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Updated in 2023, the FEMA Acronyms, Abbreviations and Terms (FAAT) PDF contains a full listing of commonly used terms.
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The time between the date of application and the policy effective date.
Walled and Roofed
A building that has two or more exterior rigid walls and a fully secured roof and that is affixed to a permanent site.
Wave Height Adjustment
A measurement that is added to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for V Zones shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) published prior to 1981. For coastal communities, the BFE shown on FIRMs published prior to 1981 are stillwater elevations, which include only the effects of tide and storm surge and not the height of wind-generated waves.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Any weapon or device intended or with capability to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people.
Wellness and Fitness Programs
Activities promoting the general health and physical well-being of an individual.
The delivery of infrastructure and additional essential services to address disaster-related needs of affected residents living in temporary housing sites. These services go beyond the physical need for housing or political subdivision of a State and typically include basic social services and access to utilities, transportation, grocery stores, and medical and employment facilities.
Write Your Own (WYO) Program
A cooperative undertaking of the insurance industry and FEMA begun in October 1983. The Write Your Own (WYO) Program operates within the context of the NFIP and involves private insurance carriers who issue and service NFIP policies.
Preparedness is a shared responsibility; it calls for the involvement of everyone — not just the government — in preparedness efforts. By working together, everyone can help keep the nation safe from harm and help keep it resilient when struck by hazards, such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and pandemics.
Whole Community includes:
- Individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs
- Faith-based and community organizations
- Nonprofit groups
- Schools and academia
- Media outlets
- All levels of government, including state, local, tribal, territorial, and federal partners
The phrase “whole community” appears a lot in preparedness materials, as it is one of the guiding principles. It means two things:
- Involving people in the development of national preparedness documents.
- Ensuring their roles and responsibilities are reflected in the content of the materials.
Wet Floodproofing includes permanent or contingent measures applied to a structure or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding while allowing floodwaters to enter the structure or area. Generally, this includes properly anchoring the structure, using flood resistant materials below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), protection of mechanical and utility equipment, and use of openings or breakaway walls.
Application of wet floodproofing as a flood protection technique under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is limited to enclosures below elevated residential and non-residential structures and to accessory and agricultural structures that have been issued variances by the community. See enclosure, accessory structure and agricultural structure.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
- IS-9 Managing Floodplain Development Through The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (page 3-33)
- Wet Floodproofing Requirements (FIA-TB-7)
A watercourse means only the channel and banks of an identifiable watercourse, and not the adjoining floodplain areas. The flood carrying capacity of a watercourse refers to the flood carrying capacity of the channel (except in the case of alluvial fans, where a channel is not typically defined).
Locations that have a minimum acceptable level of infrastructure in-place, and also possess the IT and telecommunications equipment to become operational as soon as possible, but not later than 12 hours after continuity activation. In order to become active, a warm facility requires additional personnel, equipment, supplies, software or customization. Warm sites generally possess the resources necessary to sustain critical mission/business processes but lack the capacity to activate all systems or components.
The whole community is an inclusive approach to emergency preparedness and management through the inclusion of individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs; businesses; faith-based and community organizations; non-profit groups; schools and academia; media outlets; and all levels of government, including state, local, tribal, territorial and federal partners.
Wireless Priority Service
The National Mitigation Framework addresses individuals, nonprofit entities and nongovernmental organizations, the private sector, communities, critical infrastructure interests, governments, and the nation as a whole. Engaging the whole community is critical to success, and individual and community preparedness is a key component. The whole community includes children; individuals with disabilities and others with disabilities; those from religious, racial and ethnically diverse backgrounds; and people with limited English proficiency. Their contributions must be integrated into mitigation/resilience efforts, and their needs must be incorporated as the whole community plans and executes its core capabilities.
An uncontrolled fire spreading through vegetative fuels, exposing and possibly consuming structures.
Wildland Urban interface
The zone of transition between unoccupied land and human development. It is the line, area or zone where structures and other human development meet or intermingle with undeveloped wildland or vegetative fuels.
A subaward for which federal funds have been allocated and obligated, but the recipient no longer wishes to complete the activity. A final claim letter will be sent to the recipient once the subaward is withdrawn and closed. Remaining funding must be de-obligated from the subaward.