NEMA honors Ellen Gordon with the 2019 Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award

The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) announced that the recipient of the 2019 Lacy E. Suiter Distinguished Service Award is Ellen Gordon. For more than 30 years, Gordon has been selflessly serving the national emergency management profession at all levels of government and within academia. Her career began at the county level in Missouri which quickly lead to her service as the Iowa Governor’s homeland security advisor and homeland security and emergency management administrator for 18 distinguished years of service. In 2006, Gordon created the NPS Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s Executive Leaders’ Program in order to advance critical thinking, the importance of evidence-based knowledge and to inspire innovation in policy and strategy development amongst leaders of the emergency management and homeland security domains. Gordon continues to serve as the program manager and lead facilitator and to date has educated more than 1,000 executives and managers. She is also responsible for creating programs specifically for the Radiological Emergency Preparedness community and, most recently, the Emergence Program dedicated to providing advanced and high-level leadership skills to those just entering the emergency management and homeland security workforce. Ms. Gordon is a graduate of Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri with a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement and Corrections (Criminal Justice) and holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Homeland Defense and Homeland Security) from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Second call for feedback on the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP)

FEMA seeks feedback on the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guidance 2019 refresh during the secondary outreach and engagement period, Oct. 16-Nov. 8, 2019. This review is intended to improve HSEEP as a practical and yet effective tool for exercise planners and practitioners from across the whole community. Incorporating feedback, suggestions, lessons learned, and best practices will ensure that HSEEP best meets their needs. Review materials are available at The target release date for the HSEEP revision is January 2020. Feedback should be sent to

November 2019 FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) – Weekly EMI e-Forums

Wednesdays 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT.


EMI e-Forums are 1-hour, moderated, webinar discussion forums that provide an opportunity for EMI and the emergency management community to discuss matters of interest related to emergency management and national preparedness. EMI e-Forums facilitate a discussion by our whole-community partners, your peers, sharing their experiences in an informal and free exchange of ideas. The panel members are whole community, with topics relevant to whole community. These exchanges of ideas are free of charge and available to anyone who wishes to participate.


EMI e-FORUMS Date Topic

  • 10/30/2019 EMPP (Emergency Management Professional Program) Book Club of the Quarter
  • 11/6/2019 EMPP Topic of the Quarter
  • 11/13/2019 Tribal Emergency Management Degree Programs
  • 11/20/2019 DHS CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) Training Opportunities of Interest to Tribal Governments.


Login link:  Conference call-in: 800-320-4330, PIN 107622

5G: Security and Vulnerabilities Webinar, Oct 30

Fifth-Generation (5G) technology represents the next step in wireless network opportunities, but it also introduces security and vulnerability concerns to these networks. 5G vulnerabilities to consider include those to its supply chain, deployment, and network security, as well as the potential loss of competition and choice.

Join this webinar to learn more about 5G from CISA’s cybersecurity and infrastructure security experts, including an overview of 5G technology and the potential risks of 5G adoption and implementation within critical infrastructure.

FEMA Ends Use of the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) Pilot Program in Future Disasters

October 16, 2019


FEMA continually conducts assessments to determine if program objectives are being met. As part of this process, a FEMA analysis determined the Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) pilot program, under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, is not meeting its established objectives.

FEMA is notifying state, local, tribal, and territorial officials that the agency will no longer authorize the STEP pilot program in future disaster declarations. FEMA and its federal partners have several programs in the recovery toolbox to help disaster survivors find shelter and temporary housing once a Presidential declaration has been declared.

The purpose of STEP was to enable disaster survivors to shelter in their own houses on an emergency basis while temporary repairs were made. FEMA’s Public Assistance program would provide funding to reimburse eligible costs for emergency work on residential properties damaged by the declared event. The reimbursement was made to state, local, tribal, or territorial agencies performing or contracting for the emergency work under the authority of Section 403 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act).  Reimbursement also included associated costs for program management.

The analysis of the STEP pilot program identified some positive outcomes in each of the seven disasters where STEP was implemented. However, based on the complete findings, FEMA determined that it cannot in good faith continue to deliver the STEP pilot program, because the challenges of effective program delivery may be insurmountable. In particular, FEMA has found that repairs under the STEP pilot program generally cannot be made quickly enough to effectively serve as shelter under section 403.

Disaster survivors for future Presidentially declared disasters will continue to have access to a range of assistance programs to help them find shelter and temporary housing. Some of these resources that may be implemented if warranted or requested by the state include:

  • Individuals and Households Program financial assistance, including:
    • Lodging Expense Reimbursement for reasonable short-term accommodations
    • Rental Assistance to rent alternate housing
    • Home Repair or Replacement Assistance for homeowners who do not have adequate insurance
  • Sheltering solutions from state, tribal, and voluntary agencies, as well as evacuation and sheltering activities authorized under Section 403 of the Stafford Act
  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance (hotels/motels)
  • Disaster Case Management
  • Small Business Administration low interest disaster loans
  • HUD Community Development Block Grants-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)

FEMA appoints 15 members to National Advisory Council

This week, FEMA Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor appointed 15 members to FEMA’s National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC is an advisory committee established by federal law to ensure effective and ongoing coordination of federal emergency management activities. The NAC provides advice to the FEMA administrator through recommendations on all aspects of emergency management. The NAC consists of up to 35 members, including a diverse cross-section of officials, emergency managers, and emergency responders from state, local, tribal and territorial governments and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. FEMA received more than 90 applications to fill the open positions. The qualifications of each candidate were carefully considered during an intensive review process that included a recommendation panel of senior FEMA leadership. Three IAEM members were among those appointed: Donna Boston, emergency management director of Orange County, California; Lori Hodges, emergency management director of Fort Collins, Colorado; and Nim Kidd, chief, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and vice chancellor, Texas A&M University System.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides assistance post fires

FEMA can now provide Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) assistance to any area that received a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG). This change is a result of the passage of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act amended Section 2014 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. The total HMGP Post Fire funding amount available for each FMAG declaration in 2019 is $454,432 for states with a standard hazard mitigation plan and $605,909 for states with an enhanced hazard mitigation plan. FEMA recalculates the national average and the amount of funding available at the beginning of every fiscal year when the first FMAG is awarded. During this past fiscal year, seven states received FMAGs for a total of nine declarations totaling $4.3 million. Visit to review the Wildfire Assistance Funding and Project Summary report and for additional information about the HMPG Post Fire program.