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The nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is the country's leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters.

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The Latest in Disaster Resilience

FLASH Heads West to Wrap 2023 Program Year

On December 13, 2023, FEMA, FLASH, and the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services co-hosted a QuakeSmart Workshop for local businesses and organizations interested in earthquake preparedness and resilience.


Stephen Rea, Assistant Director – San Diego County OES, opened the workshop, followed by an introduction to QuakeSmart from Eric Vaughn, Executive Vice President – FLASH. Lisa Peumsang, Director of Emergency Management – San Diego State University, delivered valuable insights into the science and risks of earthquakes in the region. 


The event included interactive panel presentations, a working lunch, and networking opportunities focusing on essential steps for large-scale earthquake preparedness. 


Speakers Ines Pearce, Principal – Pearce Global Partners; Glen Granholm, Vice President – SAFE-T-PROOF; Ayman Abdelaal, Branch Engineer – Simpson Strong-Tie Co., and Barbara Ayers (CEM), Senior Emergency Services Coordinator – San Diego County OES covered staffing, space/systems, structural elements, and essential services during seismic events, respectively.


A post-earthquake short-term recovery session by Cody Gallagher, Emergency Services Coordinator – San Diego County OES, highlighted vital topics such as damage assessments, assistance centers, debris removal, and rebuilding, crucial for effective post-earthquake recovery.


Glenn Pomeroy, California Earthquake Authority, Chief Executive Officer showcased the Bolt + Brace program, a groundbreaking initiative offering technical assistance and grants to retrofit homes, fortifying communities against seismic risks.


The workshop concluded with a Public-Private Partnership Roundtable moderated by Eric Vaughn and Ines Pearce, fostering collaboration between private sector entities and public preparedness representatives. 


Stay tuned for additional QuakeSmart Workshop dates scheduled for 2024.

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FLASH in the News

Storms Aren’t the Only Thing Brewing: FLASH and Tradesman Team Up for Hurricane Preparedness

Last fall, Tradesman Brewing Co., in collaboration with FLASH, unveiled a "Know Your Zone" lager beverage can featuring a QR code that connects patrons to the HurricaneStrong.org website and delivers vital hurricane preparedness tips across 22 hurricane-prone states. This innovative partnership initiative offers consumers a unique opportunity to access robust resources, empowering them to prepare for hurricane season.


"The ability to have a national nonprofit house data for each state's evacuation zone and the ability to work with the federal emergency agencies is phenomenal," said Sara Gayle McConnell, VP Operations – Tradesman Brewing. "We look forward to partnering with each and everyone as we continue to explore unique opportunities to educate the public." 


Tradesman and FLASH first came together through FLASH Founding FEMA Partner Christina Finch who serves as the Response Geospatial Office Deputy Branch Chief and former FEMA National Hurricane Program Manager.


A partnership between Tradesman Brewing and Dorchester County Emergency Management earned the 2023 National Savvy Award for Most Innovative Communications. This award signifies the brewery's exceptional contribution in leveraging communication channels to promote hurricane readiness and community resilience.

2024 National Disaster Resilience Conference: Resilience Reimagined Opens Call for Presentations

Presentation submissions are now open for the 2024 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC24). The NDRC24 will take place from November 20 to 22 in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The program committee seeks presenters and content exploring innovative approaches and programs that drive advancements in resilience policy, practice, science, and engineering.


"NDRC24 serves as a dynamic platform for industry leaders to share groundbreaking

insights to shape the future of disaster safety through superior building practices," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "We invite professionals from resilience-focused organizations to contribute their expertise and experiences to foster a resilient future for homeowners and communities."


  • Innovation in Science and Engineering: Contributions supporting preparedness, response, recovery, or mitigation.


  • Policy: Insights driving resilience through robust building codes, smart finance, marketplace incentive programs, tax benefits, or innovative approaches.


  • Practice: Collaboration among advocates, officials, communicators, emergency managers, insurance professionals, journalists, leaders, merchants, meteorologists, manufacturers, public officials, researchers, and scientists.


  • Stories of Resilience: Showcasing the cause of disaster safety through human resilience and recovery in real-life case studies.


Presentation submissions will be accepted online through Friday, March 29, 2024.

Click here to view a recap of NDRC23.



For more than two decades, NDRC conferences have featured presentations from a range of organizations and businesses, including ABC News, Applied Technology Council, Disaster-Smart Consulting, Inc., FEMA, FLASH, FOX Weather, Global Protection Products, LLC, Huber Engineered Woods, IEM, Insurance Information Institute, International Code Council, ISO-Verisk Analytics, Lowe's, Mennonite Disaster Service, MIT, MyRadar, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Fire Protection Agency, National Hurricane Center, National Institute of Building Sciences, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Renew Financial, Simpson Strong-Tie, Southern California Earthquake Center, State Farm, The Weather Channel, Texas General Land Office, University of Florida, USAA, U.S. Resiliency Council, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Small Business Administration, Wildfire Defense Systems, Inc., and more.

 

For more information or to submit an abstract, visit the National Disaster Resilience Conference website or email info@flash.org.

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Partner Spotlight on Resilience

Bryan Koon Assumes Leadership at IEM


FLASH is delighted to announce that Bryan Koon, a distinguished member of the FLASH Board of Directors, has been promoted to President and CEO at IEM.


Bryan, who previously served as IEM's Vice President of International Homeland Security and Emergency Management, brings a wealth of experience to his role as President and CEO. His diverse background spans key leadership roles in the military, Fortune 100, and the public sector. Bryan served as Florida's Director of Emergency Management and held management positions at Walmart headquarters, including Director of Emergency Management for Global Operations.


As a Naval officer, he worked at the White House Military Office in the President's Emergency Operations Center. He has been instrumental in promoting the value of infrastructure and housing resiliency in reducing future damages.


"We want to congratulate Bryan on his new role as President and CEO," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "His dedication, strategic vision, and leadership qualities truly set him apart. We look forward to engaging with him and witnessing his continued success." 

Welcome to Lowe’s Hometowns 

Lowe’s is investing $100 million to restore and revitalize community spaces across the country through the Lowe’s Hometowns program. Each year through 2026, Lowe’s selects 100 large-scale community projects, chosen from consumer nominations, to be completed in partnership with local nonprofits, Lowe’s store associates, and community volunteers. Additionally, nearly 1,700 additional projects are selected and completed by Lowe’s stores, supply chain and store support centers across the country.

 

Now through February 19, Lowe’s is inviting everyone to nominate a hometown project to be considered for one of our signature grants.

 

Signature grants are focused on physical repairs, restorations, or improvements of community spaces. Past projects have included:

 

  • Community Resources/Spaces (e.g., park, senior citizen center, youth center, etc.); Safe Affordable Housing (e.g., critical repairs for shelters, block of homes, accessible home needs, etc.); 
  • Cultural Preservation (e.g., theater or memorial renovation, etc.); 
  • Area Revitalization (e.g., a new playground at a community park, community garden, renovations to downtown areas, etc.);  
  • Skilled Trades Education Initiatives (e.g., mobile training programs, etc.) 

 

Lowe’s encourages you to nominate a project that’s close to your own heart. Please share this opportunity with others in your organization, volunteers, neighbors, and friends so they can nominate projects in their hometowns as well.

Submit Your Nomination Here
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Partner News

Hurricane Ian Mitigation Assessment Team Report Now Available


To assess the impacts of Hurricane Ian on Florida’s built environment, FEMA deployed a MAT through the FEMA BSDS Program to perform field assessments of select buildings and their associated utility system damage in numerous coastal and inland Florida counties. 


The MAT assessed hundreds of coastal and inland residential properties, critical facilities, municipal, commercial, and public buildings, grant projects, manufactured homes, seawalls, numerous flood and wind protection measures, and various shelter types subject to Hurricane Ian’s powerful wind and flood loads. Read More>

FEMA NEHRP Releases Guidance and Recommendations for the Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Multi-Unit Wood-Frame Buildings with Weak First Stories


One of the issues of significant concern for FEMA’s National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) continues to be the risk to the nation presented by older, existing buildings that were constructed prior to the development, adoption, and enforcement of modern building codes. Existing buildings built before modern building codes represent a significant percentage of the nation’s building stock, and their often-poor performance in earthquakes poses a significant risk to the resilience of our nation’s communities.



In the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, six of the seven collapsed buildings in San Francisco’s Marina District were four-story corner apartment buildings with first-story parking (Harris and Egan, 1992). In the 1994 Northridge earthquake, perhaps two hundred such buildings containing thousands of residential units suffered severe damage or collapsed. Read More >

Jamaica Collaborates with International Code Council to Develop Ten Building Codes and Corresponding Training


The International Code Council collaborated with the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica to produce ten customized building codes for Jamaica based on the existing 2018 International Codes® (I-Codes). The Jamaica Fire and Building Codes are scheduled for publication and release in early 2024, and the remaining codes are to follow throughout 2025. Read More>

State Farm to Sponsor 2024 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day on May 4


Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is a national campaign that encourages people and organizations everywhere to come together on a single day to take action to raise awareness and reduce wildfire risks.

It is held in the United States and Canada on the first Saturday in May.


Given that in-person gatherings are limited or on hold in many places, this year’s Prep Day is focused on what residents can do on and around their homes to help protect against the threat of wildfires. Read More >

Focus on Florida’s Future Budget Reinforces Commitment to Emergency Response, Recovery, and Resiliency

 

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (Division) highlighted Governor Ron DeSantis' commitment to disaster response, recovery, and resiliency through the Focus on Florida’s Future Budget. The 2024-2025 proposed recommendations include record investments in supporting emergency response initiatives and streamlining recovery funding to communities impacted by disasters.


"I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his continued support of the Division’s vision to lead the nation in the field of emergency management and response," said Division Executive Director Kevin Guthrie. “His budget recommendations reaffirm his commitment to helping Floridians recover and build more resilient communities.” Read More >

Verisk Expands its Resilience and Sustainability Analytics with New Dataset


Verisk, a leading global data analytics and technology provider, has added a new Climate Risk Dataset to its growing suite of sustainability and resilience analytics to provide powerful, geospatial insight into one of the most pressing issues facing global business today. The Dataset, launched by its risk intelligence business Verisk Maplecroft, has been developed as an end-to-end solution for insurers, corporates, banks, and investors to identify exposures to current and future climate risks across global operations, supply chains, and portfolios.


Created by an in-house team of climate scientists and based on the latest climate model projections, the Climate Risk Dataset features newly released Climate Scenarios, which assess how physical risks, such as heat, precipitation, drought, and sea level rise, evolve over time across different emissions pathways. Read More >

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Mark Your Calendars

The details below are based on the most up-to-date

information available to FLASH as of January  22, 2024

NAHB International Builders' Show

February 27 - 29, 2024 | Las Vegas, NV


  NAIC Spring Meeting

March 15 - 18, 2024 | Phoenix, AZ


2024 National Hurricane Conference

March 25 - 28, 2024 | Orlando, FL


National Tropical Weather Conference

April 2 - 4, 2024 | South Padre Island, TX


ICC Leadership Week & 2024 Committee Action Hearings

April 5 - 16, 2024 | Orlando, FL


2024 EERI Annual Meeting

April 9 - 12, 2024 | Seattle, WA


National Earthquake Program Managers Meeting

April 23 -25, 2024| St. Louis, MO


 CFSI 34th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium

April 29 - 30, 2024 | Washington, D.C.

 

2024 National VOAD Conference

May 6 - 9, 2024 | Peak Phoenix, AZ

 

Governor's Hurricane Conference

May 12 - 17, 2024 | West Palm Beach, FL


Association of State Floodplain Managers Conference

June 23 - 27, 2024 | Salt Lake City, UT


49th Annual Natural Hazards Workshop

July 14 - 17, 2024 | Broomfield, CO

 

ICC Annual Conference & Expo

October 20 - 23, 2024 | Long Beach, CA

 

National Disaster Resilience Conference

November 20 - 22, 2024 | Clearwater Beach, FL

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Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)

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