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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Do You Smell Something?

When power outages occur after severe weather such as hurricanes or tornadoes, using alternative sources of power can cause carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in your home and poison your family. CO is a colorless, odorless gas created by burning fuel when using portable generators, gas ranges, burning wood or by running your car.

While hundreds of people die in the U.S. each year from accidental CO poisoning, this tragedy can be prevented. If you don't have a battery-powered or battery back-up CO detector in your home, install one as soon as possible and check it every six months. You should also follow these safety tips :

  • Do not run your car inside a garage that is attached to your home, even if the garage door is open to the outside;
  • Have your heating system, water heater and other gas, oil or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician each year; and
  • Never heat your house with a gas oven.

Since you can't see or smell carbon monoxide, it is important to recognize the most common symptoms of CO poisoning. If you think you are experiencing CO poisoning, you should get fresh air and seek medical attention immediately!


Trick or Treat?

Are your kids ready to trick or treat? From costumes to candles, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers guidelines to make sure your family has a ghoulishly good time.

Choosing a costume for your child can be fun but remember to choose wisely. Look for items labeled flame resistant. Costumes should also be brightly colored or trimmed with reflective tape to make them more visible to motorists at night. Masks should have eye and nose holes for adequate visibility and breathing.

The CPSC encourages parents to :

  • Use LED lights to illuminate jack-o-lanterns;
  • Always accompany small children while visiting homes; and
  • Warn children not to eat treats until an adult has checked for evidence of tampering.

Have a safe and happy Halloween!


FEMA Regional Administrator Makes “The Costco Connection”

Warehouse club, Costco, recently interviewed FEMA Regional Administrator Nancy Ward for the September edition of their online and newsstand magazine, “ The Costco Connection .” In the issue, Ward shares her emergency preparedness expertise and promotes individual preparedness in an article about disaster survival.

Congratulations Nancy!


ShakeOut - Two More Days Left

On October 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. millions of people around the globe participated in the world's largest annual earthquake preparedness drill called The Great ShakeOut.

If you missed the drill – you still have two more days to join! The deadline for this year's drill period is October 31. Visit to learn how to register your family or organization and be sure to also follow @PrepareAthon for all things disaster preparedness.


Dates for Your Calendar!



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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