News and Announcements (June 23, 2104)

FEMA Weekly Employee News Bulletin Masthead

NOTE: You may submit your articles and announcements to the FEMA-Weekly by noon on Thursday. Please allow 24-48 hours for your article or announcement to be posted.

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Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise Development Progresses Forward

By Scott Zaffram

Nearly 160 state, local, county, tribal, and federal officials attended the Concept and Objectives meeting in Lacey, Washington on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 as planning efforts for the 2016 Cascadia Rising exercise progresses forward.  Though the meeting involved presentations on the overall concept and scenario of the exercise, the primary purpose of this event revolved around the collaborative breakout groups where participants provided specificity to the exercise’s Overarching Objectives.  Additionally, participants were socialized to the exercise’s governance structure and volunteer recruitment needs in order to make the 2-year design and development process a success.  This meeting is an essential component to strengthening the exercise’s vision and the path forward through enhanced partnerships and collaboration.   

The Cascadia Rising Exercise will be a significant endeavor for FEMA Region 10. It’s planned to be a four-day state-wide exercise in Washington that will include dozens of counties and cities, several tribal nations, numerous state and Federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and significant participation from major private sector corporations and utilities.  The State of Oregon has committed to participate in the exercise as well, and other state and local partners across the region have expressed their desire to participate as well.  Finally, both the National Guard Bureau and U.S. Northern Command have aligned their annual Defense Support to Civil Authorities exercises (i.e., Vigilant Guard and Ardent Sentry exercises, respectively) to the Cascadia Rising 2016 exercise providing a great platform for FEMA and the federal interagency to test disaster operational systems and processes with our Department of Defense partners.

The scenario for the exercise is a 9.0 magnitude catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) fault located just off the coast of Washington and Oregon. A disaster of that size would directly impact over eight million residents in the two states. Cascadia Rising is the culmination of a concerted several year effort to plan for a response to a CSZ catastrophic earthquake and tsunami amongst all levels of government.

FEMA Region 10 Exercise Specialist Gala Gulacsik presents the Priority Core Capability survey results for the Cascadia Rising 2016 Exercise.

Washington State Emergency Management Division Director Robert Ezelle reinforces the critical need to partner and prepare for significant natural hazard events that would catastrophically impact the Pacific Northwest, such as the Cascadia subduction fault.

FEMA Continues to Enhance their Implementation of PIV Card Logical Access

Last year, FEMA began the rollout of its’ Logical Access Control System (LACS) in an effort to comply with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum 11-11, which requires federal agencies to comply and implement the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Policy Directive 12 (HSPD-12). FEMA has instituted a mandatory PIV login policy for FEMA Enterprise Users who access the FEMA network. This initiative has proved successful and as of June 15, 2014, over 86% of FEMA users have registered their PIV cards and are actively utilizing this to logon to the network. In an effort to increase the number of users who register their PIV card and use it regularly as well as increase security measures related to this process, FEMA IT will implement two new measures over the coming weeks.

On July 1, 2014, users will notice that their screens will automatically lock when the PIV card is removed from their laptop. This process will utilize the existing functionality within Microsoft to lower the risk of unauthorized use if a user walks away from his/her laptop and forgets to lock the computer during an active logon session. Some employees currently have this function enabled but this recent initiative will implement this functionality for all users.

The second measure users will notice over the coming weeks is for unregistered users to receive an automated prompt at the Windows login screen after navigating past the encryption (WinMagic) login screen.

Additional information can be found on the ESD - PIV Use site.

Employee Progress Reviews Are Approaching 

Employee Performance Management – Progress Reviews Due by July 30

A progress review is a documented discussions used to monitor performance, remove obstacles, and respond to new priorities. It is essential the Rating Official (1st level supervisor) provides written feedback; however employee comments are optional All progress reviews are electronically documented in each employee’s 2014 performance folder located in FHR Navigator. During the month of July, the following reviews are required:

  • 2nd Quarter Progress Reviews for all GS and CORE employees and supervisors except the Office of the Chief Counsel.
  • 3rd Quarter Progress Reviews for all Wage Grade employees and supervisors.

For additional information including job aids or to schedule a goal writing workshop, visit  

Fiscal Year 2014 Year-End Closing Instructions Released

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) has issued Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Year-End Closing Instructions for the Agency.  The Instructions provide the guidance necessary for Programs and Offices to support OCFO in closing  of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) accounting system, the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) for FY 2014 transactions.  It applies to all FEMA employees, but especially the financial management community, to ensure that commitments, obligations, and expenditures are posted to IFMIS properly and in a timely manner.   Please ensure all FY 2014 transactions are entered into IFMIS in accordance with the FY 2014 Year-End Closing Instructions.  OCFO will not be able to reopen IFMIS to record FY2014 transactions that have not been posted by the prescribed deadlines.  

You may access the document on the “Miscellaneous Guidance” link of the OCFO Financial Policy intranet site  at:

Questions regarding these instructions should be directed to: Greg Teets, Director, Financial Management Division at 540-504-1850 or Jennifer Clark, Chief, FEMA Finance Center at 540-504-1848. 




Last Updated: 
07/24/2014 - 16:00
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