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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Lightning Strikes – Stay Safe

Thunderstorms are dangerous due to lightning. Although lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months in the afternoon and evening. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, deliberating symptoms.

  • Be smart this summer to help reduce your risks. Below are a few tips to start:
  • Postpone outdoor activities when a storm is being forecasted.
  • Unplug electronic equipment before the storms begins.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: The first “30” represents 30 seconds. If the time between when you see the flash and hear the thunder is 30 seconds or less, the lightening is close enough to hit you.
  • During a storm, use your NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials
  • Avoid contact with any metal – tractors, motorcycles, bicycles, and golf clubs
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower or wash dishes and do not laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.

For more tips and helpful information visit:


FEMA Think Tank Save the Date: Innovations Every Emergency Manager Should Know About

Save the date and join FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino for the next FEMA Think Tank conference call on July 18, 2013 , from San Francisco, California.

Date : Thursday, July 18, 2013

Time : 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Eastern Time (11:00 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time)

Call in Numbe r: 888-323-9869

Passcode : Think Tank

Captioning :

This month's call will provide the opportunity to discuss innovations that emergency management should know about, including the constructive integration of existing, new, and forward thinking innovations that improve a product or service in unexpected ways. The goal is to take innovations that are not necessarily associated with emergency management and relate them to emergency management in order to improve the way we do response, recovery, preparedness, and mitigation.

The FEMA Think Tank has generated thousands of ideas and comments on the online forum. Participants of the conference calls include federal, state, tribal, territorial, and local emergency managers, first responders, and others concerned about helping our communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. 

Visit the online forum at to submit ideas on innovation and comment on others stories and topics.


Prepping for Brownouts and Blackouts

The heat is rising across the country. The high demands for electricity to keep cool are increasing the risk of areas experiencing blackouts or brownouts. Brownouts typically occur during heat waves due to heavy equipment coming online, short circuits, or electrical companies decreasing voltage in order to meet the needs of peak time. While blackouts occur when it is a complete power outage and can last from hour to weeks.

It's important that you take action now and prepare for the next time service interruptions occur in your area. Because the length of a power outage can vary from a few hours to several days, you need to plan to get by without utilities for at least three days. Not sure how to prepare? FEMA is here to help. 

Use FEMA's “ Going Off Grid: Utility Outages ” activity module to reference simple steps to get prepared for an outage. Some utility outage checklist items include: 

  • Document important phone numbers and vital power company information
  • Locate and label your utility shutoffs
  • Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts
  • Have your disaster kit ready and stocked

The “Going Off Grid: Utility Outages” activity module is part of FEMA's “ Preparedness Activities for Communities Everywhere ” tools, which educate individuals about relatively easy steps to take to become prepared for all types of hazards. The tools are designed for anyone to use in coordination with local emergency preparedness partners to help better prepare for emergencies.

For additional tips on blackouts visit:


Weather Alerts for the Unpredictable Summer

The summer weather can be unpredictable with the chance of major effects across the country to include wildfires, tornados, hurricanes and more. It is important for individuals and communities to be aware of pending weather conditions. Be proactive to ensure safety measures are being met. The National Weather Service has developed a list of free and paid alerts available by email or SMS text that are beneficial for families and communities. To view the list of weather alert systems available, visit the National Weather Service, click here .


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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.

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