IAEM Dispatch
Feb. 12, 2015

IAEM-USA launches 8th annual survey on EMPG return on investment; respond by Feb. 27
IAEM-USA is conducting its eighth annual survey seeking information from U.S. local government emergency management offices about Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) funding. If you are a local government emergency manager, your participation is needed. Significant progress has been made in recent years in educating members of Congress on the importance of building and maintaining strong emergency management programs at the local level, as well as the role of funding, particularly EMPG funding, in building such programs. This is expected to be a challenging year, and it is vital that Congress has information on the value EMPG provides as the only source of direct federal funding for state and local governments to provide basic emergency coordination and planning capabilities including those related to homeland security. The narrative questions at the end of the survey are of particular importance and will help paint the picture of how EMPG supports state and local government initiatives for planning, training, exercises, public education, as well as response and recovery during actual events. IAEM is seeking input from local jurisdictions, while NEMA will seek state-only input from state directors. IAEM and NEMA will write a joint report on the results. The survey is available here, and the deadline for responses is Feb. 27, 2015.More

American Meteorological Society's Emergency Management Committee seeks feedback on proposed radio spectrum sharing; response date extended to Feb. 17, 2015
Bob Goldhammer, CEM, IAEM-USA outreach liaison and co-chair of the American Meteorological Society's (AMS) Emergency Management Committee, requests feedback from users of the Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (EMWIN) system who receive their data directly via satellite broadcast. The assured availability of EMWIN over the air reception may be diminished or constrained due to planned or proposed radio spectrum sharing. The radio spectrum just above EMWIN was sold by auction this month to the commercial broadband wireless community, and regulators are evaluating whether to offer the radio spectrum that includes EMWIN for a future commercial auction. Both actions could create significant interference for EMWIN users. If you use EMWIN, please provide your responses to the following three questions via email to RGGoldhamr@aol.com by Feb. 17, 2015, using the email subject line "EMWIN Usage Response." If you submitted comments and have received no response from Bob Goldhammer, please re-send your information.


Federal Flood Risk Management Standard draft implementing guidelines open for comment
On Jan. 30, the President issued Executive Order 13690, Establishing a Federal Flood Risk Management Standard and a Process for Further Soliciting and Considering Stakeholder Input. The new Executive Order adopts a higher flood standard for future federal investments in and affecting floodplains, which will be required to meet the level of resilience established in the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard. This includes projects where federal funds are used to build new structures and facilities or to rebuild those that have been damaged. Prior to implementation of the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard, additional input from stakeholders is being solicited and considered on how federal agencies will implement the new Standard. To carry out this process, a draft version of Implementing Guidelines is open for comment until Apr. 6, 2015. A Federal Register Notice has been published to seek written comments, which should be submitted at www.regulations.gov under docket ID FEMA-2015-0006 for 60 days. Questions may be submitted to FEMA-FFRMS@fema.dhs.gov.More

President signs executive order standardizing federal support for local law enforcement equipment acquisition
President Obama on Jan. 16 signed Executive Order 13688, "Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition," which concerns standardizing procedures governing federal government provision of controlled equipment and funds for controlled equipment to law enforcement agencies. The federal government has long supplied equipment to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies (LEAs) through equipment transfers, asset forfeiture programs and federal grants, to assist LEAs in carrying out their missions to ensure public safety. The executive order focuses on "controlled equipment," defined as military and military-styled equipment, firearms, and tactical vehicles, stating "The Federal Government must ensure that careful attention is paid to standardizing procedures governing its provision of controlled equipment and funds for controlled equipment to LEAs. Moreover, more must be done to ensure that LEAs have proper training regarding the appropriate use of controlled equipment, including training on the protection of civil rights and civil liberties, and are aware of their obligations under Federal non-discrimination laws when accepting such equipment." A working group has been established to confer with external stakeholders and to submit its recommendations and implementation plans to the President within 60 days. More

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants application period begins; deadline is Mar. 6, 2015
FEMA announced the opening of the Fiscal Year 2015 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) application, which will close on Mar. 6, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. ET. The SAFER grant program comprises of two categories: hiring of firefighters; and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. To receive a SAFER grant award, applicants must be registered and have up-to-date information in the online System for Award Management. Registration is required of all Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program applicants and awardees. The SAFER grant was created to provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help increase or maintain the number of trained, front-line firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance local fire departments' abilities to comply with staffing, response, and operational standards established by the National Fire Protection Association. More information on these standards can be found in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, which is available online, along with the technical assistance tools.More

FEMA Regional Administrator appointments announced
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Feb. 9 announced that Gracia Szczech has been selected as FEMA Region IV Administrator, and Bob Fenton has been selected as Region IX Administrator. In addition, FEMA is elevating the Deputy Regional Administrator positions to Senior Executive Service positions and is advertising those positions. The current deputies are GS-15.More

The International Network of Women in Emergency Management releases call for nominations for 5th Annual 'International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame'
The International Network of Women in Emergency Management (inWEM) has released its call for nominations for its 5th annual International Women in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Hall of Fame. The 2015 Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, during the IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX Exhibit, Paris Hotel, Clark County, Nevada. inWEM will honor extraordinary women who are pioneers and contemporary leaders in the fields of civil defense, emergency management, and homeland security in local, state, tribal, and federal governments and global innovators in critical infrastructure facilities; volunteer, faith, and community-based organizations; the private and nonprofit sectors; academia; the military; and private industry. From 2011 to 2014, 63 women and women’s organizations were inducted into the Hall of Fame. The application packet can be downloaded here. Deadline for nominations is Mar. 1, 2015.More

NOAA's National Weather Service announces 2015 'Weather in Focus Photo Contest'; entry deadline is Mar. 31
To kick-off NOAA Heritage Week starting Feb. 7, NOAA's National Weather Service is accepting submissions for its "Weather in Focus" photo contest to recognize photographers who have captured images of weather or the science used to forecast weather, water and climate today. Winning images will be showcased in a Gateway to NOAA exhibit located on the NOAA campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. The contest is open to the public, including professional photographers as well as NOAA employees, contractors, fellows, and interns. All entries must be original work, taken by the submitting photographer between Jan. 1, 2014 and Mar. 31, 2015. The submission deadline is Mar. 31, 2015. Contest rules and entry guidelines are posted here. More

DHS: Getting the budget process back on track
Federal Times
Craig Fugate, administrator of FEMA, wrote: There are a lot of opinions floating around Washington these days about what's at stake in the battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security. From my perspective as Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, I can say with certainty that the current standoff has a real impact on our ability to ensure that a wide range of emergency personnel across the country have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safer and more secure.More

Learning the lessons of Typhoon Hagupit: Investing in emergency preparedness pays off
With 2014 being one of the worst years in recent history for humanitarian crises, it's easy to overlook a good news story in the midst of the tragedies. But in the last month of the year, Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines provided us with just such a story, and the international community should commend the Philippines government and the many Filipino national civil-society groups for their actions in the face of an impending natural disaster — and learn lessons from it.More

Share your expertise with IAEM members by writing an article for the IAEM Bulletin on 'Consequence Management and Public Health'; submission deadline is Feb. 15
The IAEM-Global Editorial Work Group is seeking articles for its first 2015 IAEM Bulletin special focus issue on the topic of "Consequence Management and Public Health." Examples of articles could include, but are not limited to: what emergency managers need to know about the difference between infectious diseases and contagious diseases; public health implications for emergency management programs; responding to pandemics; lessons learned; and international public health vs. emergency management issues. Article length is 750 to 1,500 words. Please read the author's guidelines before submitting an article, and email articles to Karen Thompson, editor, no later than Feb. 15, 2015.More

Drone operators are setting their sights on disaster relief
Fast Company
Drones are for more than military airstrikes and deliveries from Amazon. Drones — or unmanned aerial vehicles — are also being used to help with humanitarian relief in disaster zones. But one challenge for organizations is finding people who know how to fly them.More

IAEM-USA Board approves updates to professional contribution requirements for AEMs, including a waiver for qualified candidates
At its Jan. 20, 2015 meeting, the IAEM-USA Board approved the following adjustments to the CEM®/AEM℠ program requirements, in order to recognize the accomplishments already documented by those in these special circumstances. The changes go into effect immediately.

  • Individuals who upgraded their credential from AEM℠ to CEM®, and then have to recertify within six months, only need to submit appropriate documentation for the Training requirements. The Professional Contributions requirements are waived because they were already credited when the AEM℠ was upgraded to a CEM®.
  • AEM℠s who recertify first and then apply for a CEM® upgrade within six months may use the Professional Contributions approved as part of their recent recertification towards fulfillment of the six Professional Contributions requirements for the CEM®. Note that additional Contributions, in categories not already approved, may need to be included to satisfy the total of six required for the initial CEM®.
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    Don't delay — the IAEM Call for Speakers will close on Feb. 20 at 5:00 p.m. EST
    The 2015 theme for the IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX is "Expanding the Spectrum of Emergency Management." Review the Speaker Guidance for all of the requirements, and submit your presentation today. The IAEM 63rd Annual Conference & EMEX will be held in Clark County, Nevada, Nov. 13-18, 2015. The deadline to submit is 5:00 p.m. EST, on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.More

    Winners of the IAEM logo design contest announced for IAEM Presents EMvision Talks
    Congratulations to Mark Scott, Vicki Rosel, and Anne Parnell, the winners of the IAEM Presents EMvision Talks Logo Design Contest. This team of co-workers from our partner IEM submitted an eye-catching graphic that will brand the Talks for all future IAEM Annual Conferences. IAEM received many high quality entries, which made for a very competitive contest. Thank you to all of those who took the time and effort to submit an entry. To view the winning logo and find out more about the IAEM Presents EMvision Talks speaker submission process for the 63rd IAEM Annual Conference, visit our website.More

    Study finds US Midwest flooding more frequent
    The U.S. Midwest and surrounding states have endured increasingly more frequent flood episodes over the past half-century, according to a study from the University of Iowa. The UI researchers based their findings on daily records collected by the U.S. Geological Survey at 774 stream gauges in 14 states from 1962-2011, a data-collection period in common for all the stations. More

    Disaster-prone communities should help plan infrastructure to weather storms
    Disaster-prone communities should be involved in planning their infrastructure to help ensure basic services can weather storms, floods and other disasters, researchers said. Floods can contaminate drinking water with sewage, storms can knock down power lines and drought can shut down hydropower plants, the researchers, from six Asian countries, said at a meeting in Bangkok.More

    IAEM-USA Emerging Technology Caucus Offers Feb. 27 members-only webinar on social media monitoring in action
    The IAEM-USA Emerging Technology Caucus is offering an IAEM members-only webinar on "Social Media Monitoring in Action: Napa Earthquake," on Feb. 27, 2015, 1:00 p.m. EST. Space is limited, so register online now. Now that you've learned the basics of finding information using social media channels, learn how monitoring and engagement work during actual incidents. Our speaker, Jennifer Lazo, managed local Red Cross social media networks and organized a group of digital volunteers following the August 2014 earthquake in Napa. This webinar will share examples of how intelligence gathered from social media was acted on, as well as lessons observed during the earthquake aftermath.More

    Training opportunity for E0550 COOP Planning on Apr. 7-9; enrollment deadline extended to Feb. 24, 2015
    The Emergency Management Institute is seeking participants for its Apr. 7-9 offering of the E0550 Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Course. The course is rarely offered at EMI, and several vacancies are currently available. The enrollment deadline has been extended until Feb. 24, 2015, to allow processing of additional applications. Details and application form are posted on the IAEM-USA News page.More

    Jakarta floods displace thousands
    The Wall Street Journal
    Flooding in Jakarta after heavy rains has displaced close to 6,000 people in the nation's capital city, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency said. The agency added the number could increase as more data are being collected. "Around 15,517 people are affected directly by the flood as their houses are inundated, [but only] 5,986 are taking refuge in 14 locations," the agency’s spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.More

    Malawi floods devastation far worse than first thought
    The Guardian
    Nearly a quarter of a million people, more than originally thought, have been affected by the devastating floods that ripped through Malawi a month ago, and with rains still falling, many of the 230,000 who were forced to flee their homes have been unable to return and rebuild their lives, the U.N. said.More

    US military to end African Ebola role
    The Wall Street Journal
    President Barack Obama is expected to announce plans to withdraw most of the American troops assigned to battle the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and declare that the U.S. military effort has been successful, officials said. The president's decision effectively signals the end of the five-month military mission to help contain the spread of the deadly virus in West Africa.More

    Heavy rains cause flooding, mudslides across the West Coast
    A powerful Pacific storm system that drenched California was moving across the Pacific Northwest, as crews in Oregon and Washington worked to clear flooded roads and railroad tracks blocked by mudslides. The storm system, called the Pineapple Express because it gathers moisture as it moves across the Pacific Ocean from near Hawaii, had dropped up to 13 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said.More

    Massachusetts struggles to remove snow after massive storms
    Massachusetts officials called out National Guard troops to help dig out from a trio of massive snowstorms in the past two weeks, noting that at least seven roof collapses had been reported as a result of the heavy accumulation. The head of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority defended the decision to shut Boston-area subways and rail service as schools remained closed across much of the area.More