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 Safe Through Phil's Winter Forecast

Whether Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring or six more weeks of winter, it is important to be prepared for the weather.

Learn how to stay safe in severe winter weather with these tips from :

  • Stay indoors during the storm.
  • If you have to go outside, walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
  • Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death in the winter. Use caution, take breaks, push the snow instead of lifting it when possible, and lift lighter loads.
  • Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.
  • Drive only if it is necessary. If you must drive, travel during the day. Do not travel alone. Keep others informed of your schedule. Stay on main roads and avoid back road shortcuts.
  • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal¬burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace, or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Keep these devices at least 20 feet from doors, windows, and vents.

Find more winter safety information in the How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide. The Winter Weather Preparedness Social Media toolkit also contains winter weather safety and preparedness messages you can share on your social media channels. You can either copy these messages directly or customize them to reach your audience.


Cook Safely for the Super Bowl

Keep your super feast for the Super Bowl safe.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day for food consumption in the U.S. after Thanksgiving. Enjoy the big game and stay fire safe with these cooking safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA):

  • Keep an eye on what you fry.
  • Stand by your pan.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Wear short sleeves or rolled up sleeves.
  • Keep a pan lid or cookie sheet nearby to cover the pan if it catches fire.

The USFA says cooking is the main cause of home fires and fire injuries. Find more tips to stay safe on the USFA's Cooking Safety page.


Seven Steps to Protect Pets this Winter

Keep your pets safe and warm throughout the winter.  

Never leave your animals outside. If it's too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pet.

Protect your pet with these seven guidelines from The Humane Society:

  1. Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should you leave pets outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons.
  2. Put a sweater on your pet during extreme cold, even for short walks. Pets are also at risk for frostbite and hypothermia.
  3. Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
  4. If there are outdoor cats in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. Learn how to  give them a hand .
  5. Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  6. Be sure your horses have access to a barn or a three-sided run-in so they can escape the wind and cold. While not all horses will need to be blanketed, blankets will help horses keep warm and dry, especially if there is any rain or snow. If you have body-clipped your horses, keep them blanketed throughout the winter.
  7. If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you are concerned. Some people genuinely do not know the risk that cold weather poses to their pets or livestock. If the owner raises concerns,responds poorly, or continues to neglect their pet,  follow our steps on reporting wintertime neglect.

For more information, visit the Humane Society or the Pets and Animals page on .


Sharing Inclusive Practices and Approaches to Prepare Communities for Disasters: Core Advisory Group Webinar

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 2 and the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division invite you to a webinar on Monday, February 12, 2018, which will feature a discussion about best practices, lessons learned, and challenges for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs during the response and recovery phases of a disaster.  More specifically, it will feature Core Advisory Groups (CAGs), which consist of individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, FEMA personnel, local emergency managers, and other concerned stakeholders who work together to bring about change in how emergency services are provided.

Title: Sharing Inclusive Practices and Approaches to Prepare Communities for Disasters: Core Advisory Group Webinar

Date: Monday, February 12, 2018

Time: 12:00 – 1:00p.m. (ET)

This webinar will feature CAG presenters from the following locations:  

  • Central New Jersey
  • Long Island
  • Central New York

How to join the webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on Monday, February 12!


Webinar: Help After a Disaster for Private Non-Profits and Houses of Worship: Potential Sources of Financial Assistance

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships and FEMA invite you to a webinar on Tuesday February 13, 2018, to learn more about potential financial assistance options for private non-profits and houses of worship after a disaster.

This webinar provides faith-based and non-profit leaders as well as state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers, with an overview of FEMA's Public Assistance Program and Policy Guidance changes; the Small Business Administration disaster assistance options for non-profits and houses of worship; and recommendations to ensure applicant organizations retain current insurance policies on their properties. Additionally, this webinar will offer practical preparedness steps you can take now to mitigate future loss or damage.

Title: Help After a Disaster for Private Non-Profits and Houses of Worship: Potential Sources of Financial Assistance

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Time: 2:00 – 3:30p.m. (ET)

This webinar will feature presenters from the following organizations:

  • DHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Small Business Administration
  • FEMA Public Assistance
  • Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration

How to join the webinar:

We hope that you will be able to join us on February 13! 


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.