Project Air Bridge Established to Expedite Medical Supplies
FEMA is bringing the full capacity of the federal government to find solutions to protect the American people and respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Through Project Air Bridge, FEMA is expediting movement of critical supplies, in varying quantities, from the global market to medical distributors in various locations across the U.S.
The air bridge was created to reduce the time it takes for U.S. medical supply distributors to receive personal protective equipment and other critical supplies into the country for their respective customers. FEMA covers the cost to fly supplies into the U.S. from overseas factories, reducing shipment time from weeks to days.
While FEMA schedules daily flights, it does not have detailed visibility on PPE amounts until the cargo is loaded. As of April 6, 13 flights have landed, containing critical personal protective equipment (PPE): gloves, gowns, goggles and masks.
Overseas flights arrive at operational hub airports for distribution to hotspots and nationwide locations through regular supply chains. Flight arrivals do not mean supplies will be distributed in the operational hub locations. Per agreements with distributors, 50 percent of supplies on each plane are for customers within the hotspot areas with most critical needs. The remaining 50 percent is fed into distributors’ normal supply chain to their customers in other areas nationwide. Department of Health and Human Services and FEMA determine hotspot areas based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
For more information on the Supply Chain Task Force and the continued response efforts to COVID-19, visit the FEMA website.
FEMA Funding Notice Available for SAFER Grants
The Notice of Funding Opportunity is now available for $350 million in Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grants. The SAFER grant enhances the ability of recipients to attain and maintain fire department staffing and to ensure that their communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards. The application period opens April 13 and will close May 15 at 5 p.m. ET.
The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available for download on grants.gov and the FEMA website. Fire departments and other applicants requiring assistance should email the AFG Help Desk or call the help desk at 1-866-274-0960 during business hours, Monday through Friday.
SAFER Grants provide funding directly to fire departments and volunteer firefighter interest organizations to help them increase or maintain the number of trained, “front line” firefighters available in their communities. The goal of SAFER is to enhance the local fire departments’ abilities to comply with staffing, response and operational standards.
FEMA Publishes Stakeholder Feedback for New Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Program
The Hazard Mitigation Assistance program recently published the Summary of Stakeholder Feedback online. The 72-page summary provides an in-depth review of the comments FEMA received during its 2019 stakeholder engagement process. The summary is intended to help develop the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program.
Input is included from federal, state, tribal and territorial stakeholders, as well as local partners, and members of the general public about the challenges they face in implementing mitigation projects. Recommendations are also included on how BRIC can be responsive to hazard mitigation needs at all levels of government.
To learn more about the BRIC grant program, visit the FEMA website.
FEMA Issues New Policy for Remote Flood Claims
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) faces unprecedented challenges in its traditional business practices, as state and local guidance recommends physical distancing or sheltering in place for an undetermined amount of time. As a result, FEMA has issued a memorandum for Write Your Own (WYO) partners and Direct Servicing Agent partners regarding COVID-19 Remote Claims Adjusting Guidance.
FEMA traditionally relies on in-person adjustments, this is when a flood insurance adjuster travels to a policyholder’s house to investigate a loss and develops estimates to repair or replace covered property. The new memorandum allows remote inspections of flood losses.
FEMA expects, in accordance with the WYO Arrangement and other regulations, expects that the WYO partners implement these standard business practices for flood insurance customers as well, unless they are unable to do so.
FEMA Releases Updated Flood Insurance Manual
FEMA released an updated edition of the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual effective April 1. The manual is updated twice a year to enhance the costumer experience. This edition also addresses stakeholder feedback and clarifies existing guidance.
This updated edition of the Flood Insurance Manual does not change flood insurance coverage or supersede the terms and conditions of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. To view the updates made to the manual or for more information on NFIP, visit the FEMA website.
FEMA Recruits Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers have been released from service due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. FEMA asks these volunteers to continue their public service and join the agency’s mission.
FEMA has full-time and intermittent positions available in a variety of fields. Peace Corps volunteers can use their skills and experience engaging diverse communities worldwide to help people before, during and after disasters here at home.
On April 15, FEMA will hold a webinar for returning Peace Corps volunteers featuring employees who are service alumni. They will talk about how their service prepared them for a career in emergency management. Register for the webinar on the Peace Corps RPCV Portal.
FEMA also has positions open to the general public. Health and safety is FEMA’s first priority for both the nation and employees. Many positions are currently telework and/or office based. Visit USAJOBS.gov and FEMA Careers to see the job listings.
FEMA Hosts Webinars on Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool
FEMA is holding one-hour training webinars to provide additional background on the updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool. Expanded capabilities for the tool include census tract data and additional infrastructure layers for all state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions across the nation.
The webinars will be held 3 – 4 p.m. ET on April 7 and noon – 1 p.m. ET on April 9. To participate:
The Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool is available to the public. Supporting documents and information on scheduled webinars can be found on the FEMA website.
FEMA Alert System Helps Authorities Reach Their Communities Quickly
Fast notifications can save lives, and FEMA Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) gives communities a way to quickly send emergency alerts when minutes matter.
More than 1,400 state, local, tribal and territorial partners use this national system for sending local alerts to televisions, radios and cell phones in their targeted areas. FEMA maintains the system and provides no-cost training for all Alerting Authorities. Grants may be available to help you pay for needed equipment.
Emergency officials across the country are using IPAWS to send important safety messages on the coronavirus pandemic to their residents. As of April 6, 66 agencies across 24 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Navajo Nation and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, have sent a total of 136 messages to cell phones containing information on COVID-19 via the Wireless Emergency Alert system, and 36 messages to radios/televisions via the EAS.
For more information on IPAWS and how to be able to use the system to send alerts, visit the FEMA website.
Upcoming Deadlines and Reminders
FEMA Seeks Public Comment on NFIP Publication Regulations
On Feb. 12, FEMA published a Federal Register notice for public comments on two proposed changes to the Code of Federal Regulations regarding publication requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program.
Comments for proposed changes are due no later than April 13. Detailed instruction on how to comment can be found on the Federal Register site.
FEMA Extends Preparedness Grants Application Deadline
In response to COVID-19, FEMA will extend the deadline to submit applications for the following five preparedness grant programs:
Applications must be received by the new submission deadline of 5 p.m. ET on April 30. Further information on DHS preparedness grant programs is available on the FEMA website.