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Volume 20, Issue 4, April 2018
Month in Review
#HurricaneStrong Resilience Rally Drone Video
#HurricaneStrong Resilience Rally
Aerial Drone Video
First #HurricaneStrong Community Named

On March 28, the FLASH Partnership designated Leon County, Florida as the first #HurricaneStrong community during a news conference and "Resilience Rally" at the National Hurricane Conference (NHC). The Leon County announcement was part of the kickoff program for year three of the annual hurricane resilience initiative.

The FLASH Partnership chose the Florida Panhandle county based on high-performing ISO Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) scores, excellence in public awareness programming, robust business community outreach, achievement of the NOAA StormReady Community designation, and leadership commitment to resilience. The designation is now an official FLASH program, and ten additional communities are pursuing it. Read More >
FLASH Partnership  Gets #HurricaneStrong at the National Hurricane Conference
During the week of March 26, the FLASH Partnership turned out in force to participate in the 2018 NHC in Orlando with exposition  booths, general session speeches, media rap sessions,  workshops, and more.

The well-attended March 27 #HurricaneStrong: The New National Hurricane Resilience Initiative workshop explored the award-winning campaign, recapped 2017 outcomes, and introduced new Spanish language content on

Each speaker discussed opportunities within the five key messages of the campaign: Personal Safety, Family Preparedness, Financial Security, Damage Prevention, and Community Service.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson moderated the panel that included #HurricaneStrong sponsors and partners Dan Brown, Senior Hurricane Specialist, National Hurricane Center; Amanda Chase, Agent, State Farm; Dr. Rick Knabb, Hurricane Expert, The Weather Channel; Ed Laatsch, Director - Safety, Planning & Building Science Division, FIMA Risk Management Directorate, FEMA, and Cheryl Nelson, Weather & Preparedness Advisor, Cummins.

Later that day, FLASH hosted a Facebook Live Hurricane Preparedness event featuring Cheryl Nelson and former CNN correspondent John Zarrella. To date, the video has more than 4,300 views. 
Jamie Rhome, Jeffrey Lindner, Dr. Rick Knabb, Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Tom Sorrells, Jim Farrell, 
Jeff Huffman
Back by popular demand, on March 28, the media rap session brought together news media, emergency managers, information officers, and national meteorology leaders to examine the latest trends and challenges from the 2017 season.

Leslie Chapman- Henderson moderated the session where the participants included Jim Farrell - Meteorologist, WINK News; Jeff Huffman, Director and Meteorologist, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network; Dr. Rick Knabb, Hurricane Expert at The Weather Channel; Jeffrey Lindner, Meteorologist, Harris County Flood Control District; Jamie Rhome, Storm Surge Team Lead, National Hurricane Center and, Tom Sorrells, Chief Meteorologist WKMG Orlando.

Later that day, Chapman-Henderson served as a panelist on How Do We Reduce the Number of Indirect Tropical Cyclone Fatalities?  moderated by Dennis Feltgen, Communications and Public Affairs Officer, National Hurricane Center. Leslie  updated conference attendees on #HurricaneStrong  messages and how they relate to life-safety. 
Peter Mitchell
The FLASH workshops concluded on March 29 with the workshop National Building Code Awareness for Risk Communicators moderated by Mike Rimoldi. 

Panelists John Ingargiola, FEMA Building Science Branch; Zack Bolieu, Salter Mitchell and Peter Mitchell, Salter Mitchell shared preliminary survey results from a National Building Code Awareness Survey commissioned by FLASH. 

Attendees discussed potential communication tactics to increase market awareness, understanding, acceptance, and demand for up-to-date model building codes and standards.
Joel May
Throughout the week, FLASH team members Alex Boyer, Zoe LaPointe, Mike Rimoldi, and Eric Vaughn stayed busy in the exhibit hall meeting attendees and showcasing the latest FLASH programs as part of "Resilience Row". 

FLASH partners from BASF Corporation, FEMA Building Science Branch, FEMA IMMERSED and FloodSmart came together to join the lineup.

Conference attendees were exceptionally receptive to learning about the many recent innovations in disaster resilient construction
Dr. Louis Uccellini, Leslie Chapman-Henderson
Experts Review the Epic 2017 Season

During the week of April 2, FLASH participated in the 2018 National Tropical Weather Conference (#NTWC2018)--an annual meeting of the nation's leading hurricane communication, engineering, industry, policy, leadership, meteorology, science, storm chaser, and weather experts. 

Sponsored by FLASH Founding and Legacy Partner USAA, the NTWC was held in South Padre Island, Texas, and featured live news feeds, streamed content, and Facebook Live presentations by NWS Director Dr. Louis Uccellini, National Hurricane Center Director Kenneth Graham, and broadcast meteorologists from the Caribbean, Florida, South Carolina, and Texas who reported on the 2017 hurricane season. Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University delivered his news-breaking seasonal hurricane forecast from the gathering and called for a higher than normal season with 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.   Read More >
Partner Spotlight
Roy E. Wright
Partner Profile -
Roy E. Wright

Editor's Note: On April 5, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety announced that Roy E. Wright has been selected as the next IBHS President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Wright will leave his current role at FEMA to assume this new position during April, and you can read more details in the official FEMA statement.
Q: What is your background, education, and experience?
A: I grew up in Northern California, in the Sacramento area. Attended college in Southern California (studying political science) and then came to The George Washington University's graduate program in public management. I began my career in public policy here in Washington, DC and have served as served as a strategy consultant, a policy advisor to the Secretary of the Interior focused on land conservation measures, and as the program executive for FEMA's Risk MAP program. In 2013, I was appointed to the Federal Senior Executive Service. Since 2015, I've served as the chief executive of FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program and the agency's leader on disaster resilience.  Read More >
Partner News
Kenneth Graham
Kenneth Graham Selected as Director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center

NOAA has selected Kenneth Graham to serve as the next director of NOAA's  National Hurricane Center in Miami, as preparations continue ahead of the 2018 hurricane season, which begins on June 1. He assumed this new role on  April 1.

"The forecasts in last hurricane season were 25 percent more accurate than average, and with new satellites and other measures they are undertaking, we are very hopeful to keep improving the timeliness and accuracy of our forecasts," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. "Ken will be a great leader of the Department's efforts in this regard." Read More >
BASF Returns with #HurricaneStrong Resilient Roof Upgrade Sweepstakes

FLASH Legacy Partner BASF Corporation has announced that it will once again provide a #HurricaneStrong Resilient Roof Upgrade to one lucky family through the popular annual sweepstakes. The upgrade includes a closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation application that seals the roof deck to create a barrier from water penetration. It also strengthens the roof to prevent wind damage and improves energy efficiency.

"A home's roof is vital to the integrity of the structure , especially during a severe weather event," said FLASH Senior Vice President of Education and Technical Programs Mike Rimoldi. "Incorporating resiliency as an upgrade to your roof provides peace of mind and can help keep families safe and secure no matter where they live."

Please help us spread the word about this generous opportunity. Applicants can visit  before November 30, to enter the sweepstakes online.  
National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is May 5

Commit a couple of hours, or the entire day, and watch as your actions help reduce your community's wildfire risk. Challenge your friends, family, faith-based group, or youth organization to develop a project and join others throughout the nation in making big changes. Your efforts will help raise wildfire awareness, promote collaboration, and bring neighbors together to work on projects that can help protect homes, neighborhoods, and entire communities from future wildfires or current post-fire impacts. Read More >
Collaboration Opportunities and Upcoming Events
Free FEMA, FLASH Ready Business Workshop Coming to Tallahassee

FLASH and Legacy Partner FEMA in partnership with Leon County Government will present a free Ready Business - Hurricane Workshop on April 26 in Tallahassee, FL. The agenda will focus on the hazards of hurricanes and inland flooding damage, continuing a series of free workshops that feature Ready Business Toolkits and proven workshop content.

Presenters will include FLASH staff as well as representatives from FEMA Region IV, Florida DEM, Florida PACE, the Florida A&M University Small Business Development Center, Leon County Division of Emergency Management, Leon County Volunteer Services, the National Weather Service, Pearce Global Partners, the Tallahassee-Leon County Office of Economic Vitality, and Legacy Partner Simpson Strong-Tie.
Seating is limited but still available for this free workshop. 

Click here to register or email  for additional information. 
Ada Monzón
2018 National Weatherperson of the Year Named NDRC Keynote Speaker

Meteorologist Ada Monzón will be a featured keynote speaker at the 2018 National Disaster Resilience Conference (NDRC) during November in Clearwater Beach, FL.
The FLASH Board of Directors chose Ada as National Weatherperson of the Year for her contributions to the disaster safety movement and dedicated service to her home of Puerto Rico. She is the Chief Meteorologist at WIPR-TV, Noticias 24/7, and Univision Radio (WKAQ 580 am), and the first female American Meteorological Society Fellow and Certified Broadcast Meteorologist in Puerto Rico.
Her standout service during 2017 provided invaluable reassurance as the U.S. territory prepared for the most devastating disaster in the island's modern history. She closely followed Hurricane Irma as it passed through the Caribbean and then helped the population prepare and remain calm throughout Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest and costliest natural disasters on record.   Read more >
Attend the Hurricane Awareness Tour & Get #HurricaneStrong

As part of its efforts to build a Weather-Ready Nation, NOAA's hurricane experts will again tour five U.S. Gulf cities to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. Since 2016, the tour has served as the signature element of the National Hurricane Resilience Initiative - #HurricaneStrong.

During the tour stops, attendees will be able to tour Hurricane Hunter aircraft, meet the pilots and flight crew, speak with hurricane forecasters, meet with local National Weather Service meteorologists, and learn about weather safety and preparedness from FLASH and Legacy Partners State Farm and USAA as well as new partners from Cummins.

A free webinar on hurricanes will be offered to students in grades 4, 5, and 6 on May 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. CT (11:00 a.m. ET) live from the Baton Rouge, LA stop. The 2018 Hurricane Webinar is presented by the Hurricanes: Science and Society. You can register and find out more about the webinar  here.

As part of the week-long tour tour, the Hurricane Hunters will be making stops in:
    • Monday, May 7 - McAllen, TX
    • Tuesday, May 8 - Beaumont, TX
    • Wednesday, May 9 - Baton Rouge, LA
    • Thursday, May 10 - Montgomery, AL 
    • Friday, May 11 - Lakeland, FL
The event is FREE to the public. For more information visit  National Hurricane Preparedness Week. 
Next QuakeSmart Workshop Slated for Southern California

Business, nonprofit, and emergency communities will come together on May 30 in Santa Clarita, CA, for a free QuakeSmart Workshop sponsored by FLASH, Legacy Partner FEMA, the City of Santa Clarita, and Disaster Resistant Business Toolkit.
The workshop shares how following QuakeSmart protocols can reduce damage costs, save lives, and help communities recover more quickly following seismic disasters. A FEMA report estimates Southern California accounts for 50 percent of the nation's earthquake risk.
Attendees will:
  • Learn about business continuity, disaster response, and the cost benefit of preparing for earthquakes and other business interruptions;
  • Identify preparedness and mitigation actions needed to ensure safety and business continuity;
  • Complete assessments and begin planning for retrofit projects; and,
  • Learn how to perform preparedness and mitigation activities using the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program.
The workshop is free, but advance registration is required. Click here now to register. For more information, email
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