IS-0216 An Overview of the Unified Federal Review Process: Training for Disaster Recovery Leadership

Table of Contents:

  • Lesson 1: Introduction and Course Overview
  • Lesson 2: The UFR Process and its Value to Disaster Recovery
  • Lesson 3: The UFR Advisor & Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership
  • Lesson 4: How the UFR Advisor Implements the UFR Process
  • Lesson 5: Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership UFR Process Implementation
  • Lesson 6: Course Summary

Lesson 1: Introduction and Course Overview


Course Welcome

This course is designed to help Federal disaster recovery leadership, such as Federal Coordinating Officers (FCOs) and Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinators (FDRCs), to better understand the Unified Federal Review (UFR) Process for environmental and historic preservation (EHP) reviews for disaster recovery projects. This course will:

  • Introduce the UFR Process and its benefits.
  • Introduce the role of the UFR Advisor and how it will assist with interagency coordination in the field.

Course Structure

  • This course is structured into 5 lessons and a course summary.
  • To help you track your place within the course, the current lesson title will be displayed in the upper left corner of each screen. Also, a lesson list will be presented at the beginning and end of each lesson.
  • This training is intended to be taken with the Student Manual available for additional explanations. Refer to the Student Manual for additional content to supplement slide text.

clockThis course should take approximately 2.5 hours to complete. You must complete each lesson entirely to receive credit.


Lesson 1: Overview

We’ll now continue with the content of the first lesson. This lesson presents:

  • Course Objectives
  • Screen Features
  • Navigating Using Your Keyboard
  • Receiving Credit

clockThis lesson should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.


Course Objectives

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Describe the UFR Process and its value to disaster recovery.
  • Describe the UFR Advisor role and the process to activate a UFR Advisor.
  • Explain how to implement the UFR Process using the Tools and Mechanisms.
  • Explain how to manage staff to successfully implement the UFR Process.

Screen Features

  • Select the Close button to exit this window and access the menu listing all lessons of this course. You can select any of the lessons from this menu by simply selecting the lesson title.
  • Select the Glossary button to look up key definitions and acronyms.
  • Select the Help button to review guidance and troubleshooting advice regarding navigating through the course.
  • Track your progress by looking at the Progress bar at the bottom of each screen.
  • Follow the instructions that appear on each screen in order to proceed to the next screen or complete a Knowledge Review or Activity.
  • Select the Back or the Next buttons at the bottom of screens to move backward or forward in the lesson. You may also use the “Navigation” panel located on the left side of the screen to navigate between pages and lessons. Note: If the Next button is dimmed, you must complete an activity before you can proceed in the lesson or use the left hand “Navigation” to bypass it.

Navigating Using Your Keyboard

Below are instructions for navigating through the course using your keyboard.

  • Next buttonUse the “Tab” key to move forward through each screen’s navigation buttons and hyperlinks, or “Shift” + “Tab” to move backwards. A box surrounds the button that is currently selected.
  • Press “Enter” to select a navigation button or hyperlink.
  • Knowledge Review item showing the current tab location or focusUse the arrow keys to select answers for multiple-choice review questions or self-assessment checklists. Then tab to the “Submit” button and press “Enter” to complete a Knowledge Review or Self-Assessment.
  • Warning: Repeatedly pressing “Tab” beyond the number of selections on the screen may cause the keyboard to lock up. Use “Ctrl” + “Tab” to deselect an element or reset to the beginning of a screen’s navigation links (most often needed for screens with animations or media).
  • JAWS assistive technology users can press the “Ctrl” key to quiet the screen reader while the course audio plays.

Receiving Credit

To receive credit for this course, you must:

  • Complete all of the lessons.
    clock iconIt is important to allow enough time to complete the course in its entirety.
    Each lesson shows an approximate time to complete on the lesson’s overview screen.
    Remember . . . YOU MUST COMPLETE THE ENTIRE COURSE TO RECEIVE CREDIT. If you must leave the course during your training, make note of the current location and use the Navigation found on the left hand side of the screen when you are ready to continue.
  • Pass the final exam. The last screen provides instructions on how to complete the final exam.

Lesson 1 Summary

This lesson presented the following topics:

  • Course Objectives
  • Screen Features
  • Navigating Using Your Keyboard
  • Receiving Credit

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Lesson 2: The UFR Process and its Value to Disaster Recovery

Lesson 2: Overview

Objectives: This lesson will cover the following topics about the UFR Process:

  • Foundations
  • Integration with the National Disaster Recovery Framework
  • Benefits
  • Federal disaster recovery leadership support

clockThis lesson should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


Statutory Authority

The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 (SRIA)

Added Section 429 to the Stafford Act, directing the President, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), to “establish an expedited and unified interagency review process to ensure compliance with environmental and historic requirements under federal law relating to disaster recovery projects, in order to expedite the recovery process, consistent with applicable law.

Click here to read Section 429 of the Stafford Act.

Oglala Sioux Tribal Leadership and FEMA dignitaries commemorate Federal Tribal Agreement signing (photo credit FEMA/Christopher Mardorf)

Oglala Sioux Tribal Leadership and FEMA dignitaries commemorate Federal Tribal Agreement signing (photo credit FEMA/Christopher Mardorf)


What Are EHP Requirements?

  • EHP requirements are the Federal laws, acts, regulations, and Executive orders that support the protection and stewardship of natural and cultural resources within the United States and its territories and possessions.
  • Why are EHP requirements relevant to disaster recovery projects? EHP requirements are relevant to disaster recovery because any proposed disaster recovery project that requires a federal action (e.g., grant, permit, assistance) must be reviewed for compliance with EHP requirements (aka “environmental review”) before federal assistance/federal permits may be issued.
  • Integrating EHP requirements into project planning and decision making early in the development of disaster recovery projects will expedite the project approval process because agencies will understand the EHP issues and make better decisions.

Click here to view IS-253.A: Overview of FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation Review


UFR Process Overview

What is the UFR Process?

  • The UFR Process is a framework for coordinating federal agency EHP reviews for proposed disaster recovery projects associated with presidentially declared disasters under the Stafford Act.

What is the goal of the UFR Process?

  • The process aims to coordinate Federal environmental and historic preservation reviews to expedite planning and decision-making for disaster recovery projects. This can improve the federal government’s assistance to states, local and tribal governments, communities, families, and individual citizens as they recover from future presidentially-declared disasters.

Who is responsible for EHP requirements under the UFR Process?

  • Each Federal agency remains responsible for their own compliance with EHP requirements.

What makes the UFR Process successful?

  • Success of the UFR Process requires early interagency communication and coordination prior to, during and after disasters and disaster recovery.

Benefits of the UFR Process

The UFR Process improves federal decision making to allow for more timely and integrated processes, resulting in better outcomes for communities and the environment when federal funds and permits are used for disaster recovery projects.

Diagram of the 6 benefits of the UFR Process in a continuing circular cycle: Coordination with Agencies, Data Sharing, Improved Consistency, Expedited Determinations, Informed Decisions and Improved, Resilient Communities

The UFR Process Established

An interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was executed by eleven departments and agencies on July 29, 2014, which committed them to support the UFR Process in the following ways:

  • Provide staffing and resources.
  • Distribute and use the Tools and Mechanisms and provide lessons learned and training to staff.

In addition, the MOU also established an issue elevation process, to be followed as appropriate, that quickly resolves any issues or disputes that arise during the EHP review of a disaster recovery project.

Text description of image: Logo images of all eleven agencies that are signatories to the UFR MOU: 1-U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2-United States of America Department of Energy, 3-U.S. Department of the Interior, 4-United States Environmental Protection Agency, 5-U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 6-Executive Office of the President of the United States, 7-United States of America Department of Transportation, 8-United States Department of Agriculture, 9-Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, 10-Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 11-United States of America Department of Commerce.

Logos of all eleven agencies that make up the UFR Process. See above for a text description of image.

Interagency Oversight

The UFR Steering Group was identified by SRIA. The Steering Group’s
role is to provide leadership and oversight for the UFR Process.

Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Diagram of UFR Steering Group, surrounded by the following organizations: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

UFR Working Group developed by the UFR Steering Group, consists of representatives from multiple federal agencies, and contributed to development of the UFR Process. The Working Group’s role is to inform and implement the UFR Process.

Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Diagram of UFR Working Group, surrounded by the following agencies: Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Transportation.


UFR Integration with National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF)

The UFR Process integrates with the NDRF, complementing its goals and aligning with the NDRF organizational structure.

  • The Recovery Federal Interagency Operational Plan (FIOP) defines how Recovery Support Functions (RSFs) coordinate delivery at the Federal level of eight recovery mission area core capabilities, including planning, public information and warning, operational coordination, economic recovery, health and social services, housing, infrastructure systems, and natural and cultural resources.
  • The UFR Process directly supports three core capabilities:
    • The UFR Advisor supports Planning by working with the FDRC, RSFs, local, state, tribal, territorial, insular area, and JFO counterparts during mission scoping to outline the necessary coordination for expedient EHP review.
    • The UFR Advisor supports Operational Coordination by providing assistance to the FDRC in an advisory capacity supporting.
    • The UFR Process supports Natural and Cultural Resources by facilitating expedited EHP compliance for recovery projects.

Select this link to view IS-2900: National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) Overview.

More information on the NDRF can be found at this link.


The UFR Process: Need to Know

  • The UFR Process is most successful when early engagement and coordination occurs among federal agencies and tribal, state and local partners.
  • The UFR Process creates a culture shift for how EHP reviews are performed during disaster recovery.
  • The UFR Process uses existing EHP requirements and best practices, through the Tools and Mechanisms, to change the EHP review process for disaster recovery projects
  • Funding agencies, resource/regulatory agencies, and agencies with EHP oversight authority have roles and responsibilities in the UFR Process.

 

The UFR Process neither changes EHP requirements under existing federal law nor creates a single Federal EHP review.

 


How Can the UFR Process Assist Agencies?

UFR Process can assist agencies to: UFR Process is not intended to:
Create opportunities for greater coordination across agencies to expedite EHP requirements. Circumvent or supersede any existing federal, tribal, state, or local EHP requirements.
Strive to reduce duplication of information provided by applicants working with multiple agencies. Eliminate requirements for consultations between agencies and between agencies and applicants.
Leverage existing and develop new interagency agreements, such as MOUs and programmatic agreements. Change existing interagency agreements.
Align review processes and prepare joint reviews with other agencies to satisfy one or more EHP requirements. Establish a single review process for agencies funding a single project.

How Can the Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership Support the UFR Process?

Federal disaster recovery leadership can support the UFR Process by:

  • Empowering the UFR Advisor to coordinate interagency EHP reviews.
  • Encouraging internal and external stakeholders to front-load EHP information into project planning.
  • Encouraging internal and external stakeholders to coordinate EHP reviews to avoid duplication of efforts and to leverage each other’s resources.

Lesson 2 Summary

This lesson presented the following topics about the UFR Process:

  • Foundations
  • Integration with the National Disaster Recovery Framework
  • Benefits
  • Federal disaster recovery leadership support

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Lesson 3: The UFR Advisor & Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership

Lesson 3: Overview

Objectives: This lesson will cover the following topics about the UFR Advisor:

  • Interface with Federal disaster recovery leadership
  • Activation and deactivation
  • Role and responsibilities
  • Context in the disaster recovery process
  • Relationship to other disaster recovery positions

clockThis lesson should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership’s Role

The UFR Advisor is the field position with the primary function of supporting and implementing the UFR Process. To effectively manage the implementation of the UFR Process, you will need to understand:

  • Under what circumstances a UFR Advisor is activated.
  • How the UFR Advisor operates, in relation to other field and headquarters positions, to implement the UFR Process through Tools and Mechanisms to enhance interagency coordination.
  • The needs of tribal, state, and local partners.
  • The roles of federal partners.

Relationship of UFR Advisor to Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership

  • The UFR Advisor supports interagency coordination of EHP compliance for disaster recovery projects at the Joint Field Office (JFO) and/or recovery office.
  • When RSFs are activated, the UFR Advisor integrates the UFR Process with the RSF Field Coordinators. The UFR Advisor maintains communication with all activated RSFs to align EHP compliance across agencies.

Diagram of field roles supporting the UFR Process for Disaster Recovery Projects.  Field roles include: 1-UFR Advisor; 2-EHP Practitioners; 3-Applicants; 4-RSF Field Coordinators; and 5-Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership.Click on each of the field roles for a description on how it supports the UFR Process.

  • UFR Advisor
    • A field-level role, activated as needed, to serve as the interagency coordinator for EHP compliance for disaster recovery projects in implementing the UFR Process.
  • EHP Practitioners
    • Agency staff responsible for conducting or contributing to EHP reviews.
  • Applicants
    • Individuals, organizations, or governments who apply for direct federal funding or assistance.
  • Field Coordinators
    • Staff who provide support and expertise to the FDRC virtually or on site.
  • Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership
    • The FCO and FDRC who oversee activities at the JFO and/or recovery office.

What is the Role of the UFR Advisor?

The UFR Advisor:

  • Coordinates EHP compliance across Federal agencies
  • Provides expertise for the implementation of the UFR Process through the identification of opportunities to expedite EHP compliance and promote unification during disaster recovery
  • Encourages interagency engagement at the regional level with the Regional Environmental Officer (REO), Regional UFR Coordinator, RSF Field Coordinators and counterparts at other Federal agencies
  • Educates agency staff and their stakeholders about the UFR Process
  • Identifies UFR strategies/issues for potential inclusion in the NDRF Mission Scoping Assessment (MSA) and Recovery Support Strategy (RSS)
  • Facilitates development and implementation of UFR Tools and Mechanisms

How Does the UFR Advisor Support Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership?

The UFR Advisor supports the Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership mission by:

  • Assisting in identifying EHP compliance reviews spanning across multiple agencies that would benefit from interagency coordination.
  • Sharing information with Federal disaster recovery leadership to help them understand EHP compliance issues and interagency coordination challenges and opportunities.
  • Encouraging the RSF Field Coordinators and agencies, when possible, to front-load EHP information into project planning.
  • Providing information to be incorporated into the NDRF Mission Scoping Assessment or Recovery Support Strategy, as appropriate.

UFR Advisor Identification and Activation (FDRC Scenario)

  • The National UFR Coordinator consults with the REO, the Regional UFR Coordinator, and Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (OEHP) Readiness Branch to identify the appropriate UFR Advisor for the disaster.
  • Typically, the Regional UFR Coordinator will activate as the UFR Advisor, unless they are already engaged in other disaster recovery operations. If the Regional UFR Coordinator is unavailable, an EHP cadre staff with the UFR Specialty will be activated instead. If FEMA’s EHP cadre resources are exhausted and the Natural and Cultural Resources (NCR) RSF is activated, the National UFR Coordinator will work with NCR RSF National Coordinator to identify a UFR Advisor.
  • The National UFR Coordinator determines the appropriate timeline for activation in consultation with the FDRC.
  • The National UFR Coordinator notifies the FCO, FDRC, and Field Operations Division within a week of the UFR Advisor’s activation.
  • The UFR Advisor is activated to the field to conduct a UFR Advisor Mission Scoping Assessment (UFR MSA). This assessment determines whether there are UFR opportunities for the UFR Advisor. This person reports directly to the FDRC.

How Does the UFR Advisor Fit in the Disaster Recovery Process?

Scenario: The RSFs are activated and the FDRC is appointed.

Diagram of UFR Advisor activation schedule/timeline. Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Diagram of UFR Advisor activation schedule/timeline: (Few Days) Step 1: Monitoring and Situational Awareness, Step 2: Advance Evaluation and Preliminary Damage Assessment; (Few Weeks) Step 3: FDRC and RSF Activation, Step 4: UFR Advisor Activation and Mission Scoping Assessment; (One Month) Step 5: National UFR Coordination Notification. Please refer to text description below.

Click on each operational milestone on the figure to learn more about it.

  • Advance Evaluation Process
    • Description: If the Regional Administrator or FCO needs additional information to help determine whether the activation of an FDRC is warranted, the FCO can call upon an Advance Evaluation Team (AET) to conduct a rapid initial assessment. The AET assists the FCO to determine if activation of an FDRC is warranted, provides initial recommendation on potential RSF activation and provides insight of potential recovery issues and challenges.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: n/a
  • FDRC Appointed
    • Description: Once the FDRC is appointed, the FDRC will engage the NDRPD, RSF National coordinators, FEMA Regions, JFO elements, and RSF contacts at the regional level to provide situational awareness.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: n/a
  • UFR Advisor Activated
    • Description: UFR Advisor activates to the JFO.
    • UFR Advisor Activities:
      • Identify meetings and task forces to join in coordination with the FDRC or chief of staff/FCO, EHP Advisor, and REO.
      • Coordinate with other funding agencies.
      • Establish communication with RSFs under the NDRF, if applicable.
  • UFR MSA
    • Description: This assessment summarizes the key challenges and issues and is used to develop the Recovery Support Strategy (RSS).
    • UFR Advisor Activities:
      • In coordination with the EHP Advisor, and REO when appropriate, determine resource/regulatory agencies to engage.
      • Gather data to identify EHP compliance priorities and needs, including needs for additional resources through mission assignments and RSFs.
      • Determine additional funding agencies to engage.
      • Encourage EHP Practitioners to build interagency relationships and pre-position resources and analyses in advance of EHP compliance.
  • RSF Activation and Mission Assignments
    • Description: RSFs are activated by the FDRC. The FDRC may activate all RSFs or select RSFs when significant impacts to particular sectors of the community are reported. The FCO determines what Mission Assignments (deployment of federal agency expertise and resources to state and local governments) are necessary to support response and recovery.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: n/a
  • Recovery Support Strategy (RSS) Development
    • Description: The Recovery Support Strategy (RSS) provides a unified strategy or approach of the FDRC-RSF operation and describes specific steps that the FDRC and RSF agencies will use to support recovery needs.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: Identify specific UFR strategies and agreements for inclusion in the Mission Scoping Assessment and Recovery Support Strategy.
  • RSS Implementation
    • Description: Implementation of the strategy and protocols in the RSS.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: Advise FDRC and EHP Practitioners in the implementation of the UFR Process.
  • Applicant Briefings
    • Description: Meetings held by the state to inform prospective applicants of available assistance and eligibility requirements for obtaining federal assistance under the declared event.
    • UFR Advisor Activities:
      • Reach out to states, tribes and other applicants in coordination with the EHP Advisor and REO to build awareness and transparency with EHP compliance.
      • Participate, to the extent practicable, in applicant briefings.
  • Kickoff Meetings
    • Description: Meetings held to facilitate information exchange between FEMA and applicants for federal assistance.
    • UFR Advisor Activities:
      • Encourage interagency attendance at FEMA-led meeting.
      • Encourage distribution of Tools and Mechanisms, including the Applicant Guide and web-based tools on the UFR Webpage.
  • EHP reviews: including the scoping, consultation and analysis
    • Description: Funding applications are reviewed for compliance with EHP requirements.
    • UFR Advisor Activities:
      • Serve as Point of Contact for JFO and/or recovery office re: UFR Process.
      • Coordinate with the EHP Advisor, National UFR Coordinator and REO regarding JFO and/or recovery office activities.
      • Serve as advisor to the FDRC or chief of staff/FCO for interagency EHP issues.
      • Participate in scoping meetings with resource agencies, and discuss the anticipated consultation processes and efficiencies that may be applied.
      • Develop working groups for major recovery issues for EHP compliance, such as debris, to develop efficiencies.
      • Coordinate with RSFs, including NCR RSF, to identify ways to fill resource gaps.
      • Maintain coordination with tribes, State Historic Preservation Officers, state and local environmental offices, field coordinators, and funding and resource agencies (including mission assigned staff) for EHP compliance.
      • Provide status updates to REO and National UFR Coordinator.
      • Encourage EHP Practitioners to leverage existing analyses, permits, agreements, and tools to expedite reviews.
      • Contribute to after action reports and other documentation of UFR implementation and EHP compliance.
  • Transition to Steady State
    • Description: Demobilization and transition of to steady state operations. This does not necessarily signify the end of the recovery support mission.
    • UFR Advisor Activities: Contribute to after action reports and other documentation of UFR implementation and EHP compliance.

Disaster Recovery Position Relationships

Organizational chart depicting the UFR Process Coordination Structure (i.e., oversight and communication relationships). Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Organizational chart depicting the UFR Process Coordination Structure (i.e., oversight and communication relationships). The Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO) oversees the Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator (FDRC) and Chief of Staff. The Chief of Staff oversees the Environmental Historic Preservation Advisor. The FDRC oversees the UFR Advisor and Recovery Support Function Field Coordinators. The Regional Environmental Officer (REO) oversees the Regional UFR Coordinator. The UFR Advisor communicates with the National UFR Coordinator, Environmental Historic Preservation Advisor, and the REO.

Click each other disaster recovery position to learn more about other parties involved in EHP reviews and the various ways in which the UFR Advisor interacts with them.

  • The Federal disaster recovery leadership (FDRCs, FCOs, and Chiefs of Staff):
    • Oversees activities at the JFO and/or recovery office.
    • Relationship to UFR Advisor:
      • If the FDRC is appointed, a UFR Advisor will activate.
      • The UFR Advisor supports the FDRC/FCO mission by encouraging the RSF Field Coordinators and agencies when possible, to front-load EHP information into project planning, so that states and communities can quickly recover while complying with appropriate EHP regulations.
      • The UFR Advisor identifies and supports the development of EHP efficiencies so that states and communities can quickly recover while complying with appropriate EHP regulations.
  • The Regional Environmental Officers (REOs):
    • Are responsible for directing FEMA’s EHP Program in the region.
    • Have expert knowledge of regional issues and EHP requirements.
    • Have established contacts in the region.
    • Relationship to the UFR Advisor:
      • The UFR Advisor provides the REO with updates on coordination activities (e.g., through reports, best practices, and contact lists) and seeks guidance from the REO and Regional UFR Coordinator on appropriate parties and methods of engagement for agencies and stakeholders.
  • The National UFR Coordinator:
    • Provides oversight for the implementation of the UFR Process.
    • Supports the FDRC.
    • Tracks UFR Process implementation and provides recommendations for future needs.
    • Attends Recovery Support Functions Leadership Group (RSFLG) Meetings.
    • Relationship to the UFR Advisor:
      • The UFR Advisor seeks guidance from the National UFR Coordinator as needed, reports coordination activities, and provides updates on the successes and failures of implementation of the UFR Process to the National UFR Coordinator.
      • Ensures that interagency coordination is occurring in the field and identify opportunities where Headquarters can help by engaging with the UFR Working Group, RSFLG, and others.
  • The Regional UFR Coordinator:
    • Provides oversight for the regional implementation of the UFR Process.
    • Identifies opportunities for regional interagency coordination and cooperation for the REO.
    • Tracks EHP review efficiencies related to disaster recovery projects.
    • Is active during pre-disaster planning.
    • Relationship to the UFR Advisor:
      • Typically, the Regional UFR Coordinator will activate as the UFR Advisor, unless they are already engaged in other disaster recovery operations.
      • The UFR Advisor seeks guidance from the Regional UFR Coordinator as needed, reports coordination activities accomplished at the JFO and/or recovery office to the Regional UFR Coordinator.
      • The Regional UFR Coordinator completes outstanding EHP compliance issues following the transition back to the regions after JFO and/or recovery office closure.
  • The RSF Field Coordinators:
    • When RSFs are activated, RSF Field Coordinators support the FDRC virtually or on site by providing expertise.
    • RSF Field Coordinators are staff volunteers who are mission-assigned to the JFO to facilitate the identification, coordination, and delivery of Federal assistance needed to supplement recovery resources and efforts by local, State and Tribal governments, as well as private and nonprofit sectors.
    • The six RSFs are Community Planning and Capacity Building, Health and Social Services, Infrastructure Systems, Economic, Housing, and Natural and Cultural Resources.
    • Relationship to the UFR Advisor:
      • The UFR Advisor coordinates with all activated RSF Field Coordinators to leverage resources and expertise, ensuring that EHP compliance considerations are integrated into project planning and recovery efforts.
  • The EHP Advisor:
    • Is responsible for EHP compliance for FEMA-funded projects, establishing and directing a disaster incident’s EHP program and ensuring its functional integration into the FEMA mission.
    • Provides advice and assistance in carrying out the EHP functions in the incident, including compliance with FEMA’s EHP regulations and procedures.
    • Implements the Tools and Mechanisms if UFR Advisor is not activated.
    • Relationship to the UFR Advisor:
      • The UFR Advisor enhances the capabilities of, and works closely with, the EHP Advisor by supporting interagency coordination. The UFR Advisor shares information with the EHP Advisor about EHP compliance, coordination and anticipated issues. The UFR Advisor also recommends interagency and programmatic approaches to FEMA’s EHP compliance and assists the EHP Advisor with interagency coordination for projects.

UFR Advisor Mission Scoping Assessment

  • If an FDRC is appointed, the UFR Advisor activates for approximately 30 days and will develop the UFR Advisor Mission Scoping Assessment (UFR MSA) that identifies UFR opportunities and scopes their mission for the disaster. The UFR Advisor will use the template UFR MSA to develop the document, which contains criteria for the UFR Advisor to assess if there is a UFR mission.
  • The UFR MSA will provide a recommendation on whether the UFR Advisor will remain activated beyond the initial 30 day period. The decision to discontinue the UFR Advisor’s activation allows for reassessments in the future if additional agencies or funding is made available.
  • The UFR MSA will be submitted to the FDRC, REO, National UFR Coordinator, and Regional UFR Coordinator.
  • Content from the UFR MSA may be incorporated into the NDRF MSA and/or RSS, if appropriate.

EHP Roles in Disaster Recovery

UFR Advisor FEMA EHP Advisor NCR RSF Field Coordinator
  • Mission: Interagency EHP Coordination
  • Reports to: FDRC
  • Activated: Activated automatically if an FDRC is appointed (Stafford Act only)
  • Build relationships with stakeholders and federal agencies.
  • Communicate relevant EHP information to stakeholders and federal agencies.
  • Determine opportunities for coordination in meeting EHP requirements.
  • Identify and develop programmatic solutions for interagency efficiencies.
  • Mission: FEMA EHP Compliance
  • Reports to: FCO
  • Activated: Most Stafford Act events
  • Identify the level of EHP review required for a FEMA project.
  • Assist with consultations or permits, if necessary, for FEMA project.
  • Build relationships with stakeholders and federal agencies.
  • Communicate relevant EHP information to FEMA applicants.
  • Identify and develop programmatic options for meeting FEMA regulatory obligations.
  • Mission: Assist states and tribes with long-term environmental and cultural resource recovery planning
  • Reports to: FDRC
  • Activated: If the Advance Evaluation Process determines necessary, Stafford Act or non-Stafford Act
  • Gather data on natural and historic resources in the disaster area.
  • Develop a pre-disaster NCR RSF action plan to identify and communicate priority actions.
  • Promote the principles of sustainable and disaster resilient communities through the protection of natural resources.

The UFR Advisor’s Relationship to Other Positions

The UFR Advisor will also engage with the following positions:

  • National and Regional UFR Coordinators
  • FEMA REOs
  • RSF Field Coordinators
  • EHP Advisor

The UFR Advisor may also engage with the following Federal Agency EHP Practitioners, in coordination with the FEMA EHP Advisor and REO, as appropriate:

  • U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Responsible Entities
  • Applicants for Federal assistance
  • Tribes

UFR Advisor Deactivation

  • The length of activation varies depending on scale and nature of disaster recovery operations.
  • If the UFR Advisor is still active when the JFO and/or recovery office closes, the UFR Advisor and EHP Advisor will brief the FDRC, REO, and Regional UFR Coordinator on the status of EHP interagency coordination and compliance.
  • If the UFR Advisor’s position is transitioned to the regional FEMA office, the UFR Advisor will continue to perform the same advisory/coordination roles.
  • If the UFR Advisor position was filled by regional FEMA staff, the regional staff member will take the outcomes to steady state operations. If not, the outcomes should be transferred to the Regional UFR Coordinator.

Resources for Additional Information

  • Additional information about the role, duties, coordination, activities, reporting, activation, and deactivation of the UFR Advisor may be found in:
    • The UFR Advisor Standard Operating Procedure
    • The UFR Advisor Concept of Operations
    • The Recovery FIOP

Lesson 3 Summary

This lesson presented the following topics about the UFR Advisor:

  • Interface with Federal disaster recovery leadership
  • Activation and deactivation
  • Role and responsibilities
  • Context in the disaster recovery process
  • Relationship to other disaster recovery positions

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Lesson 4: How the UFR Advisor Implements the UFR Process

Lesson 4: Overview

Objectives: This lesson will cover the following topics:

  • Federal disaster recovery leadership’s role in supporting the UFR Advisor
  • Overview of Tools and Mechanisms
  • Benefits of Tools and Mechanisms for disaster recovery
  • Disaster recovery timeline
  • Two disaster scenarios – annual seasonal flooding and a major hurricane

clockThis lesson should take approximately 40 minutes to complete.


Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership and Implementing the Tools & Mechanisms

    • Federal disaster recovery leadership can help implement the UFR Process by ensuring the UFR Advisor has support to develop the UFR Tools and Mechanisms.
    • In order to apply the UFR Process to future disaster recovery activities, Federal disaster recovery leadership should understand how the Tools and Mechanisms of the UFR Process are applied in different disaster scenarios.

Overview of Tools and Mechanisms

How Do the Tools and Mechanisms Support Disaster Recovery?

The Tools and Mechanisms:

  • Can be in place before a disaster occurs.
  • Are scalable to the needs of a particular disaster.
  • Empower the applicant.
  • Enable EHP Practitioners to share data.
  • Expedite compliance with EHP requirements.
  • May require modification following a disaster before they are implemented (for instance, the Disaster-Specific MOU).

What are the Tools and Mechanisms?

  • UFR Webpage
    • This contains resources for EHP Practitioners conducting reviews and federal assistance applicants seeking information to support EHP reviews.
    • There is also a library of legal requirements and best practices.
    • Benefit: The UFR Webpage provides a one stop source for EHP information resources and facilitates the sharing of best practices. The website provides guidance and resources for practitioners and applicants.
  • EHP Agency Point of Contact (POC) List
    • The Agency POC List has contact information organized by agency, state, disaster issue, and affected resource.
    • Benefit: The Agency POC List provides a one stop source of information to identify appropriate POCs for EHP reviews based on disaster type and location.
  • Information Technology (IT) Resources List
    • This is a matrix of existing IT resources (e.g., databases, decision support systems, websites, GIS mapping tools and authoritative data set sources).
    • Benefit: This tool consolidates existing data sources useful for EHP reviews and assists agencies in quickly identifying appropriate staff to activate in support of the UFR Process.
  • EHP Disaster Recovery Skills Checklist
    • This is a checklist to assist the coordinating agency to identify appropriate staff to activate in support of the NCR RSF under the NDRF.
    • Benefit: This tool consolidates existing data sources useful for EHP reviews and assists agencies in quickly identifying appropriate staff to activate in support of the UFR Process.
  • Unified Federal Environmental and Historic Preservation Guide for Federal Disaster Recovery Assistance Applicants
    • The Applicant Guide contains information for applicants about EHP requirements and their role in EHP reviews.
    • Benefit: The Applicant Guide includes a checklist summarizing information applicants typically need to provide to funding agencies and a checklist designed to increase the likelihood of project compliance with EHP laws, regulations, and Executive orders. The checklists and tables of requirements found in the appendices guide applicants on their responsibilities when applying for funding and/or permitting from an agency or agencies.
  • Template Environmental Checklist for FEMA and HUD
    • This template is a list of EHP regulation requirements for FEMA and HUD responsible entities to consider when jointly funding multiple similar projects.
    • Benefit: This template provides a blueprint for FEMA/HUD and other agencies to standardize information to ensure that all EHP regulations are considered prior to jointly funding a project.
  • UFR Advisor and Disaster Recovery Leadership Training
    • The UFR Advisor training is for staff who would like to obtain the UFR Advisor Specialty as well as for those individuals who may be activating as the UFR advisor.
    • The Disaster Recovery Leadership Training is an executive level training that provides the FDRC, FCO, Recovery Office Directors and other recovery leadership with information about the UFR Process.
    • Benefit: The trainings explain how EHP reviews may be expedited or coordinated by disaster recovery staff.
  • Memorandum of Understanding Establishing the Unified Federal EHP Review Process
    • The UFR MOU, executed on July 29, 2014, formalizes roles and responsibilities among the 11 departments and agencies that have signed.
    • The UFR MOU specifies commitments of the parties to:
      • Provide staffing and resources to support the UFR Process.
      • Distribute and use the Tools and Mechanisms.
      • Use a formalized issue elevation process to resolve disputes.
    • Benefit: The UFR MOU provides a commitment (for example, providing staff and resources, training, interagency communication, and oversight) to expedite EHP review for disaster recovery projects.
  • UFR Guidance for EHP Practitioners
    • The Practitioner Guidance describes the UFR Process, the Tools and Mechanisms, and common EHP requirements that apply to disaster recovery projects. It also includes suggestions for how review may be expedited and coordinated.
    • Benefit: The Practitioner Guidance familiarizes EHP Practitioners with the UFR Process by connecting them with UFR Tools and Mechanisms as well as providing practical tips for implementing their role in the UFR Process.
  • FEMA Prototype Programmatic Agreement for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (PPA)
    • The PPA establishes a national model for FEMA to negotiate Section 106 state-specific programmatic agreements.
    • The PPA explains when and how other federal agencies can be a signatory to the state programmatic agreement and how other federal agencies can develop their own PPA that is modeled after the FEMA PPA.
    • Benefit: The PPA 1) defines specific activities that have limited potential to affect historic properties and for which expedited consultation is acceptable 2) proposes pre-negotiated treatment measures to address adverse effects.
  • Template Disaster-Specific Memorandum of Understanding
    • The Disaster-Specific MOU is an agreement that defines EHP roles and responsibilities during a specific disaster recovery effort. The template provides suggested topics for agreement, such as:
      • Responsibilities of parties
      • Commitments to coordinate and share information
      • Common definitions
      • Issue elevation clause
    • Benefit: A Disaster-Specific MOU increases communication, collaboration, and transparency among Agencies participating in disaster recovery.
  • Data Sharing Agreement Content
    • This contains a compilation of example provisions for parties to consider when developing data sharing agreements.
    • Benefit: A data sharing agreement enables the exchange of information between two or more parties in a way that helps ensure that the parties have the same understanding of what is being represented by the data and can exchange that information in a useful, meaningful, and efficient way.
  • Data Standards List
    • This contains a compilation of common data standards. It covers natural and cultural resources, general standards for GIS data, as well as federal and state agency-specific and resource-specific standards.
    • Benefit: A data sharing agreement enables the exchange of information between two or more parties in a way that helps ensure that the parties have the same understanding of what is being represented by the data and can exchange that information in a useful, meaningful, and efficient way.

Click here to view the Tools and Mechanisms in the UFR Library.


Understanding How Tools and Mechanisms Support EHP Reviews During Disaster Recovery

UFR Process During Disaster Recovery

This process diagram represents a typical timeline with general considerations throughout the disaster recovery phases. Every disaster recovery effort is unique and depends on specific circumstances of the disaster, agencies involved, and funding/staff resources available.

Diagram of UFR Process during Disaster Recovery. Please refer to text description below.Text description of image:Timeline of the UFR Process during the phases of disaster recovery. The six phases are: 1) Pre-Disaster, 2) Disaster Occurs, 3) Emergency Response, 4) Recovery Planning, 5) Disaster Recovery, 6) Restored and More Resilient Community. During the Pre-Disaster phase, the following takes place: UFR MOU defines agency roles and responsibilities; Formalizing the unification & standardization of EHP requirements; Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership Training; and Pre-Disaster Planning. During the Pre-Disaster phase and when the Disaster Occurs, the following takes place: Interagency agreements (e.g., PPA, Data sharing, etc.) and UFR Advisor Training. During Emergency Response, the following takes place: Presidential disaster declaration (EHP review requirements triggered). During Recovery Planning, the following takes place: Interagency forms and data collection simplifies reviews (e.g., FEMA/HUD checklist); Practitioner Guidance helps EHP staff facilitate efficient and informed impacts analysis and better planning decisions; Disaster-specific MOUs executed; Applicant Guide informs permit applications and compliance; Programmatic reviews of project types; Interagency agreements. During Disaster Recovery, the following takes place: UFR Advisor activated; NCR RSF teams activate with appropriate training, staff resources and data access; Proposed project or grant application; Initial eligibility determination; Impacts analysis; Decision; Permits; Funds to grantee.


Disaster Scenario 1: Annual Seasonal Flooding

Photo of the Aftermath of July 2013 in Bannack State Park, Montana (photo credit Carl Davis, U.S.  Forest Service).

Photo of the aftermath of July 2013 in Bannack State Park, Montana (photo credit Carl Davis, U.S. Forest Service).


Annual Seasonal Flooding: Disaster Overview

The event:

  • Warm spring temperatures in Montana
  • Heavy rain and wind from spring thunderstorms
  • Small scale flooding
  • Exceeds capacity of state and local government
  • Results in a presidential disaster declaration

Agencies involved:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT), FEMA, HUD, ACHP
  • State agencies

Other factors:

  • FDRC appointed and activated
  • 2-3 RSFs are activated
  • UFR Advisor is activated
Photo of Workers diverting creek to begin repairs on bridge (photo credit HUD)

Photo of Workers divert creek to begin repairs on
bridge (photo credit HUD)


Annual Seasonal Flooding: Pre-Disaster

  • UFR MOU commitments recognized
  • Interagency group developed to:
    • Share EHP compliance information.
    • Develop Programmatic Environmental Assessments.
    • Share Practitioner Guidance
  • Data sharing agreements established
    • Share data among participants: FEMA, HUD, DOT, Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Department of Natural Resources, etc.
  • The REO and Regional UFR Coordinator coordinate pre-disaster planning.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: (Circled) Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response; Recovery Planning; Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


Annual Seasonal Flooding: Recovery Planning

  • The UFR Advisor conducts a UFR MSA and identifies a UFR mission based on necessary interagency coordination during disaster recovery.
  • Local and state agencies, including the Montana Department of Transportation, identify potential projects.
  • FEMA, HUD, DOT and the Montana Department of Health use the Practitioner Guidance to identify ways to expedite EHP reviews.

Click here to view the Tools and Mechanisms in the UFR Library.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response; (Circled) Recovery Planning; Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


Annual Seasonal Flooding: Disaster Recovery

  • FEMA / HUD joint funding
  • Using the Template Checklist for FEMA/HUD
  • Identify other agencies who may benefit from signing on to the PPA
  • Identify opportunities to tier off from existing Programmatic Environmental Assessments

Click here to view the Tools and Mechanisms in the UFR Library.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response;  Recovery Planning; (Circled) Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


EHP Review With and Without the UFR Process – Section 106 Consultation

Before the UFR Process Under the UFR Process
Prior to the FEMA PPA, FEMA and other Federal agencies (OFA) independently analyzed the project’s potential to affect historic properties using separate processes/programmatic approaches. When executed, the PPA allows OFA to sign onto the PPA in order to utilize the agreement to satisfy their Section 106 responsibilities when appropriate. This allows the OFA to utilize the same benefits and efficiencies offered to FEMA.
Agency and State/Tribal Historic Preservation Office (SHPO/THPO) staff time was spent identifying, evaluating, and assessing effects of projects that would have No Effect or No Adverse Effect on historic properties. PPA establishes an abbreviated process to streamline activities that have no effects on historic properties, thus avoiding the lengthy review time.
FEMA and OFAs separately identified and evaluated historic properties for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and submitted its findings to SHPO and/or THPO for concurrence. The federal agency made a determination of effects on the historic properties. FEMA and OFA will identify opportunities to coordinate Section 106 reviews for jointly funded projects, thus reducing duplication of effort and overburdening the SHPO/THPO.

How the UFR Process Enhanced Disaster Recovery

Diagram of two text boxes. Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Diagram of two text boxes: one listing Tools/Mechanisms used during disaster connected with an arrow pointing to the other text box that lists Benefits of the UFR Process, illustrating that benefits arise from the use of the Tools and Mechanisms. The Tools and Mechanisms used during the disaster include: – Programmatic Environmental Assessment; – Data Sharing Agreements; – Practitioner Guidance; – PPA; and – Template Checklist for FEMA/HUD. The benefits of the UFR Process include: – Expedited federal determinations for disaster recovery projects; – Consistency and coordination among various agency environmental and historic preservation reviews; – Leveraged and efficient use of agency staff and funds; – Quick resolution of coordination challenges; and – More informed federal decision making.


Disaster Scenario 2: Major Hurricane

Photo of an aerial view of damage caused by the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy on the coastline of New York, Nov. 2012 (photo credit Jocelyn Augustino, FEMA).

Photo of an aerial view of damage caused by the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy on the
coastline of New York, Nov. 2012 (photo credit Jocelyn Augustino, FEMA)


Major Hurricane: Disaster Overview

The event:

  • Mass evacuations and record floods in NY and NJ
  • Utility infrastructure is damaged
  • Debris accumulates
  • Sensitive environmental areas impacted
  • Homes destroyed
  • Presidential disaster declaration

Agencies involved:

  • DOT, FEMA, HUD, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), tribes, and state and local governments

Other factors:

  • FDRC appointed and activated
  • RSFs are activated
  • UFR Advisor is activated
Photo of Breezy Point, New York after Hurricane Sandy storm surges and related fire ravaged the neighborhood, Oct. 2012 (photo credit FEMA)

Photo of Breezy Point, New York after Hurricane Sandy
storm surges and related fire ravaged the
neighborhood, Oct. 2012 (photo credit FEMA)


Major Hurricane: Pre-Disaster

  • UFR MOU commitments recognized
  • Section 106 programmatic agreement established using the PPA.
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA) Matrix and how-to-guide developed: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), HUD, USACE and DOT have signed.
  • The REO and Regional UFR Coordinator coordinate pre-disaster planning.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: (Circled) Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response; Recovery Planning; Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


Major Hurricane: Recovery Planning

UFR Advisor assists parties to develop a Disaster-Specific MOU for:

  • Consultation timelines
  • Agency roles and responsibilities
  • Meeting coordination
  • Agency points of contact

Click here to view the Tools and Mechanisms in the UFR Library.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response; (Circled) Recovery Planning; Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


Major Hurricane: Disaster Recovery

  • Agencies share the Applicant Guide at applicant briefings.
  • EHP Practitioners inform applicants of agency specific requirements and coordinating joint funding timelines.
  • Applicants provide the necessary information for agencies to conduct the EHP reviews.
  • Applicants notify funding agencies of joint funding requests.

Click here to view the Tools and Mechanisms in the UFR Library.

Diagram of Disaster Recovery Process: Pre-Disaster; Disaster Occurs; Emergency Response;  Recovery Planning; (Circled) Disaster Recovery; Restored and More Resilient Community


EHP Review With and Without the UFR Process – Coordination of Agencies – Section 7 of ESA

Before the UFR Process Under the UFR Process
Multiple agencies respond with assistance for disaster recovery efforts. Multiple agencies respond with assistance for disaster recovery efforts.
Each agency (FEMA, HUD, DOT, etc.) independently completes EHP review (including consultation with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)/FWS. Agencies sign the Disaster-Specific MOU which identifies recovery project priorities, information sharing opportunities and roles and responsibilities of each agency.
Applicants/agencies collect data/information about the species that could be affected and the effect of their project on the species. Using the Practitioner Guidance agencies share data / project information. The ESA Matrix is used to quickly assess species impacts.
NMFS/FWS are overwhelmed with requests from multiple agencies concurrently. Agencies coordinate on ESA consultations by submitting a joint consultation request to NMFS/FWS.
Federal agency effort may be duplicated. Staff resources may not be focused on the highest priority projects for recovery. Reduced duplication of agency effort, allowing for determinations to be made quicker. Agencies share information/perspective on the projects improving the decision making. Highest priority projects are expedited.

EHP Review With and Without the UFR Process – Coordination of Agencies – National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Before the UFR Process Under the UFR Process
Multiple agencies respond with assistance for disaster recovery efforts. Multiple agencies respond with assistance for disaster recovery efforts.
Each agency independently completes EHP review for its own assistance programs and projects including compliance with NEPA. Agencies sign the Disaster-Specific MOU which identifies information sharing opportunities and roles and responsibilities of each agency. Applicants notify agencies of joint funding efforts allowing them to better align NEPA timing and analyses.
Applicants/funding agencies collect data/information about the projects and analyze the effect of their project on the environment. Agencies share data and project information and also coordinate analysis needs for related projects.
Agencies complete their own NEPA analyses on separate timelines and using different levels of NEPA analysis. Coordination of analysis requirements for related projects allows one agency to adopt another agency’s NEPA analysis.
Federal agency effort may be duplicated. Applicants await the results of multiple overlapping NEPA analyses before proceeding with their project. Reduced duplication of agency effort, allowing for determinations to be made quicker. Agencies share information/perspective on the projects improving the decision making.

How the UFR Process Enhanced Disaster Recovery

Diagram of two text boxes. Please refer to text description below.Text description of image: Diagram of two text boxes: one listing Tools/Mechanisms used during disaster connected with an arrow pointing to the other text box that lists Benefits of the UFR Process, illustrating that benefits arise from the use of the Tools and Mechanisms. The Tools and Mechanisms used during the disaster include: – PPA; – ESA Matrix; – Disaster-Specific MOU; and – Applicant Guide. The benefits of the UFR Process include: – Expedited federal determinations for disaster recovery projects; – Consistency and coordination among various agency EHP reviews; – Leveraged and efficient use of agency staff and funds; – Quick resolution of coordination challenges; and – More informed federal decision making.


Lesson 4 Summary

This lesson presented the following topics:

  • Federal disaster recovery leadership’s role in supporting the UFR Advisor
  • Overview of Tools and Mechanisms
  • Benefits of Tools and Mechanisms for disaster recovery
  • Disaster recovery timeline
  • Two disaster scenarios – annual seasonal flooding and a major hurricane

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Lesson 5: Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership UFR Process Implementation

Lesson 5: Overview

Objectives: This lesson will cover the following topics:

  • Federal disaster recovery leadership management of staff to successfully implement the UFR Process
  • Federal disaster recovery leadership EHP priorities
  • Tools and Mechanisms for Federal disaster recovery leadership to distribute

clockThis lesson should take approximately 30 minutes to complete.


How to Engage Field Staff to Support the UFR Process

Federal disaster recovery leadership should ensure that field staff understand:

  • The role EHP plays and the EHP requirements associated with disaster response, recovery, and mitigation
    • Statutory, regulatory and/or policy issues and/or disaster-related issues that might be impediments to the mission
  • EHP presence and the mission support EHP can provide
  • EHP staff and where they are located organizationally
  • How the UFR Process can increase efficiency and expediency of disaster assistance activities
  • The importance of early coordination among applicants and federal review and permitting agencies during the project planning and design phase

How to Engage the UFR Advisor

Federal disaster recovery leadership should use the UFR Advisor to understand:

  • The issues from EHP reviews spanning across multiple agencies that would benefit from the interagency coordination of the UFR Process
  • EHP and program staff education of applicants on how the UFR Process can assist and expedite EHP reviews for disaster recovery projects
  • Additional assistance needed to meet EHP requirements
  • Community priority EHP resources
  • EHP stakeholders
  • Stakeholder understanding of the time needed to meet EHP requirements
  • Additional capacity needed to provide EHP subject matter experts
  • Environmental and cultural sensitivities

How to Engage Parties of the UFR MOU

Signatories of UFR MOU have committed to implementing the UFR Process. Federal disaster recovery leadership should ask representatives of those agencies involved in disaster recovery:

  • Will they be providing joint funding for disaster recovery projects?
  • Are they expecting to be involved in disaster recovery projects as a resource/regulatory agency (e.g., issuing permits)?
  • Have EHP resources been affected such as historic properties or sensitive species?
  • Are federal lands impacted?
  • Are there disaster recovery projects on federally managed lands?
  • Will they be required to conduct their own EHP reviews?
  • Have they engaged with the UFR Advisor?

How to Engage the RSF Field Coordinators to Support the UFR Process

Federal disaster recovery leadership should understand RSF Field Coordinator engagement with:

  • The UFR Advisor, Mitigation Advisor, and Program Liaisons to discuss EHP issues
  • Other RSF Field Coordinators to coordinate and share EHP information
  • Other primary and supporting agencies within each RSF to gather EHP information in support of recovery efforts at the field, regional, and national levels

Federal disaster recovery leadership should ask RSF Field Coordinators:

  • Would you recommend deploying additional support such as subject matter experts? Are you coordinating with mission assigned staff to support their efforts to support EHP compliance during the recovery process?
  • Have you made funding agencies aware of other ongoing federal recovery efforts?
  • What scope and duration of federal support should be provided given the affected resources?

Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership Priorities for EHP Considerations

  • Ask your field staff to coordinate with the UFR Advisor and/or the EHP Advisor and EHP staff early in the disaster to identify any potential issues in the recovery process.
  • Ask your field staff to support all EHP and UFR Process efforts – EHP is not there to “slow things down,” but to help them understand legal requirements and make their mission easier.
  • Ask staff involved in project planning and development to be on the lookout for potential coordination needs and opportunities.
  • Set the tone for the disaster recovery – be a strong advocate for EHP and the UFR Process.
  • Help the field staff to understand that EHP is there to support success of the recovery mission.

Tools & Mechanisms to Distribute

Field staff, EHP Practitioners, and programs should be aware of:

  • Applicant Guide
  • Disaster-Specific MOU
  • Practitioner Guidance
  • UFR Webpage (containing the Tools and Mechanisms)
  • UFR MOU

Lesson 5 Summary

This lesson presented the following topics:

  • Federal disaster recovery leadership management of staff to successfully implement the UFR Process
  • Federal disaster recovery leadership EHP priorities
  • Tools and Mechanisms for Federal disaster recovery leadership to distribute

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Lesson 6: Course Summary

Lesson 6: Overview

Objectives: The purpose of this lesson is to:

  • Review the key concepts presented in this course
  • Prepare for taking the final exam

clockThis lesson should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.


Review – Lesson 2: The UFR Process and its Value to Disaster Recovery

Establishment: The Sandy Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 required development of an expedited process for EHP reviews following disasters and the UFR MOU formally established the UFR Process.

The UFR Process is integrated with the NDRF and the IRC.

Applicability: The UFR Process applies whenever multiple agencies are engaged in similar disaster recovery efforts following a presidentially declared disaster.

Benefits: The UFR Process improves coordination, reduces duplication of effort, leverages existing agreements, and aligns multiple agency review processes.


Review – Lesson 3: The UFR Advisor & Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership

Role: The UFR Advisor is the interagency coordinator for EHP compliance who educates staff about the UFR Process and recommends Tools and Mechanisms to support disaster recovery.

Activation: After a disaster occurs and an FDRC is appointed, the UFR Advisor activates. The nature of further UFR Advisor responsibilities depends on the outcome of the Mission Scoping Assessment.

Interface: The UFR Advisor works with the National and Regional UFR Coordinators, the FEMA Regional Environmental Officer, Recovery Support Function Field Coordinators, and Federal disaster recovery leadership.


Review – Lesson 4: How the UFR Advisor Implements the UFR Process

Federal disaster recovery leadership ensures that the UFR Advisor has support to develop the UFR Tools and Mechanisms.

The Tools and Mechanisms are scalable to specific disaster recovery efforts, empower applicants, enable data sharing, and expedite EHP compliance.

The UFR Tools and Mechanisms are used both before a disaster occurs and throughout the recovery planning and recovery process.

The UFR Process can expedite Section 106 Consultation, Section 7 Consultation, and NEPA analysis.


Review – Lesson 5: Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership UFR Process Implementation

Federal disaster recovery leadership can promote the UFR Process through management of field staff, the UFR Advisor, representatives of signatories to the UFR MOU, and Recovery Support Function Field Coordinators.

Engage with all staff as an advocate for EHP compliance and the UFR Process; convey that EHP compliance supports the disaster recovery mission.


Lesson 6 Summary

You have now completed the overview of the UFR Process and the role of Federal disaster recovery leadership.

As you perform the duties of this position, remember that your primary role in the UFR Process is to support the UFR Advisor in coordinating interagency EHP reviews and encourage internal and external stakeholders to proactively address EHP requirements in a coordinated manner.


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