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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Put a Freeze on Winter Fires

The risk of having a home fire increases during the winter months: December, January, and February.

To help teach the public about winter fire hazards and ways to prevent them, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) are teaming up to promote “Put a Freeze on Winter Fires.”

Each week during the campaign, USFA will share helpful, practical tips to assist with making our homes and families safer. Follow #wintersafety on Twitter @usfire and on Facebook at .

For additional fire safety and prevention information, visit the USFA's website .


Safe Holiday Decorating

Are you decorating your home safely for the holidays?

According to Project Holiday from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 800 fires a year begin with decorations and another 200 start with Christmas trees.

Be fire smart as you deck the halls for a festive holiday season with these NFPA tips:

  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Use indoor and outdoor lights appropriately. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer's instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights, so the cords don't get damaged.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.

Find extra holiday, Christmas tree and fire safety information, videos, and graphics on the U.S. Fire Administration Holiday Safety page.


Winterize Your Home

Before you turn the heat up, keep the cold out by winterizing your home.

Taking a few simple steps to prepare your home will help your family stay warm, keep your water flowing, and it may even save you some money.

Follow these tips and find more from and America's PrepareAthon!

  • Winterize your home by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
  • Wrap pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic, and allow faucets to drip or trickle during cold weather to avoid freezing. Learn how to shut off water valves if a pipe bursts.
  • Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.

This is just a sampling of the home and other winter preparedness tips available, to view more check out the America's PrepareAthon! How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide .


Save the Date for the #WinterSafety Twitter Chat

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts La  Niña  type conditions this winter. For that reason, we are planning a #WinterSafety Twitter Chat to discuss winter storm terms, winter driving tips, winter supplies for your emergency kit, and how to heat your home safely. 

#WinterSafety Twitter Chat

Tentative Date: December 15

Time: 2 PM Eastern Time

Hashtag: #WinterSafety

Continue to follow  @PrepareAthon  on Twitter and this e-Brief for additional details on the chat.


Georgia Power Winter PrepareAthon!

Georgia Power has partnered with FEMA and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) for a Winter Weather PrepareAthon!, which will take place from December 5 – 9, 2016. The goal is to increase the number of individuals who understand that winter weather could happen in the state and take action to increase their preparedness. Each day will focus on a different aspect of winter preparedness.

  • Dec. 5 – PrepareAthon! Kickoff: Know Your Risks
  • Dec. 6 – PrepareAthon! Day 2: Know Your Storm Terminology
  • Dec. 7  – PrepareAthon! Day 3: ENN/ Emergency Alerts & Outage Maps
  • Dec. 8  – PrepareAthon! Day 4: Home Safety & Energy Saving Tips
  • Dec. 9  – PrepareAthon! Day 5: Building an Emergency Kit

You can hold a similar event in your community. Whether you want to help individuals prepare for an earthquake , a flood , a hurricane , a tornado , a wildfire or a winter Storm , America's PrepareAthon! has playbooks and guides available to make planning a preparedness event easy. Visit to get started.


Webinar: Successful Social Media Practices to Strengthen Your CERT Program

On Wednesday, December 14, FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) webinar featuring programs that have found innovation ways of using social media to promote their preparedness efforts and respond during a disaster. Speakers will also share their experience on how they were able to grow their overall social media presence. 

Title: Successful Social Media Practices to Strengthen Your CERT Program

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EDT

Featured Speakers:

  • Christina Nguyen , Community Relations Coordinator, Oklahoma City Office of Emergency Management
  • Mary Jo Flynn , Emergency Operations Coordinator,  Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services

How to Join the Webinar:

We hope to that you will be able to join us on December 14!


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.