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.

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Stay Ahead of the Winter Weather with Real-Time Alerts

Before your neighborhood becomes a winter wonderland, stay ahead of the weather. Make sure you receive real-time emergency alerts.

Be one of the three out of four people that know how to get real-time alerts! This is  according to the 2015 Federal Emergency Management Agency National Household Survey .

Keep yourself prepared with alerts on your mobile phone or tablet. Stay updated on critical information in your area with these tips:

  • Confirm your mobile device can receive Wireless Emergency Alerts .
  • Sign up for text and/or email alerts from your local jurisdiction.
  • Consider purchasing a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio .
  • If you do not have a landline, check to see if your jurisdiction offers additional options to receive messages from systems such as Reverse 911©.
  • Sign up for alerts from any organizations for which you will need information during an emergency.
  • Download the FEMA App .
  • Create a list of all the alert systems available to you. Make sure everyone in the household receives the alerts. 

Know Your Alerts and Warnings with this fact sheet.


What Winter Weather Warnings Mean

What is the difference between a winter storm watch, warning, or advisory?

Knowing the difference means how much time you have to prepare for the storm.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issues outlooks, watches, warnings and advisories for all winter weather hazards. Here's what they mean and what to do. Use the information below to make an informed decision on your risk and what actions to take.

  • Winter Weather Advisory: Be Aware.  An advisory informs you that winter weather may produce hazardous conditions.
  • Winter Storm Watch: Be Prepared. A watch means that severe winter conditions may affect your area. NWS issues a watch to provide 12 to 36 hours notice.
  • Winter Storm Warning: Take Action! NWS issues a warning when it forecasts four or more inches of snow or sleet in the next 12 hours, six or more inches in 24 hours, or 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation. Travel will become difficult. Delay your travel plans until conditions improve.
  • Blizzard Warning  lets you know that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill.

Listen to your local officials for the latest information. Watch this video  to learn more about preparing for a winter storm. You can also download the How to Prepare for a Winter Storm Guide and go to for information on snowstorms and extreme cold.


Next Week Apply for a Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Award

Protect your community from wildfire by applying for a $500 Wildfire Community Preparedness Day  grant through the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, Saturday, May 5, 2018,  encourages communities to work together to address their wildfire risk.

From January 8 through March 2, 2018, NFPA welcomes applications for one of 150 funding awards. Develop a plan now to work with partners and identify wildfire risks in your community. NFPA's Firewise USA site has resources you can use to understand your risk. To view past projects, visit the 2017 Success Stories .

For more information on wildfire preparedness, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's Wildfire page and .


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.