Click here to view FEMA Daily Digest Bulletin (9-23-2021) as a PDF.
Click here to view FEMA Daily Digest Bulletin (9-23-2021) as a PDF.
FEMA Region 9 has just published the Natural Hazard Retrofit Program Toolkit to help local jurisdictions shape retrofit programs tailored to their community’s needs and hazards. We are confident that this resource provides the tools, best practices and guidance necessary for state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions across the country to successfully implement their own natural hazard retrofit programs.
NHMA is pleased to make this resource available on our Useful Links page.
In southeast Louisiana, Army engineers are ramping up efforts in hopes of getting hundreds of damaged roofs covered as part of the federal Hurricane Ida recovery effort called Operation Blue Roof. WVUE Fox 8 (LA) reports some homeowners say they cannot wait on the program to protect their homes, so they are hiring private companies to do the work because heavy rains are causing more damage. The number of completed jobs so far is approaching a thousand and officials hope to complete all projects within the next 60 to 90 days. Officials also say the call center is experiencing delays because of the large volume of impacted residences eligible for the program, “we apologize for any inconvenience and frustration caused by these challenges.” Some 56,000 people have registered for help and that number is expected to continue to grow.
CBS New York reports FEMA has agreed to reimburse $600 million to New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation for its expanded capacity and staffing during the pandemic. Sen. Chuck Schumer says FEMA tried to deprive the city’s public hospital system of the funds because it didn’t build or rent new facilities for COVID patients. The New York Daily News reports Schumer said Wednesday he and his colleagues aggressively pressed FEMA to secure the funding. Schumer said, “We met and fought and fought. Today we are happy to announce that FEMA has relented.” The New York Times also covered news of the payment (paywalled.)
In Oregon, KCBY CBS 11 (OR) reports several hospitals have brought in trailers to act as mobile morgues, including Providence Portland and Providence St. Vincent. Now, other counties and hospitals are asking for similar assistance from the state. Officials say the state isn’t close to running out of resources, yet, but it is preparing for that potential noting they are working with FEMA to request even more assistance if needed. Officials are being proactive trying to avoid running out of storage space until decedents can be buried or cremated.
Afghan Arrivals Mission
Senate: Not In Session
House: Not In Session
(Click on links for status/updates)
Hearings/Briefings/Other Events: N/A
Click here to view Wildlife Federation Climate Week 2021 as a PDF.
Join the National Wildlife Federation in NYC: Wednesday, September 22nd @ 4pm on Facebook Live for a short film screening and panel discussion. We’ll be talking with NYC teachers, as well as students in high school and college, about their personal experiences teaching and learning about the climate crisis, why climate and resilience education in our schools is such an urgent need, and what is needed to ensure that it is part of every student’s education. https://natwild.life/ItsOurFuture-ClimateWeek
A Message from Ed Hecker, Director of Operations, NHMA
One of our objectives for the next year of our Operations Plan is to update the “Patchwork Quilt” document (http://nhma.info/uploads/publications/Patchwork%20QuiltUPDATED.pdf).
In that regard, I am forwarding a special edition of the USACE Silver Jackets Program “Buzz” newsletter from 2019 that provides very helpful information on many Federal programs and Grant opportunities.
Edward J Hecker
Director of Operations
FEMA Chief: Stop ‘incremental’ mitigation projects. Go BIG
By Thomas Frank | 09/10/2021 05:34 AM EST
The nation must move away from “incremental” mitigation measures to counter the effects of climate change and focus on large projects that can protect a wide swath of people, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency told emergency-response officials this week.
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said that as climate change intensifies disasters, the agency and its local counterparts should undertake large-scale, multimillion-dollar projects instead of mitigating individual homes that are prone to being flooded.
“There still needs to be that house-by-house type of effort. But when we’re thinking of future risk, we have to start thinking of communitywide, system-based mitigation projects,” Criswell said Wednesday during a virtual question-and-answer session with emergency managers.
“We have such an opportunity right now to do more system-based, communitywide projects that have an impact on a whole neighborhood and move away as much as we can from an incremental approach to hazard mitigation,” Criswell said.
Her remarks signal a possible change in strategy for FEMA, which distributes billions of dollars in hazard mitigation grants to states and communities and has funded thousands of projects that mitigate flood-prone homes either by elevating them above flood levels or demolishing them and leaving the land vacant.
FEMA’s new grant program, called Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, opens the door to larger-scale projects, Criswell said, because the program has unprecedented sums of money and can give communities up to $50 million for a single project. Previous FEMA grant programs have been limited to spending $5 million on a project, she said.
Criswell, who took over FEMA in April after being appointed by President Biden, also said the agency needs to focus more on future risk from climate change and less on historical patterns of damage from disasters.
One priority for FEMA is “to really address the impacts we’re seeing from climate change and start to really shift a little bit of our focus away from — not completely away from — but less focus on the historical risk that we’re seeing,” Criswell said.
“We do a lot of our plans, we do a lot of our exercises based on historical risk, which still needs to be part of our conversation. But we have to have a more deliberate conversation about what our future risk is going to be. What do we think we’re going to face in 10, 15, 20, 30 years from now, and what steps can we take now to start to reduce the impacts?” Criswell added.
Such a shift in focus also could compel FEMA to discourage projects that elevate or demolish flood-prone buildings because the buildings that are mitigated are typically those that have sustained substantial flood damage in the past. FEMA’s main goal in mitigating flood-prone properties is to reduce claims on the agency’s National Flood Insurance Program, which provides most of the flood insurance in the United States but has had to borrow $35 billion from federal taxpayers to pay for flood losses since 2005.
Criswell spoke during a session sponsored by the International Association of Emergency Managers and the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University. She was interviewed by Richard Serino, a former FEMA deputy administrator, who fielded questions from a virtual audience of emergency managers.
Criswell did not say how FEMA would encourage states and municipalities to undertake communitywide mitigation projects.
FEMA’s public affairs office also offered no explanation in response to a query from E&E News. “We are working with state, tribal and territorial governments to support communities and identify and build resilience to natural hazard risks,” the public affairs office said when asked how FEMA would shift the focus on how communities spend mitigation grants.
Criswell said the nation has an unprecedented opportunity for climate mitigation as Biden has said he would allocate a record $4.5 billion in the next year for local mitigation projects.
But, Criswell added, “we know it’s not enough. We know we’re going to need more. But it’s really giving us an opportunity to be deliberate and proactive in how we’re approaching this.”
To all NHMA Members:
I am pleased to forward this opportunity to collaborate with a NIST research project for which the results will be of significant interest. Please read the following message and complete the survey at the URL provided.
Edward J Hecker
Director of Operations
Greetings, NHMA members.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Community Resilience Program is investigating the experiences and expectations of local staff and officials with respect to community resilience, adaptation, and sustainability planning. Responses will help us understand the needs of local communities and inform the development of future tools and support.
We invite you to share your opinions and experiences with us by participating in the following survey, which will take around 20 minutes to complete. Your responses will be confidential and only reported in aggregate.
Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DVM9FPJ
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org; 651-334-4048) or the study’s Principal Investigator, Christopher Clavin (email@example.com; 240-205-5860).
Thank you for your consideration and, to those willing and able, your participation!
PREP Postdoctoral Fellow
Community Resilience Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED – Sept. 21 Silver Jackets Webinar – Exercises in Risk Communication: Including Socially Vulnerable Populations
Message from Ellen Berggren and Lacey Thomason, USACE Institute for Water Resources:
Greetings to our Silver Jackets Teams and Partners!
Please join us for our September 21, 2021 Silver Jackets Webinar, a collaboration with the ‘Bridging the Equity Gap: Flood Resilience for the Whole Community’ webinar series team. Because significant participation is anticipated, pre-registration is required. Silver Jackets teams and partners have registration priority before the webinar is advertised to a larger audience on August 30th.
TOPIC: Exercises in Risk Communication: Including Socially Vulnerable Populations
DATE/TIME: September 21, 2021 from 2 pm – 3 pm ET
PRESENTER: Dr. Nnenia Campbell – Deputy Director for the Bill Anderson Fund / Research Associate with the Natural Hazards Center, University of Colorado Boulder
DESCRIPTION: Risk communication involving socially vulnerable populations is a two-way process that requires engaging and understanding the needs of the community. Learn how to enhance the effectiveness of risk messaging by creating genuine partnerships and tapping into local priorities and concerns. The presentation will be followed by a discussion and live Q & A moderated by Jessica Ludy, USACE San Francisco District Flood Risk Manager/Silver Jackets Coordinator.
You can also register by placing your cursor on the image and then Ctrl + Click.
Ellen Berggren and Lacey Thomason
USACE Institute for Water Resources
National Flood Risk Management Program / National Silver Jackets Team
Recordings of Previous Silver Jackets Webinars: https://silverjackets.nfrmp.us/Resources/Webinars
Sep 11, 2021
As the number and intensity of disaster events continue to grow, it is important to account for future conditions and climate change in your hazard mitigation plan. “Future Conditions” include the impacts of a changing climate, changes in population, and changes in land use and the built environment. This recorded webinar provides ideas, resources and examples of how to integrate future conditions information into your hazard mitigation planning process to increase overall resilience.
Click here to view Alliances for Climate Action Overview as a PDF.
Resilient Nation Partnership Network, Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Aeronautics and Space Administration Host Alliances for Climate Action Forum
By: Bradley Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will co-host the 6th Annual Partnership Forum this October. To reserve your spot at this year’s event, please click here.
The virtual series will occur every Wednesday from 12 to 2 p.m. ET and will explore building “Alliances for Climate Action.” Attendees will have an opportunity to dive into various perspectives around this topic; engage with other industry peers; and identify future opportunities for collaboration.
The series will cover the following topics each week:
Featured speakers include:
For a full list of speakers please visit the “Alliances for Climate Action” registration page.
The 2020 Forum, “Alliances for Equity,” drew representation from more than 500 organizations across resilience, mitigation and equity. We hope to make an even greater impact in 2021!
The RNPN is a unique network of organizations and individuals united to help communities take action and become more resilient. Its mission is to inform, educate and motivate communities to protect themselves from the loss of life, property and prosperity caused by natural hazards. Learn more by visiting the RNPN website.
The Save the Date for the “Alliances for Climate Action” Virtual Forum Series.