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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Deadline for Youth Council Approaches

Hurry! The period to submit an application to become a member of FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council is drawing to a close. The last day 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 local-level project on their own, national-level group project, and 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.

There are only a few days left before the application period closes. Don't wait, apply today! You can find the instructions to apply on FEMA's website.


Webinar: National African American History Month: Preparing Communities Through Partnerships

In celebration of National African American History Month, on Thursday, February 25, 2016, 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 Through Partnerships
Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers:                                 

  • W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, FEMA will provide opening remarks.
  • Linda Wilson, Chair, Delta Emergency Response Task Force, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will discuss how service organizations such as 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, 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! 


Hospitals Surge to Prepare

Hospitals and other medical facilities deal with urgent situations daily; however, their emergency preparedness capability is tested when there are mass casualties. To help medical centers prepare for mass health and casualty emergencies, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sponsored the development of the Hospital Surge Evaluation Tool .

The tool focuses on three areas to assist all staff, including emergency management, hospital administrators, and clinical personnel to gauge their preparedness and ability to manage an increased patient load from the result of a major medical event. These areas are:

  • Triaging patients throughout the facility, especially the emergency department;
  • Managing a Hospital Incident Command Center; and
  • Operating with adequate staffing resources.

With the assistance of this  HHS-sponsored tool , hospitals are able to conduct a realistic Functional Exercise (FE) that comes close to simulating a full-scale drill. From patient relocation planning, to securing space in the building, and ensuring effective communication between the emergency medical team and the supervisory response unit, the tool helps staff to effectively and realistically simulate patient care coordination. 

More information on the  Hospital Surge Tool is available online. 


Webinar: Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Outreach and Promotion

On Thursday, March 10, FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar featuring several local Community and Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs that developed creative methods to connect with their communities. The webinar will focus on the rewarding and challenging work the CERT programs do to increase awareness and conduct promotional activity.

Title: CERT Outreach and Promotion
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Time:  3:00–4:30 p.m. EST

Featured Speakers:

  • Tim Tutak , Farmington Hills Emergency Preparedness Commission, MI
  • Kevin Mercier , Sturbridge CERT, MA
  • Ellen Seeley , Cape Coral CERT, FL  

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope to that you will be able to join us on March 10!


Enter the “My Preparedness Story” Video Challenge

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

Show how you're 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. 

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 Monday, March 28 . Full details about the contest, including submission guidelines and rules for eligibility are available on the “ My Preparedness Story” 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.

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.