Preparedness Newsletter

This Digest is provided by FEMA's Individual & Community Preparedness Division to highlight community preparedness and resilience resources, an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness together.

Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter

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In This Issue:

Ready Tips
CERT & Communities
Children & Disasters
Financial Preparedness
Important Dates



Dear Partners in Individual and Community Preparedness,

You are an important part of FEMA's mission to help people before, during, and after disasters. We're building a culture of preparedness together.

This year, we are merging the CERT Newsletter, Children and Disasters Newsletter, and weekly preparedness eBrief. Each month, the Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter will feature news, tips, and events across these same topics that you can share with your family, friends, colleagues, and community. We can't wait to share stories of inspiring youth leaders, CERTs in action, and featured partners and resources.

If you have an idea for a story or a resource you would like to share, please send a message to

Together, we're building a prepared and resilient Nation. Thanks for joining us!


Ready Tips

March is Red Cross Month

Each year, the President declares March as Red Cross Month. This month, the American Red Cross celebrates the heroic acts of everyday civilians. Take steps to become more prepared by taking part in an activity during Red Cross Month:

  • Give blood —Blood donations help your neighbors and prepare communities for disasters. One donation can even help save up to 3 lives. This year, the American Red Cross is partnering with Game of Thrones to encourage potential donors to Bleed for the Throne. For more details and to find out if you are eligible to give, visit

  • Take a class —Be prepared by training in a variety of different classes. Topics include first aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), lifeguarding, and more! Visit for more information.

  • Volunteer —The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by people who contribute their unique skills. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to explore ways to volunteer.

Whether you donate funds, blood, or time, your support helps people across the country prepare for and respond to emergencies.  Visit or find your local American Red Cross chapter to learn more!


CERT & Communities

CERT Training in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County CERT trains members for disasters before they occur. The program especially teaches communities to work together before first responders arrive.

Santa Cruz County CERT also goes beyond the basics. For instance, the County plans to adapt CERT training to its unique geography, including mountain and coastal areas. Santa Cruz County CERT also promotes community exercises, such as Map Your Neighborhood.

Read more in the original article by Ryan Masters for Good Times.

Continuity of Operations Awareness Course

Community-based organizations serve important roles during disasters. They offer essential services like medical care, water, and power. When services halt, it can impact communities. To avoid interruption of the services, it is important to plan.

FEMA offers online Independent Study (IS) courses to help organizations stay open when disasters strike. One of these courses is the Continuity of Operations Awareness Course (IS 546.A). It focuses on continuity planning and explains key elements of a viable continuity program. Visit FEMA's Emergency Management Institute to learn more.

Region II Webinar

Join FEMA Region II on Wednesday, March 20 from 12:00-1:00 EDT to learn about psychological preparedness. The webinar will also cover some of the internal factors that influence people to prepare. For more information and to register, click here .


Children & Disasters

FEMA Youth Preparedness Council Applications are Now Open!

Do you know any student leaders interested in making a difference in their community? FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) teaches its members to support disaster preparedness. To achieve this goal, members execute national and local-level preparedness projects. Along the way, YPC members gain leadership skills that will shape their lives.

Students in 8th–11th grade can apply until March 31 . For more information, visit 's Youth Preparedness Council page.

Youth Preparedness Spotlight: American Red Cross

Help lead your youth community's activities in a fun and interesting way! The American Red Cross has activity guides for Red Cross clubs, youth clubs, and classes. The guides include:

  • Preparedness Week —A five-day campaign promoting disaster preparedness. It can be done anytime of the year.

  • Citizen CPR —A 30-minute program for hands-only CPR.

  • Zombie Apocalypse Party —An event that uses a zombie apocalypse to help educate students about disaster preparedness.

Visit the American Red Cross Activity Guides page to download the guides. Or, find your local American Red Cross chapter for more information!

FEMA's National Youth Preparedness Council Member Deploys with CERT in California

Written by Grace Harris from FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council

About a year ago, I was looking forward to taking my first class with the Sacramento Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Today, I am a member of FEMA's National Youth Preparedness Council from FEMA Region IX. I am also the Assistant Public Information Officer and Media Facilitator for Sacramento CERT. Sacramento CERT can deploy me anywhere in the state of California for up to two weeks at a time. That's exactly what happened when, on November 10th, I received deployment orders. Read more...


Financial Preparedness

Save Your Refund

More than 100 million taxpayers get refunds from the IRS each year. For many, that tax refund is the largest check that they will receive all year. This makes it the perfect windfall to start or grow an emergency fund.

This year, Save Your Refund (a partnership between Commonwealth and America Saves) will again offer tax filers the chance to win when they save. The first step? Just use Form 8888 to split your refund and put part in savings. For more information and to enter, visit Save Your Refund.

April is National Financial Capability Month

April is National Financial Capability Month. This month, FEMA's priority is to help Americans take simple steps toward a better financial future by becoming financially prepared! As part of this effort, FEMA will partner with key organizations to promote financial preparedness information. Together, we can turn general financial awareness into action. Events will include a Facebook Live! Kickoff on April 2, Twitter chats, and a Youth Savings Webinar. Follow #FinancialFuture2019 for more information.

America Saves Week and Military Saves Week 2019

America Saves Week 2019 and Military Saves Week 2019 were from February 25–March 2. This year, more than 1500 organizations supported America Saves Week! Daily themes included saving with a plan, saving for retirement, and discussing saving with children and youth. Many savers also used #ImSavingForSweepstakes to make and share their financial goals.

Resources for saving are available all year. Visit Military Saves and America Saves for more and to participate in 2020.


Important Dates


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 - - TWITTER: @Readygov


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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Social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or applications.