FEMA Encourages Preparedness for the 2016 Hurricane Season

FEMA is calling on individuals and families across the nation to prepare for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season, which runs through November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center seasonal outlook for 2016, released last week, states the season will most likely be near-normal, but uncertainty about the formation of Atlantic storms makes predicting this season particularly difficult.  The full release is linked at www.noaa.gov/near-normal-atlantic-hurricane-season-most-likely-year.

The effects of hurricanes can stretch far beyond just coastal areas, impacting communities hundreds of miles inland. When a hurricane hits, it can bring high winds, heavy rainfall, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and even tornadoes. Storm surge produced by hurricanes poses the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. Taking action now, in advance of a storm, can save lives and enables families and communities to recover more quickly should disaster strike.

“The United States has not had a significant impact from a hurricane or tropical storm since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “But luck isn’t a strategy when it comes to being ready. If you live in a potentially affected state, you are at risk for storm surge, extreme winds and flooding during a hurricane. Now is the time for you to learn your evacuation routes and develop a hurricane evacuation plan. Prepare now and enjoy the summer with confidence that if a storm threatens you’ll be ready.”

To prepare for these powerful storms, FEMA is encouraging families, businesses, and individuals to take the following steps to prepare:

  • Know Your Risk: Residents should learn what types of natural disasters are common in their stateNOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool provides information on the severity and frequency of past hurricanes.
  • Know your evacuation zone: Evacuation zones are areas that may be impacted by hurricane flooding. Many communities have designated evacuation zones and routes to get citizens to safety. This information can often be found on the websites of state, county, or town emergency management offices. If a hurricane threatens a community and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, residents should evacuate immediately. Do not wait for the next forecast.
  • Download the FEMA app: The FEMA app contains important information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. The app also allows users to receive weather alerts from NOAA’s National Weather Service, lifesaving safety tips, and provides access to disaster resources should survivors need them. The app is available in the Apple App store or the Google Play store. The FEMA app is also available in Spanish.
  • Make a plan, build a kit and practice what to do: When a hurricane hits, communications systems can go out, transportation can be limited, and it could be days before emergency responders are able to reach communities that need help. FEMA encourages residents in potentially affected states to do the following:
    • Make a Family Communication Plan: Family members should discuss how they contact one another in an emergency and check in with each other from different locations.  Families should plan how to care for children or members with access and functional needs, and learn how to get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landlines don’t work. Be sure to practice your plan so everyone will know what to do in the event of an emergency.
    • Emergency Supply Kit: A ‘go kit’ is a bag that contains basic items families may need, during an emergency. Kits should contain non-perishable food, water, and other supplies, such as flashlights, local maps, and a battery-powered radio, to last you and your family for at least 72 hours. Ready.gov contains a complete list of items.
    • Pets: Many local shelters do not permit pets, but laws require them to accept service animals. Families should have a plan for pets should they need to evacuate.


Hurricane Season Begins June 1st – Are you Ready?

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1. It only takes one to change your life and your community. Protecting yourself today means having sources for information, preparing your home and workplace, developing an emergency communication plan, and knowing what to do when a hurricane is approaching your community. Visit ready.gov/prepare for resources on developing a family emergency communication plan and download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips.

Periscope Broadcast: Preparing Your Pet for an Emergency

During an emergency, every second counts and it’s easy to forget things. This is why advance planning for every member of your family, including your pets, is important.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, follow @PrepareAthon on Periscope for a discussion on how to prepare your cat, dog, bird, or any other animal for a disaster.

In the live broadcast, you’ll hear about how to create a pet emergency kit, what items should be included in the kit, how to find an emergency animal shelter, and even what NOT to do.

Share this with your family and friends, especially other pet owners.

Periscope is a free live video streaming mobile application that is compatible with the Apple (iOS) and Android (Google) mobile operating systems. To join the live broadcast, the application must be enabled on your mobile device.

National PrepareAthon! Day is April 30th

FEMA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Weather Service (NWS) urge Americans to take actions to prepare for a wide array of hazards by developing a family communication plan and downloading alerts and learning about local hazards. FEMA is encouraging people to take these actions in conjunction with America’s PrepareAthon!, a grassroots, community-based campaign for action designed to increase preparedness and resilience.


America’s PrepareAthon! provides an important opportunity for individuals, organizations and communities to take action to prepare for specific hazards through group discussions, drills and exercises. Visit the America’s PrepareAthon! website, ready.gov/prepare, to register your participation, for more information, and to sign up.


FEMA offers free, easy-to-use guides, checklists and resources to help individuals, organizations and communities practice the simple, specific actions they can take for emergencies relevant to their area.
Examples include:


1.Create a family emergency communication plan. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Create Your Family Emergency Communication Plan. Collect the information you need, decide on the places you will meet in case of an emergency, share the information with your family and practice your plan.


2.Download the FEMA app for disaster resources, weather alerts and safety tips. Earlier this month, FEMA launched a new feature to its free smartphone app that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to remind them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and open recovery centers, tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters, and weather alerts from NWS for up to five locations across the nation.


3.Sign up for local text alerts and warnings, get the latest forecast at weather.gov and download weather apps to stay aware of worsening weather conditions. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Know Your Alerts and Warnings to learn how sign up for local alerts and weather apps that are relevant for hazards that affect your area.


4.Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place. Have all of your personal, medical and legal papers in one place, so you can evacuate without worrying about gathering your family’s critical documents at the last minute. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables for a helpful checklist.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application Information

FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance grant programs. These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens. The NOFO for each program is posted on Grants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements. Applications are due by 3:00 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2016.

Reminder: Fiscal Year Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Applications Open March 15

FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs. These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens. The NOFO for each program is posted on Grants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements. Applications may be submitted beginning on March 15 and are due by 3:00 p.m. EDT on June 15, 2016.

Upcoming FEMA Webinar: Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities

FEMA is hosting two additional webinars about Climate Resilient Mitigation Activities (CRMA) which are priorities this fiscal year in the competitive Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grant program.

The webinar will cover green infrastructure methods, expanded ecosystem service benefits, and three flood reduction and drought mitigation activities: Aquifer Storage and Recovery; Floodplain and Stream Restoration; and, Flood Diversion and Storage.


The webinar content and log-in information is the same for both sessions.  Closed captioning will be provided.


Dates and Time:


Thursday, March 17
1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
12:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT)


Thursday, March 24
1:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 p.m. CDT


Call-in Number: 1-800-320-4330 PIN 789819 #

2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award Application Period Now Open

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is pleased to announce that the application period for the 2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards is open. The awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by individuals and organizations that made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient.
Emergency management is most effective when the entire community is engaged and involved. Everyone, including faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, the private sector, tribal organizations, youth, people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, and older adults can make a difference in their communities before, during, and after disasters.
FEMA will review all entries and select the finalists. A distinguished panel of representatives from the emergency management community will then select winners in each of the following categories:

• Outstanding Citizen Corps Council
• Community Preparedness Champions
• Awareness to Action
• Technological Innovation
• Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness
• Preparing the Whole Community
• Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management (new category)
• Outstanding Private Sector Initiatives (new category – open to a for-profit small business *)
• Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives
• Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program
• America’s PrepareAthon! in Action (new category)

* “Small business” applicants must comply with business size standards provided by the Small Business Administration.

Winners will be announced in the fall of 2016 and will be invited as FEMA’s honored guests at a recognition ceremony. The winner of the Preparing the Whole Community category will receive the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness Award.

To be considered for this year’s awards, all submissions must be received by March 28, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EDT and must feature program activities taking place between January 1, 2015, and March 28, 2016. Applications should be submitted to citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov.
Download an application and read the application guidance at https://www.ready.gov/citizen-corps/citizen-corps-awards.

Upcoming Webinars: Fiscal Year Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program Grants

FEMA has announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant programs.

These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens. A one-hour webinar is scheduled on the following dates to learn more about these opportunities. The session content is the same for both webinars.

Both webinars will offer closed captioning and login information is below.

Thursday, February 25 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST)
• FEMA Adobe Connect:
• Conference Bridge: 1-800-320-4330, PIN 532822#

Monday, February 29 at 2:30 p.m. EST
• FEMA Adobe Connect:
• Conference Bridge: 1-800-320-4330, PIN 782802#

Upcoming Webinar: Adapting Vacant Land to Mitigate Hazards

The American Planning Association in partnership with FEMA and the Association of State Floodplain Managers is presenting an upcoming webinar titled “Adapting Urban Vacant Land to Mitigate Hazards” on February 26th from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.

This webinar will provide an in-depth look at how to adapt vacant land in urban areas to mitigate potential hazards. Three experienced professionals will discuss how their communities translated mitigation goals in two very different but similar environments, Detroit and Baltimore. Learn what makes for successful strategies in adapting green infrastructure and hazard mitigation in areas experiencing blight and high vacancy rates.

The webinar is free but registration is required the following link: