Tuesday, April 30, 2019


DC HomEleand Security and Preparedness Symposium

Session 2:  State Panel Facilitated Discussion: Accommodating the Whole Community

§  Dennis Boyd, New York City Office of Emergency Management
§  Dawn Brantley, Virginia Department of Emergency Management
§  Christine Heyser, Department of Human Services, Harrisburg, PA
§  Beth MacDonald, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services

Delores Scott, DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA)

This session will address how disability rights laws apply to emergency management, legal trends and promising practices for accommodating the whole community.

 Registration:  Registration is free, but space is limited. I encourage you to register as soon as you can.  Here is the link: https://attendify.co/symposium-day-one-9am-530pm-YZdUUFF.  

Thursday, April 25, 2019

GAO Report: DHS, FEMA Disaster Recovery Contracting Process Needs Major Fixes


GAO Report: DHS, FEMA Disaster Recovery Contracting Process Needs Major Fixes

April 25, 2019 (WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, announced the release of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested on the DHS and FEMA contracting process for disaster recovery efforts.

The report, entitled “Actions Needed to Improve the Use of Post-Disaster Contracts to Support Response and Recovery” found that:

  • The contracting process for post-disaster recovery efforts lacks transparency due to “inconsistent implementation of the criteria for” tracking data related to post-disaster Federal procurement.
  • FEMA did not consistently justify awards to vendors outside the disaster area, meaning the agency may have missed opportunities to award contracts to local businesses, which could help jump-start the local economy.
  • FEMA’s contracting workforce has dozens of vacancies, including contracting specialists and other critical leadership positions.

Chairman Thompson released the following statement on the report:
“This GAO report makes clear that the federal government still has work to do when it comes to contracting for disaster recovery and response efforts. Spending on disaster contracts lacks much-needed transparency – taxpayers need to know what they’re funding to provide survivors assistance in the aftermath of a disaster.  The GAO also found that disaster recovery contracting is not locally focused, so businesses feeling the pain of loss after a disaster are often not given the chance to help rehabilitate their community and restart their business.

“The GAO report also highlights how FEMA is still undergoing serious staffing challenges that need to be addressed by the Administration.  As we are about to enter the 2019 hurricane season, I urge DHS and FEMA to promptly fill these important vacancies and follow through on the GAO’s recommendations that will increase productivity and transparency in the disaster response and recovery process.”

Following the release of the report, Chairman Thompson sent a letter to Acting FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to demand answers about the large slate of vacancies in FEMA’s contracting workforce.

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

CERF: The fund that functions 'like the ambulance for the UN'. April 2019

Local entrepreneurs on funding access: 'The system is broken'. April 2019

Students at an AkiraChix training lab
Investing in social entrepreneurs is an oft-touted solution to tackling development challenges. But the system designed to support them is flawed, several entrepreneurs at the Skoll World Forum tell Devex. Read more

How funders are fighting philanthropy that is 'top down, closed door, expert driven'. April 2019

Skoll World Forum panel
Philanthropy has come under scrutiny over the past year for being removed from those most impacted by the problems funders are trying to solve. Many leaders now want to shift from funding from afar to supporting local solutions. Read more

Saturday, April 20, 2019

May 14, 2019 Opportunities. Meet leading Emergency Management and Communications Decision Makers from Kenya

Opportunity to meet leading emergency management and
communications decision makers from Kenya

On a visit to the United States, decision makers from Kenya will meet with leading U.S.  providers of emergency management and communications equipment and technologies, as Kenya plans to make upgrades and improve responses to natural disasters in remote areas. The visit, hosted by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, will allow U.S. companies to meet with and showcase their solutions to the delegation and learn about upcoming project opportunities.

USTDA’s contractor, Tuatara Group, is organizing the visit.
For more information, please visit the event website, click here Or, contact: Pamela Peseux, RTM Manager, Tuatara Group email:
projectteam@tuataragroup.com phone: +1301-335-1725
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 9 AM  - 2 PM
U.S. Trade & Development Agency
Wilson Boulevard
Suite 1100
Arlington, VA 22209 Phone: +1-703-875-4357 www.ustda.gov

    Learn about upcoming opportunities in Kenya’s emergency management sector
•  Form new business partnerships
    Host the delegation
    Meet one-on-one with key decision makers
9:00 am  Registration
9:30 am  Welcome & Introductions by USTDA  
9:45 am  Delegation Presentations followed by
10:45 pm  Coffee break and networking  
11:00 pm  Delegation Presentations followed by Q&A   
11:30 pm  Best Practices Roundtable    
1:00 pm  Networking Lunch  
 2:00 pm  One-on-One Meetings
* Notional agenda, subject to change.
    Emergency response communications technologies
    Emergency Notification Systems
    Disaster preparedness, response, and mitigation technologies
    Best practices in emergency communications  
    Policy and regulatory enablers

Registration is required.   

FREE.  U.S. Government or Supporting Organization

$40 Registration Fee for U.S. Organization.  An  investment includes a networking luncheon and a Business Briefing Handbook with background on the sector and delegates.

 In 2018, several areas throughout Kenya, including Nairobi, experienced severe flooding, displacing households, damaging roads and bridges, preventing or limiting humanitarian access to many of the affected areas, cutting off people’s access to markets in multiple locations, displacing at least 244,407 people (45,219 households) and causing more than 80 deaths.  The country struggles to provide its citizens with basic emergency services, leaving much of its population without access to timely and often life-saving assistance.   
The Government of Kenya (GoK), through the National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) within the Ministry of Interior, has been working to address shortfalls in its emergency management response systems. GoK plans to invest in a number of projects to upgrade its emergency management systems to improve responsiveness to national disasters and emergencies including monitoring, coordinating, and mobilizing resources to respond to disasters. The GoK is also prioritizing the development and procurement of additional emergency communications systems which use technology to coordinate efforts between multiple agencies such as police, fire, health, and public utilities.

This visit provides an opportunity for the delegates to learn more about U.S. best practices in emergency management communications as well as meet with the U.S. companies providing innovative communications systems and services that support emergency management and disaster relief operations in the U.S. and globally. and globally.  

Black Emergency Managers Association 
1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 
bEMA International 

Change without Sacrifice is an Illusion.  Lisa Ellis

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Financial Preparedness for Disasters & Emergencies. April 2019

Our communities (Black, Latino, and underserved) are in a constant state of emergency 24/7.

How ever possible take the time and consider financial disaster planning.  For when the time arises.

The hardest part may be keeping emergency cash handy.

BEMA International

Portland, Oregon.
Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.
Financial Preparedness.

Financial Preparedness

An important part of building a kit is to include copies of important documents that can help you be prepared financially for emergency situations. When disaster strikes, having your financial documents in order will help sustain your family during the emergency and streamline the recovery process. You may not be able to do everything suggested below - and that's okay. Do what you can. Taking even limited action now will go a long way toward preparing you financially before a disaster strikes.

Evacuation Box
Buy a lockable, durable box to grab in the event of an emergency. You don't have to wait until you have a special box - even a cardboard box will do to get started.  Put important documents in sealed, waterproof plastic bags.  Store the box in your home where you can easily get to it.  Keep this box with you if you are away from home for an extended period, but don't leave it in an unattended vehicle.

  • A small amount of cash in small denominations and/or traveler's checks.
  • Copies of driver's licenses and social security cards.
  • A list of emergency contacts that includes doctors, financial advisors, reputable repair contractors and family members who live outside your area.
  • Copies of important prescriptions for medicines and eyeglasses, and copies of children's immunization records.
  • Copies of health, dental or prescription insurance cards or information.
  • Copies of your auto, flood, renter's or homeowner's insurance policies (or at least policy numbers), and a list of insurance company telephone numbers.
  • A flash drive with digital copies of irreplaceable photographs (or film negatives protected in plastic sleeves).
  • Backups of computerized financial records.
  • A list of bank account, loan, credit card and investment account (brokerage and mutual funds) numbers.
  • Safe deposit box key.
  • Copies of other important financial and family records or a list of their locations. These include deeds, titles, wills, a letter of instruction, birth and marriage certificates, passports, relevant employee benefit documents, the first two pages of the previous year's federal and state income tax returns, etc. Originals, other than wills, should be kept in a safe deposit box or at another location.

Emergency Cash
After a disaster, you may need cash for the first few days, or even several weeks.  A disaster can shut down local ATMs and banks.  Keep a small amount of cash and/or traveler's checks at home in a place where you can quickly get to them, such as in your evacuation box. Money should be in small denominations including a couple rolls of quarters.

Emergency Fund
Set aside money in an emergency fund.  This can be difficult to do on a tight budget, but can be well worth the effort.  The fund can be very helpful, not only in a disaster, but in other financial crises as well.  Keep your emergency funds in a safe, easily accessible account, such as a passbook savings or money market account.

Try to keep your credit cards paid off. You may have to draw on them to tide you over.

Consider Renting a Safe Deposit Box
Safe deposit boxes are invaluable for protecting originals of important documents. If you don't have a safe deposit box, keep copies in your evacuation box and originals at a separate location, such as with family or friends. Home safes and fire boxes can be convenient places to store important papers. However, some disasters, such as hurricanes, floods or tornadoes, could destroy your home. It is usually better to store original papers in a safe deposit box or at another location that is not likely to be affected by the same disaster. Keep the key to the safe deposit box in your evacuation box.

Original Documents to Store in a Safe Deposit Box
  • Deeds, titles and other ownership records for your home, autos, RVs, boats, etc.
  • Birth certificates and naturalization papers.
  • Marriage license/divorce papers and child custody papers.
  • Passports and military/veteran papers.
  • Appraisals of expensive jewelry and heirlooms.
  • Certificates for stocks, bonds and other investments.
  • Trust agreements.
  • Living wills, powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney.
  • Insurance policies (copies are sufficient).
  • Home improvement records.
  • Household inventory documentation.
  • Copies of wills. Originals of wills should not be kept in a safe deposit box since the box may be sealed temporarily after death. Keep originals of wills with your local registrar of wills or your attorney.

Professional Advice May be Necessary
Depending on your situation, you may need the advice of a professional financial advisor. There is free financial counseling available when a disaster occurs, or you may want to hire your own professional advisor.

When selecting a financial advisor, ask for recommendations from family or friends.

Black Emergency Managers Association 
1231  Good Hope Road  S.E.
Washington, D.C.  20020
Office:   202-618-9097 
bEMA International 

Change without Sacrifice is an Illusion.  Lisa Ellis

FREE FINANCIAL FAIR!!! Join the FEC at the 2019 Money Explosion on April 27th

2019 Money Explosion: A Free Financial Fair is being held at Prince George’s Community College Campus on April 27th, 10am-3pm (Doors open at 9am) in Largo Student Center.  

This is going to be an outstanding event for all ages.  There are workshops (English and Spanish) and activities for everyone. We have workshops for seniors and adults including topics on Retirement, Money Management, Wills and Trust. We have a special track for high school and college students on entrepreneurship.   

There are special programs for children 5-14.  This is a great opportunity, especially during Financial Literacy Month.  

Tickets are free and can be obtained online at www.pgcash.orgLunch is included. Make this a family event.


The Black Emergency Managers Association International

Membership Dues (New and Renewal)

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