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Archive for the ‘Federal Emergency Management Agency’ Category

Fire/EMS Department Operational Considerations and Guide for Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents

July 23, 2014 Comments off

Fire/EMS Department Operational Considerations and Guide for Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Incidents (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

This guide is a fire and emergency medical services (EMS) resource that can be used to support planning and preparation for active shooter and mass casualty incidents. These complex and demanding incidents may be well beyond the traditional training and experience of the majority of firefighters and emergency medical technicians. The U.S. Fire Administration offers this guide as one source of many available for the public safety community, but it takes into consideration the diverse local service levels available across America. In developing the guide, we consulted with individuals and groups engaged in fire and pre-hospital emergency medical services, law enforcement, and hospital medical and trauma care. We also consulted with public safety organizations and numerous federal agencies.

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CRS — FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund: Overview and Selected Issues

May 14, 2014 Comments off

FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund: Overview and Selected Issues (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Robert T. Stafford Emergency Relief and Disaster Assistance Act (P.L. 93-288, as amended) authorizes the President to issue declarations for incidents ranging from destructive, large-scale disasters to more routine, less damaging events. Declarations trigger federal assistance in the forms of various response and recovery programs under the Stafford Act to state, local, and tribal governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) is the primary funding source for disaster response and recovery.

Funds from the DRF are used to pay for ongoing recovery projects from disasters occurring in previous fiscal years, meet current emergency requirements, and as a reserve to pay for upcoming incidents. The DRF is funded annually and is a “no-year” account, meaning that unused funds from the previous fiscal year (if available) are carried over to the next fiscal year. In general, when the balance of the DRF becomes low, Congress provides additional funding through both annual and supplemental appropriations to replenish the account.

New: Residential Building Electrical Fires (2009-2011)

April 15, 2014 Comments off

New: Residential Building Electrical Fires (2009-2011) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated 25,900 residential building electrical fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year. These fires caused an estimated 280 deaths, 1,125 injuries and $1.1 billion in property loss.
  • Residential building electrical fires resulted in greater dollar loss per fire than residential building nonelectrical fires.
  • In 79 percent of residential building electrical fires, the fire spread beyond the object where the fire started.
  • The leading items most often first ignited in residential building electrical fires were electrical wire/cable insulation (30 percent) and structural member or framing (19 percent).

State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk

April 9, 2014 Comments off

State Fire Death Rates and Relative Risk
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

The fire problem varies from region to region in the United States. This often is a result of climate, poverty, education, demographics, and other causal factors. Perhaps the most useful way to assess fire fatalities across groups is to determine the relative risk of dying in a fire. Relative risk compares the per capita rate for a particular group (e.g., Pennsylvania) to the overall per capita rate (i.e., the general population). The result is a measure of how likely a group is to be affected. For the general population, the relative risk is set at 1.

In addition to the District of Columbia, the states with the highest relative risk in 2010 included West Virginia, Alabama and Mississippi. The populace of West Virginia was 3.3 times more likely to die in a fire than the general population; however, people living in Oregon, Massachusetts and Arizona were 50 percent less likely to die in a fire than the population as a whole. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia had a relative risk higher than that of the general population. Three states, Iowa, Washington and New Mexico, had a relative risk comparable to that of the general population.

Relative risk was not computed for HI, ME, ND, VT and WY due to small numbers of fire deaths which are subject to variability.

Residential Building Garage Fires (2009-2011)

April 2, 2014 Comments off

Residential Building Garage Fires (2009-2011) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

An estimated 6,600 residential building garage fires were reported to United States fire departments each year and caused an estimated 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property loss.

Findings from this report:

  • Residential building garage fires are considered part of the residential fire problem and comprised about 2 percent of all residential building fires.
  • Fires originating in residential building garages tend to be larger and spread farther than fires that start in other areas of a residence.
  • Of residential building garage fires, 93 percent occurred in one- and two-family residential buildings.
  • The leading causes of residential building garage fires were “electrical malfunction” (16 percent); “other unintentional, careless” action (15 percent); and “open flame” (11 percent).
  • Residential building garage fires occurred most often in the colder months of January and December (at 10 percent each). Additionally, residential building garage fires also peaked in July at 10 percent.
  • Electrical arcing was the most common heat source in residential building garage fires (17 percent).

CRS — United States Fire Administration: An Overview

March 11, 2014 Comments off

United States Fire Administration: An Overview (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via University of North Texas Digital Library)

The United States Fire Administration (USFA)—which includes the National Fire Academy (NFA)—is currently housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The objective of the USFA is to significantly reduce the nation’s loss of life from fire, while also achieving a reduction in property loss and non-fatal injury due to fire.

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) funded USFA at $43.942 million. Additionally, the United States Fire Administration and Training budget account was subject to a 5.0% sequestration cut, putting the FY2013 level for USFA at $41.726 million.

The FY2014 budget proposal requested $41.306 million for USFA. Of the requested total appropriation, $12.267 million would be allocated to the National Fire Academy, $11.205 million to National Fire Programs, and $17.834 million to National Emergency Training Center (NETC) Management, Operations and Support. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-76), signed into law on January 17, 2014, funds USFA at $44 million.

U.S. Fire Administration — Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative

March 10, 2014 Comments off

Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (PDF)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Since the release of our publication “Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2004),” we have worked with many fire service organizations and the law enforcement community to increase emergency responder safety in this area. Our latest study report, “Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014),” consolidates the results of this work and provides best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response.

Topics covered include:

  • Common crash causes and crash prevention.
  • The impact of vehicle design and maintenance on safety.
  • Internal and external factors for improving response-related safety.
  • Regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety.
  • Roadway incident scene safety.

Post Disaster Reunification of Children – A Nationwide Approach

November 19, 2013 Comments off

Post Disaster Reunification of Children – A Nationwide Approach
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency

This document reflects our Nation’s first attempt to establish a holistic and fundamental baseline for reunifying children separated as a result of a disaster and aims to assist local, state, tribal, territorial, and insular area governments and those responsible for the temporary care of children, such as educational, child care, medical, juvenile justice, and recreational facilities, in enhancing the reunification elements of existent emergency preparedness plans and/or conducting new all-hazards reunification planning.

Annual report on firefighter fatalities in the United States

October 2, 2013 Comments off

Annual report on firefighter fatalities in the United States
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Eighty-one firefighters died while on duty in 2012.

  • The total break down included 42 volunteer, 28 career, and 11 wildland agency firefighters.
  • There were 4 multiple firefighter fatality incidents claiming a total of 10 firefighters.
  • Fifteen firefighters died in duties associated with wildland fires.
  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 45 firefighters.
  • Twenty-two firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • Seventeen firefighters died while responding to or returning from 16 emergency incidents.
  • Eighteen firefighters died as the result of 14 vehicle crashes, six involving POVs, six involving apparatus, and six from two separate incidents involving aircraft.
  • Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death with 39 firefighter deaths.
  • Eight firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
  • Twelve firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.

Fire Service Operations and Tactics During Disasters and Emergencies

October 2, 2013 Comments off

Fire Service Operations and Tactics During Disasters and Emergencies
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

This guide is a fire and emergency medical services (EMS) resource that can be used to support planning and preparation for active shooter and mass casualty incidents. These complex and demanding incidents may be well beyond the traditional training and experience of the majority of firefighters and emergency medical technicians. The U.S. Fire Administration offers this guide as one source of many available for the public safety community, but it takes into consideration the diverse local service levels available across America. In developing the guide, we consulted with individuals and groups engaged in fire and pre-hospital emergency medical services, law enforcement, and hospital medical and trauma care. We also consulted with public safety organizations and numerous federal agencies.

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education

August 20, 2013 Comments off

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education
Source: FEMA

This guide provides recommendations in the development of plans not only to respond to an emergency, but also outlines how Institutions of Higher Education can plan for preventing, protecting against, mitigating the impact of and recovering from these emergencies. The guide translates lessons learned from the Administration’s work on national preparedness to Institutions of Higher Education to benefit from recent advancements in the emergency planning field. The guide introduces new approaches to planning, that includes walking through different emergency scenarios to create a course of action for each objective the team is trying to accomplish.

Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans

August 20, 2013 Comments off

Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans
Source: FEMA

This guide provides recommendations in the development of plans not only to respond to an emergency, but also outlines how Schools (K-12) can plan for preventing, protecting against, mitigating the impact of and recovering from these emergencies. The guide translates lessons learned from the Administration’s work on national preparedness to benefit from recent advancements in the emergency planning field. The guide introduces new approaches to planning, that includes walking through different emergency scenarios to create a course of action for each objective the team is trying to accomplish.

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship

August 1, 2013 Comments off

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship (PDF)
Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Many people think of a house of worship as a safe area where violence and emergencies cannot affect them. However, violence in houses of worship is not a new phenomenon. In addition to violent acts, fires, tornados, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and arson also affect houses of worship. With many incidents occurring with little to no warning, many houses of worship are developing and updating plans and procedures to ensure the safety and security of their congregations, staff, and facilities.

In collaboration with other houses of worship and community partners (i.e., governmental entities that have a responsibility in the plan, including first responders, public health officials, and mental health officials), houses of worship can take steps to plan for these potential emergencies through the creation of an emergency operations plan (EOP). Additionally, community organizations and private sector entities may have a role in the plan. Houses of worship are distinctive settings in that congregants share a common bond and have a predisposition to volunteer. The demographics of a congregation often mean that children and the elderly are present and may need assistance.

This guide provides houses of worship with information regarding emergency operations planning for the spectrum of threats and hazards they may face. It discusses actions that may be taken before, during, and after an incident in order to reduce the impact on property and any loss of life and it encourages every house of worship to develop an EOP.

CRS — Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies

July 25, 2013 Comments off

Congressional Primer on Responding to  Major Disasters and Emergencies (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

The principles of disaster management assume a leadership role by the local, tribal, and state governments with the federal government providing coordinated supplemental resources and assistance, if requested and approved. The immediate response to a disaster is guided by the National Response Framework (NRF), which details roles and responsibilities at various levels of government, along with cooperation from the private and non-profit sectors, for differing incidents and support functions. A declaration of a major disaster or emergency under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, P.L. 93-288, must, in almost all cases, be requested by the governor of a state or the chief executive of an affected Indian tribal government, who at that point has declared that the situation is beyond the capacity of the state or tribe to respond. The governor/chief also determines which parts of the state/tribal territory they will request assistance for and suggests the types of assistance programs that may be needed. The President considers the request, in consultation with officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and makes the initial decisions on the areas to be included as well as the programs that are implemented.

The majority of federal aid is made available from FEMA under the authority of the Stafford Act. In addition to that assistance, other disaster aid is made available through programs of the Small Business Administration (which provides disaster loans to both businesses and homeowners), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) within the Department of Transportation (DOT), and, in some instances, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) (in the form of Community Development Block Grant funds being made available for unmet disaster needs).

While the disaster response and recovery process is fundamentally a relationship between the federal government and the requesting state or tribal government, there are roles for congressional offices to play in providing information to the federal response and recovery teams in their respective states and districts. Congressional offices also serve as a valuable source of accurate and timely information to their constituents.

New: Nonresidential Building Fires (2009-2011)

July 11, 2013 Comments off

New: Nonresidential Building Fires (2009-2011)
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

Findings from this report:

  • An estimated 86,500 nonresidential building fires were reported to United States fire departments each year and caused an estimated 85 deaths, 1,325 injuries, and $2.6 billion in property losses per year.
  • Cooking was the leading cause of all nonresidential building fires (29 percent). Nearly all nonresidential building cooking fires were small, confined fires (97 percent).
  • Outside and special properties accounted for the most nonresidential building fires (21 percent), while storage buildings accounted for the most nonresidential building fire deaths (29 percent).
  • Nonresidential building fires occurred most frequently from 3 to 6 p.m.
  • Nonconfined nonresidential building fires most often started in vehicle storage areas (9 percent).
  • Fifty-six percent of nonconfined nonresidential building fires extended beyond the room of origin. The leading causes of these larger fires were unintentional or careless actions (19 percent), intentional actions (13 percent), and electrical malfunctions (12 percent).
  • Misuse of material or product (32 percent) was the leading factors contributing to ignition category in nonconfined nonresidential building fires.
  • Smoke alarms were not present in 52 percent of the larger, nonconfined fires in occupied nonresidential buildings.

New From the GAO

June 25, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony

Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. Haiti Reconstruction: USAID Infrastructure Projects Have Had Mixed Results and Face Sustainability Challenges. GAO-13-558, June 18.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-558
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655275.pdf

2. Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Key Challenges to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Pursuit of the Imposition of Trade Remedies. GAO-13-575, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-575
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655494.pdf

3. Video Marketplace: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated. GAO-13-576, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-576
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655477.pdf

Testimony

1. National Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Progress, but Additional Steps Are Needed to Improve Grant Management and Assess Capabilities, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. GAO-13-637T, June 25.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-637T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655393.pdf

New From the GAO

June 24, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Grants Management: Improved Planning, Coordination, and Communication Needed to Strengthen Reform Efforts. GAO-13-383, May 23.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-383
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/654811.pdf

2. Grants Performance: Justice and FEMA Collect Performance Data for Selected Grants, but Action Needed to Validate FEMA Performance Data. GAO-13-552, June 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-552
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655457.pdf

The IMPACT of CLIMATE CHANGE and Population Growth on the National Flood Insurance Program through 2100

June 14, 2013 Comments off

The IMPACT of CLIMATE CHANGE and Population Growth on the National Flood Insurance Program through 2100 (PDF)
Source: FEMA

The study finds that over the next 90 years, there will likely be (50-percent chance) a significant increase in coastal and riverine flooding in our nation, which will have a significant impact on the NFIP . The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) supports the findings in this study and is committed to increase public awareness of flood risk and promote action that reduces risk to life and property. If the risk of flooding increases as descri bed in this report, there will be a need for FEMA to directly incorporate the effects of these changes into va rious aspects of the NFIP. As a nation, we need to acknowledge our risk, establish our roles, and work together to prepare for the future.

New From the GAO

April 22, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Report

Source: Government Accountability Office

1. FEMA Reservists: Training Could Benefit from Examination of Practices at Other Agencies. GAO-13-250R, March 22.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-250R

CRS — Analysis of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013

April 1, 2013 Comments off

Analysis of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Hurricane Sandy caused extensive human suffering and damage to public and private property. In response to this catastrophic event, Congress considered legislation to provide supplemental appropriations to federal disaster assistance programs. In addition, Congress considered revisions to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act, P.L. 93- 288 as amended), which is the primary source of authorities for disaster assistance programs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). As a result, Congress passed the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013, which was included as Division B of the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-2). Division A of P.L. 113-2 provided a $50.7 billion package of disaster assistance largely focused on responding to Hurricane Sandy. Additionally, Congress increased the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority by $9.7 billion (from $20.725 billion to $30.425 billion) (P.L. 113-1). Both of these supplemental relief law are discussed separately in CRS Report R42869, FY2013 Supplemental Funding for Disaster Relief.

This report analyzes the provisions of the Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. In general, these provisions amend the Stafford Act with a stated goal of improving the efficiency and quality of disaster assistance provided by FEMA.

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