Special eBrief

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.

Engage Youth and Parents in Preparedness

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FEMA Announces 2018 Youth Preparedness Council Members

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the selectees for the 2018–2019 Youth Preparedness Council.

The Youth Preparedness Council was created in 2012 to bring together young leaders from across the country who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities, by completing disaster preparedness projects to fit their community's needs. This year marks the sixth year of the council.

“America's youth can help build a true national culture of preparedness,” said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. “FEMA recognizes the outstanding contributions of the members of the Youth Preparedness Council, their enthusiasm for service, and their commitment to strengthening their communities to be more prepared for emergencies.” 

FEMA selected the seven new members of the council based on their dedication to public service, community involvement, and potential to expand their impact as national supporters for youth preparedness. The teens bring diverse experiences to the council. One new member is a medic with the Sacramento Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and another is a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet who currently holds the rank of airman first class. Another new member is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) SKYWARN Storm Spotter and actively engaged in Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES).

The 2018 Youth Preparedness Council selectees are:

  • Maryam Choudhury (FEMA Region 1, Connecticut)
  • Katerina Corr (FEMA Region 2, New York)
  • Mackenzie Hinson (FEMA Region 4, North Carolina)
  • Hannah Schultz (FEMA Region 5, Michigan)
  • Camden Larsen (FEMA Region 8, North Dakota)
  • Roberto (RJ) Cárdenas (FEMA Region 9, California)
  • Grace Harris (FEMA Region 9, California)

The returning Youth Preparedness Council members are:

  • Nyla Howell (FEMA Region 3, Maryland)
  • Ruben Banks (FEMA Region 4, Mississippi)
  • Marcos Rios (FEMA Region 4, Georgia)
  • Naomi Winston (FEMA Region 6, Louisiana)
  • Savannah Huff (FEMA Region 7, Missouri)
  • Alissa Hsueh (FEMA Region 9, California)
  • Lathan Chatfield (FEMA Region 10, Washington)
  • Nicole Muñoz-Casalduc (FEMA Region 10, Washington)

The council supports FEMA's commitment to involve America's youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage young people by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. Council members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects.

Each council member participated in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, July 17–18, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The summit gave members the opportunity to share their ideas and questions with national organizations; plan their preparedness project; and meet with FEMA community preparedness staff, who serve as their ongoing support and mentors. For highlights from the summit, watch the Instagram Story on FEMA's account: .

To learn more about the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, please visit: .


FEMA Podcast: FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council Summit

On this week's episode, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recorded its podcast during the Youth Preparedness Council Summit at the American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, DC. The event allowed council members to share their ideas and questions about youth disaster preparedness with the leadership of organizations working on this critical priority.  FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division Director, Dr. Natalie Enclade and two members of the Youth Preparedness Council discuss how young people can further develop a culture of preparedness in America.

The FEMA Podcast is a new audio program series available to anyone interested in learning more about the Agency, hearing about innovation in the field of emergency management, and listening to stories about communities and individuals recovering after disasters. The FEMA Podcast is available on Apple iTunes to stream or download. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length, the podcast will be updated with a new episode on a weekly basis. By subscribing, new episodes will automatically update on a listener's device. For more information, visit .


FEMA Partners with the American Red Cross on Emergency Skills Activity Book for Children

Many parents and educators often need to be creative teaching children how to prepare for disasters and emergencies. To help with this important topic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the American Red Cross have teamed up to introduce the Prepare with Pedro Disaster Preparedness Activity Book (Prepare with Pedro). Prepare with Pedro is a fun new way for parents, teachers, and community leaders to talk about safety with young children.

The activity book features Red Cross character Pedro the Penguin, who demonstrates how to stay safe during a variety of natural hazards. The activity book is designed to be both educational and engaging for young children, offering safety advice alongside crosswords, coloring pages, matching games, and more.

“Reaching young people with disaster readiness information is foundational to building an overall culture of preparedness across the country,” said James K. Joseph, regional administrator for FEMA Region 5 in Chicago. “With this tool, kids can be empowered with the information needed to help stay safe during emergencies and to become leaders in their families for preparedness.”

“Disasters can be very scary for children,” said Sherri Brown, president of Humanitarian Services for the American Red Cross. “Thanks to our collaboration with FEMA, youth and their household members can learn how to prepare and what to do for a variety of disasters from thunderstorms and heat waves to hurricanes and tornadoes.”

The Red Cross and FEMA launched Prepare with Pedro at a special event on July 18, 2018. A group of local children joined the event to get their own copy of Prepare with Pedro. Members of the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council also offered additional advice and information to guide children through the activity book.

Prepare with Pedro is available free from FEMA in English and Spanish. Community members can call 1-800-480-2520 and request printed copies of publication number P-2005, or download the book themselves by visiting .

Fore more youth preparedness activities, please visit . Parents, caregivers and educators can also learn about disaster safety for children by visiting the American Red Cross website at .


FEMA Releases 2017 Hurricane After-Action Report

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released the 2017 Hurricane Season FEMA After-Action Report . The report examines the agency's performance during the record breaking season. Last year, hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria devastated the nation at a time when FEMA was already supporting 692 federally declared disasters. During response to the three catastrophic hurricanes, FEMA also responded to the historic wildfires in California.  The report captures transformative insights from a historic hurricane season that will help FEMA, the emergency management community, and the nation chart the path into the future. The report identified 18 key findings across five focus areas and offered targeted recommendations for FEMA improvements, as well as broader lessons for partners throughout the emergency management community.

“I'm extremely proud of how FEMA and its partners performed under extraordinary circumstances,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said. “We are prepared for the 2018 hurricane season and have already applied lessons learned from last year to improve how our Agency does business. We are driven by continuous improvement and remain committed to helping people before, during, and after disasters. ”

As a cornerstone of the discipline, emergency managers use lessons learned in order to improve outcomes, minimize errors, and better serve survivors. The agency has already taken immediate actions based on the findings from the After-Action Report including updated hurricane plans, annexes, and procedures for states and territories; increased planning factors for the Caribbean and disaster supplies; and updated high priority national-level contracts, including the National Evacuation Contract, Caribbean Transportation Contract, and National Ambulance Contract. FEMA has also tested its response and initial recovery capabilities in the National Level Exercise (NLE) 2018, which occurred in May and focused on areas identified from real-world continuous improvement findings in this report.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused a combined $265 billion in damage and each ranked among the top five costliest hurricanes on record. As a result, FEMA coordinated large deployments of federal personnel, both before and after the storms' landfalls, to support response and initial recovery efforts across 270,000 square miles. FEMA facilitated logistics missions that involved more than $2 billion worth of commodities moving across several states and territories using multiple modes of transportation. FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, composed of state and local emergency responders, saved or assisted nearly 9,500 people across the three hurricanes. In total, the hurricanes and wildfires affected more than 47 million people—almost 15 percent of the nation's population. FEMA registered nearly 4.8 million households for assistance.

FEMA has incorporated many of the findings from this report into its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan , which will guide implementation of long-term goals to build a more prepared and resilient nation. For a copy of the full After-Action Report , go to .


Emergency Preparedness for Parents

For National Parents' Day on Sunday, July 22, help the parents in your community prepare for emergencies.

The Ready Campaign offers several resources for parents. Whether they have young children or college-age kids, parents can take the following actions to prepare for a disaster.

  • Create a family emergency communication plan . Your family may not be together when disaster strikes. Plan now for how you will connect with each other.
  • Learn the emergency plans for their daycare or school .
  • Get college-age kids Campus Ready . Gather information on the emergency procedures for their school or dorm.
  • Practice your family emergency plan. Conduct drills to keep your family ready.

Disasters can be stressful for kids. Try to make emergency planning fun for the children in your family. Visit for exciting games, quizzes, and other resources to help young children and teens understand the importance of emergency preparedness.


Important Dates to Remember


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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.

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