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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Decorate Safely for the Holidays

Keep your holidays happy with safe decorations.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), December is the peak time of year for home candle fires.

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

  • Water Christmas trees every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch fire easily.
  • Make sure Christmas trees are at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, space heaters, candles or heat vents. Also, make sure the tree does not block exits.
  • Inspect holiday lights each year before you put them up. Throw away strands with frayed or pinched wires. Read the manufacturer's instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Turn off all holiday lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Consider using battery-operated flameless candles, which can look, smell and feel like real candles.
  • If you do use lit candles, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where you can not knock them down. 
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that burns. Never leave a burning candle alone in an empty room.

Find more holiday, Christmas tree, and fire safety information on the USFA Holiday Safety page.


Holiday and Travel Safety Toolkit

Share ways to prepare for the holidays with your family, friends, and community.

The Ready Campaign's Holiday and Travel Safety Social Media Toolkit provides preparedness information and graphics to help your audience.

The main tips for holiday and travel safety include:

  • Stay off the road during and after a winter storm.
  • Keep candles away from flammable materials or consider using flameless candles instead.
  • Keep an eye on food when cooking.
  • Turn off holiday lights at night.
  • Keep your tree watered, do not let your holiday tree dry out.
  • Shop securely online over the holidays.

For more tips, hashtags, promotional content, Twitter, and Facebook messages, visit the Holiday and Travel Safety Toolkit


Training Announcement: Building a Roadmap to Resilience – A Whole Community Training

The Building a Roadmap to Resilience course (E426) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute provides insights on how to create a community preparedness program. Participants will develop a plan of implementation in their community, receive the tools and knowledge to establish a community coalition, and learn to encourage local leaders to augment resilience within the unique circumstances of their community.

The course will be conducted January 16-18, 2018, at the Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. This three-day course helps communities build upon the Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management.

The target audience for this course includes community stakeholders interested in disaster resilience, and emergency management professionals with less than three years of experience who support or implement inclusive emergency management, community disaster planning, preparedness activities, and community outreach partners at the state and local levels. As a prerequisite, students should have a basic understanding of the fundamentals of emergency management and community preparedness.

To register for this course, please submit a completed General Admission Application, FEMA Form 119-25-1 to your State Training Officer . For more information about this course please contact Steven (Tyler) Krska at . Please visit to learn about additional FEMA training and education opportunities management and community preparedness.


New CERT and Citizen Corps Website Coming Soon

Beginning December 1, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Citizen Corps website will be shut down for improvements.

The new website launches later in December with enhanced features and functionality. The updates, which are in progress now, will make the site easier to use. This new website will help your community be ready and stay prepared for any emergency.

Website Transition and Launch

  • Website functionality will not be available starting Friday, December 1. 
  • Updates and website transition takes place in December.
  • New website launches in late December.

The new website still allows Citizen Corps and CERT programs to register and update their program, submit annual surveys, and search for state and Regional points of contact. To learn more, visit the Citizen Corps and CERT pages on .  You can also email or


Webinar Recording: 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards Recognition and Idea Sharing

On Tuesday, October 31, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a webinar to honor the preparedness efforts of the 2017 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness (ICP) Award winners and learn about their programs.

Watch the webinar recording now to gather ideas, insights, and experiences from other successful preparedness programs.

The FEMA ICP Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements of individuals, communities, and organizations throughout the country that made outstanding contributions to prepare their community. 

A list of the FEMA ICP Awards recipients and the honorable mentions for each category is available at .


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.