2014 National Mass Care Exercise After Action Report
Submitted by Michael Whitehead, Florida State Mass Care Coordinator
The 2014 National Mass Care Exercise was conducted May 19-22, 2014 in Tallahassee, Florida in conjunction with the 2014 Florida Statewide “Hurricane Jones” Exercise sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management. Over 100 players, controllers and evaluators representing all levels of government, nongovernmental agencies, the private sector and academia participated in the mass care portion of the exercise. Additionally, FEMA and the American Red Cross established response operations off-site to simulate coordinating elements that would be in effect in a real event.
FEMA Releases Mass Care Resource Typing Definitions
On Monday, June 30 2014, FEMA released five Mass Care resource typing definitions for final publication and distribution. The guidance contained in these definitions provides a standardized set of minimum criteria for use by the whole community when building, sustaining and inventorying resources; and when planning to deliver or delivering core capabilities through a national mutual aid network to achieve the National Preparedness Goal of a secure and resilient nation. The Mass Care resource typing definitions are:
- State Mass Care Coordinator
- Shelter Management Team
- Shelter Manager
- Field Kitchen Unit
- Field Kitchen Manager
FEMA developed these resource typing definitions in collaboration with emergency management andpublic safety practitioners. These stakeholders suggested guidance for specific overall functions, components, capabilities, and ordering specifications for these resources.
This guidance addresses standardized criteria for requests that are made under a variety of mutual aid scenarios from automatic aid to mutual aid provided through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) during declared disasters and other levels of mutual aid.
This guidance aligns with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) to provide a common and standard understanding about the tools and resources needed to sustain, build, and deliver the core capabilities necessary to achieve the National Preparedness Goal. For more information on the NIMS and its implementation, visit FEMA NIMS website.
Resource typing definitions and job title/position qualifications can be accessed using the Resource Typing Library Tool (RTLT). The RTLT is an online catalogue of NIMS resource typing definitions and job titles/position qualifications. The RTLT is publically accessible here: http://www.fema.gov/resource-management.
Questions can be submitted to the National Integration Center through e-mail at: FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov.
This effort is part of the National Preparedness System and continues the implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), a process that organizes the tools and resources needed promote unity of effort and achieve the National Preparedness Goal. For more information on national preparedness efforts, visit FEMA National Preparedness website.
Follow us on Twitter through the 2014 National VOAD Conference
Hundreds of leaders in the disaster preparedness and response sectors will convene in Indianapolis, Ind. for the 2014 National VOAD Conference May 13-15. Attendees will hear from dynamic speakers, learn from educational sessions and have the opportunity to make lasting connections with peers from the disaster response and emergency management industry. Click here to view a schedule of 2014 conference events. (from NVOAD.ORG)
Follow us for updates through the conference @mass_care.
National Mass Care Webinar Series: “Children and Disasters: An Integrated Approach to Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery”
On Monday, April 28, 2014, 3:00-4:30 p.m. EST, the National Mass Care Council hosted another installment of the National Mass Care Strategy webinar series– “Children and Disasters: An Integrated Approach to Disaster Planning, Response, and Recovery”.
Jeanne-Aimee De Marrais, Save the Children
Sunday Gustin, New Jersey Department of Children and Families
Sharon Hawa, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Tala Hooban, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Lauralee Koziol, Federal Emergency Management Agency
Bruce Lockwood, Former Commissioner, National Commission on Children and Disasters
Trevor Riggen, American Red Cross
Jenny Wiley, Missouri Department of Mental Health
This NMCS webinar focused on whole community partners working together to integrate children’s disaster related needs and implementation at the National, State and local levels. Key discussion areas included emergency preparedness planning,
The presentation slides from this presentation are available here. The webinar transcript is available here. NOTE: Due to technical difficulties with the Webinar Recording, this Transcript represents as close a facsimile as possible of the Presenters’ comments. Unintended inaccuracies may have occurred in the transcription process, but not to the extent of major content changes.
White Paper: Mass Care Task Force Structure and Function
Submitted Michael Whitehead, Florida State Mass Care Coordinator
Few individuals in the nation have experience coordinating a mass care response at the state or major metropolitan level during a major or catastrophic disaster. With the call in the National Mass Care Strategy for more states to identify a State Mass Care Coordinator, persons assigned this task will be responsible for developing a capability to respond during such an event. The purpose of this White Paper is to introduce the State Mass Care/Emergency Assistance (MC/EA) Coordination Process and the Mass Care Task Force as tools that can be utilized to expand state mass care capability. Download your copy of the Mass Care Task Force Structure and Function white paper.
FEMA Releases Updated Donated Resources Policy
Submitted by Jono Anzalone
During the disasters, while local and state officials concentrate on emergency protective measures and life safety, they are often challenged with the amount of downed trees and other debris blocking roads and their communities’ paths to recovery. Power may be out and people needing to eat. Hundreds of volunteers from faith-based groups, community organizations and private companies may quickly show up to help. Volunteers play a key role in any disaster. Without volunteer labor, equipment or material contributions, many communities would have a much harder time responding and recovering from disasters.
The good news is that some of this volunteer labor and other donated resources may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program requirements, when a Presidential Declaration is made, and could help local governments and other state agencies keep more money in their budgets to face future emergencies thanks to the FEMA Donated Resources Policy (RP9525.2). Though credit for donated resources is limited to emergency work such as emergency protective measures and debris removal, it is still good news for many local municipalities and agencies. So many volunteers turn out to help, and the time and other resources they donated will help ease the financial burden on many communities. Learn more about the updated Donated Resources Policy.
National Mass Care Webinar Series: “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping Build State Capability”
On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the National Mass Care Council hosted the 2nd installment of the National Mass Care Strategy webinar series– “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping to Build the State Capability”. The panel of presenters represented government, private sector and voluntary agencies:
- Michael Whitehead – State of Florida
- Sue Bush – State of Washington
- Brian Head – Sysco Corporation
- Jono Anzalone – American Red Cross
During the webinar speakers discussed the history of the National Mass Care Exercise, the exercise experience and lessons learned and how mass care exercises can be used to build state capability. The presentation slides from this presentation are available here. The webinar, “National Mass Care Exercise: Helping to Build State Capability“, is now available on demand.
Please let us know about your experience with the second installment of the National Mass Care Strategy Webinar Series by participating in our survey. We encourage you to keep the conversation going on the web at www.NationalMassCareStrategy.org and on Twitter @mass_care.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and American Red Cross (ARC) recently released the Post Disaster Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach. This document reflects our Nation’s first attempt to establish a framework and whole community approach for reunifying children separated from their parents or legal guardians in the aftermath of a disaster.
To ensure that this initiative was truly comprehensive, whole community partners from across the country were engaged in the development of the Post Disaster Reunification of Children: A Nationwide Approach, to include regional, state and local counterparts, a multitude of voluntary & faith based organizations, children’s organizations, disability organizations, pediatric experts, and other applicable stakeholders and advocacy groups. The overall objective of this initiative strives to:
- Assist state, local and tribal governments in determining processes, communication lines, and the identification of roles and responsibilities necessary to facilitate the expeditious reunification of children separated as a result of disaster;
- Encourage stakeholders and community leaders to develop and build upon existing and pre-disaster relationships;
- Establish an understanding of how all parties (leading and supporting) can work together to support each other’s missions, and;
- Identify tools and resources that could assist States and localities in disaster related reunification efforts.
Additionally, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) recently launched the Unaccompanied Minors Registry (UMR), our country’s first national repository created to support the NCMEC’s ability to collect, store, report, and act on information related to children separated as a result of disaster. The UMR is available during all disasters (not only Presidential) and can be accessed on the following link http://umr.missingkids.com.
National Mass Care Exercise After Action Report Released
The 2013 National Mass Care Exercise was conducted May 20-23, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida in conjunction with the 2013 Florida Statewide Hurricane Exercise. Sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, FEMA and the American Red Cross, 60 players, controllers and evaluators representing the whole community and all levels of government, nongovernment and private sector agencies participated. The 2013 National Mass Care Exercise was designed to test the concepts of state Sheltering and Feeding Task Forces. All of the participants benefited from the training offered by the exercise and from the professional development opportunities that came from interaction with such a broad array of experienced mass care professionals from so many agencies across the nation.
Mass Care at the National Hurricane Conference
Mass care was a hot topic last month as emergency managers from across the country converged on New Orleans for the 2013 National Hurricane Conference. The six mass care workshops were well attended and covered lessons learned from the 2012 Hurricane Season, the National Mass Care Strategy, exercising mass care plans, development of mass care standards and more.
Release of the National Mass Care Strategy
On behalf of all the stakeholders involved in the National Mass Care Strategy(NMCS), the National Mass Care Council (NMCC) is pleased to announce the release and publication of the National Mass Care Strategy.
During times of emergency and disasters, community mass care needs can include emergency sheltering, feeding, bulk distribution and family reunification. To best address these needs, which are scalable based on severity and scope of an event, the concept of a National Mass Care Strategy was introduced and developed through a collaborative process led by the American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster under the direction of the National Mass Care Council.
The National Mass Care Strategy recognizes that every stakeholder brings distinctive strengths critical to the effective delivery of mass care services and that the most successful mass care is achieved through collaborative whole community effort. Through the development and further implementation of the National Mass Care Strategy , we acknowledge that it is vitally important for all stakeholders to work as partners if we are to meet the mass care needs of a community.
The National Mass Care Council considers the National Mass Care Strategy as an ongoing mechanism for identifying and building the relationships necessary to conduct effective mass care capacity building and service delivery. As such, the National Mass Care Council will continue to re-visit the strategy and further fine tune the implementation plan as stakeholders work together to prepare for and meet the mass care challenges our communities will face in times of disaster.
We invite you to continue to visit the National Mass Care website to consider ways you can take action to support the goals to strengthen our nation’s mass care response capabilities and learn more in the future about the rollout of the National Mass Care Strategy.
The National Mass Care Council Leadership Team