Best Practices Gleaned from the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings

On April 3, 2015, a multi-jurisdictional Project Management Team released the After Action Report for the Response to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. The 130-page report, the product of a year-long process, provides an overview of the incidents that occurred during the week of April 15, 2013; discusses the response activities of public safety, public health, emergency medical, and healthcare communities; and discusses best practices, lessons learned, and areas needing improvement.

While you might think that response activities following the Boston Marathon bombings are a far cry from the emergency preparedness and response goals of the State Heritage Emergency Partnership (SHEP) program, many of the best practices noted in the report are consistent with SHEP’s goals. They include developing and maintaining pre-existing professional relationships, formal mutual aid agreements, and effective collaboration to maintain situational awareness.

The full report is posted here on the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency website.

Free Webinar on College and University Emergency Response Training

As part of FEMA’s Emergency Management Higher Education Program, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is offering the following webinar:

“In Emergency Response, Great Plans Are a Smart Thing: Training is Everything!”

April 23, 2015
11:00 am – 2:00 pm EDT
Presenter: Bo Mitchell, President/Founder 911 Consulting

Smart plans are critical. But, if we don’t get the words off the paper and into people’s heads, we have failed. Thus, training is everything given that people can’t and won’t run to look at binders for response in a real emergency. What are the legal requirements for training? What are the current practices and obstacles on campuses regarding training? What are the proven ways to train for emergency response? How does your campus compare?

Learning Objectives:

  1. What are the laws, regulations and standards that control emergency plan training?
  2. How will lawsuits affect you and your campus?
  3. What are – versus what should be – the overriding attitude of administrators in training employees in emergency response?
  4. What are the obstacles and consistent mistakes administrations make in emergency training?
  5. Do we need to train the Emergency Team differently than the rest of employees?
  6. How to protect your administration?

Conference Number: 800-320-4330
Participant Code: 316172

To join the meeting: https://fema.connectsolutions.com/he/

For additional information, contact Lillian Virgil, Chief, Mitigation Branch, Emergency Management Institute, Lillian.Virgil@fema.dhs.gov or call 301-447-1490.

 

Prepare for MayDay 2015: Join the Movement!

The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (FAIC) is proud to carry on Heritage Preservation’s MayDay initiative encouraging libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and preservation organizations to set aside May 1, 2015, to examine and increase their preparedness for emergencies.

Any organization can participate in MayDay. Last year staff at the Snowden Library of Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, reviewed basic first aid procedures with their department of safety and security, updated their disaster plan, and created a Pocket Response Plan; at the Historic Fourth Ward School Museum in Virginia City, Nevada, staff, volunteers, and interns met to discuss possible emergency situations, reviewed and updated their emergency manual, and made sure all personnel clearly understood the steps to be taken in various emergencies; and the Worthington Historical Society in Worthington, Ohio, developed a system for labeling their collections according to high, medium, and low priority in the event of an emergency to share with staff, volunteers, and local emergency personnel.

Visit FAIC’s MayDay page to view project ideas and the MayDay logo.

Activities hosted by FAIC for MayDay 2015 are sponsored by Polygon Group, offering document recovery, emergency planning services, property damage restoration, and temporary humidity control across the globe.

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) created the MayDay initiative in 2006 and promoted the idea to its members and allied organizations. The following year, the Heritage Emergency National Task Force and SAA expanded the concept to include all kinds of collecting institutions and historic preservation interests. For more information about SAA’s MayDay activities, click here.

About FAIC

FAIC, the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works, supports conservation education, research, and outreach activities that increase understanding of our global cultural heritage.

FEMA Releases New State Mitigation Plan Review Guide

FEMA recently announced the release of the new State Mitigation Plan Review Guide (“Guide”). The updated Guide clarifies federal regulations that apply to FEMA; policy; and guidance around state hazard mitigation plan for state agencies and other officials developing mitigation plans. The Guide helps ensure a consistent plan review process for FEMA and the states that aim to improve the analysis and integration of evolving risks, such as climate change. The Guide will go into effect in approximately one year on March 6, 2016, for all state mitigation plans submitted to FEMA for review and approval. The transitional period allows time for FEMA and the states to work together to support their familiarity and understanding of the updated Guide. Indian tribal governments should follow the Tribal Multi-Hazard Mitigation Planning Guidance.

We bring this to your attention because states will need to take a holistic approach and include not only emergency management, but also the sectors of economic development, land use and development, housing, health and social services, infrastructure, and natural and cultural resources, in their planning process and mitigation program, where practicable.

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NJCAR in the Driver’s Seat

Back in January, we posted an article about the formation of New Jersey’s state-level cultural heritage emergency network, the New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR). The network’s activities continue in high gear. Michele Stricker, Associate Director of Library Support Service at the New Jersey State Library, has agreed to serve as the Chair of NJCAR. Four standing committees have been established – Membership, Information Resources, Program, and Development – and each chair will be selecting members for their respective committees. On February 17, 2015, the NJCAR By-laws were adopted by a unanimous vote. The by-laws are available on NJCAR’s new website.

NJCAR has already planned two activities for New Jersey – two intensive hands-on disaster response and recovery workshops to increase practical knowledge through a simulated disaster, and a statewide summit to introduce NJCAR to cultural institutions and emergency responders at the local and regional levels. The trainings and summit will be held at regional police and fire training centers in north, south, and central New Jersey to increase participation by local emergency responders.

Heritage Preservation is proud to be one of NJCAR’s founding organizations.

Expedite Post-Disaster Access Through Credentialing

At the February 17, 2015, Miami-Dade County Public-Private Sector Partnership meeting, the topic of credentialing arose. (It was also a topic of discussion at the 2013 Alliance for Response Miami kick-off forum.) How do cultural stewards gain access to their institutions following a disaster, given the critical need to stabilize the environment and assess damage to collections? Steve Detwiler, Whole Community Recovery Planner of the Miami-Dade Office of Emergency Management and AFR Miami’s co-chair, shared information on credentialing essential employees. Use the following tips and guidance to kick-start a discussion with your local and state emergency managers.

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FEMA Implements New Disaster Grant Obligations Process

FEMA will be implementing a new process to award Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program project funds to grantees for disasters declared after March 1, 2015. After this change is initiated in the financial management system, grantees will be able to see project-by-project obligations and disbursements. Grantees will also be required to request and draw down funding by project.

Benefits of this new disaster grant obligations process include enhanced controls for both FEMA and grantees, simplification of data analytics and a streamlined reporting process. This enhancement to the system will assist grantees in tracking funds on a project-by-project basis. It will also allow FEMA to better understand which funds are being drawn down and for which purposes. This will allow a more transparent platform for tracking funds, required quarterly reporting and audit purposes.

This new process will not be applied retroactively to prior disasters. Previously, FEMA obligates Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds into a single large account where grantees can draw down funds from. Disasters declared before March 1, 2015 will not be affected by this new change and will continue to operate as they always have in a lump sum format.

A webinar will be held on February 25 at 1 p.m. ET to provide an overview of the system enhancement as well as training on how to use the new interface and draw down project funding. Participants can join the webinar via Adobe Connect or by dialing 1-800-320-4330 and entering 455513 for the conference PIN.