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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Veteran Salute

On Veteran's Day, we thank the men and women who sacrifice their lives to secure the safety of our country by serving in the military and by putting their skills to use with emergency preparedness and disaster relief.

Team Rubicon (TR) is a disaster-relief organization formed after the 2010 Haitian earthquake and enables veterans to lend their skills and expertise to a good cause.

Recently members of TR led a short-term recovery operation in Wayne, NE after an EF-4 tornado struck on October 4. Over the course of ten days, eight TR volunteers and more than 4,000 community volunteers logged nearly 27,000 hours of service to debris removal and structure repair.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsored the second annual Working Wounded Games held November 2 in Vienna, VA. The Games is a competition between veterans with combat-related disabilities and other adaptive athletes that will help start new programs for wounded warriors and athletes to reclaim their independence through physical fitness.

The Nation's largest wartime veteran's service organization, The American Legion , will take part in tributes held November 11 in Washington, D.C. This year, a representative from the Legion will attend wreath laying ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

To our Nation's veterans, we salute you and appreciate all of your sacrifice!


Flu Fighters

Flu season has begun! Are you protected? The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by various flu viruses that spread when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. About 5 to 20 percent of people in the United States get influenza each year. Flu related complications include pneumonia and dehydration, which can last one to two weeks. In some cases, the flu can also lead to death.

If you get sick with flu symptoms, stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying home at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or necessities.

While vaccination remains the best line of defense against flu, there are simple everyday preventive actions you can take to help fight the spread of germs such as washing your hands frequently and covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze.

If you haven't received your flu vaccination, use the vaccine finder to locate a clinic near you!


Pet Protection

Dogs and cats are not immune to cold weather. If it is cold for you, it is cold for them! As the winter months approach, don't forget to keep your pet safe. Create a pet disaster supply kit similar to the one you prepare for yourself. Their kit should include:

  • Food and water for at least five days for each pet;
  • Sturdy leashes, harnesses and carriers; and
  • Current identification, medications and medical records.

All pets need appropriate protection against the cold weather. If you have a short haired breed, consider getting a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck for them to wear.

While outside, keep your pet close to you to avoid encountering antifreeze, a sweet but deadly poison that may be accessible on roads and in garages or driveways. Do you know the signs of antifreeze poisoning ? Symptoms usually appear 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion and occur in two phases.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals lists guidelines to protect your animals when the mercury dips. Taking extra precautions during colder months will make sure your four-legged family members stay safe and warm!


Ring the Alarm

As the holiday season approaches, it's a good time to review fire safety techniques with your family including how to safely put out fires using a portable fire extinguisher. These extinguishers are a valuable resource for immediate use on small fires. Before you consider using an extinguisher there are some very important details to remember:

  • The U. S. Fire Administration recommends only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training in your area.
  • The type of fire extinguisher you use should match the type of fire. Most extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they can be used.
  • If you do not think you would be able to safely put the fire out in five seconds using an extinguisher, do not attempt to use it! Leave the area and call 911.

Should you need to use a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method.

Learn more about fire safety and how to properly extinguish fires with FEMA's preparedness activity module, Putting Out Fires .


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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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