Natural Hazards Center releases Cultural Competence in Hazards and Disaster Research Training Module

The Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder has released CONVERGE Cultural Competence in Hazards and Disaster Research Training Module. You can access the module free online. This is part of a larger series of online modules designed to accelerate the training of a diverse hazards and disaster workforce. These interactive, 30- to 60-minute courses cover a variety of topics that researchers and practitioners can use to quickly familiarize themselves on research relevant to the study of extreme events. Upon successful completion of a 10-question quiz, users receive a certificate. More information about the CONVERGE modules is available online.

FEMA Offers Ways for Private Sector to Help Fight COVID-19

Under the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s direction, FEMA, HHS and our federal partners continue to work closely with state, local, tribal and territorial governments in executing a whole-of-government response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public. The outpouring of support from the private sector to provide medical supplies and equipment has been tremendous. To help us match the many offers of assistance to the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantity, we ask for your help in ensuring partners know how to connect.   


To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Updated Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011). This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines. Registration information can be found at Registration must be “ACTIVE” at the time of award. 


If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide us details on what you are offering through our online medical supplies and equipment form at


If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID-19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security’s Procurement Action Innovative Response (PAIR) team at


In addition to these avenues to help, licensed healthcare professionals that want to volunteer can get information on eligibility, view credential levels by clinical competency and register with the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals in their state. 


If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency. Any needs that cannot be met by the state or tribe are then sent to the respective FEMA regional office who are coordinating requirements through the FEMA National Response Coordination Center. FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies to fulfill requests and ship supplies as quickly as possible. 


Additional ways to help can be found at


If you have any questions, please contact the National Business Emergency Operations Center at

FEMA publishes COVID-19 guidance on procurements through grants during emergencies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Mar. 17 issued a memorandum and fact sheet addressing procurements made during exigent or emergency circumstances such as the COVID-19 outbreak. FEMA recognizes that noncompetitive procurements may be necessary to save lives, to protect property and public health, and to ensure public safety, as well as to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. The memorandum and fact sheet provide answers and guidance surrounding the need for such measures.

CISA Releases Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19



Private Sector Office


Please see the announcement below from Christopher Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), regarding the Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19, found here.



March 19, 2020


CISA Releases Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19

As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16, the President issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that:

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you

have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. CISA uses trusted partnerships with both the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure resilience assistance and guidance to a broad range of partners.

In accordance with this mandate, and in collaboration with other federal agencies and the private sector, CISA developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance.

The list identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others. The industries they support represent, but are not necessarily limited to, medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, law enforcement, and public works.


We recognize that State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are ultimately in charge of implementing and executing response activities in communities under their jurisdiction, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role. As State and local communities consider COVID-19-related restrictions, CISA is offering this list to assist prioritizing activities related to continuity of operations and incident response, including the appropriate movement of critical infrastructure workers within and between jurisdictions.

Accordingly, this list is advisory in nature. It is not, nor should it be considered to be, a federal directive or standard in and of itself.

In addition, these identified sectors and workers are not intended to be the authoritative or exhaustive list of critical infrastructure sectors and functions that should continue during the COVID-19 response. Instead, State and local officials should use their own judgment in using their authorities and issuing implementation directives and guidance. Similarly, critical infrastructure industry partners will use their own judgment, informed by this list, to ensure continued operations of critical infrastructure services and functions. All decisions should appropriately balance public safety while ensuring the continued delivery of critical infrastructure services and functions.

CISA will continue to work with you and our partners in the critical infrastructure community to update this list as the Nation’s response to COVID-19 evolves. We also encourage you to submit how you might use this list so that we can develop a repository of use cases for broad sharing across the country.

Should you have questions about this list, please contact CISA at



For further information on the federal government’s response to COVID-19,

please visit

Requesting Partner Support for Amplification of American Red Cross Blood Donation Messaging

The American Red Cross has asked for support to amplify their blood donation messaging on social media and during media interviews, as appropriate.

We are sharing their talking points and social media posts that they’ve requested help with amplifying.

Talking Points:

  • One thing people can do to help the country during this public health emergency is to donate blood.
  • We need an adequate supply of blood to treat patients in hospitals who need emergency surgery or trauma patients.
  • But a lot of blood drives take place on college campuses or workplaces, and those drives have been cancelled. (As of March 17, the American Red Cross reports nearly 4,000 drives cancelled and more than 100,000 fewer blood donations – industry numbers are higher)
  • If you are a healthy individual, it’s important you go donate blood. Volunteer blood donors are the only source of blood for those in need.
  • Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give. It’s important to note that blood drives have the highest standards of safety and infection control.
  • We recommend people leave home for necessities like groceries, or a doctor’s visit, or the pharmacy – and donating blood is a necessity too.
  • So, give blood – you’ll feel good about it and you’ll be helping your country during this crisis.
  • One donation can help save the lives of up to 3 people.

Social posts to amplify:

Please note that American Red Cross is only updating the number of blood drive cancellations once a day, new numbers will be available tomorrow morning around 9 am.

FEMA Launches Ideascale to Share Successful Practice in Response to COVID19

Today, the FEMA Continuous Improvement Program shared they have launched a DHS Ideascale space to collect ideas and share successful practices in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Specifically, the forum is looking for ideas/practices related to:


  • Shielding the populations most vulnerable to the coronavirus
  • Shelter the susceptible to limit exposure and transmission
  • Save the sick by providing critical medical treatment
  • Sustain the supplies and protect the supply chain


Please make time to browse the ideas, add your own and share across your networks!


Ideas shared on the Ideascale space will be used to inform a FEMA Coronavirus best practices webpage,, to ensure the sharing of evolving/emerging practices.

Serial Murder Investigation & the Aftermath Webinar, March 19

When: Thursday, March 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET


Topic: Serial Murder Investigation & the Aftermath

Speaker: Mike Ciesynski

Mr. Ciesynski will discuss serial murder investigations and the effect they have on everyone involved, including the victim’s families, the media, and different agencies.

Mr. Ciesynski was a Seattle P. D. homicide detective for 23 years and spent his last thirteen years assigned to the cold case unit. The first cold case he worked was as a regular homicide detective in 1997. That case became the first serial murder case charged in Seattle and the subject of a soon to be released book Mr. Ciesynski wrote. He believed that would be the last cold case he ever worked, but that wasn’t in the cards. By the time Mr. Ciesynski retired, he had interviewed ten serial murderers and numerous serial rapists, arsonists and mass murderers. His travels took him to places not found on the typical travel brochure such as San Quentin’s death row, Sandstone Minnesota’s Federal Correctional Institution, Rikers Island, and Washington State’s bad boy prison, Clallam Bay.

If time permits, Mr. Ciesynski will discuss how he pretended to be conducting a chewing gum survey to obtain a DNA sample from a murder suspect in a 30-year old cold case (later found guilty).

Mr. Ciesynski is currently semi-retired. He continues to consult on suicide investigations, write his second book, and hang out with his granddaughter.