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


Ready Tips

Older Americans Month: Connect, Create, Contribute

May is National Older American's Month. This year's theme is “Connect, Create, Contribute.” This campaign reminds us that older adults play a key role in the strength of our communities.

Older adults serve their communities as volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, and more. They offer insight and experience that benefit the whole community. If you are an older adult or assisting an older adult, follow these tips to prepare for a disaster:

  • Create a personal support network. This network can consist of your family, friends, neighbors, personal attendants, and co-workers.
  • Coordinate with your personal support network to establish an emergency plan. You may want to exchange house keys or set up a meeting place, and share contact information.
  • Consider purchasing a medical ID bracelet. You can engrave it with medical conditions, medications, and allergies. It can also include emergency contact information.
  • If you have regular treatments at a clinic or hospital, learn about their emergency plans. Identify back-up service providers.
  • Switch social security and other regular benefits programs to electronic payments. A disaster may disrupt mail service for days to weeks.

More information about emergency preparedness for older adults can be found online. Check the American Red Cross,, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


CERT & Communities

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) Support Full-Scale Airport Exercise

On April 29, Arlington CERT (ArlCERT) and volunteers from Northern Virginia supported APEX19. Simulating a crash landing, it was a full-scale emergency exercise at the Ronald Reagan National Airport. It is just one way the airport practices its emergency operations plans. Events like this also allow CERT volunteers to support their community's preparedness efforts. Read more…

Stop the Bleed Day

May 2019 is the first ever National Stop the Bleed Month and May 23 is the second annual National Stop the Bleed Day. Launched in October 2015 by the White House, Stop the Bleed is a national awareness campaign and call to action. It encourages all of us to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency. Learn more and find class at

Share Your Stories

Do you have a story, event, or resource you would like to share about community preparedness or CERTs in action? Let us know at


Children & Disasters

FEMA Youth Preparedness Council Member Helps Cub Scouts Earn Merit Badge

Written by Hannah Shultz, FEMA Youth Preparedness Council Member

On February 5, 2019, I worked with the St. Clair County Youth Readiness Council (YRC) in Michigan to provide safety information to Scout Troop 261. As a member of FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council (YPC), I was thrilled to help the local Cub Scouts earn their Emergency Preparedness badge. Read more…

Keeping Newborns Safe During Disasters

Taking care of an infant is hard on an average day. Imagine caring for an infant during an extended power outage or a major storm. Stress may be high and resources may be limited. Here are a few simple steps you can take today to prepare your family:

  • Prepare your emergency kit. See right for items to include if you have an infant.
  • If you have an infant, your kit will also need a portable crib, a thermometer, and copies of vaccination records. See the list for ideas from the not-for-profit, March of Dimes.
  • CPR is different for children and infants. Although you hope never to use it, knowing what steps to take could save a life. Learn more and find a training with the American Red Cross.

Emergency Kit Essentials for Infants

If you have an infant or are expecting, there are a few items you should include in your emergency kit:

  • a thermometer
  • copies of vaccination records
  • antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer
  • dish soap
  • a portable crib
  • baby food in pouches or jars and disposable feeding spoons
  • two baby blankets
  • extra baby clothes and shoes for an older infant
  • baby sling or carrier
  • diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
  • medications and infant pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • small disposable cups
  • ready-to-feed formula in single serving cans or bottles

Suggested list courtesy of  March of Dimes.


Financial Preparedness

National Financial Capability Month Wrap-Up

April was National Financial Capability Month. Throughout the month, FEMA's Ready Campaign and the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) promoted financial preparedness. The more financially prepared we are as a nation, the more resilient we will be when faced with disaster.

National Financial Capability Month kicked off with a Facebook Live! on April 2 to discuss how to prepare financially for disasters. Other events included:

These events highlighted several themes. They included saving, the importance of flood insurance , and how to use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit (EFFAK). This year's campaign engaged more than 100 partners, organizations, and individuals and had the opportunity to reach 75 million people. Together, we can turn general financial awareness into action.

Of course, April is not the only time to think about financial wellness. Visit and for more resources all year.

Get Involved to Build Better Businesses

May is a great time to review business readiness! First, from May 5-11, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hosted  SBA National Small Business Week. Additionally, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) is highlighting business continuity with Business Continuity Awareness Week from May 13-17. Organizations of all sizes can use this opportunity to review best practices for preparedness.  

Every year, the SBA shares the work of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and community organizations in National Small Business Week.

The week includes many events and other opportunities, like the Small Business Hackathon. This year's Hackathon brought together entrepreneurs, designers, and developers to build solutions to help small businesses prepare for and recover from disasters. Learn more about this event and others on the National Small Business Week website.

Business Continuity Awareness Week (BCAW) is a yearly event hosted by the BCI. Business continuity is the ability to stay open in the event of a disaster. That could be anything from a hurricane to a break-in.

This year's BCAW theme is “Investing in Resilience.” It's a great chance to learn what other businesses are doing to prepare! You can attend a webinar, or take part in social media activities. Just use the hashtag #BCAW2019. The BCI also has many free resources on their website.


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


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