Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DHS. Newsletter. Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS)

Nuclear and Radiological Lessons Learned
How do I find an After-Action Report on Exclusive Content

Joint Field Office Operations: Assigning Liaison Officers to Assist Local Government Officials

Emergency Public Information: Montgomery County, Maryland, Fire and Rescue’s Use of Social Media to Engage the Community After Consecutive Snowstorms

Mass Casualty Incidents: The Missouri 1 Disaster Medical Team’s Deployment of a Mobile Medical Unit After the Joplin Tornado Outreach
Newsletter March 2012

Did You Know?
In 2011, the National Capital Region (NCR) launched the National Capital Region News and Information Website. The site serves as a news feed for NCR jurisdictions as well as provides emergency alerts and weather, traffic, and utilities status information. In addition, NCR residents can sign up for daily updates. Many other jurisdictions have established similar public information websites including, NY-Alert, Alert LA County, and NotifyChicago.

Nuclear and Radiological Lessons Learned
Featured Topic for March remembers the 1 year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. On May 11, 2011, at 2:46 p.m. Japan Standard Time, an undersea megathrust earthquake with a 9.0 magnitude (M 9.0) occurred off the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan. The earthquake generated tsunami waves of up to 38 meters, which resulted in over 15,000 deaths, 5,600 injured, and 4,800 people missing across 22 prefectures. The Great East Japan Earthquake also caused the automatic shutdown of 11 operating reactors, including the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. Forty minutes after the earthquake, several tsunami waves inundated the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. As a result, several units experienced explosions that caused a major release of radioactive materials into the air and the ocean. The Fukushima nuclear power plant released approximately 10 percent of the radiation released during the Chernobyl accident.

The Japanese tsunami and nuclear disaster demonstrates the need for jurisdiction to prepare for similar events. provides members with the Nuclear and Radiological Lessons topic-specific page. This page includes a variety of reports in addition to exclusive content documents. Examples of these documents include:

For more information about this and other nuclear incidents, please visit’s Nuclear and Radiological Lessons topic-specific page. To share experiences related to nuclear and radiological incidents, please submit your documents from the Submit to page.

How do I find an After-Action Report on Tutorial provides the After-Action Report Resource Center to help you access all after-action reports in the Document Library. The page provides access to after-action reports from exercises and real-world events from all levels of government, international partners, and private sector and non-governmental organizations. To access this page, please follow the steps below:

  1. Log into
  2. Click the AFTER-ACTION REPORT RESOURCE CENTER link on the "New Content" tab. You can also find the page by using the keyword search bar on the top right of every webpage.
  3. To narrow your search, the filter bar enables members to search for specific words in the title of the AAR.
  4. Click on the hyperlink to access a PDF of the document.
If you have any questions about accessing or submitting AARs to LLIS, please contact at

New Exclusive Content
The team continues to post new Lessons Learned and Practice Notes to the system on a regular basis. Weekly updates about new original content that is exclusive to can be found in the NEW LLIS.GOV CONTENT tab on the homepage. recently posted the following exclusive documents:

Practice Notes

Lesson Learned Outreach
In 2011, the team traveled around the country speaking and exhibiting at over 15 various conferences and events. Did you visit the representatives at these events? Please share your feedback and comments with us by emailing

If you would like to request an presentation at your next event, please email the Outreach Team at To view a list of all emergency management and homeland security events, please visit the Events Calendar. For more information, please visit the Outreach page.

Proposal Writing: Components

Proposal Writing Short Course

Components of a Proposal


umbrella statement of
your case and summary
of the entire proposal
1 page


of Need:

why this project
is necessary
2 pages



nuts and bolts of
how the project will
be implemented and evaluated
3 pages


financial description
of the project plus
explanatory notes
1 page



history and governing
structure of the nonprofit;
its primary activities,
audiences, and services
1 page


summary of
the proposal's
main points
2 paragraphs

Grant Opportunity: Individuals with Special Needs. Communication;jsessionid=wXnsPTPb9Rfr95FYdjv5yJQtBphBzSpwGf6QX3TwlW0X2WxhGG9r!545677704?oppId=142413&mode=VIEW

Effective Communication for People with Disabilities: 

Before, During, and After Emergencies


The synopsis for this grant opportunity is detailed below, following this paragraph. This synopsis contains all of the updates to this document that have been posted as of 02/08/2012 . If updates have been made to the opportunity synopsis, update information is provided below the synopsis.If you would like to receive notifications of changes to the grant opportunity click send me change notification emails . The only thing you need to provide for this service is your email address. No other information is requested.

Any inconsistency between the original printed document and the disk or electronic document shall be resolved by giving precedence to the printed document.
Description of Modification
Document Type:Modification to Previous  Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number:01-12
Opportunity Category:Discretionary
Posted Date:Feb 08, 2012
Creation Date:Feb 14, 2012
Original Closing Date for Applications:Mar 07, 2012   
Current Closing Date for Applications:Mar 08, 2012   
Archive Date:Apr 06, 2012
Funding Instrument Type:Cooperative Agreement 
Category of Funding Activity:Disaster Prevention and Relief 
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards:1
Estimated Total Program Funding:$50,000
Award Ceiling:$50,000
Award Floor:$35,000
CFDA Number(s):
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:No

Eligible Applicants

Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Agency Name

National Council on Disability


The National Council on Disability is interested in evaluating effective communication for Americans with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies.Since 2005, NCD has noted in multiple publications the need for research and evidence-based knowledge to support national efforts on emergency management and disability. As a result of this work, NCD was given responsibilities regarding emergency management in the Post-Katrina Emergency Reform Act (PKEMRA). As part of these responsibilities, NCD recently participated in two events that illustrated the need to place additional emphasis on effective communication. In September 2011, NCD held an all-day meeting with FEMA’s Regional Disability Integration Specialists, where the agencies discussed the current state of emergency management as well as barriers and facilitators to the inclusion of people with disabilities. Also in September 2011, NCD cosponsored FEMA’s Getting Real II conference, which highlighted promising practices in inclusive emergency management. During both meetings, issues related to effective communication were raised as a critical area needing attention.Effective communication throughout all phases of emergency management (preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation) must be fully accessible to all people with disabilities. NCD is interested in examining the accessibility of communication before, during, and after emergencies for people with sensory disabilities (deaf, hard of hearing, blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, and speech disabilities) as well as people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with psychiatric disabilities. NCD will document successful practices and identify facilitators and barriers to providing effective emergency-related communication. Through this study, NCD will aim to educate emergency planners, as well as state and local officials, about how to provide effective communication to all people with disabilities before, during, and after emergencies. A key piece of this research will include a thorough examination of the current state of affairs concerning the accessibility of emergency-related communication. This analysis must address all phases of emergency management and be cross-disability and demonstrate sensitivity to diversity matters/issues that can impact outreach and response. The research must include what is occurring in this area on both the national and state level.NCD proposes to collect information on the experiences of people with disabilities as it relates to emergency-related communication; highlight accomplishments, and determine recommendations for how emergency communication accessibility for people with disabilities can be improved.NCD is also interested in looking at current disability laws and regulations as they pertain to effective communication before, during, and after emergencies, the enforcement of these laws and regulations, and whether further laws and/or regulations should be promulgated.NCD hopes the information in this report will motivate and drive emergency planners to improve their ability to provide effective communication for people with disabilities. 

Link to Full Announcement

NCD Website

If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

Robyn Powell
Attorney Advisor
Phone 202-272-2008 Robyn Powell

Synopsis Modification History

The following files represent the modifications to this synopsis with the changes noted within the documents. The list of files is arranged from newest to oldest with the newest file representing the current synopsis. Changed sections from the previous document are shown in a light grey background.
File NameDate
Modification #1Feb 08, 2012
Original SynopsisFeb 03, 2012

Trauma and PTSD

School Shootings and PTSD:  Trauma can last for months of years
Students at Chardon High School outside of Cleveland are reeling after a school shooting that left three students dead and two others injured.

“It’s just a nightmare I’m waiting to wake up from,” said Mike Wargo, a senior who heard the gunshots shortly after leaving his friends in the school’s cafeteria.

“I can’t even imagine what the parents feel right now,” Wargo told TODAY's Savannah Guthrie through tears. ‘”I wish I was there. I’d rather take bullet for one of those five.”

Neither Wargo, nor most of the high school’s students were physically hurt in the attack.  But they may suffer psychological scars of guilt and grief. Mental health experts say the echoes of such a trauma can last for months -- or if untreated -- for years. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition spurred by a terrifying event. The symptoms interfere with daily life and can include flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and even physical aches and pains. 

Grief counselors are on hand to talk to students, teachers and parents affected by the Chardon, Ohio school shooting.

“We don’t want kids to have to deal with these symptoms for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Melissa Brymer, director of terrorism and disaster programs with the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. “They need to get the message that … there are treatments.” Brymer has studied incidents of post-traumatic stress disorder after school shootings in Southern California in 2001 and at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Brymer notes that a certain amount of anxiety and stress following such an event is normal and expected. Students may not sleep well. And rumors flying about what happened exacerbate the situation.

Many students wrestle with guilt about whether they could have stopped the shooting or done more to save a friend or peer. In her research of the Santee, Calif., shooting that left two students dead and 13 wounded, Brymer discovered that about 40 students had information about possible threats before the shooting occured. Those people needed extra support, she said.
But not every student will react the same. 

“Not everyone who has been through a school shooting will get PTSD,” Brymer says. “It’s the kids who were directly exposed who are more at risk.” 

That could include students who were in the cafeteria at the time of the shooting, those who had a friend who was killed or injured, or those who provided first aid to someone who was hurt.
In her research following a 2001 shooting at Santana High School in Santee, Calif., Brymer found that about 12 percent of the 1,160 students screened had some symptoms of PTSD nine months later. 
And nearly a quarter of the students who were directly exposed to the violence suffered from some degree of PTSD nine months later, according to the study. 
Whether and how quickly a student bounces back from the trauma of a school shooting depends on factors including the person’s social support system and individual ability to cope with stress, Brymer said. Kids with a history of mental illness or other traumas may struggle more. Girls and younger teens tend to be at higher risk for developing PTSD after trauma.
Brymer’s research highlights the importance of schools screening students for PTSD following a shooting, and the value of continuing to provide services even months after the event. She urges students, parents and staff to monitor their friends and peers for behavior changes or signs of ongoing stress. 
“It’s important to recognize those who are truly struggling,” she said. “We know that there are effective treatments that help these students. There are mental health professional trained in trauma and grief and we want to connect them.”
In Chardon, all local schools are closed and the school district is providing free grief counseling. School District Superintendent Joe Bergant told a news conference that the community needed to spend time "reflecting on family." He added, "I hope every parent, if you haven't hugged or kissed your kids in the last couple days, you take that time."
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that a number of students had information about threats prior to the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting; research in fact revealed that about 40 students had information about threats leading up to the 2001 Santee, Calif., school shooting.