This Citizen Corps News Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources and activities recently announced by federal agencies and Citizen Corps partners.

DHS -FEMA Updates

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Looking Back: Social Media during Emergencies

The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season is in full swing. While some states are more vulnerable to hurricanes than others, many are at risk. Social media and other collaborative technologies have played an integral part of preparation, response and recovery efforts. It is important to look back at past ways social media was used, identify areas for improvement and begin to develop and enhance the tools needed to improve response this year and beyond.

To accomplish this, the Virtual Social Media Working Group (VSMWG) published its newest document, Lessons Learned: Social Media and Superstorm Sandy . The report is the result of input and discussion from across the first response community. It provides an overview of how social media was used to prepare for, respond to and recover from Superstorm Sandy. It also discusses lessons learned and themes in the application of social media and other collaborative technologies.

In addition, the VSMWG announced the re-release of three documents focusing on social media in emergency management:

For more information on the VSMWG, please visit First Responder Communities of Practice at .


Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience Deadline Extended!

The deadline for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience deadline has been extended to June 30, 2013 . The award recognizes non-governmental individuals or organizations who emphasize leadership in effective disaster preparation, response and recovery efforts.

The Department of Homeland Security created this award in 2012 in memory of Richard “Rick” Rescorla, a hero of 9/11, who gave his life helping his colleagues safely evacuate the World Trade Center. In 2011, Secretary Napolitano posthumously awarded Mr. Rescorla with the Department's highest honor, a DHS Distinguished Public Service Medal. Find out more about the award and learn how to nominate someone from your community at .


Small Business Week: Don't Forget Disaster Preparedness for Your Business

Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates its 50th anniversary of Small Business Week. Small Business Week is designed to recognize the contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to the SBA, more than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Small businesses play such a critical role to our economy; therefore, a plan is key if faced with an emergency. Some tips small businesses should consider in disaster are:

  • Contacting your insurance company to find out your exact coverage;
  • Calculating the financial effect (per day) a disaster would have on your business; and
  • Creating a detailed communication plan for your employees.

Want to learn more? Read lessons learned from a small business owner in reestablishing business after a natural disaster: click here .

For more information on preparing your business in case of disaster visit the SBA website, click here .


FEMA Corps Graduates First AmeriCorps Members

After completing 10 months of service to disaster survivors around the country, the nation's first class of FEMA Corp members will be honored at graduation ceremonies in Vicksburg, Mississippi and Vinton, Iowa this month. FEMA Corps is a partnership between FEMA and the Corporation for National and Community Service to enhance the nation's disaster response and recovery capacity while expanding career opportunities for young people.

FEMA Corp engages young adults 18 to 24 to provide ten months of full-time service on disaster response and recovery projects. As part of their service, FEMA Corps graduates will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to help them pay for college or pursue other learning opportunities in and out of emergency management.

Most recently FEMA Corps teams were integral in the response and recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy. Teams were on the ground in New York and New Jersey in the first few days following the hurricane providing direct assistance to survivors. FEMA Corps also provided assistance in 20 other states including Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

To learn more about FEMA Corps and the opportunities available visit the Corporation for National and Community Service website.


Dates for Your Calendar!

June 1 – June 30: National Safety Month

June 17 - 21 : SBA, Small Business Week

June 19 – 23: 2013 Points of Light's Conference on Volunteering and Service

June 20 – 26: National Sheriffs Association Annual Conference

July 23 – 27: Firehouse Expo

May to December: Regional Emergency Management Summits

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About FEMA

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Follow FEMA online at,,, and Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at

The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.