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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Protecting your Home during a Wildfire

Wildfires can spread rapidly, with little-to-no warning, often going unnoticed until it is too late. These wildfires, commonly started by human error, quickly ignite and burn through tinder-dry bushes and trees, and unfortunately spread to nearby homes as well.

If you live in a fire-prone area there are various ways that you can help reduce the chance for severe damage to your home and property, by designing and landscaping your home with wildfire safety in mind; selecting materials and plants that can help contain a fire rather than fuel it.

For home design and construction:

  • Use fire-resistant or noncombustible materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling.
  • Treat wood or combustible material used in roofs, siding, decking, or trim with fire-retardant chemicals evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory.
  • Plant fire-resistant shrubs and trees around your property such as hardwoods, and avoid more flammable pine, evergreen, eucalyptus or fir trees.

For home maintenance and safety:

  • Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove any debris;
  • Install a fire alarm on every floor in your home and test monthly;
  • Have a garden hose long enough to reach your home and any other structures on the property;
  • Ask the power company to remove any branches that are near or on the power lines; and
  • Mow your grass regularly.

A great resource for proper home and property fire prevention planning is . The site contains a variety of fire safety and prevention information designed for residents, property owners, fire departments, community planners, builders, public policy officials, water authorities and architects. To learn about Firewise's upcoming Wildfire Education conference click here .

Should you be directed to evacuate your home due to a wildfire, follow the instructions of local officials, and be sure to take your battery operated radio, disaster preparedness kit and lock the door behind you when evacuating. If you have time to prepare the home before leaving, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website for additional tips.


FEMA Signs Agreement with the NAACP

On July 12, 2013, FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous signed a Memorandum of Agreement to establish a formal partnership between the two organizations across all areas of emergency assistance and disaster preparedness.

The Agreement will expand outreach to traditionally underserved communities through the NAACP network of more than 200,000 members. Through the MOA, FEMA and the NAACP have joined forces to ensure the needs of underrepresented communities are more fully incorporated into disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation-related activities. The two agencies also will share information such as lessons learned, best practices and training resources, to improve community resilience. 

This Agreement builds upon collaborative links established over the past few years including NAACP senior leadership participation on FEMA's National Advisory Council, FEMA engagement activities at the NAACP Annual Convention, and NAACP staff training on FEMA's community preparedness course . The Agreement strengthens the “whole community” approach to emergency management and will greatly improve communities' access to information to help individuals, families and communities stay safe before, during and after an emergency or disaster.

To read the press release, please click here


CERT Training Available at Emergency Management Institute

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has released its schedule of new training opportunities for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). The courses will begin in November 2013 and continue through the 2014 calendar year. The CERT Program Manager Training course is designed for current CERT program managers, volunteers and professionals who are designated or interested in working at the local level. In addition, CERT Train the Trainer course is designed to allow current and future CERT personnel to become CERT basic training instructors. Both trainings are available consecutively.

The National Emergency Management Institute, managed by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, is designed to improve the competencies of U.S. officials in emergency management at all levels of government. EMI trains more than 2 million students a year with its campus located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. For more information on EMI and its course offerings visit: .


Dates for Your Calendar!


FEMA Major Disaster Declarations Update

Missouri Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds, Tornadoes, and Flooding
Major Disaster Declaration number 4130 on Jul 19, 2013

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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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