Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coordination between local, state, and the federal governments during recovery and redevelopment Webinar, Sept 21

Tuesday, September 21st at 12:00 p.m. EDT

To mark the finalization of the Coastal Georgia’s Project to Strengthen Disaster Resilience, Brock Long, Executive Chairman at Hagerty Consulting and former FEMA Administrator, and Jennifer Kline, Coastal Hazards Specialist and leader of this cohort, will discuss coordination between local, state, and the federal governments during recovery and redevelopment. Drawing from his experience at FEMA and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Long will share guidance on preparing at the local level to coordinate with state and federal response personnel.

Register at: 

Full Data for the 2020 National Household Survey has been Released on OpenFEMA

In September 2021, FEMA released the full results and data for the 2020 National Household Survey (NHS) for public use on OpenFEMA, making this the fourth year of complete data available (2017-2020). To facilitate equitable community disaster preparedness for stakeholders, FEMA has published the survey instrument used to field the data in both English and Spanish alongside the full results.

The NHS tracks progress in personal disaster preparedness through investigations of the American public’s preparedness actions, attitudes, and motivations. FEMA has conducted the NHS annually since 2013 and has been publishing the full data since 2017. The 2021 survey was fielded in English and Spanish via landline and mobile telephone to a random sampling of approximately 5,000 adult respondents. The survey includes a national sample as well as hazard-specific questions asked to individuals who live in areas that are at risk for, or could be heavily impacted by, those hazards. These include earthquakes, extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, tornados, wildfires, winter storms, and urban events (such as a terrorist attack).

With multiple years of data available, researchers and stakeholders have the opportunity to analyze trends through time and patterns in preparedness. FEMA encourages the use of our data for improving the effectiveness of your preparedness messaging, campaigns, and research

FEMA releases revised Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide

Today, FEMA released the revised Preliminary Damage Assessment Guide (PDA Guide) and its accompanying Preliminary Damage Assessment Pocket Guide (PDA Pocket Guide). The updated PDA Guide adjudicated comments received from a one-year public comment period that closed on June 8, 2021. The revised guide is effective as of October 1, 2021. A Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) is the mechanism state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal governments use to determine the impact and magnitude of damage following a disaster and the resulting unmet needs to individuals, businesses, the public sector, and communities. The primary objective of the PDA is to collect information, conduct analysis, and provide situation awareness to state, territorial, or tribal government leaders to determine whether the impacts of a disaster warrant a disaster declaration request under the Stafford Act. The PDA guide establishes a framework for how emergency management officials, at every level of government, document and validate details of damage following a disaster. The guide includes a concept of operations, defined roles and responsibilities, recommended methodologies, and the documentation and data required to validate damage.

FEMA updates Flood Insurance Manual

This month, FEMA released the updated edition of the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Flood Insurance Manual, one month before it’s effective date. The manual presents guidance for FEMA’s new rating methodology, known as Risk Rating 2.0 – Equity in Action. The manual updates existing NFIP underwriting policies and processes to enable effective and consistent program implementation of the new rating methodology. Risk Rating 2.0 provides more accurate flood insurance premiums, better communicates flood risk to individuals and promotes action to mitigate against flooding. FEMA will roll out the rates to the new methodology in a two-phase approach. In Phase I, new NFIP policies beginning Oct. 1 will be subject to the new rating methodology and existing policyholders eligible for renewal will be able to take advantage of immediate decreases in their premiums. In Phase II, all remaining policies renewing on or after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new rating methodology. To complement the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual, FEMA released an Industry Transition Memorandum to explain how transitioning from the legacy rating plan to the new methodology will occur and provides business, data, and information technology guidance for NFIP insurers and vendors on how to accomplish that transition.

Book edited by IAEM member, Michael Fagel, CEM, available on Sept. 27

The Second Edition of Principles of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) will be released on Sept. 27. Among its three editors is IAEM member, Michael Fagel, CEM. The highly anticipated second edition provides an updated understanding of the coordination, operation of EOCs at local, regional, state, and federal operations. Contributions from leading experts provide contemporary knowledge and best practice learned through lived experience. The chapters collectively act as a vital training guide, at both a theoretical and practical level, providing detailed guidance on handling each phase and type of emergency. Readers will emerge with a blueprint of how to create effective training and exercise programs, and thereby develop the skills required for successful emergency management. Along with thoroughly updated and expanded chapters from the first edition, this second edition contains several new chapters. The book can be pre-ordered now.

FEMA announces new interim policy for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs

On Aug. 27, a new interim FEMA policy began requiring certain structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas to conform to higher flood elevation standards if they use Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant funds. FEMA published the Partial Implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs (FEMA Policy FP-206-21-0003) to better align with Executive Order 14030 Climate-Related Financial Risk, which aims to strengthen resiliency nationwide. This new standard is in the fiscal year 2021 notices of funding opportunity for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) programs. In addition to BRIC and FMA, it also applies to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) for any major disaster declared on or after Aug. 27 and assistance authorized for all 59 COVID-19 disaster declarations. In addition, the interim policy applies to HMGP Post Fire for any Fire Mitigation Assistance Grant declarations issued on or after Aug. 27. 

Dedication to Ms. Adelina Kamal

August 27th marked the end of the tenure of Ms. Adelina Kamal as the Executive Director of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) AHA Centre.

Under the leadership of Ms. Adelina since 2017, the Centre has grown from strength to strength and come into the expansion stage, while continuously thriving, learning and transforming. As a widely respected personality, Ms. Adelina has brought the AHA Centre’s engagement beyond the region. As the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, she is always remembered as a leader and mentor who never stops to encourage her team’s progress and growth.

In 2018, while responding to multiple emergencies, the Centre, at the same time, also received an 80% increase of annual and equal contributions of ASEAN Member States to the AHA Centre Fund and received the prestigious Asian of the Year Award from the Straits Times. It was the year where the Centre finally harvested the seeds planted during the formative years as it tested all the coordination mechanisms and exercised almost all aspects of One ASEAN One Response for the first time. This has led to the Centre exercising ASEAN-UN interoperability, facilitating assistance beyond ASEAN, and moving into the recovery stage through the establishment of the ASEAN Village in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Dedication Videos:

Expert Voices on Atrocity Prevention: Episode 5

Earlier this year the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect launched a new podcast, Expert Voices on Atrocity Prevention, featuring one-on-one conversations with practitioners to provide a glimpse of the personal and professional side of how they approach human rights protection and atrocity prevention. 

In this episode, we sat down with Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director for Human Rights Watch (HRW). During the episode, Omar discusses government attempts to derail HRW’s work in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including his deportation from the country in 2019, and HRW’s recent reporting that the Israeli government’s policies and practices amount to the crime of apartheid. We also discuss the Commission of Inquiry on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory recently mandated by the UN Human Rights Council.

The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifySoundCloud and YouTube.  Please subscribe for new episodes.

FEMA Seeks Public Feedback on Community Rating System

FEMA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System. Public comment will be accepted through Sept. 22 via the Federal eRulemaking Portal, Docket ID: FEMA-2021-0021.

This notice is to better align understanding of flood risk and flood risk approaches and to incentivize communities to manage and lower their flood risk. 

FEMA posted in the Federal Register a request for information to gather public comment about ways the agency could consider modifying, streamlining and innovating to improve the Community Rating System. These efforts aim to help FEMA ensure that the program includes necessary, properly tailored and up-to-date requirements that effectively achieve the goals of:

  • Reducing and avoiding flood damage to property.
  • Supporting the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • Encouraging a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

The Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements in the National Flood Insurance Program. The agency is evaluating the Community Rating System’s potential to ongoing support of, state, local, tribal and territorial community goals and needs around floodplain management. 

Follow the instructions in the Federal Register for submitting comments and contact the Help Desk if you have technical issues.