Passing of Edward Gabriel

It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing after a brief illness of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Deputy Assistant Secretary Edward Gabriel.  Ed was stricken suddenly after returning from New York while on leave with his family.  Despite heroic efforts and expert care, he succumbed to his illness.


Many of you knew Ed, have met him or have worked with him.  His loss is a profound lost to the profession.  He has had a long career; he has been working in ASPR for the last eight years as senior leader and was recently serving as the liaison with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He has also served as the Disney Company’s Director of Global Crisis Management and Business Continuity.  Ed also worked as the Deputy Commissioner for Preparedness with the New York City Office of Emergency Management.  Prior to that Ed was the Chief of Emergency Medical Services for the New York City Fire Department where he served heroically at the World Trade Center on September 11th.


Ed started his career in emergency medical services in 1974 when he joined with his brother the BRAVO Volunteer Ambulance Service in Brooklyn, NY.  At the time of his death Ed was a lifetime member.  He served in many positions with BRAVO to include Vice President of Operations.


Ed’s wake will be held at the McLaughlin and Sons Funeral Home (9620 3rd Ave, Brooklyn, NY) on Thursday, January 9th from 2-5pm and 7-9pm ET.  His funeral mass will be held on Friday, January 10th at 10am ET at the Our Lady of Lebanon Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights.  The family has requested that donations can be made in his name to the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.


Rest in Peace Ed, we will miss you!


A special thank you to Steve Kuhr, Jeff Goldberg, Brian Kamoie and Elizabeth Koren for providing information on Ed’s passing.


Steve Detwiler, Editor

Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report

Statement from Acting DHS Secretary Wolf on death of Qasem Soleimani

WASHINGTON- Today, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf issued the following statement on the successful U.S.-led airstrike in Iraq that eliminated Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.


“I commend the President’s decisive action to protect American lives both abroad and at home. The Department of Homeland Security stands ready to confront and combat any and all threats facing our homeland. While there are currently no specific, credible threats against our homeland, DHS continues to monitor the situation and work with our Federal, State and local partners to ensure the safety of every American.


“As a result of yesterday’s military action, I convened senior DHS leadership last night and earlier this morning to assess potential new threats and component actions to respond to the constantly evolving threat landscape. The entire Department remains vigilant and stands ready, as always, to defend the Homeland.”

FEMA Continues Reinsurance Program

January 2, 2020


Stakeholder Advisory: FEMA Continues Reinsurance Program; Transfers $1.33 Billion of Flood Risk to Private Market


On January 1, 2020, FEMA completed its calendar year placement of reinsurance, continuing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) support of resiliency and protection against future flood loss. As a result, effective January 1, 2020 – January 1, 2021, FEMA transferred an additional $1.33 billion of the NFIP financial risk to the private reinsurance market.


The Agreement

In this year’s Reinsurance Agreement, 27 reinsurer companies agreed to indemnify FEMA for flood losses from individual flood events. FEMA paid a total premium of $205 million for the coverage. The agreement is structured to cover:

  • 25 percent of losses between $4 and $6 billion,
  • 68 percent of losses between $6 and $8 billion, and
  • 80 percent of losses between $8 and $10 billion.


FEMA transferred $2.13 billion of the NFIP flood risk for the 2020 hurricane season to the private sector. This yearly traditional reinsurance placement supplements the multi-year capital markets reinsurance placements for $800 million which occurred in 2018-2019.


In the event a named storm flood event is large enough to trigger all reinsurance agreements (flooding which results in NFIP claims that exceed $6 billion), FEMA would receive qualifying payments under all reinsurance agreements. Should a named storm event result in NFIP claims exceeding $10 billion, FEMA would receive the full $2.13 billion of reinsurance coverage from the private markets.


FEMA executed this agreement with reinsurance markets representing some of the largest insurance and reinsurance companies around the globe. FEMA contracted with Guy Carpenter and Company, a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, to provide broker services to assist in securing the reinsurance placement. FEMA also contracted with Aon for financial advisory services for the January 1, 2020, reinsurance placement.


Reinsurance Program Highlights available on FEMA website:


Insurance companies rely on reinsurance is an important risk management tool to protect themselves from large financial losses. Public entities also secure reinsurance. Examples of several U.S. states that use reinsurance programs, include the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation of Florida, the California Earthquake Authority, and the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.


FEMA received authority to secure reinsurance through the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). FEMA’s 2020 reinsurance placement builds upon its 2017-2019 placements, as further development toward a stronger financial framework.


For more information, visit FEMA NFIP Reinsurance Program webpage at:


Please direct your questions to FEMA Office of External Affairs, Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or at



Update from the Bill Anderson Fund

Friends –


I want to congratulate you on your participation in the success we—The Bill Anderson Fund—have experienced over the last five and a half years. It is because of your support that we have achieved so much and developed this organization into one that has served so many current and future minority professionals in the field of disaster and hazard research and practice. Thank you.


This is also a letter of gratitude to three members of our BAF 501(c)(3) Board of Directors: John Cooper (Assistant Vice President and Director, Texas Target Communities, Texas A&M University), Ron Henderson (Retired Director of Research NEA) and Dennis Mileti (Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder). Each of these individuals has contributed immensely to building the BAF into what we are today and in the hard work of carving out our path ahead and our connection to the University of Delaware and creation of the Flagship. We simply would not and could not have accomplished all we have without their dedication and hard work.


Now that the flagship is established at the UDEL under the directorship of Monica Sanders we want to explain some of the changes that are occurring. While the development of the flagship and the satellites will reside with the University of Delaware, we are excited about some major changes in the role of the BAF 501(c)(3) that will continue to be held with Norma Anderson as President and our Board of Directors:


  • The BAF 501(c)(3) will be responsible for ensuring that the housing institution of the BAF Flagship (the University of Delaware) will continue to develop in accordance with the mission of the 501(c)(3).


  • The BAF 501(c)(3) will continue to hold responsibility for and ownership of the annual BAF Disaster Dash 5K. Certain regulations prevent the University of Delaware from hosting out of state fundraising events, and although the scope of the BAF 501(c)(3) will change course, we will use the Disaster Dash to support our continued mission.


  • As President of the BAF 501(c)(3), Norma Anderson will consider invitations to speak and engage in other activities in support of the BAF and the advocacy that has been central to the organization’s mission since its creation. Flagship Director Monica Sanders is the representative of the Flagship and Satellite operations and its projected expansion.


  • We are excited to develop an award in 2020 for BAF Fellows Alumni who have made a significant contribution to the issues expressed in our mission and/or through the Collaborative Communities Initiative. We will begin a search for a sponsor to support this reward during the first quarter of 2020.


As we prepare to look ahead to 2020, your support of the BAF and our Fellows remains vital. Help us transition during this important time by making your gift online today or via mail—postmarked no later than tomorrow, December 31, 2019, to the address below:


The William Averette Anderson Fund

c/o Preal Haley

Ameriprise Financial

7711 Belle Point Dr

Greenbelt, MD 20770


IAEM is releasing a new version of all certification exams in early 2020. Individuals planning to take the IAEM Certification exam after Jan. 20, 2020, should access the revised study guide from the IAEM certification website and review the updated resource list(s) to prepare for the exam. All exams must be supervised by an approved proctor. Information about proctors can be found on page 5 of the study guide.


FEMA has released, for stakeholder feedback, drafts of six Job Titles/Position Qualifications and Resource Typing Definitions documents related to Post-Building Safety that enhance interoperability and the effectiveness of mutual aid. The release includes:

  • Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Team;
  • Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluator;
  • Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Strike Team Leader;
  • Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Team Technical Supervisor;
  • Post-Disaster Complex Structural Condition Evaluator; and
  • Post-Disaster Complex Architectural Systems Condition Evaluator.


The National Engagement period for the Post-Disaster Building Safety documents concludes at 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 17, 2020, providing an opportunity for interested parties to comment on newly developed supporting tools. Access the documents on the FEMA website.