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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Keep Safe During Severe Winter Weather

A severe winter storm is expected in some states, stretching from Arkansas to Massachusetts according to the National Weather Service.  

Due to the potential severe winter weather, there is also an increased likelihood of power outages.  Consider these tips to keep your entire household safe and warm

Stay home!

  • Stay off the roads during severe weather conditions;
  • Have enough water and non-perishable foods for at least 72 hours;
  • Have emergency supplies and refill your prescriptions; 
  • Wear layered clothing and use blankets or sleep bags to stay warm; and
  • Avoid using generators, outdoor heating or cooking equipment, such as a grill, camp stove, or gasoline propane heater indoors.

On the Road?

  • Drive slowly and keep clear of snow plows;
  • Wear layers of clothes to keep warm;
  • Charge your cell phone and minimize usage; and 
  • Try to keep a full tank of gas to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

For more information,  check out the "When the Sky Turns Gray" video


Winter Preparedness for Your Business

If a winter storm should strike, do you have safeguards in place to protect your business? Preparing your business for both short and long-term interruptions is important. Additionally, business owners should consider having an action or communications plan for their employees. 

In partnership with Agility Recovery, the Small Business Administration developed a  checklist for business owners  to consider when preparing their companies for emergencies and disaster recoveries:

Before the Storm

  • Check your insurance coverage protection against winter hazards;
  • Develop a procedure for restoring electrical services on an item-by-item basis; and
  • Develop a procedure for relocating salvageable and undamaged stock and supplies.

During the Storm

  • Keep driveways, walkways, and doorways clear of snow and ice;
  • Open water faucets to let them drip to keep water flowing through the pipes vulnerable to freezing; and
  • Have the names and phone numbers of your heating contractor, plumber, fire department, insurance agent, and building owner accessible.

You can read the entire business preparation checklist on the  Agility Recovery website


Youth Preparedness Council Application Period Opens Soon

The Youth Preparedness Council brings together leaders from across the country who are interested and engaged in advocating youth preparedness. Council members are selected based on their dedication to public service, their efforts in making a difference in their communities, and their potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness. The application period will close in early March. More details to come next week.


Webinar: Preparing Youth for Disasters

The Individual and Community Preparedness Division is pleased to invite you to a webinar on Thursday, February 4, 2016, focused on engaging the public on disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving youth.

Title:  Preparing Youth for Disasters
Date:  Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time:  3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers:  

  • Bruce Lockwood, Acting Captain, Emergency Management Division, East Hartford Fire Department, CT ; Former Commissioner, National Commission on Children and Disasters, will share the background on the unique needs of children in a disaster and the importance of preparedness planning and education.
  • Sarah Thompson, Save the Children , will exchange information on Save the Children's Prep Rally, which helps children learn the basics of emergency preparedness through engaging activities and games and can be formatted to fit your program.
  • Hilary Palotay, American Red Cross , will share information on the Pillowcase Project, a preparedness education program for children in grades 3–5.
  • Captain Rob Tosatto, Medical Reserve Corps & Jane Shovlin, Arizona Health Occupations Students of America , will share information on the partnership between Medical Reserve Corps and HOSA and how to engage youth in contributing to school and community preparedness.

How to Join the Webinar: 


Webinar: STEP into Preparedness

Join the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division on Thursday, February 11, 2016, as we present the newly updated Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) materials and share tips and lessons learned from teaching the program.

STEP is a classroom-based emergency preparedness curriculum that teaches fourth and fifth-graders about emergencies and how to create a disaster supply kit and family emergency communications plan.

Title : STEP Into Preparedness
Date: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers :    

  • Louise Gorham,  Health Imperatives
  • Tod Pritchard,  Wisconsin Emergency Management
  • Robert Scata,  Connecticut Emergency Management and Homeland Security

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on February 11! 


Dates for Your Calendar!


Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting:

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.