marginalized communities, such as those with low income, differing ethnic groups and limited English proficiency. 

Because presenters and panelists will respond to your questions during the summits, please email questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than the Friday prior to the event.

Perspectives and feedback from the public are critical to ensure FEMA effectively prepares and serves all communities before, during and after disasters. 

Register below in advance for the remaining summit in this series and join the discussion!

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FEMA Offers Comment Period on Community Emergency Response Team Positions

FEMA's National Integration Center is seeking public feedback on National Qualification System job title/position qualifications and position task books. This national engagement period will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 26.

The release includes three positions for Community Emergency Response Teams, including a section chief, team leader and volunteer.

To provide comments on the drafts, complete the feedback form on the webpage listed above and submit the form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. no later than 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 26.

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