Natural Hazards Center: Research Counts Series
A platform for hazards and disaster scholars to provide insights about research findings and the enduring lessons of disaster, as well as to raise new questions that are worthy of exploration.
FEMA Community Rating System (CRS) Elevation Certificate Training Videos
The CRS Program has just released 8 videos that cover training on the FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC). The videos describe each Section of the EC and explain which fields on the form are required for CRS purposes and why.
FEMA Grants Portal Website for PA Grants:
Recipient and Applicant Webinars are designed to train State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial stakeholders on the Public Assistance grant process and the FEMA Grants Portal website that is used for PA grants.
FEMA Podcast, Episode 83
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.
Smart Transportation Initiative Community of Practice Sessions
Register today to join us for our annual Community of Practice Meeting! We welcome DOT CEOs, staff, and staff from other transportation agencies to participate in these sessions.
- November 16, 11 a.m. ET: DOTs’ Role in Reining in VMT
Turning the Tide: Opportunities to Build Social Equity through Federal Flood Disaster Policy
Current federal disaster policy puts low-income people, people of color, and other vulnerable populations at a disadvantage during disaster recovery. The American Flood Coalition’s recent three-part article series, Turning the Tide, presents nearly a dozen opportunities to build social equity into federal policy. The first article explores how program eligibility leaves out low-income people and Black-owned land; the second discusses how policies could be improved for renters, non-English speakers, and unbanked populations; and the third covers how assistance applications are too complex, hurting small towns and people with time constraints.
Toxic Floodwaters: Public Health Risks and Vulnerability to Chemical Spills Triggered by Extreme Weather
This month, the Center for Progressive Reform published a paper highlighting the impacts of climate change on flooding and chemical spills, the public health risks associated with these events, and vulnerabilities for communities already grappling with chronic exposure to air and water pollution. Read the paper here. This document includes recommendations for regulatory and policy reform.
A Dual Disaster Handbook: Six Recommendations for Local Leaders Responding to Floods During COVID-19
The American Flood Coalition (AFC) and American Public Health Association’s Dual Disaster Handbook is a comprehensive resource to help local officials and emergency managers address the dual disaster scenario of flooding during the COVID-19 pandemic. This handbook draws on case studies and best practices from emergency management professionals to equip officials with six actionable recommendations for planning a proactive response as communities face multiple threats this season.
NIST Economic Decision Guide Software
The Economic Decision Guide Software (EDGe$) Tool brings to your fingertips a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective community resilience projects. This decision support software is designed to support those engaged in community-level resilience planning, including community planners and resilience officers, as well as economic development, budget, and public works officials.
FEMA continues to work diligently to solicit stakeholder input. The Agency’s goal is provide transparency around the BRIC development process and offer stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences and opinions. FEMA intends to publish a proposed BRIC policy in the Federal Register for public comment within the next few weeks. Stakeholders may provide new comments. The policy will be broad and intended to establish the framework and requirements for BRIC. After this step, FEMA anticipates finalizing the policy and releasing a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) by the fall of 2020.
- Visit the Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) landing page here: https://www.fema.gov/bric.
- To view the Summary of Stakeholder Feedback Report, visit: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/186461.
NFIP Technical Bulletins
FEMA is updating the NFIP Technical Bulletins to improve their usability, credibility, and content while presenting them in a streamlined format. Technical Bulletins 1 & 5 were last updated more than 10 years ago. These updated editions incorporate the latest relevant codes and standards and state-of-the-art guidance and best practices. They were developed with significant stakeholder input to help local officials meet or exceed relevant NFIP requirements.
PrepTalks: Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science as Force Multipliers – Dr. Sophia B. Liu
PrepTalks are given by subject-matter experts and thought leaders to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership for the issues confronting emergency managers over the next 20 years. Each PrepTalk includes a video, discussion slides, and resources.
Insight from a Mitigation Veteran
On this episode we talk with Mark Carey, who recently retired after 20 years of service with FEMA. Since 2007 he served as the FEMA Region 10 Mitigation Division Director where he was responsible for the region’s hazard mitigation financial grant program, National Flood Insurance Program, Endangered Species Act compliance, Risk Analysis and Risk Reduction programs. Mark talks with us about the principles of hazard mitigation and how support for mitigation has evolved over time. He also shares his own experience and insight as a disaster survivor.
USDA Announces Intent to Make Grants Available Under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program
USDA will make the grant funds available under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). Its purpose is to increase significantly the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products. The program is also intended to encourage a more comprehensive approach to marketing higher blends by sharing the costs related to building out biofuel-related infrastructure.
New York Park Design and Planning
Drawing from the NYC Parks’ decades of experience with waterfront park planning and design and taking into consideration valuable lessons learned after Hurricane Sandy, these Guidelines encourage applying a contextual, site-by-site approach to the planning and design processes for each new or renovated waterfront project. Resilient waterfront park design should account for “the norm, not just the storm.” In other words waterfront parks should facilitate everyday public use during typical weather conditions while still including elements meant to face the risk – an approach that maximizes parkland utility and public investment.
Green Infrastructure: A Strategy for Flood Risk Mitigation
The Green Infrastructure for Texas (GIFT) program specializes in water quality and quantity through a series of living landscape features. Our projects include rain gardens, floating wetlands and other low-impact design elements like WaterSmart Parks. We also partner with stakeholders in the community to share our expertise and collect valuable information through two-way dialogue, discovery workshops, town hall meetings, forums and volunteer programs.
The Broadband ReConnect Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Texas Local Catastrophic Debris Management Guide Release
TDEM, in conjunction with the Texas Department of Transportation, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, released the Local Catastrophic Debris Management Guide as required by Senate Bill 6 and House Bills 5 and 6 of the 86th Legislature. This guide will assist in planning, response, and recovery efforts for disasters that generate catastrophic amounts of debris.
National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) releases the Dam Incident Planning Guide
FEMA’s NDSP released its newest publication – Emergency Operations Planning: Dam Incident Planning Guide. The Dam Incident Planning Guide supports state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers in planning for dam incidents and failures by summarizing the concepts that a community should consider when creating dam incident-specific elements of local emergency operations plans. This Guide is intended to help community planners create a plan to respond to dam incidents that take place in, or affect, their communities. The NDSP offers a Dam Safety Collaborative Technical Assistance (CTA) program. Through this program, emergency managers work collaboratively with neighboring communities, agencies, and the private sector to gain a detailed understanding of the risks they face from local and regional dams and how those risks can be addressed.
Building Science Releases FEMA P-2055: Post-Disaster Building Safety Evaluation Guide
This Guide was developed as required by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, Section 1241: Post-disaster Building Safety Assessment and targets three main stakeholder groups.
- Architects, engineers, and building officials directly involved in post-disaster building safety evaluation.
- Emergency managers and health officials who may be involved in management of the post-disaster evaluation process, including environmental health issues.
- Policy makers at state, local, tribal, and territorial and federal government levels.
FEMA P-2055 summarizes and references best practice guideline documents, identifies recommended improvements and needs, and provides interim recommendations for issues without best practice guidance.
Topics in Climate Change Adaptation Planning Webinar Series
Recordings are available at: http://nau.edu/tribalclimatechange under the Trainings and Events tab.
Hazus Webinar: Economic benefits of open space
Tina Lund, principal at Urbanomics, and Michael Haggerty, associate at Starr Whitehouse, discuss their use of Hazus to document the economic benefits of converting low-lying areas in East Harlem to open space. The project considers both social resilience and climate change – increasingly important areas of discussion for the risk assessment community.
Mitigation Matters: Policy Solutions to Reduce Local Flood Risk
“Mitigation Matters,” new research from The Pew Charitable Trusts, identifies 13 states or cities that have adopted policies resulting in effective flood mitigation. To learn more, read the overview, which includes lessons from these jurisdictions, or go directly to briefs below about each city or state. The policies are organized into three categories: 1) using existing funds for mitigation by redirecting revenue and spending, 2) creating revenue sources, and 3) establishing smarter regulations.
Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus
The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) provides disaster payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters that occurred in the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. WHIP+ covers losses of crops, trees, bushes, and vines that occurred as a result of those disaster events.
USDA Helps Rural Businesses Make Energy Efficiency Improvements, Adopt Renewable Energy Systems in Texas
State Director for Rural Development Edd Hargett today announced that USDA is investing over $1 million to help farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses lower energy costs. USDA is providing the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). “By lowering energy costs, these businesses and ag producers can become more competitive and create more jobs that will help to make rural communities prosper,” said Hargett.
Bridging Oregon’s Digital Divide
The rural town of Maupin, Oregon, population 437, is now one of the most competitive communities in the state in terms of broadband service. The improved e-connectivity has been a game changer for the town’s economic development, tourist industry, and ability to attract new residents.
Pioneering California’s First Medical Center Microgrid
Kaiser Permanente implemented a microgrid that connects renewable energy and battery storage to a pre-existing, diesel-fueled backup power system at its Richmond Medical Center in California. By improving operational efficiency by as much as 20%, the hospital stands to save an additional 2.63 MWh of energy per year, resulting in annual savings of $394,000.
Dealing with Declining Water Demand and Decreasing Customers
Many small water systems – particularly in rural areas – are operating in communities with decreasing average customer water use, declining service populations, or have lost or are at risk of losing large commercial/industrial customers that generate much-needed revenues. As water sales decrease over time, revenues decline faster than expenses. This webinar will explore this problem and offer strategies to mitigate the financial impacts of declining demand.
Disaster Recovery Journal Webinar Series
The weekly webinars feature a different cutting-edge topic and presenter, providing you with a convenient, easy way to discover new solutions, strategies and information. Registration for any live webinar is always free, so sign up now to reserve your space. And, if you want to review the information again, an On-Demand feature is available.
Des Moines Water Works: Coupling Real-Time Data Use with Enhanced Staff Training
To address inefficient pump operations and a gap in staff expertise, Des Moines Water Works installed “energy monitor” systems fed by electric submeters to track pump efficiency and provide real-time data on energy intensive processes. The utility also instituted additional trainings for key personnel to increase knowledge around energy management and how pump efficiency impacts energy use.
Rethinking Leasing: Spotlight on the 2019 Green Lease Leaders Webinar Follow Material
- VISIT the Green Lease Leaders website
- SEE if you qualify for recognition using our free lease audit tool
- DOWNLOAD the free Green Lease Leaders Reference Guides
- READ the 2019 Green Lease Leaders press release
Lessons Learned from Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design and Construction
Please find below the link to the webinar hosted by NCTCOG on November 19, 2019 titled “Lessons Learned from Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design and Construction.” The main presentation was given by Jake Aalfs of the San Antonio River Authority. The link also includes the discussion from Brenton Dunn and Michelle Wood-Ramirez of the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) regarding TRWD’s green stormwater infrastructure projects in North Central Texas.
Success Story – Stormwater’s New Look
Two stories on how innovative projects beautify large areas while mitigating stormwater damage and education the public.
The Watershed Academy provides self-paced training modules and webcasts from national experts about a range of watershed management topics.
National Response Framework, Fourth Edition
The 2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report called for a revised NRF focusing response efforts on stabilization of Community Lifelines and recognized that after a disaster, government resourcing alone cannot meet all community needs. Close partnerships with the private sector are required to successfully align response efforts to ensure unity of effort. Additionally, FEMA and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency worked with the whole community, including other federal agencies, to develop the ESF #14 Annex. This new ESF specifically seeks to improve coordination between infrastructure owners and operators, businesses, and government partners to more effectively stabilize key supply chains and community lifelines in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.
Declared Natural Disasters and Emergencies Tax Help
The Texas Comptrollers’ Office has many resources, publications, and Frequently Asked Questions. When the governor of Texas or the president of the United States declares a location in Texas to be a disaster area, taxpayers in the affected area are eligible for certain tax exemptions and filing extensions for their taxes.
The Emergency Management and Response – Information Sharing and Analysis Center’s released Volume 19 – Issue 39 on October 24, 2019. It contained information on the 2019 Wildfire Risk Report and new prediction methods. It also provides information on the new online webPOISONCONTROL digital triage poison center.
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Fact Sheet
Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is a suite of systems and practices that restore and maintain natural hydrologic processes in order to reduce the volume and water quality impacts of stormwater runoff. Riparian buffers, green roofs, bioswales, cisterns, permeable pavements and constructed wetlands are all examples of GSI.
Low Impact Development Fact Sheet
Low Impact Development (LID) is defined as “an innovative land planning and design approach which seeks to maintain a site’s pre-development ecological and hydrological function through the protection, enhancement, or mimicry of natural processes.” There are many reasons to use LID, but stormwater management is typically the primary one.
Resilience Preparation for Power Utilities: A Necessity for Coastal Cities
The impact disasters create on power infrastructure is high, since a majority of the urban grid infrastructure is old and needs modernization. Super Cyclone Amphan came ashore on the coast of India on May 20, 2020. It is a dramatic reminder of the importance of resilience to power utilities, especially amid the pandemic situation. GBCI’s PEER program focuses on grid resilience to provide confidence and guidance to the investors and owners of power utilities, microgrids, and storage technologies. This article discusses resilience preparation for power utilities and the importance for coastal cities.
Sustainability Best Practices During the COVID-19 Crisis
Community resiliency takes many forms. ILG recently completed an update of our sustainability best practices framework that local governments can use in the face of COVID-19. Learn how to model real life examples of sustainable policies and strategies used by cities and counties in our Beacon Program.
Pathway to Recovery
The U.S. Department of Labor, through WorkforceGPS, offers workforce tools and tips for communities, business, individuals and stakeholders to support job creation, job stabilization, infrastructure and workforce support. Quick Start Action Planner.
EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center
EPA’s Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center is an information and assistance center, identifying water infrastructure financing approaches that help communities reach their public health and environmental goals.
FEMA BRIC Webinars Now Available
During the month of July, FEMA hosted the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) summer engagement series. This series featured FEMA subject matter experts and partners discussing key elements of the newly developed program. As the Notice of Funding Opportunity will be published in the next few weeks, FEMA published the recordings of these webinars as a resource to state, local, tribal and territorial entities considering an application for this year’s funding. These informative sessions included an overview of the process and eligible projects for funding. The following recorded sessions are available on YouTube: Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Grant Program and The Meaning of the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Name. Additional recorded webinars from July 15, July 22 and July 29 are available. More information about the BRIC Summer Engagement Series is available online.