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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Winning with Wildfire Preparation

For National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day , gather your family and friends together to create a wildfire preparedness project in your community, and win with wildfire preparation – and possibly a funding award. State Farm is offering funding awards of $500 for wildfire preparedness projects.

As part of National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, America's PrepareAthon! is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to encourage all to host a wildfire preparedness project in their communities for the wildfire preparedness day – occurring on Saturday, May 7 . State Farm will provide the funding award for 125 wildfire projects nationwide.

To be considered for the award, apply by Sunday, February 28 . Include a brief description of the project you or your group will complete for the National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. Any project that brings people together to take action and be prepared for wildfire counts. Some activities could include:

  • Remove excess pine needles or downed tree limbs;
  • Collaborate with your neighbors to develop an evacuation plan;
  • Build pet evacuation kits and donate them to local animal shelters for use during disasters; and
  • Help elderly neighbors put emergency contacts in their phone.

Get family and friends to vote for your project as a way to demonstrate local support for what you're doing. Activities can be coordinated by anyone (individuals, small group, an entire neighborhood, or community-based organization) working to reduce wildfire risk and advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire.

You can find additional activities and the official rules on the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day section of the NFPA website. There's additional wildfire information and preparedness resources on America's PrepareAthon! 


Fire Safety for Older Adults

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), older adults – ages 65 and older – are more likely to be injured during a fire.

It is important that older adults and their caregivers take steps to protect themselves from a fire in their home.

USFA has safety recommendations for older adults and their caregivers, which may include:

  • Have a smoke alarm that works for you and the functional needs that you have.  For example, many smoke alarms have lower decibel ranges for those who are hard of hearing. Others may have smoke alarms with strobes or separate bed shaker. There are also smoke alarms with long-lasting batteries for someone with a mobility disability or vision loss.
  • Have conversations with household members, caregivers and friends about your fire safety plan.  Develop and test an escape plan that works for you and your household if you live in a single family home.  If you live in multi-level housing such as an apartment or high-rise building, know your evacuation plan.
  • Take in consideration any additional items you may need to take with you quickly. For example, keep any devices such as wheelchairs, canes, eyeglasses and hearing aids in a consistent place so you can get out quickly;

For more information about how to protect older adults in your family or community, visit the USFA website .


National African American History Month: Preparing Communities for Disasters

In celebration of National African American History Month on Thursday, February 25, FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar focusing on engaging the public on nationwide disaster preparedness and resilience efforts serving African American communities.

Title: National African American History Month: Preparing Communities for Disasters
Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers:                                 

  • Linda Wilson, Chair, Delta Emergency Response Task Force, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will discuss how fraternities and sororities can support disaster preparedness and response.
  • Jacqueline Patterson, Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP will discuss what local civic organizations can do to increase preparedness.
  • Shamika Ossey, RN, BSN, PHN, Community Engagement & Resilience Consultant, South LA Teen CERT, will discuss youth preparedness and disaster response.

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on February 25! 


Opening Soon: The 2016 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Application Period

The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by recognizing individuals and organizations that made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient. The application period will open on Monday, February 29 . More details to come next week. 


FEMA Announces Call for Youth Council Members

FEMA is accepting applications for the Youth Preparedness Council. The deadline to submit an application is Tuesday, March 1 .

The Youth Preparedness Council offers an opportunity for youth leaders to serve on a distinguished national council and participate in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit. During their two-year term, the leaders will have the opportunity to complete a national-level group project and to share their opinions, experiences, ideas, solutions and questions regarding youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of FEMA and national youth preparedness organizations.

Council activities and projects center around five areas of engagement: programs, partnerships, events, public speaking/outreach and publishing. Members represent the youth perspective on emergency preparedness and share information with their communities. They also meet with FEMA on a regular basis to provide ongoing input on strategies, initiatives, and projects throughout the duration of their term.

Don't wait, apply today! You can find the instructions to apply on FEMA's website. 


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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