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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The Gift of Help

From Superstorm Sandy that struck the northeast U.S. in 2012 to Typhoon Haiyan that recently hit the Philippines, assistance is still needed to help survivors recover.

This holiday season, give the gift of help by volunteering with disaster relief efforts or by making financial contributions through reputable relief organizations such as the American Red Cross , the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).

Currently these organizations are continuing relief efforts for those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan, Superstorm Sandy, the Colorado floods and more. Find a volunteer opportunity near you or join your local Citizens Corps today for more ways to get involved!


Back It Up

Businesses create and manage a large amount of data and electronic information. Some of that data is essential to daily operations and business survival. Vital information can be lost due to hacking, human error or hardware failure resulting in significant business disruption. Would you know what to do if your information technology stopped working? This is when having a plan for data backup and recovery will come in handy. To develop your data backup plan, you should:

  • Identify what data to backup;
  • Implement hardware and software procedures;
  • Schedule and conduct backups; and
  • Periodically check data to ensure it has been accurately backed up.

Data backup and recovery is an integral part of the business continuity plan for IT disaster preparedness. Data on network servers, wireless devices, laptop and desktop computers should be backed up along with hard copy records and other information. Tapes, cartridges and large capacity USB drives with integrated data backup software are effective means for business backup.

Taking steps to secure your business' vital information is also a great way to support the America's PrepareAthon! campaign to increase community resilience in times of disaster. Follow @PrepareAthon on Twitter for all things disaster preparedness!


Preparedness Cross Country

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency recently released MARYLAND Prepares , Maryland's official emergency management mobile app, to help Maryland residents better prepare for emergencies. Families can create interactive emergency kits, customized communications plans and view preparation guides so they are more informed on what to do before, during or after an emergency. The app is available for Apple and Android devices.

Several states across the nation are currently using a rapidly growing service called SmartPrepare to effectively prepare for and respond to disasters. SmartPrepare allows residents to share critical information about themselves and their families with local emergency managers. First introduced in New Canaan, CT in September 2012, the service, recently implemented in Arizona, is now used in ten states.


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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.