Compile crucial data on your area with Google Earth Pro… for free
Demographics. Distances. Area. Traffic.
Crucial data like this just scratches the surface of the information your jurisdiction needs. Not only can this data help you better plan scenarios and train your personnel, it can also bolster your grant applications and help move you toward the winner’s circle.
But… how do you get that data?
This sort of mapping and data analysis used to be really expensive. But not anymore.
Google Earth Pro is a free tool. Public safety agencies like yours can use it for crucial data, such as:
Measure and calculate distance, area, and more
Review traffic count
Map data points
Use data in your grant applications or other documents
Get—and map—the crucial data your agency needs for incident planning and for writing grant applications:
This dynamic data analysis tool allows you to generate tables and figures of arrest data from 1980 onward. You can view national arrest estimates, customized either by age and sex or by age group and race, for many offenses. This tool also enables you to view data on local arrests.
Use this data to back up the case you’re making in your grants!
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 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:
Having trouble finding web sites that relate to your state and local government? I wish I had known about this site a long time ago. The State and Local Government Internet directory provides convenient one-stop access to the websites of thousands of state agencies and city and county governments.
Remember: The FY 2018 FP&S grant application period will open on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8 AM ET and will close on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5 PM ET.
Grant Application Webinars
The FP&S Program Office will host 2 webinars to help you with your FY 2018 FP&S grant application. The webinars will provide potential applicants with general information about the FP&S grant program, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an application. FP&S Program Officers will be available to answer questions.
FY 2018 Fire Prevention & Safety Application Assistance
Please make sure to thoroughly review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) prior to beginning your application, as it contains the latest updates to the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program. Begin preparing your application now by using the following application assistance tools:
FY 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) – This document contains key programmatic updates and application requirements for all eligible applicants.
FY 2018 FP&S Application Checklist – This checklist will help you prepare to answer questions within the grant application. Collecting this information will reduce the time and energy needed to complete your application.
FY 2018 FP&S Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about the FP&S Grant Program.
FY 2018 Research & Development (R&D) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions specifically about the Research and Development Activity within the FP&S Grant Program.
FY 2018 FP&S Self Evaluation Sheet – This Self Evaluation Sheet will help you understand the criteria that you must address in your Narrative Statement when applying for FP&S grants.
FY 2018 FP&S Cost Share Calculator – This calculator will help you understand and determine your organization’s cost share for FP&S grants.
Once summer gives way to fall, we all know how close we are to the holidays… and then to another new year. As we head into the final months of 2018 and look ahead to 2019, there is lots your department can be doing right now to prepare for next year’s grant opportunities.
Conduct a needs assessment
Proper planning involves a myriad of things, one of which is assuring that you have proper manpower and equipment to carry out your basic mission for your citizens. A needs assessment gives you the facts you need to know about how well prepared your department is to carry out its primary function.
Each year, public, private, corporate, and non-profit organizations provide thousands of grants worth billions of dollars. What programs are out there that your agency could benefit from? What program will you try for for the first time? What programs have you tried for and gotten rejected, but you’re determined that this year be the year you get to the winner’s circle? Remember: Lots of grants open for applications during the first quarter!
Know and practice the 4 things grant winners have in common
Over the years we’ve looked at thousands of grant applications, and we have seen it all. The good. The bad. The ugly. And there are things that consistently set the winners apart from the losers. Put our 4 tips to work in your grant efforts, and you will be far more likely to celebrate a grant award in 2019.
You can make a well-stated case for why your department needs a grant more than another, but you also have to back up your story with hard data. Luckily, there’s lots of that out there. Demographics, critical infrastructure, economics, you name it.
Law Enforcement, EMS, Emergency Management, Fire Service. You name it, no matter what part of the Public Safety sector an agency is in, when it comes to winning grants those winning agencies have 4 things in common.
1. They all got an early start.
Winning agencies don’t wait till the last minute. They tend to start their application and narrative 3-6 months ahead of the grant program’s opening date.
2. They all know the NOFO backward and forward.
The number one reason grants are rejected is that the applying agency committed “failure to follow directions.”
Know where these directions are?
Every single direction is in one document, known as the NOFO or RFP, the Notice of Funding Opportunity and Request for Proposal. This vital document spells out every detail of a grant program. Losing agencies sometimes barely open or skim the NOFO.
Winning agencies read, re-read, and re-read these documents again, and keep them close at hand for further reference throughout their application process.
3. They know what they need and why they need it.
Winning agencies have conducted a “needs assessment” in order to identify the highest priority item not just for themselves, but that also falls into the high priority category defined by the grant funding source.
In order to be competitive, you have to know the difference between a “need” and a “want.” They are distinctively different. Only seek “high” priority projects to go after in your grant.
Be sure you have thoroughly vetted your project with agency administrators and command staff. That way, prior to you even starting the grant application, everyone is reading from the same page and knows exactly what you will be writing for and why.
4. They seek out professional training, advice, and consulting.
Winning agencies know that you don’t just train for incident response. You train for writing grants too. They get the professional expertise they need to understand the grant process. They seek professional advice and assistance to guide their efforts and check their work for mistakes prior to submission.
As an example, the wrong answer to a single question can result in lowering your grant’s priority from a “high” to a “medium or low” priority. As such, your grant would end up rejected by the computer as not being competitive enough to go further through the vetting process. All because of one error.
While no one person or no amount of preparation can guarantee a grant’s success, these 4 steps can make it far more likely that your grant will make it to the winner’s circle.
How can you put these 4 things to work in your agency’s grant efforts today?
The Fund Finder News, by Kurt Bradley, Senior Grants Consultant, First Responder Grants
Firefighter jobs: The need is there—but do you have the funding to bring on the personnel?
NFPA 1710 and NFPA 1720 lay out guidelines for staffing levels for fire departments to maintain proper fireground safety during responses to structure fires. For example, if you’re responding to a structure fire at a 2,000 square foot, two-story, single-family home, here’s the staffing NFPA says you should have:
In an urban area (>1,000 people/square mile), at least 15 staff should respond within 9 minutes, 90% of the time
In a suburban area (500–1,000 people/square mile), at least 10 staff should respond within 10 minutes, 80% of the time
In a rural area (<500 people/square mile), at least 6 staff should respond within 14 minutes, 80% of the time
In a remote area (travel distance greater than 8 miles), at least 4 staff should respond, 90% of the time
Are you now looking around the fire hall and thinking, “Well that’s nice, but where am I going get the people to fill those boots?”
The SAFER way to staff fire jobs
Every year, fire service organizations around the country recruit and hire personnel. That’s not because they all suddenly discovered gold in the back of the bunker gear lockers either. It’s because they received SAFER grants, ranging from a few thousand dollars, to millions of dollars in direct grant funding to the department.
Analyze your call logs for the past three years. How many times have you had insufficient numbers of personnel responding to an incident?
Having adequate personnel decreases the time it takes to respond to an incident and get a fire under control, which also decreases the chance of harm to firefighters and the public you are supposed to be protecting.
If you don’t have the numbers, you have the need. Now you can build your case for why your department should receive a SAFER grant.
Make sure your SAFER grant application includes…
Remember, your grant application isn’t you asking for a handout. Your SAFER grant application’s job is to paint a picture of why your department is in need, and to offer a solution to the problem you’ve outlined. SAFER funding is just to help you carry the ball into the end zone.
When working on your SAFER grant, any solution you offer must:
Result in compliance with NFPA1710/1720 at least 85% of the time
Reflect that you reviewed records for the past three years
Determine how many times your department did not comply and what that percentage is
The lower the compliance rate, the better chance you have to get funded. Again though, remember that your solution must gain your department NFPA 1710/1720 compliance at least 85% of the time.
Keeping those jobs after SAFER funding is essential
SAFER isn’t a permanent solution to your staffing levels though. The intent of the program is to help get your department to better staffing levels. It’s your department’s responsibility to keep those jobs going after the SAFER funding period.
As part of your application, detail out how your department will continue funding these new firefighter jobs beyond the SAFER grant’s funding timeframe. You need to offer a sound sustainability plan, such as funds coming from:
Tax abatements from lured industrial facilities or new developments expiring
Attrition through retirement
Measured economic growth
Completion of projects that are already underway that will yield tax revenue upon completion. This cannot be “maybe projects,” though. Work must be underway, with a completion date prior to the grant performance period ending, in order for this to be considered a viable source of revenue to a proposed sustainability plan.
Better staffing and improved incident response
SAFER is a competitive program. But for a department that can demonstrate need and show a path forward beyond the SAFER grant, odds are decent that you just might be filling some more fire boots, complying with NFPA staffing guidelines, and improving your overall department safety and incident response.
If you wish to start considering a SAFER grant for your department for hiring firefighters, it would be beneficial for you to read the Notice of Funding Opportunity for last year’s SAFER grant. Typically the rules don’t change much from year to year.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and emergency management partner organizations today released two new PrepTalks from Michele Gay and Kristina Anderson focused on improving school safety.
NIMS Alert 21-18: FEMA and Emergency Manager Partners Release School Safety PrepTalks
Gay’s PrepTalk, “Rethinking School Safety”, relays her personal experience as the parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. She highlights some of the simple solutions that students and staff needed during the crisis at Sandy Hook, and presents Safe and Sound Schools’ Framework for Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Development: Emergency Management, Community Engagement, Physical Safety, Mental and Behavioral Health, Climate and Culture, and Health & Wellness.
Anderson’s PrepTalk, “Safety is Personal: Lessons Learned as a Survivor of the Virginia Tech Tragedy”, begins with her experience of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, when she was shot three times. She translates her experience into a focus on the importance of threat assessments in schools to identify and mitigate potential threats. She explains that it’s important to improve physical safety, but it’s just as important to encourage people to monitor their environment and to build a supportive culture in a school.
The next PrepTalks Symposium will be held on September 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. All PrepTalks, question-and-answer sessions, discussion guides, and related resources are available at https://www.fema.gov/preptalks.
PrepTalks are presented by FEMA, the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.
What does this mean for your department?
Here are things to examine in your organization:
What are your policies and procedures for responding to incidents at schools, colleges, and universities?
How will your department coordinate with other responding agencies?
What protocols are in place to protect your personnel or minimize risk?
If you are trying to figure out how your organization can better prepare for and respond to school-related incidents, we may be able to advice on grants or other programs that may be able to assist your department.
FEMA is pleased to release 2 revised online NIMS courses:
IS-100.c, An Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100
This course introduces the Incident Command System (ICS) and provides the foundation for higher level ICS training. The course describes the history, features and principles, and organizational structure of the Incident Command System. It also explains the relationship between ICS and the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
IS-700.b, An Introduction to the National Incident Management System
This course provides an overview of NIMS. NIMS defines the comprehensive approach guiding the whole community–all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), and the private sector–to work together seamlessly to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the effects of incidents. The course provides learners with a basic understanding of NIMS concepts, principles, and components.
Together, these two online courses form the foundation of NIMS training for all incident personnel.
Classroom versions will be released later this summer
The classroom versions of IS-100.c and IS-700.b are also under revision and will be released later this summer.
Please note that IS-100.c and IS-700.b are updated versions of the IS-100.b and IS-700.a courses. If you have successfully completed a previous version of these courses there is no FEMA requirement to take the revised versions of the courses. However, because these courses contain new information based on the revised NIMS, October 2017, you may find it informative to review the new versions of these courses. Previous versions of these revised courses will be archived upon release of the revised courses. This will include archiving the seven discipline-specific versions of ICS 100 for the Food and Drug Administration, Federal Workers, Healthcare/Hospitals, Higher Education, Law Enforcement, Public Works and Schools. The new ICS 100 includes discipline-specific content.
The new courses will be available through the EMI website https://training.fema.gov/is/. Students will still have access to tests for the legacy versions of these courses (IS-100.b and IS-700.a) for 30 days after release of the new courses.
An additional 28 NIMS curriculum courses are in final revisions for NIMS 2017 and will be released as they are completed and approved for release.