NIMS Alert 40-20: FEMA Releases 2020 National Preparedness Report

FEMA has released the 2020 National Preparedness Report, which only deals with actions taken in 2019. In its ninth year, this report presents an updated, risk-focused approach to summarizing the state of national preparedness.

The National Preparedness Report published in 2021 will explore the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and evaluate the response to it, reflecting the data that becomes available as the incident continues.

As an annual requirement of Presidential Policy Directive 8 and consistent with the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act reporting responsibilities, the National Preparedness Report (NPR) has assessed the nation’s preparedness posture since 2012. This report provides partners across the nation with insights into risks, vulnerabilities, and capabilities to support decisions about program priorities, resource allocations and community actions.

The 2020 NPR takes an updated, risk-focused approach to summarizing the state of national preparedness in 2019. The report presents a discussion of the risks the nation faces and how those risks drive the nation’s capability requirements, as well as how the nation uses capabilities to manage risks, including a high-level overview of the nation’s current capabilities. Also, the report includes initial results for the National Risk and Capability Assessment (NRCA). The NRCA meets requirements of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which requires “tiered, capability-specific performance objectives” to assess national preparedness. The 2020 report found that although affected communities may not be fully prepared to respond to nationally catastrophic incidents, an analysis of shared national capabilities indicates the nation as a whole is closer to achieving its national goals though some significant capability gaps still remain.

The report also highlights some of the persistent challenges the nation faces, how the Nation is working collectively to solve those challenges, and what the nation must continue to do to build on those successes. It also provides a deeper assessment of four identified focus areas: Cascading Impacts, Public-Private Partnerships, Vulnerable Populations, and Housing.

Reports and more about National Preparedness

FEMA announces 2020 grant updates, opening dates for AFG, FP&S, and SAFER

Get ready for 2020 AFG, FP&S, and SAFER! FEMA is releasing details for upcoming grants. Start getting ready, but remember, dates and details are subject to change. Stay tuned!

AFG

  • FY 2020 AFG will open in late November 2020 (possibly Nov. 23 or Nov. 30)
  • The application period is expected to run through the holidays and close during the first week of January 2021.
  • NOFO is expected to be released soon, and be similar to the 2019 NOFO
  • Yes, you can hit “print!” AFG applications can be printed: Go in FEMA GO, pull up your application, and press CTRL-P

FP&S

  • FY 2020 Fire Prevention & Safety grant program will open in January of 2021
  • NOFOs when available can be found at www.fema.gov/firegrants
  • Deadline is expected to be in February 2021.

FEMA does not yet know the parameters of the FY 2020 grant programs.

SAFER

  • FY 2020 SAFER grant program open in February of 2021
  • In consideration of the economic impact of the pandemic, FEMA has also authorized waivers for certain provisions of the FY20 SAFER Grant Program
  • Expected deadline is during March 2021
  • No cost match expected
  • Departments may be able to to apply to restore firefighters laid off due to the COVID pandemic

FEMA also says…

All AFG, SAFER and Fire Prevention applications and grant awards will be through the new FEMA GO system.

  • MOST IMPORTANT – Make sure that your SAM.GOV registration is and remains ACTIVE during the period of performance of your grant.
  • ALSO IMPORTANT – PLEASE be sure to update SAM and FEMA GO if there are changes in your AOR. (Authorized Organization Representative)
  • Make sure your FEMA GO registration is good to go NOW.

Questions? Need help with your fire grants?

Contact a grants consultant today

Closing Soon: AFG-S 2 FY 2020 COVID 19 For Volunteer/Combination Departments

Supplemental AFG-S Application Period Ends Nov. 13, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET

Reminder from FEMA! The second AFG-S COVID-19/coronavirus application period closes soon!

Ask the Help Desk

See commonly asked questions about the AFG-S 2 application below:

Question 1. Item eligibility: Are items such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), EMS jackets/pants, decontamination equipment, personnel costs, and fitness equipment eligible under the grant?

Answer: The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) specifies the type of PPE that is applicable under the grant, and can be found below or in the chart on page 26 of the NOFO.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) List – Funding Priorities

COVID-19 Response

  • Eye Protection – Appropriately fitted, indirectly vented goggles or single use disposable face shield that fully covers the front and sides of the face.
  • Isolation Gowns – Nonsterile, single use fluid-resistant and impermeable patient isolation gown.
  • Protective Coveralls – 360-degree protection of whole body, including the back, lower legs and feet.
  • Gloves – Patient examination gloves.
  • Footwear Covers – Single use, disposable medical footwear covers.
  • Respirators – Any NIOSH-approved particulate respirator (i.e., N-95 or higher-level respirator). Includes the purchase of filters appropriate for use.
  • Surgical Type Face Masks – loose-fitting, single use disposable physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer to allow fire and EMS personnel to meet CDC recommendations and/or state mandates for face covering when in a public setting other than direct patient contact.
  • Other supplies are also eligible, however will be considered a lower priority than items listed above. Examples include:
    • Decontamination supplies and services for PPE, station-quarters, and vehicles.
    • Replacement High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters and other types of disposable filtration supplies used on EMS respiratory and/or ventilator equipment.
    • Personally-issued antiseptic hand washes, antiseptic hand rubs such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers , foams or gels, and reasonable refill supply.

Questions 2. Item classification:  How much leeway is there classifying an item under a category? – For example, whether EMS jackets/pants would correlate to “coveralls” in the NOFO?

Answer:  It depends. The eligible items are specific to the authorization language, which only allows for the purchase of PPE used in response or preparation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Applicants would need to justify how the purchase of the PPE directly relates to the COVID-19 response.

Question 3. Reimbursement: How can I get reimbursed for supplies I have already purchased?

Answer: Reimbursements are eligible for the purchase of PPE dating back to Jan 1, 2020. However, the items must also align with the eligible items list; see chart above.

APPLICATION PORTAL

The AFG-S 2 grant program application is available online through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s FEMA GO (FEMA Grants Outcomes) application portal at https://go.fema.gov.

All users have their own FEMA GO account. Each account is specific to the authorized user and must not be shared with other personnel. A FEMA GO Account Creation User Guide can be viewed on the AFGP website or downloaded to your computer. An application number will be assigned when the application is started. Be sure to write it down for future reference.  

NOTE:  When completing the Applicant Information section, the “applicant name” should be the name of the fire department or organization applying for the grant, not the name of the person who is completing the application.

To start the application process, we recommend that you review the AFG-S 2 NOFO and Application Technical Assistance Tools found on the AFG website under Guidance Documents.

New FEMA Grant File Documentation and Recordkeeping Tool

Get to know these Grant File Documentation and Recordkeeping Tools

FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate (GPD), Grants Management Technical Assistance (GMTA) program launched the Grants Management Digital Resource Center in partnership with the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), to provide information and resources to support the  grants management lifecycle. These tools are for Non Federal Entities (NFE) who receive federal financial assistance from FEMA.

The Grant File Documentation and Recordkeeping Tools is a new tool that has been added. This tool includes:

  • Grant File Management Guide
  • Organizational Template 
  • Checklist

Tools have been created to highlight documentation management and retention practices for NFE’s to follow. These tools also recommend different types of documents that NFE’s may need to track the lifecycle of their grants.

FEMA encourages you to explore this page/site and share relevant resources with recipients and stakeholders as appropriate. GMTA will continue to update the Digital Resource Center  at https://training.fema.gov/grantsmanagement/ with new information and resources, so check back often to see what has been added.

For any questions, please contact: FEMA-GPD-Training@fema.dhs.gov

Go to the FEMA Grants Management Digital Resource Center

ATTENTION all FY 2018 SAFER grantees

Firefighters

Changes in SAFER grant reporting requirements

Good news for SAFER grantees!

FEMA is delaying the timelines for required reports that FY 2018 SAFER grantees are responsible for submitting:

“Submittal of the Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and Quarterly Performance Reports will be completed within the FEMA GO system and is deferred until the system functionality has been successfully deployed. Recipients will be provided with a timeline for submission of these reports as soon as it is available.”

Full details from FEMA (PDF)

Need help writing and managing grants?

Contact a Grants Consultant today

Volunteer and Combination Fire Departments only: AFG-S Round 2 Fire Grant Application Period Open Oct. 6-Nov. 13, 2020

FY 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID 19 Supplemental (AFG-S)

FEMA is providing a second opportunity for volunteer and combination fire departments to apply for funding under the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program – COVID 19 Supplemental (AFG-S):

  • Through this AFG-S Round 2 funding opportunity, FEMA will directly award funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
  • This includes reimbursement for applicable PPE expenditures made since Jan. 1, 2020.
  • Grants will be awarded, using a competitive process, to applicants whose requests best address the priorities of the AFG-S grant opportunity.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available for $31 million in funding for the Fiscal Year 2020 Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program (AFG-S) to help provide personal protective equipment to firefighters and first responders who are managing emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA will begin accepting AFG-S applications at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday October 6, 2020. The application period will close at 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 13, 2020 .The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program Office (AFGP) has developed tools to help potential applicants plan their AFG-S application ahead of the application period. These documents can be viewed on the AFGP website at FY 2020 AFG-S COVID-19 Guidance Documents (https://www.fema.gov/media-collection/fy-2020-assistance-firefighters-grant-program-covid-19-supplemental-afg-s) and/or downloaded to your computer.

FY 2020 AFG-S Notice of Funding Opportunity


Cost Share Calculator: This calculator will help you understand and determine your organization’s cost share for AFG-S grants

Key Questions about the FY20 AFG-S Round 2 application

Why are only volunteer and combination fire departments eligible in round 2?

By law, 25 percent of available AFG-S funds must be awarded to volunteer fire departments and another 25 percent must be awarded to combination fire departments. This second application period will be limited to those categories of fire departments to fulfill this requirement.

Can my department apply again?

Volunteer and combination fire departments are eligible to apply in the FY20 AFG-S Round 2 even if they were awarded a grant under the first application period of the FY20 AFG-S. However, such applications must support new capabilities. Departments that applied in the first application period but were unsuccessful must reapply to be considered for funding in this second application period. Applications from the first application period will not automatically carry forward to Round 2 for automatic consideration.

Application Portal

The online application is available through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program’s FEMA Grants Outcomes (FEMA GO) portal at https://go.fema.gov.

All users need their own FEMA GO account. Each account is specific to the authorized user and must not be shared with other personnel. A FEMA GO Account Creation User Guide can be viewed on the AFGP website or downloaded to your computer.

An application number will be assigned when the application is started. Be sure to write it down for future reference.

NOTE: When completing the Applicant Information section of the application, the “applicant name” should be the name of the fire department applying for the grant, not the name of the person who is completing the application.

FEMA GO is compatible with Internet Explorer (version 11 or higher), Firefox (version 73 or higher), or Chrome (version 80 or higher). Users who attempt to use tablet type devices or other browsers may encounter issues with using FEMA GO.

AFG-S Round 2 Webinars

Please see FEMA’s Webinar Schedule page for information on upcoming live webinars related to the AFG-S application. Webinars will be offered on various dates through the month of October. The presentations will outline important information and reminders about program priorities, eligible costs, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an AFG-S application.

SAM.gov Refgistration

SAM.GOV REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR AND RECEIVE GRANTS

All eligible applicants must be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) before they can both begin and submit an application. Per 2 CFR § 25.205, FEMA may not make an award to an entity until the entity has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and maintain an active SAM.gov registration with current information. SAM.gov consolidates federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). To register, or validate your information, please visit: https://www.sam.gov/

Find more information on this funding opportunity at https://www.fema.gov/grants/preparedness/firefighters

Want FEMA grants? Set up FEMA GO first

FEMA GO Account Creation Guide

Get your free Account Creation Guide from FEMA

If you’re applying to or receiving any sort of grant program from FEMA, you have to have a FEMA GO account.

But… how do you set one up?

Fortunately, FEMA has laid out the account creation process in a free PDF:

Get your FEMA GO free Account Creation Guide now

NIMS Alert 08-20: FEMA releases Disaster Financial Management Guide

NIMS Alert FEMA

FEMA has released the “Disaster Financial Management Guide” to support jurisdictions in establishing and implementing sound disaster financial management practices, which are critical for successful response and recovery.

The guide identifies the capabilities and activities necessary to prepare and successfully implement disaster financial management while maintaining fiscal responsibility throughout response and recovery operations. This includes considerations and practices necessary to:

  • Track, calculate and justify the costs of an emergency;
  • Support local reimbursement reconciliation;
  • Avoid de-obligation of grant funding; and effectively fund and implement recovery projects and priorities.

The principles, concepts and resources contained in the guide can support jurisdictions in identifying the resources needed to support their community, increase the efficiency of recovery efforts, and reduce the likelihood of audits and financial penalties for the jurisdiction.

The guide also presents an overview of common disaster assistance and recovery funding programs that may be beneficial to recovery efforts. Although there are many government and private/non-profit sector recovery resources and programs designed to aid jurisdictions, navigating the various eligibility requirements and application processes pose administrative challenges for jurisdictions.

The “Disaster Financial Management Guide” takes an all-hazard approach and addresses a broad range of issues jurisdictions face. However, the document contains concepts, principles and resources that are applicable to the current operational environment and ongoing COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.

To view the guide, please visit https://www.fema.gov/plan. Contact FEMA at NPD-Planning@Fema.dhs.gov for any questions or support on the document.

FEMA Releases Updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT)

At-a-glance evaluation of demographics and infrastructure

NIMS Alert 07-20: FEMA Releases Updated Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool

FEMA released expanded capabilities to the Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT), including census tract data and additional infrastructure layers for all state, local, tribal and territorial jurisdictions across the nation. This update to the tool enables a more granular analysis of community resilience indicators and allows users to calculate the population of individuals with specific indicator characteristics in selected census tracts.

Jurisdictions at all levels, other federal agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations can use RAPT to inform strategies for preparedness, response and recovery activated related to the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters. The tool is a free-to-use Geographic Information System (GIS) webmap tool that allows users to combine layers of community resilience indicators, infrastructure locations, and hazard data to visualize, prioritize and implement strategies to impact resilience, response, and recovery.

The updated RAPT provides important census-tract level demographic information and infrastructure locations related to coronavirus pandemic planning and response efforts. This includes the location and size of infrastructure entities such as hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, public health departments, and pharmacies; population count and demographics of individuals within a containment zone (e.g. over age 65, disability, educational attainment); and visualization tools.

The RAPT is publicly available at:

https://bit.ly/ResilienceAnalysisandPlanningTool

Supporting documents for RAPT, including an overview document, user guide and information about the data layers and sources, can be found at:

https://www.fema.gov/de/media-library/assets/documents/176618

The National Integration Center will host three 60-minute training webinars over the next two weeks, starting on April 2, to provide additional background on the RAPT, demonstrate multiple capabilities and answer questions from RAPT users. Webinars are open to all.

Advance registration is not required, but space is limited to 150 participants per webinar. Real-time captioning will be available. To participate, please click on your preferred webinar session from the list below at the beginning of the webinar to begin and call the phone number provided:

Thursday, April 2, 12-1 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

Tuesday, April 7, 3-4 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

Thursday, April 9, 12-1 p.m. ET
Participate: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/resilienceindicatorgis/
Audio Call-in: 202-795-3352. PIN: 253 361 211#

For more information, please contact FEMA-TARequest@fema.dhs.gov.