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.

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Cooking Safety for the Super Bowl

Getting your Super Bowl game face on? Score more points this year by putting kitchen fire safety in your line up.

Super Bowl Sunday is a big day for food consumption. That means a lot of time spent planning and preparing game day snacks. Before you kick off your menu, take a look at these U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) tips for safer cooking:

Kitchen Huddle
Prepare your cooking area. Use back burners or turn pot handles toward the back of the stove. Move things that can burn away from the stove. Keep a timer handy and use it when you're roasting or baking.

Penalty Flag
Frying poses the greatest risk of fire. Keep an eye on what you fry. Start with a small amount of oil and heat it slowly. If you see smoke, or if the grease starts to boil in your pan, turn the burner off. Even a small amount of oil on a hot burner can start a fire.

Stay awake and alert while you're cooking. Stand by your pan. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off. Keep a large pan lid or baking sheet nearby in case you need to smother a pan fire.

Illegal Contact
Prevent burns when you're cooking. Wear short sleeves, or roll them up. Don't lean over the burner. Use potholders and oven mitts to handle hot or steaming cookware.

Defensive Linemen
Keep children at least three feet from anything that can get hot, including the stove. Put hot objects and liquids beyond a child's reach so they can't touch or pull them down. Never hold a child when you cook.

Consider using flameless candles that are battery powered, instead of wax candles. If you're planning on using food warmers and slow cookers, provide hot pads to prevent burns.

Light the food warmer fuel-can after it is placed under the warmer. Keep anything that can burn away from the flame. If you have young children, keep matches and lighters up high and locked away.

For more fire safety information, check the  USFA website. Follow USFA on Twitter at  @USfire and on Facebook .


Winter Pet Care

Before heading into the cold temperature, make sure you have a heavy coat, gloves, hat, scarf, and warm shoes. With all these items, you should be able to handle the wintry weather. 

Now, what about your pet? 

Just because your pet has fur does not mean that it can weather the cold. If you're cold, it's likely that your pet is chilly too.

Exposure to the winter's dry, cold air, chilly rain, sleet, and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy skin. You can prevent the cold weather from affecting your pet's health by following this advice:

  • Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet when you bring it indoors;
  • Never shave your pet down to its skin in the winter;
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws;
  • Bathe your pet as little as possible during cold spells; and
  • Massage petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into the paw pads of your pet before going outside. This can help protect your pet's paws from salt and chemical agents.

There's more you can do to protect your pet! Read more on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website.


Enter the “My Preparedness Story” Video Challenge Today

Are you helping family, friends, and community members protect their health during disasters and every day?  If you so and you're between the ages of 14 and 23, the Department of Health and Human Services wants to see!

Show how you are helping people bounce back from disasters with their health intact. Enter the “My Preparedness Story" video challenge . Tap into your creative side. Form a team if you want. 

Whether it's volunteering in a health center or with your local Medical Reserve Corps Unit , learning first aid, developing an emergency plan and building an emergency kit, or anything else you're doing to keep your community healthy and resilient, please share your story.  

All you have to do is create a short video – up to 60 seconds – showing how you help your family, friends, and community stay healthy during disasters and every day.  Your video could be used to help others learn ways to prepare their communities better for disasters and emergencies.  There will be a grand prize award of $2,000, second prize award of $1,000 and third prize award of $500.

Don't delay! Entries are due on March 29, 2016, at 11:00 p.m. EST . Full details about the contest, including submission guidelines and rules for eligibility are available on the “ My Preparedness Story” website. 


Webinar: STEP into Preparedness

It's not too late to join FEMA for a webinar on the updated curriculum developed for the Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) program. On Thursday, February 11, 2016, FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division will present the 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!


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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.