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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Using Portable Fire Extinguishers

The  U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is sharing daily fire safety tips throughout October to help make homes and families safer.  Now is a good time to review important fire safety tips with your family, including how to properly use portable fire extinguishers.

The USFA recommends that only people trained to use and maintain a fire extinguisher should consider using them! Contact your local fire department for training in your area.

The type of fire extinguisher you use should match the type of fire. For example, an electrical fire would require a different extinguishing agent than a grease fire. Most extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they can be used.

If you do not think you would be able to safely put the fire out in five seconds using an extinguisher, do not attempt to use it! Leave the area and call 911.

Should you need to use a fire extinguisher, follow the PASS method :

  • P ull the pin to break the tamper seal.
  • A im low, pointing the extinguisher nozzle, horn or nose at the base of the fire.
  • S queeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • S weep from side to side at the base of the fire until it appears to be out.

To learn more about fire safety, follow the USFA hashtag #firesafein31 on Twitter at @usfire and on Facebook at .


Trick or Treat?

Is your family ready to trick or treat? From costumes to candles, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers guidelines to ensure your family has a howling good time.

While choosing a costume for your child can be fun, it's important to choose wisely. Look for “flame resistant” costumes that are brightly colored or trimmed with reflective tape to make them more visible to motorists. Trick-or-treat bags should also be brightly colored or decorated with reflective tape.

The CPSC also encourages parents and caregivers to:

  • Use flameless candles for jack-o'-lanterns and other decorations.
  • Only use decorative light strands (indoors or outdoors). Be sure a recognized testing laboratory has tested your decorative lights. You can find this information on the packaging.

According to the U.S Fire Administration (USFA) , an estimated 10,300 fires were reported to fire departments over a three-day period around Halloween between 2011 and 2013. Stay safe with additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Halloween Safety page or this USFA Halloween Safety video. 


Tsunami Safety

If you live in or visit a tsunami hazard zone, the National Weather Service offers the following preparedness tips to help keep you safe:

  • Get a  NOAA Weather Radio  - National Weather Radio broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings  to receive timely information about weather conditions or other emergency events. 
  • Verify with your service provider that mobile devices receive wireless emergency alerts , which are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier.
  • Make an emergency plan that includes family communication .
  • Map out evacuation routes to safe places on high ground or inland. The community may have evacuation routes and assembly areas. Find out if the community is TsunamiReady .
  • Put together a portable disaster supplies kit with items you and your family ( including pets ) may need in an emergency. Prepare kits for work and cars, too.

For more information, visit the National Weather Service's Tsunami Safety page  and the Tsunamis page.


Webinar: Teen CERT, Campus CERT and Workplace CERT

On Wednesday, November 2 , FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar featuring Teen, Campus and Workplace Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs. The webinar will focus on best practices, challenges and successes of starting and growing a program in each category!

Title: Teen CERT, Campus CERT and Workplace CERT

Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

CERT Programs:

  • Capt. Lafate Elliott Day , Lafourche Parish Teen CERT (LA)
  • James Caesar , University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jeremy Kirchner , NBC Universal Workplace CERT (CA)

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope to that you will be able to join us on November 2!


Safeguard Your Valuables

If you had to file an insurance claim for your home or business, would you know how much your stuff was worth?

To get you started, America's PrepareAthon! has checklists to Document and Insure Your Property and Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables . Meanwhile, the Insurance Information Institute offers the free Know Your Stuff ® app that allows you to create a home inventory with your smartphone, tablet or computer.  Take pictures of your belongings and create an inventory to help you get the most value from your insurance.

Other features include:

  • Exporting lists of your belongings to quickly file an insurance claim.
  • Store and manage all your insurance policy information.
  • Add multiple properties, such as vacation homes.
  • Create charts, tables, and graphs that show the total value of your belongings by property, by room, and collection.
  • Record serial numbers for major appliances or electronics.
  • Upload receipts, appraisals or other proof of value.
  • Opt in to receive weather alerts for your area and tips on how to protect your property from severe weather.

For more information, visit America's PrepareAthon! , or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play .


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.