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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FEMA Honors the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Award Winners

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the winners of the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards, recognizing innovative local practices and achievements by honoring individuals, organizations, and jurisdictions that have made outstanding contributions toward strengthening their community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a disaster. View the 2017 Awards Press Release .

Award recipients by category are: 

  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Council: Connecticut Citizen Corps Council
  • Community Preparedness Champions: Rosalind Roz McKelvey  and Cindi Barker
  • Awareness to Action: Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) 
  • Technological Innovation: Single Automated Business Exchange for Reporting (SABER)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness: MyPI National (short for “My Preparedness Initiative”)  
  • John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness: Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe of California Outstanding Private Sector Initiative
  • Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Initiatives: Long Beach Fire Department CERT
  • Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program: Arlington Christian Disaster Network
  • Prepareathon in Action: Prep Step Campaign from Save the Children

A complete list of the recipients and the honorable mentions for each category is available at . Congratulations to all the award recipients and honorable mentions! You continue to make your communities and the Nation proud! 


How to Help After a Disaster

Thank you to all of the generous individuals who donated their time, money, and supplies to people affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

If you still want to help, whether through financial donation or personal volunteerism, make sure you do so responsibly.

  • Cash is the most efficient method of donating.  Financial contributions to recognized disaster relief organizations are the fastest, most flexible, and most effective method of donating. Organizations on the ground know what items and quantities are needed. They often buy in bulk with discounts and, if possible, purchase through area businesses, which supports economic recovery. To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit . You may also make financial donations to a National VOAD member organization to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to Hurricane Maria survivors .
  • Confirm donations needed. Critical needs change rapidly – confirm needed items BEFORE collecting; pack and label carefully; confirm delivery locations; arrange transportation. Unsolicited goods NOT needed burden local organizations' ability to meet survivors' confirmed needs, drawing away valuable volunteer labor, transportation, and warehouse space.
  • Connect to volunteer. Trusted organizations operating in the affected area know where volunteers are needed, and can ensure appropriate volunteer safety, training, and housing.
  • Donate through a trusted organization.  Find trusted national and state level agencies to donate or volunteer from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster . Do not self-deploy.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently seeking talented and hard-working people to help support the response and recovery .

If you need help in determining where and how to give, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website has a list of  major non-profits active in disaster work . For more information, visit and Three Ways to Help After Hurricane Maria


National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is  National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), which raises awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This annual campaign engages and educates public and private sector partners through events and initiatives, provides tools and resources needed to stay safe online, and increases the resiliency of the Nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The 2017 NCSAM theme is Our Shared Responsibility and each week has a focus:

  • Week 1 (October 2 –6): Simple Steps to Online Safety - provide simple steps to protect against top consumer cybersecurity concerns, and help the public understand what to do if they fall victim to cybercrime.
  • Week 2 (October 9 – 13): Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone's Business – showcase how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats and strengthen their cyber resilience, including the use of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework.
  • Week 3 (October 16 – 20): Today's Predictions for Tomorrow's Internet - remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. It is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.
  • Week 4 (October 23 – 27): The Internet Wants You: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity - encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers.
  • Week 5 (October 30-31): Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats - look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit provides resources to help you stay safe online and host your own cyber event. Materials include ready-made cyber presentations, tip cards, and more.

To show your support, register as a NCSAM Champion – it is free! You can also use the hashtag #CyberAware – both before and during the month of October to promote your involvement in raising cybersecurity awareness through social media.  You may find additional cybersecurity information at


Coming Soon: Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills

Earthquakes can happen where we work, live, or travel.  Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills  are an opportunity for everyone, everywhere, to practice earthquake safety and other aspects of emergency plans. Once again, The Federal Emergency Management Agency is partnering with ShakeOut to encourage everyone to take action and register their participation with  Prepareathon ™ .

The 2017 International ShakeOut day is October 19, when millions of people worldwide will hold earthquake drills in schools, organizations, communities, and households at 10:19 a.m. local time. Visit  to register your participation, find resources, and learn more. 

You can also support on social media by participating in the ShakeOut Thunderclap on October 19 at 12:00 p.m. ET. To join, go to the  ShakeOut Thunderclap  and agree to post a one-time message on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr promoting the earthquake drill.

To learn more about earthquake safety,  watch the When the Earth Shakes video  from Prepareathon, go to , and visit the Prepareathon Earthquake page .


Important Dates to Remember


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.