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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August 2019: CERT Rodeos, Webinars, Youth Preparedness Council Update, and more


In This Issue:
Ready Tips
CERT & Communities
Children & Disasters
Financial Preparedness
Important Dates


Ready Tips

Fire Up Your Grill (Safely!)

Grilling is a popular summer activity! According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), seven out of ten adults have a grill or a smoker. But along with tasty meals comes an increased risk of home fires and injuries. Check out these helpful tips to make sure you and your family stay safe while serving up delicious meals: 

  • Only use propane and charcoal grills outdoors.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill.
  • Clean your grill consistently to prevent grease and fat buildup.
  • Make sure the gas grill lid is open before you light.
  • Check for gas leaks before use.
  • Keep charcoal starter fluid away from children and other heat sources. 
  • When you are finished grilling, let coals cool completely before disposing.

Have fun and stay safe this summer! Check out additional grilling safety tips from NFPA here.


CERT & Communities

Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency “Rounds up” CERTs for a Rodeo

Building preparedness in your community is an ongoing process. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rodeos are one way to keep skills fresh and maintain strong working relationships. They also give CERTs a chance to work with local, state, and federal emergency management professionals.

On Saturday, May 4th, several Rhode Island CERTs gathered for a CERT Rodeo. They “saddled up” and took part in a day of skill-sharpening activities. They came together thanks to the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (EMA). Rhode Island EMA has been hosting CERT Rodeos for several years. This past May, about 40 members from six different communities attended the event. Read more...

Empowering your Business or Organization for Power Outages

Even if you aren't in school anymore, fall can feel like a time for new beginnings. As mindsets shift away from summer vacation, it's a natural time to start planning for the future. It's a great time to review your own preparedness and become aware of resources that may help you. Some states are more prone to hurricanes, while others should invest in winter storm preparations. Some emergencies, like power outages, can happen anywhere, at any time of year. FEMA's can help you prepare for things that may affect your area.

Power outages can be caused by high winds, flooding, or local infrastructure issues, like overwhelmed power grids or fires. Read more…

Webinar: Non-Traditional Facilities and Emergencies

Non-traditional facilities, like libraries and senior centers, can be powerful resources during disasters and emergencies. Join FEMA for a webinar August 27 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT to learn more about their role in emergencies. For more information and to register, click here.

Making Mitigation Work: A Webinar Series

The Natural Hazards Center in partnership with FEMA will soon launch a new webinar series, Making Mitigation Work. These free, one-hour webinars will feature innovative speakers and highlight recent progress made in mitigation policy, practice, and research. Webinars kick off Tuesday, August 13, 2019! Learn more about the series here.

Natural Hazards Centers Research Programs

The Natural Hazards Centers is offering small grants for post-disaster and mitigation research. 

Quick Response Research Program

With the support of the National Science Foundation, the Quick Response Research Program provides small grants to researchers after extreme events. This can allow them to collect data before memories fade and physical evidence is erased. Learn more here.

Mitigation Matters Research Program

With the support of FEMA and the National Science Foundation, the Mitigation Matters Research Program provides small grants to researchers for studies on natural hazards mitigation. These grants are typically between $1,500 and $2,500. Proposals will be evaluated twice per year. The nearest deadline is October 1, 2019. Learn more here.


Children & Disasters

FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) Summit was held July 16-17, 2019.  The American Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington D.C. hosted the event.

During the year, YPC members break into three teams to work together on a project. The teams focus on youth preparedness education, citizen responder programs, and financial preparedness. Members also meet with FEMA personnel to give feedback on strategies and programs.  The YPC Summit is an annual event for YPC members to gather and share their ideas. YPC members serve on the Council for two years.

This year's Summit was packed with activities.

Introducing the 2019-2020 Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA's Youth Preparedness Council was created in 2012. It brings together young leaders from across the country who are interested in disaster preparedness and want to make a difference in their communities. Members complete disaster preparedness projects to fit their community's needs.

FEMA selected the eight new members of the council based on their dedication to public service. They also evaluated community involvement and potential to expand their impact as national supporters for youth preparedness. Learn more about this year's Youth Preparedness Council here.

The 2019 Youth Preparedness Council selectees are: 

  • Maxwell Hahn, Pennsylvania 
  • Jordan Lin, Georgia 
  • Megan Wright, Georgia 
  • Banan Garada, Illinois 
  • Wyatt Reed, Arkansas 
  • Sibi Raja, Colorado 
  • Madeline Ortiz, Alaska 
  • Hsin Ya (Jessie) Huang, Oregon 

The returning Youth Preparedness Council members are: 

  • Maryam Choudhury, Connecticut 
  • Katerina Corr, New York 
  • Mackenzie Hinson, North Carolina 
  • Hannah Schultz, Michigan 
  • Camden Larsen, North Dakota 
  • Roberto (RJ) Cárdenas, California 
  • Grace Harris, California


Financial Preparedness

Back-to-School Spending and Saving

The end of summer means the beginning of another school year. Your family might be buying school supplies, sports equipment, or new books. You may even be outfitting a dorm room or apartment.  Back-to-school shopping can be a good opportunity to talk to kids about budgeting—and saving! Read more…

Emergencies and Disasters: Are You Financially Prepared?

Join FEMA this National Preparedness Month for a webinar on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 from 1:00 – 1:30 PM Eastern Time. This 30-minute webinar will include presenters from FEMA and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Presenters will provide financial tools, resources, and strategies to help you better prepare and bounce back from unexpected events. Register here and share your preparedness activities using the hashtags #NatlPrep or #PrepareNow on social media!


Share Your Stories

If you have a story, event, or resource you would like to share, let us know at

Register Your Event

Register your event today Whether you are hosting a Prepareathon event, CERT training, or other preparedness event—be counted, get access to resources, and share with others!


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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