‘AFR’ Headline Archives

Upcoming Webinar: The Essential Role of Records in Disaster Response

Posted on: July 31st, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR, SHEP

On Wed., August 5, 2015, FEMA-Continuity Webinar will present a free, one-hour webinar by David Carmicheal, Pennsylvania State Archivist. David will discuss the role of essential records and essential records maintenance in disaster response and recovery operations.  Additionally, he will explain how to identify essential records before a disaster occurs, as well as outline strategies for protecting essential records during and after disasters.

David is also the author of Implementing the Incident Command System at the Institutional Level: A Handbook for Libraries, Archives, Museums, and other Cultural Institutions.

Host:     FEMA-Continuity Webinar

When:  Wed., August 5, 2015

Time:     2:00 – 3:00 pm Eastern

Connection options for webinar:

1) Webinar (No need to dial into audio conference. Webinar can be heard through computer speakers.)

Go to:   https://share.dhs.gov/aug2015

  • Enter as a guest.
  • Type your FIRST and LAST name.
  • Click “Enter Room.”

2) Audio Conference (Can be used if having trouble hearing webinar through computer speakers. Please dial in prior to the meeting start time.)

While participating in the teleconference, please mute your phone.

  • Audio Conference Dial-In Number: 1-800-320-4330
  • Audio Conference pin: # 164994

Questions? Contact FEMA-Continuity Webinar. For more information, click here.

Training Opportunity for Colleges and Universities

Posted on: July 23rd, 2015 by Cat Schaad | AFR

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is offering training to teams of higher education campus personnel and their emergency partners who are responsible for creating, reviewing, implementing and exercising emergency operations plans (EOPs). The target audience for this course is people who have traditional response or strategic experience, but minimal experience in emergency management planning. The three-day course is primarily interactive presentations coupled with numerous individual and group activities and exercises.


Topics to be covered include:

  • An overview of emergency management
  • Identifying hazards and using a risk assessment process
  • Managing your Emergency Operations Center (EOC) using ICS (Incident Command System)
  • Partnering with your internal and external community
  • Developing and/or revising your Emergency Operations Plan
  • Training and testing your plan


If you work at an institution of higher education, encourage your Office of Emergency Management to apply to host this free course on campus. The application deadline is August 14, 2015. For more information, click here.


HERA Atlanta’s MayDay 2015 Program

Posted on: May 21st, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR, Atlanta, GA

In honor of MayDay, HERA (Heritage Emergency Response Alliance) in Atlanta put together an excellent program on planning and wet salvage. After hearing a talk from AIC-CERT responder Ann Frellsen, participants split into groups of five for a wet salvage exercise. The activity tested participants on their ability to implement the Incident Command System, as well as their skills in putting their resources to best use. Read more about the excellent program on HERA’s website.

SHER’s Future

Posted on: April 22nd, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR, Savannah, GA

Leadership at SHER, the Savannah Heritage Emergency Response network, has been working behind the scenes to ensure that SHER continues its vital functions despite poor attendance at its workshops. After a meeting with the Coastal Museums Association (CMA) Executive Board, they are proposing that SHER become an affiliate of CMA through a memorandum of agreement.  In essence, they are proposing the following changes:

  • The SHER membership drive will be folded into the CMA membership drive. This means less paperwork each year.
  • SHER membership will continue to be free and available to any CMA member as well as first responders, CEMA officials, and related businesses.
  • One CMA program per year will be devoted to disaster response training and information.
  • SHER will also conduct one or two independent trainings or workshops as demand dictates, e.g., the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) Hurricane Conference.

Laura Seifert, SHER Chair, will be sending the proposed memorandum of agreement and subsequent proposed bylaws changes to the membership for review and vote. For more information about this AFR network, visit SHER’s website.



Prepare for MayDay 2015: Join the Movement!

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR

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.


Free Webinar on College and University Emergency Response Training

Posted on: April 7th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR

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?

7. 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.



Kick-Off Meeting for Alliance for Response – Philadelphia

Posted on: March 17th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR, Philadelphia, PA

The Philadelphia AFR Network hosted their kick-off meeting, which took place at the Free Library of Philadelphia on March 2, 2015. To learn more about the meeting, view the agenda here and the meeting summary here.

Expedite Post-Disaster Access Through Credentialing

Posted on: February 26th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR

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.


Employers are encouraged to:

– Issue employees a photo ID (preferably a company ID).
– Issue a letter (on letterhead) to their essential employees. The letter should:
– Include the date the letter was issued and when it expires. (These letters should be re-issued on a regular basis, e.g., annually, biannually.)
– Describe the essential employee’s position and duties during and following a disaster.
– Include the signature of the institution’s executive director, president, or chief operating officer.
– Include a 24-hour phone number so law enforcement officers can confirm the information.
– Provide a letter to their vendors stating the need for them to enter the area for deliveries or services. For example, such a letter should go to your disaster recovery vendors (yes, plural) to help them gain access to your damaged collections for pack-out and environmental stabilization. (This is another reason to establish a relationship with disaster recovery vendors before disaster strikes.)


If employees are stopped by local law enforcement, remind them to:

– Be courteous and truthful to the police officer at all times.
– Have all necessary documentation:
– Driver’s license
– Proof of registration
– Insurance card
– Company ID and essential employee letter


If the police officer refuses to let an employee pass, the employee:

– Should not argue with the officer.
– Should follow the officer’s directions and contact his or her employer.


The State of Florida’s guidance on credentialing and the essential employee letter can be found here.

For a PDF of this information, click here.

FEMA Implements New Disaster Grant Obligations Process

Posted on: February 24th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR

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.



USACE Releases North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study

Posted on: February 20th, 2015 by Jessica Unger | AFR, SHEP

In January, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study. The goals of the study, authorized under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, Public Law 113-2 are to reduce flood risk to vulnerable coastal populations, and promote coastal resilient communities to ensure a sustainable and robust coastal landscape system, considering future sea level rise and climate change scenarios. The study area, encompassed approximately 31,200 miles of coastline.


Please visit here to learn more about the study.