National Preparedness Month Week Three: Preparing Through Service
September 11 National Day of Service
The anniversary of September 11th is quickly approaching, and while September 11 is a time for remembrance and reflection, it is also a National Day of Service. The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is the culmination of efforts originally launched in 2002 by the nonprofit organization 9/11 Day with support from the entire September 11th community and well-known national service organizations.
In 2011, President Obama asked Americans to remember the lives of those lost, pay tribute to those who rose up in service, and honor those who serve our country today by engaging in service on the September 11th weekend. According to Serve.gov , these deeds can be as simple as:
- Volunteering at a food drive;
- Sprucing up schools and neighborhoods; or
- Supporting and honoring veterans, soldiers, and military families.
Find volunteer opportunities in your area and make plans today! If you are interested in organizing a community service project, Serve.gov has communication toolkits and other resources to help you get started .
But it doesn't have to end there! Volunteering with your local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is another great way to give back while preparing your community for emergencies.
Be sure to share your community service experiences on social media using #911Day
Campus and Workplace CERT Guides Now Available
We're excited to announce the release of the Campus CERT and Workplace CERT Guides! The guides will help new Campus or Workplace CERT Programs establish their teams and be successful in their unique environments. The guides are supplements to the existing CERT curriculum and can even be used to help existing CERT programs branch out into new areas.
The Campus CERT Guide can help program managers establish a new CERT in a college or university setting. A college or university campus often functions as a “city within a city,” and often has its own emergency management capabilities. A campus CERT program can support and enhance existing capabilities, and CERT volunteers can participate in efforts to increase the preparedness and resilience of the on-campus community. Campus CERT volunteers can also support the non-emergency needs of the college or university. For example, appropriately trained campus CERT volunteers can help manage traffic and crowds at large sporting events or other major campus functions, such as graduation ceremonies. The guide will make starting a new CERT within the framework of a college or university easier.
The Workplace CERT Guide can help start a CERT within any place of work. Whether it is a retail store or an office building, a workplace CERT program equips employees with skills that enable them to perform basic disaster response operations in an emergency. A workplace CERT program can support and enhance existing capabilities, and CERT volunteers can participate in efforts to increase the preparedness and resilience of the workplace and community. Workplace CERT volunteers are trained using the CERT Basic Training curriculum. Workplace CERT volunteers can also support the non-emergency needs of the workplace. For example, appropriately trained workplace CERT volunteers can help manage traffic and crowds at large events and functions.
Download your copy of the Campus CERT and Workplace CERT Guides today!
Preparing for Floods
Flooding is the most common U.S. natural disaster and can occur anywhere and in any season. Recent flooding in Louisiana , Maryland , West Virginia , and other parts of the country is yet another reminder to always be prepared.
Properly preparing for floods can help keep your family safe, minimize potential damage, and speed recovery efforts. Readiness is particularly important if you live in a low-lying area near a body of water, such as a river, stream, or culvert; along a coastline; downstream from a dam or levee; or in an area that is prone to flash flooding, such as dry creek beds or heavily populated areas with inadequate storm drainage.
- Ensure you can get the latest emergency alerts and local weather broadcasts to evacuate before flooding starts. FEMA's mobile app can send you National Weather Service alerts for up to five locations and offers more tips on how to prepare for a flood, so download it today;
- Be ready and evacuate when notified;
- If floodwater is blocking your evacuation route, but you can turn around safely, turn around and go to a building on high ground;
- If there is a flash flood and little notice, move to higher ground and, if necessary, climb as high as possible on a sturdy object; and
- If you are trapped, call 911. Give your location and explain your situation.
Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown! If you see floodwater on roads, walkways, bridges, or elsewhere, do not attempt to cross. Moving water has tremendous power. Six inches of moving water can knock an adult off his/her feet, and as little as 12 inches of water can sweep a vehicle off the road.
Floodwaters can also contain other potential hazards to your health and safety, including downed power lines, sewage, oil, gasoline, snakes, animals, and logs. Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers. For more information on floodwater hazards, visit the National Weather Service's Turn Around Don't Drown Program.
The How to Prepare for a Flood guide from America's PrepareAthon! outlines additional steps you can take to protect yourself, your home, and your possessions.
- Install “check valves” in sewer lines to prevent floodwater from backing up into the drains of your home;
- Elevate the furnace, water heater, and electrical panel if the location is susceptible to flooding; and
- Keep important papers in a fireproof, waterproof box. For electronic records, keep a backup drive in your fireproof, waterproof box or store files using a secure cloud-based service.
For more information about how to protect home and personal belongings, check out the new Be Smart. Document and Insure Your Property guide from America's PrepareAthon!
Upcoming Preparedness Events
Mark your calendars! FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division has several exciting events happening during National Preparedness Month that can help take your preparedness to the next level.
#Prep2Serve Twitter Chat
Get in the spirit of service with a special Twitter chat hosted by @Citizen _Corps on Friday, September 9 at 1 PM ET . The chat will highlight the importance of volunteering and community service before, during, and after a disaster. Participating organizations will discuss different ways people can get involved in their community. Join the conversation or follow along using #Prep2Serve .
FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Live Broadcast
Join winners of the 2016 Individual and Community Preparedness Awards on Wednesday, September 14 at 5:15 PM ET on Facebook and Periscope for a live broadcast to discuss how to “win” at preparedness in your community. Viewers will have the chance to ask questions of the Award winners during the broadcast.
Ask #CERT Live Broadcast
Got questions about how to get involved in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in your area? Just ask! Join FEMA's national CERT program lead, Fairfax County, VA CERT , and Prince George's County, MD CERT on Friday, September 16 at 2 PM ET on Facebook and Periscope for a live broadcast and Q&A session.
Campus Ready Webinar and Twitter Chat
On Wednesday, September 21 , FEMA Region I in collaboration with America's PrepareAthon! will host a Campus Ready preparedness webinar from 1-2 PM ET focusing on back-to-school actions colleges and universities can implement as the school year begins. The webinar will be followed by a live Twitter chat from 2-3 PM ET with colleges and universities from across the country discussing family communications plans and other best practices. Join the conversation or follow along using #CampusReady .
How to Join the Webinar:
Dates for Your Calendar